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Pipe Lighters

To light a pipe you can use almost any lighter, but due to the angle you need it to light it, it's easy to burn your fingers. To combat this, a specific pipe lighter will put the flame on an angle usually between 30 and 90 degrees to avoid burning yourself. Some pipe lighters have built in pipe tools and tampers for convenience, so when you are travelling you won’t need to remember anything but your lighter and your pipe.

The main thing you should consider is reliability, they need to be robust to survive the constant use that pipe smokers need. There are also other characteristics you should look out for:

Type of flame

Avoid any lighter with a jet or a turbo flame. A turbo flame won’t work upside down so it is not suitable for pipes and jet flame lighters tend to be so powerful that they become unreliable over time, or at least temperamental, which isn’t ideal when you want to relax and enjoy a smoke.

Type of fuel

It doesn’t matter what fuel you use in your pipe lighter and both have their advantages and disadvantages -

 Petrol lighters use padding that is stored in a chamber which you soak with petrol or lighter fluid. A wick is dipped into the chamber that soaks up the fuel, when the fuel reaches the air around the wick it evaporates and gives off a flammable vapour, which once ignited gives a reliable flame. Petrol lighters are simple yet reliable, they are robust against almost anything and 99% work again. The disadvantage to petrol lighters is the potential that the petrol will taint the flavour of the smoke. As pipe smokers tend to really enjoy the flavour of their tobacco, the introduction of a petrol taste can be disappointing. You should also consider if you are a regular smoker as to whether you are using it often or not the petrol still evaporates meaning it will need refilling every time you use it.

Gas lighters put gas under pressure in a chamber and when the valve opens it forces gas out, which once ignited gives a constant flame until the valve is shut. The butane gas used is very clean so does not affect the flavour at all. However there are more functional parts on a gas lighter which increases the chances of a fault, also if you leave the lighter unused for years then the rubber seals around the valves perish which will cause the gas to leak out and rendering the lighter unusable. It should be noted that over the years, gas lighters have become more reliable so the big issues of wear and tear will have reduced significantly.

Source of ignition

The source of ignition can be important too! Lighters can be ignited by a flint and wheel, which when rubbed together will cause sparks over a source of fuel. Zippo lighters are notorious for using this technique as the sparks catch the fumes of the lighter fluid which creates the flame. Flint lighters have lost popularity over the years as changing the flint is fiddly and other techniques are less time consuming, however the flame from a flint and wheel is incredibly reliable.

Piezo lighters use a Piezo crystal which when striked causes a spark, almost in the same way that gas ovens light. Piezo lighters have become very popular as it requires little maintenance, however they can be temperamental. If they get wet or get built up with dust or tobacco then they tend to be permanently damaged. If you look after your Piezo lighter then it can prove to be reliable.

Style

Once you have decided what type of lighter you want to use, you can now decide on the look. I would suggest getting a pipe lighter with tools attached as it makes pipe smoking on the go much easier. As most people tend to put their lighter in their pocket with other items more than likely they become scratched so if you are going to invest in a beautiful looking lighter you should treat it as so, top quality lighters from Chacom, Xikar and Rattrays look amazing so you shouldn’t ruin it by having them bounce in a pocket with your car keys and most manufacturers won’t cover the finish of the pipe only functionality.

Once you have considered all of these then you can decide the perfect lighter for you!

Click here to view our range of pipe lighters

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