If you give it a thought, you’ll come to the conclusion that fire is essential in any survival situations. Whether you bug in or bug out, you really need a good EDC lighter for your survival situations.
Even though you’re not allowed to smoke everywhere you want, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a lighter at all time, especially on your EDC experiences.
A good EDC lighter helps you start fires for warmth, gives quick light in case your EDC flashlight is dying or melt plastic in a pinch. You may even caramelize sugar with a heavier EDC lighter.
Most of us out there need a small disposable lighter. A good EDC lighter is reliable, durable, difficult to damage and lightweight.
In case your needs go beyond that, you may get something more impressive. You may check what fuel sources you will have around, how often you intend on using the lighter, how much heat you need it to provide and if it should fit your pocket or not. It’s your needs and likings that decide which type of EDC lighter you need and want.
What counts the most in an EDC lighter?
Not all lighters are as reliable as you might want. Matches are a good option, but only if they are dry. Butane lighters perform poorly in the cold and some butane alternatives evaporate even when kept closed.
In this case, instead of butane lighters you may get some help from propane lighters. You may store them for long time and they are more readily available in portable tanks. When the chips are down, even propane lighters may become a bit undependable just as well.
The wick based lighters are also a great option as EDC lighters and they bring many good things. They work better than butane lighters in the cold and there are less chances for them to evaporate. Unfortunately, they come with some serious fuel leak problems.
The fuel-less lighters come in many models from arc lighters to magnifying glasses. An arc lighter is highly efficient in extremely windy conditions, extreme cold and even in wet conditions. The main downside is that they run on batteries that you need to change from time to time.
Magnifying glasses are great as they don’t need fuel or electricity and easily fit your pocket. They get useless though in low sunlight conditions. The same goes for the flint and steel lighters that get less efficient in windy conditions.
You want to play it on the safe side? Get multiple lighters for various weather conditions in your EDC pack.
Another main feature for your EDC lighter is portability. Most EDC lighters are fairly portable, but keep in mind that the more you pack, the more you’re going to walk and the more chances to go through various weather conditions. And, as we stated already, most EDC lighters don’t perform great in all kind of weather conditions.
If you have a fuel powered lighter, you need to carry the lighter and extra fuel also. There’s always a small risk of fuel leaking into your pocket or pack. If the fuel gets exposed to extreme heat, the fuel might explode, damaging your pack or even injuring you.
Magnifying glasses come in a long lasting plastic and still work if you scratch them by accident. They are thin enough to fit into your wallet or pocket.
Arc lighters are the same size as butane lighter and the high quality ones present no risk of explosion. You need a charging cable for them or some electricity source.
Small, waterproof, almost risk free for carrying, the flint and steel lighters are a great option. Small damage doesn’t affect their performances and you may even run with them in your backpack, as they don’t get damaged that easily.
A good EDC lighter needs to be easy to use also. The easiest lighter to work with are arc lighters and they lit up no matter what direction they are pointed. The main downside is that you need to light something small enough to fit between the two contact points.
Magnifying glasses, flint and steel lighters are the most difficult to use. You need to practice a while as they need two hands and some coordination skills to make a fire.
Your EDC lighter has to be also durable to say the least. Butane, propane, wick and arc lighters are reliable types, but you need a good stock of fuel to get them work. Most butane lighters wear out in time, as they are not made to last forever.
Arc lighters are highly durable, but for the long haul you should get flint and steel lighters. Magnifying glasses are the longest lasting lighters at the moment. They work even they are bent, tattered or scratched.
If you get yourself a fuel based lighter, think ahead that you will always need to buy more fuel for the lighter.
It’s the case of arc lighters, for instance.
Flint and steel and magnifying glasses are one time purchases and don’t need other purchase, so they are low priced lighters.
So, take a consideration also at the costs of your EDC lighter.
As in any purchase, you need to take good consideration when you get an EDC lighter. Take a look at your needs, likings and, why not, wallet before buying the right one for you.
Top 5 EDC Lighter Reviews
When you want a low-priced, yet efficient and pretty reliable EDC lighter, the Turboflame Ranger Windproof Lighter surely fits the description. Here are the pros:
- The Turbloflame Vflame has parallel twin laser flames directed to a single point
- There is a powerful and concentrated flame reaching 1300C degrees
- The lighter is great for the jobs needing heat in a short burst
- The Turboflame Vflame melts synthetic materials without depositing black carbon
- The lighter works at any burning angle, even upside down
- There is safe ignition for the lighter
- The see-through gas level indicator is efficient
- The safety cap makes it safe to use the lighter
- The lanyard attachment point makes the lighter easy to carry around
- The lighter is versatile and you may use it to seal rope, blast rust, fly ties, patch fiberglass and so on
- The lighter works up to altitudes of 10,000ft and doesn’t “self-combust” at high altitudes
- The lighter may produce up to 800 short ignitions
- The Turboflame Vflame is easy to use
- The lighter is windproof
- The Turboflame Vflame is drop resistant
- The fuel lasts for long time
- The lighter works on each click
- The lighter is well constructed
Even though we like the lighter for so many things, there are some cons that we need to mention just as well:
- The lighter tends to get a bit hot
- You need some time to get the refill right
- It’s not very easy to adjust the flame
But, for the performances it gives and the low price, the Turboflame Vflame is a great buy anytime.
