A new type of butane lighter whose flame looks like a small blowtorch. That old problem of lighting a cigarette in the wind is no more.

Almost all of these lighters are sparkless as well. They use an electric sparker or hot Ni-chrome coil to ignite the fuel.

Pros of windproof lighters:

  • To forestall the inevitable taunts of "Captain Obvious", I'll leave the first to your imagination.
  • Since the flame burns like a jet exhaust, they behave in the same fashion when held vertically, horizontally, or upside down. This makes them quite effective for lighting pipes and bongs (no more thumb burns) or for setting fires in hard-to-reach areas.
  • They're also great for lighting cigars without sucking up large amounts of butane (as you would with a conventional lighter) or naphtha (as with a Zippo).
  • The high-temperature flame makes the tasks of lighting a fire or vaporizing crack cocaine much easier.
  • The piezoelectric sparkers found in most windproof lighters last much longer than flints, though they're harder to replace when they do wear out.
  • They look really cool.

Cons:

  • They're somewhat more expensive than ordinary butane lighters. Expect to pay $7-15 for a low-quality windproof and $60 or more for the best.
  • They go through fuel at a prodigious rate. Expect to have to refill it every two to three days if you're a heavy smoker or otherwise start a lot of fires. They're also finicky about the exact composition and pressure of the butane, usually requiring the manufacturer's own brand of fuel for proper operation.
  • Watch where you point that thing! The area of effect extends well beyond the visible flame. I've seen a man lose both his eyebrows while trying to light a bowlful with one of these (yes, he was already quite baked). Also I once inflicted a first-degree burn on someone's face in the process of lighting her cigarette.
  • The light radius is no more than an inch or two, making them utterly useless for finding your way in the dark.

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