Survivalist to Candlelight Dinners: The Best Lighter for Every Situation

Survivalist to Candlelight Dinners: The Best Lighter for Every Situation

Though it should come as no surprise, not all lighters were created equal. Have you ever tried to light a candle that sits within a deep jar by using a plain, cheap cigarette lighter and burnt the crap out of your fingers? What about trying to light a campfire with wet, soggy matches or a lighter that keeps blowing out? Or if you’ve wanted to start a nice, even burn on an expensive cigar but couldn’t quite get the right effect, or worse, ruined your good cigar? These are the situations that no one likes to think about, but unfortunately, they happen all the time — but only to people who aren’t using the right lighter. We’ve been there, which is why we know how it feels. Thankfully, we also know how to fix it: by making sure you’re using the best lighter for each situation you encounter.

Before we jump into our recommendations, let’s go over a couple of basic lighter FYIs. First up, types of lighters. Though you may not know it, there are actually several types of lighters on the market. These include the candle lighter, utility lighter, pipe lighter, table lighter, multi-flame lighter, and traditional flame lighter. We’ll explain a bit more in-depth as we get to each one throughout our various recommendations later, so keep them in mind as you read. Secondly, lighters are also categorized as refillable or disposable — think Zippo versus gas station BIC.  We believe in keeping the best lighter on hand for each situation means making an investment, so you won’t find any cheap corner store selections on our list. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean they aren’t affordable! Check out our list and see exactly how easy it can be to find the best lighter for anything you can think of!

Everyday Lighter

Even if you’re not a smoker, a survivalist, or even a candle-aficionado, having a good lighter around is important. You never know when the power may go out, someone may ask you for a light, or you may find yourself in need of lighting the candles on a surprise birthday cake. Regardless of the numerous situations that exist, the bottom line is that it’s important to keep at least one reliable and easy to use lighter in the good ole junk drawer. Which leads us to the types of lighters that should have a permanent place in your life, also known as an everyday lighter. For something you can depend on for a variety of situations, we love the Vertigo Attache. It’s a single flame jet lighter that’s got enough power for around-the-house needs but isn’t too powerful to be used on things like your niece’s birthday cake. It features a single action ignition with a large fuel adjustment wheel to give you the versatility you need when tackling different sized projects. With the ability to see exactly how much fuel is left, a solid metal housing and a lifetime warranty, this checks all of the boxes when looking for a reliable, catch-all, best lighter. Best of all, at under $10, it’s affordable enough to keep one in a few different places around the house, so you’re always covered. The Attache comes in black, gunmetal, and chrome. Snag yours by clicking here. If you’re looking to take this best lighter up a notch, Vertigo offers a double flame version.


Whether you light them for special occasions, only if the power goes out, or you’re the kind of person who always has a candle burning, there are a few different options to make sure that you’re using the best lighter for the job: also known as one that won’t burn your fingers off when trying to light the candle wick. For situations where you would rather keep your fingers safe than not, we recommend a flexible, extended-neck lighter like the Zippo Utility Flex Neck Lighter. It’s the best lighter for making sure you’re able to reach into cramped spaces while keeping your phalanges intact. Plus, it’s refillable! You can get yours by clicking here. We decided to give this one a runner-up. If you want to look a bit classier when lighting your candles, whether it’s for a fancy date night or you just like the finer things in life, the Xikar Scribe Angled Candle Flame Lighter is another great option. See its visual appeal by clicking here.


We’re going to throw things back a little bit to the era of table lighters. We touched on them earlier but what you may not know is that they were a staple in homes, bars, and restaurants nearly a century ago when smoking cigarettes was something that absolutely everyone did. Often designed to be displayed prominently in the home, table lighters were typically made of fine metals and featured patterns, wood, and decorative bases. Some even took the shape of objects in later years, such as planes and tanks during WWII. In modern times, however, the table lighter has evolved into more sleek and classy designs, including one of our favorites, the Xikar Volta Quad Flame Table Top Lighter. The lid features a camera aperture style design that protects the four burners by simply twisting the top lid, easily keeping debris out. With an oversized push-button ignition and fuel adjustment wheel, it appears more like a futuristic table accessory than any lighter you’ve ever seen. It’s an investment, but we highly recommend picking one up. You can see the different color choices and find which one perfectly accentuates your home décor by clicking here. It’s definitely the best lighter for those who want a classy accessory while still ensuring functionality.