If you ever found yourself in the situation of not having any matches or lighter whatsoever, than the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter may get out of trouble. Here are the pros on this:
- The fire starter gives instant fire, very easy
- There is an all-metal case for the lighter
- The Zippo includes 4 water-resistant waxed tinder sticks
- There is reliable flint wheel ignition
- The Zippo is great for any EDC mission and it’s amazing for fire starting
- The Zippo is Awarded the Seal of Approval by the North American Hunting Club
- The Zippo has a sized storage container with 4 fire starting tinder inside
- There is good spark with the Zippo
- The Zippo is great for camping and emergency situations
- There is no lighter fluid required for the Zippo
- The black matte finish gives the lighter a nice, elegant appearance
- The water resistant O-ring seal keeps contents dry
When it comes to the issues that could use some improvement, there aren’t many:
- The nice, elegant black finish make the fire starter a bit difficult to spot in the woods. An orange stripe could make a huge difference
- You need some practice until you get to use it fast
Long lasting and made to last for some time, the Zippo fire starter is an efficient tool for your EDC kit.
If you want to go with a classical look for your EDC lighter the Zippo Sterling Pocket Lighter sure makes the cut. Here are its pros:
- The Zippo Sterling Pocket lighter is not a typical EDC lighter
- The lighter is windproof
- The distinctive Zippo “click” is efficient every single time
- The lighter has an all metal construction and it’s long lasting
- The lighter is for the heavy duty use
- The Zippo Sterling Pocket works anywhere
- The lighter is easily refillable
- The lighter is for lifetime of use
- The Zippo is made in our USA
- There is a nice, high polish finish on the lighter
- The Zippo comes packaged in an elegant black velour hinged box
- The lighter is both functional and collectible
- The lighter comes with one flint and wick already installed
- Flint, wicks and fluid are replaceable and sold separately
- It performs the best with Zippo premium lighter fluid (sold separately)
There are some minor issues for the lighter, though:
- The lighter tracks fingerprints do to its fine polish finish
- You need to use Zippo premium lighter fluid for the best performance
All in all, the Zippo Sterling Pocket lighter is a good option for your EDC experience, especially if you want to do it in style, for a lifetime.
Whoever said that an EDC lighter can’t look elegant and be efficient at the same time, never had a Colibri EDC lighter. The Colibri Enterprise III Triple Jet Flame Lighter (Black and Chrome) is your savior in the middle of the night, up in the hills, but also may help you when in a restaurant, as it looks elegant and stylish. Here are the pros:
- The Colibri is a triple jet flame
- The lighter is an up scaled, modern looking lighter
- The Colibri Triple has an elegant, sleek appearance
- The lighter is wind resistant
- The Colibri is a single-action ignition lighter, which makes it reliable on an EDC experience
- The Colibri Triple is fast and efficient
- The lighter has an 8mm stainless steel punch
- There is a useful fuel level window so that you may see when it’s time for a refill
- The lighter is reliable and efficient
- The Colibri Triple feels lightweight
- You may easily fit the lighter in your pocket
- The little pamphlet on how to fill the lighter is useful and funny
- The lighter has a solid feeling to it
- The flame output is very powerful
As for the cons, there are some to mention:
- The lighter consumes fuel rather fast
- The manufacturer recommends to only use Colibri fuel for the best results and keep in mind that the fuel is a bit pricey
- The side button may operate by accident
Other than this, the Colibri Triple Jet is both efficient and elegant looking and it worth every single penny.
If your EDC activities take you at high altitude, you really need a lighter that works even at around 9800 feet. The Wenger Clava Chrome/Black Lighter is the EDC lighter that is efficient from the sea level up to the peaks of the mountain, at 9800 feet altitude.
Here are the pros on the lighter:
- The Clava Lighter has an extra-large fuel tank
- The lighter has a rubberized case
- There is a firm grip for the lighter
- The coupling link has a safety carabineer
- The lighter has a reliable windproof jet flame design
- The Clava Lighter ignites pretty much anywhere
- The lighter has a protective cap
- There is a rugged construction for the lighter, which makes it long lasting and ready for your EDC experiences
- The lighter is made for the heavy duty use
- There is piezoelectric ignition technology used on the lighter
- There are two signal mirrors in top and bottom caps
- The protective cap gives longer durability to the lighter
- The O-ring seal protects the lighter from water
- The lighter is refillable butane fuel
- The lighter comes with rings for an easier carrying/attaching to your gear
As for the parts we don’t like, we could mention the tubular design that doesn’t make the lighter compact or easy to fit a small pocket. But you can easily attach the lighter to your gear, so that’s a great solution.