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Can Temperature affect Torch Lighters ??

jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,263 ✭✭✭✭✭
(Apologies if this has already been answered - tried searching but didn't find the answer I wanted...)

So the title pretty much sums up my question....but for the last month or so, with temperatures anywhere from 35-55, I've been having all sorts of problems with both of my lighters (Bugatti B-1 and Lotus Man O War Laser Torch).

I always test fire the lighter(s) inside to make sure they're working properly, if so I'll head on out....and I usually don't have problems getting the cigar started as the lighters seem to work fine for the first 5-10 minutes I'm outdoors.
But if the lighter is outside for more than 10-15 minutes, and I need to either touch up a cigar, or light a second cigar - neither lighter will fire properly.
What commonly happens: I'll press the ignition, lighter will hold a flame for about 1 second, then the flame will go out but I can still hear it releasing gas....so I know it's not out of fuel.
I've emptied both lighters (multiple times), cleaned out the ignition area with compressed air, and tried adjusting the flame setting.....but none of this has resolved the problem.

The only common symptom I can come up with is the cooler weather - could that be affecting the butane/ignition mechanism?

If so, are there any lighters specifically designed for cold weather use? Because matches aren't always convenient for me (like when I'm walking the dog) and I don't want to have to fight with these 2 lighters all winter.

* I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *


  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    I can't even get my torch lighters to work in wind! I'm interested to find out the answer to your question.
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,263 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I can't even get my torch lighters to work in wind! I'm interested to find out the answer to your question.
    Same here .... but wind's a different beast.
    There are specific lighters, marketed as being "windproof" - I believe the ignition mechanism/design is different which allows them to spark in the wind. But neither of mine are windproof so I don't expect them to work when it's windy ....

    But I am upset they're not working in this colder weather....

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • stadstad Posts: 396 ✭✭
    Yes, the cold temp will effect the butane. It needs to be near room temp or so to burn properly. Time to flick the Bic.
  • jthanatosjthanatos Posts: 1,570 ✭✭
    Butane has a (relatively) high boil point for gas, making it produce less vapor when it is colder. This is also why some backpackers avoid it for camping, especially in colder areas. for reference

    Edit: If you keep it in a pants pocket/near your body heat when not using it, you shouldn't have too many issues. Once lit for a bit, the elements will heat enough to vaporize the gas. You just might have to spark it a few times at a higher flame before dialing it down to where you like.
  • skweekzskweekz PAPosts: 2,279 ✭✭✭
    I have the same problem with mine. I just hold it tight in my hand for a few seconds until it warms up. That almost always makes it work as normal again.
  • marineatbn03marineatbn03 Spring Hill, FLPosts: 2,670 ✭✭✭
    I keep mine in my pocket, tends to keep it warm enough to fire up
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,263 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the info everybody....not the answer I wanted to hear, but it makes sense.

    FWIW - I usually keep it in my pants pocket or coat pocket ... and I try to spark it multiple times ---- but the flame always disappears after about 1 second. Must just be too darn cold

    I'd really rather not go with a bic if I can help it .... any other lighter suggestions ?

    (Or is butane pretty much a "no go" when the temperature drops?
    EDIT - NVM, read jthanatos' link and answered my own question)

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,993 ✭✭✭✭
    Try lowering the flame...some times the butane spits out to fast and can't turn into gas fast enough to stay lit. Lowering the flame might help
    Money can't buy taste
  • Gaetano7890Gaetano7890 NYPosts: 800 ✭✭✭
    Yes it can and as any cigarette smokers can a test to a lighter left in a car will not light right away if its cold. You can hold the lighter in your hand for a while before you light it or try keeping in a warm coat pocket. When It's starts getting real cold out I keep my lighter in the pocket with my heat pack. Basically the directions that r on your can of butane r there for the same reason. Cold gas coming out of the tube takes a while to heat up.
  • prosspross Posts: 874 ✭✭✭
    I have been having a hell of a time with my Xikar torch when it's cold too. Thought maybe it affected the Butane.
  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    Simply holding the lighter in your hand to warm it for a min. or so should let it spark right up. There are no butane lighters that I am aware of that will take flame in cold weather without first being warmed. Keeping it in your coat pocket with your hand around it would be the best way to keep it warm if you don't want to wait to get it to light.
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,263 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well lowering the flame doesn't work --- but holding it in my hand for a few minutes seems to do the trick.

    Good idea on the heat pack, Gaetano - I normally have gloves on and the lighter doesn't seem to stay warm enough in my pocket on it's own, I'm sure adding a heat pack would do the trick - wouldn't have thought of that.

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • Gaetano7890Gaetano7890 NYPosts: 800 ✭✭✭
    you learn a lot aobut yourself and your surroundings when your outside smoking cigars in the middle of January in Central NY. I use the bags you warm up in the micro and also the store bought hot hands. I have been looking at the Zippo hand warmer but not sure. It defintely works and your lighter should have no issues.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,171 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As far as I've been able to tell, Torch lighters between $5 & $60 are affected by temperature, wind, rain, brand of butane, dust content in you pocket, humidity, dust content in the air, how badly you want to light your cigar, whether you're inside or outside, in your car, in the garage, in the shop, at the mall, the wife's hormonal state, whether or not you've called your Mom, the price of the cigar you're smoking, what color shirt I'm wearing, and so on and so forth...into oblivion.

    However, I keep trying, because I love the result. Got my Zippo Blu working again after someone on here recommended using nitro solvent to clean with, and the blow gun attached to the compressor. Now it will effectively light a cigar, as long as I don't let the flame go out. I know from the little window that there's fuel, so, if I warm it in my hands for a few minutes, it might light again, or maybe not 'til tomorrow. So, light well the first time, and keep a Bic on hand, just in case.
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  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,371 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Propane (and butane) vaporizes at around -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Any colder and it reverts to a gel-like stage and it won't burn. Hold your lighter tightly in your hand (even better if your hand is in your pocket) for a couple minutes and once the gas is warmed up the lighter should light. Gotta keep that puppy warm for it to work.

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