Not everyone is built for the outdoors. For those who enjoy a good adventure and becoming friends with mother nature, keeping a trustworthy, durable lighter in your pack is always a good idea. Our go-to when heading out into the forest is the Vertigo Camping Lighter. Featuring a flame tube that extends and retracts, it’s the best lighter to ignite your campfire without getting too close or having to rearrange kindling to reach the best spot. It also offers a flame adjuster, a single action ignition, and a clear tank to know when you’re down to your last bit of fuel. And at under $15, it’s something you can’t afford to leave at home. Add one to your must-have list for your next camping trip by visiting the website here.

Windy Conditions

Zippo lighters have been around for decades — since 1933, to be exact — and for a good reason. They’re durable, refillable, and come in practically every design that you can think of. However, they’re also known for being windproof, something that the lighter giant was actually built upon. Due to the design of the windscreen that surrounds the top of each Zippo lighter, as well as an increased rate of fuel delivery, it’s fairly difficult, if not almost impossible, to blow out the flame of a Zippo lighter from any side. For this reason, there’s no way that we could pick any other lighter than the Zippo when it comes to the best lighter for windy situations. Click here to view all of the styles and designs available on the Zippo!


In the 70s and 80s, it was hard to see a film where the macho leading man wasn’t smoking a cigar. Though not as prevalent in popular culture as they once were, cigars are still a staple in many families when celebrating the birth of a child, a wedding, a promotion, or other tokens of success. If you’re on the hunt for the best lighter to go with your cigars, there are two that really leave a lasting impression the Ronson Tobacco Pipe Lighter & Czech Pipe Tool.  The Ronson offers some great features as well, such as a built-in spoon, poker, and tamper, and an adjustable flame. In addition, it’s child resistant, making it a good choice for families. Both lighters are refillable with butane and come in under $20. At that rate, you could take home both of them! If you’re interested in adding them to your collection click here for the Ronson. You won’t regret it! To learn more about the history of cigars, check out our post on the LighterUSA blog by clicking here.

Survival Kit

While it’s not really fun to think about, emergency preparedness is an important part of being ready for whatever comes your way. This is where the Typhoon Match Kit comes in as our pick for best lighter — even though it’s not exactly a lighter. Created by our trusty friends at Zippo, the Typhoon Match Kit offers users 15 “typhoon matches” in a water-resistant case. The storage container is refillable, features an airtight seal and a sealed strive pad on the bottom, and floats, meaning it won’t get lost if you accidentally drop it in a lake or body of water. As for the actual matches, think normal matches but on steroids. They’re easy to light, wind and water resistant, and feature a much longer concentration of ignitable material than typical matches. These should definitely be in everyone’s emergency preparedness kit, car, and home- because it pays to be over prepared than not prepared enough. You can purchase them from the LighterUSA website here.


Bottom Line

Whether you’re backpacking for a week, or just looking to keep a reliable lighter in your home for your personal use, these are some great options to keep in mind, and are our picks for the best lighter in each category listed. If you have to pick just one or two, we recommend selecting a utility lighter, like the Zippo Utility Flex Neck Lighter, as well as at least one Typhoon Match Kit to keep in your emergency preparedness kit. From lighting candles for a romantic dinner to ensuring that you’re prepared to boil your water or light a campfire for cooking in whatever situation life throws at you, we can’t place enough emphasis on having a reliable lighter.

Thanks to LighterUSA, shoppers have hundreds of choices to choose from, as well as a great rewards program, free shipping and free returns for standard shipping within the United States, and the ability to read reviews from real customers. You can check out the expansive list of products on their website, as well as pick up one or all of the lighters that were highlighted in this post, by clicking here.