How to Refill a Butane Lighter: Easy Steps and Additional Tips

There comes a day when your lighters won’t spark because they are out of fuel. Instead of falling back on matchsticks, you need to refill your favorite butane lighters to get your style back.

Oh, don’t worry. It’s relatively easy to refill your butane lighter. You can get it done yourself. No need to take it to a store and spend a fortune on it. 

Follow a few easy steps, and you are through.

Let us show you How to Refill a Butane Lighter:

How to Refill a Butane Lighter


Purging is the first step that you need to conduct in a well-ventilated room. Even though the lighter may not be working anymore, it still has some butane left in it. It might burn your eyes and irritate your skin. So keep the windows open. 

Once you try to purge the lighter, the remaining amount of butane may spray out, so use a flat surface to work and keep your face away from the table. However, do not start refilling the lighter right after it stops working. 

Wait for it to cool down. 

Butane is combustible, and even a small amount can cause a fatal accident, so practice caution.

Use a screwdriver to turn the knob clockwise. Make sure the flame height adjuster is set to a minimum. Some butane lighters have an adjusting key for this purpose. Of course, if the lighter has a wheel adjuster, you need not use a screwdriver.

Once you are done with the flame adjuster, push the lighter’s refilling valve with the screwdriver and let out the air bubble trapped inside ( you will hear a hissing sound). But make sure you are holding the lighter away from your face. Hold the valve down till the hissing persists. Now check the next step regarding How to Refill a Butane Lighter.

How to Refill a Butane Lighter: Injecting Butane

Start by holding the lighter in an upside-down position. This will block air from getting trapped in the lighter accidentally. If air gets trapped inside the lighter, it will dilute the fuel inside and cause malfunction. 

Hold the butane can upside-down as well and shake it. Inside the butane can, apart from the fuel, there is a propellant. The heavier butane settles at the bottom of the tank, so you need to shake the bottle to mix it up.

Make sure you shake it 5-6 times to ensure the fuel is all nice and potent.

Now, press and hold the top of the butane can on the lighter’s refilling valve. Hold the lighter steady in the upside-down position in this step. 

Keep the lighter straight and not at an angle. If the can stem and the refilling valve is held at an angle, the air is sure to get trapped. 

Ideally, the stem of the butane can should fit the refilling valve of the lighter tightly.

However, if the can’s stem is too big or small for the lighter valve, you will require an adapter to refill the lighter. These are readily available in both offline and online stores. 

Once the stem of the can fits into the refilling valve perfectly, use three small bursts of butane to refill the lighter. If the butane starts to leak from the top of the can instead of going into the lighter’s refilling valve, know that the lighter is full.

However, the amount of butane required to fill the lighter will depend on the amount of fuel left in the lighter. It would require 2-3 bursts of butane if it were almost empty and lesser if it was half full. 

It’s excellent if your lighter has a fuel check valve of gauge. You can always check the level before giving another burst or two. 

No matter whatever you do, do not overfill the lighter with fuel. Stop refilling as soon as you see the lighter leaking.

How to Refill a Butane Lighter: Testing

After refilling the fuel, turn back the flame adjuster. Use the wheel or the screwdriver to set the flame adjuster back to what it was. 

You don’t need to tune the flame up, though, but it should be high enough for you to test the flame. If the flame is set at the lowest, testing will get hard, especially if the unit did not have any fuel left. 

But wait for five minutes before you test the flame. The butane in the can is compressed and thus is cooler. It will take a while for the fuel to reach room temperature. That is when it burns its best. Meanwhile, the excess butane leaked on the lighter’s body will also evaporate, eliminating the chance of any mishap. 

After some time, ignite the lighter like you usually do, but keep it away from your face. With freshly filled butane, the flame will be high and strong. If you have done the process correctly, you should have an even flame. Start and stop the lighter a few times to make sure it’s working properly.

Once the lighter is up and working, set the flame to what you are comfortable with. However, if the lighter is not producing a flame or a strong one, you need to add more fuel to it.

If the flame quality and height are to your likes, you are done with the refilling process. 

How to Refill a Butane Lighter: Additional Tips

Invest in quality butane:

There are price differences among the type of butane available in the market. Though the inexpensive ones might save you a few bucks, they turn out to be a bad investment over time. Such butane doesn’t produce high flame and runs out very soon. So opt for the clean ones. A good quality butane is triply refined, producing a quality flame that lasts longer. 

Clean the tip (or jets) of the lighter: 

Even if you have a full fuel tank, the flame produced by your lighter may be low if the tip or jets of the lighter are not clean. At times, ash bits might be stuck in them. Simply blowing them off can enhance the quality of your flame. 

Use the lighter frequently:

Frequently used lighters last longer than the ones used periodically. So don’t just store your favorite lighter; use it well. 

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