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Published Mar. 29, 2021

You always need a lighter — these handy little devices can spark a flame anywhere, any time. But there are a few serious problems with traditional fuel-based lighters. They constantly run out of fuel and need to be refilled or replaced, and in the face of factors like wind and rain, they tend to fail or blow out quickly. That’s why increasingly more people are turning to a newer kind of lighter: a plasma lighter. When you choose a plasma lighter, you don’t have to worry about any of the cons of a traditional lighter. These modern lighters run on electricity delivered from rechargeable batteries, and they offer better reliability. In the face of unpredictable weather and environments, a plasma lighter is one of the most useful tools you can have on hand.

Ready to add one to your arsenal? Check out which products we’re calling the best plasma lighters right here, and find the perfect fit for your needs indoors or outdoors.

If you’re looking for a well-rounded plasma lighter that can tackle just about any and every need, the Ronxs Plasma Lighter is the right one to pick. It’s our favorite because it’s both safe and smart, easy to use, and efficient. And, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how reliable it is even in the face of unpredictable environments. This slim and lightweight lighter measures 9.8 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches in size and features an aluminum exterior. It’s powered by an economical rechargeable battery, and a set of LED lights shows you just how much power you have left with each use. You can get up to 600 uses on a single battery charge — and you can recharge with the included USB charging cable. This plasma lighter is also windproof and splash-proof, so it can deliver a strong, powerful plasma arc in seconds even in the face of wind gusts or wet weather.

The Suprus Flameless Plasma Lighter is budget-friendly and affordable for just about anyone. It’s also built with great quality, offering you top-tier safety and easy efficiency with every light. This lighter provides great bang for your buck with its stainless steel construction and its slim, carry-anywhere size — it measures just 6.89 x 0.59 x 0.59 inches in size. Built with a windproof and splash-proof design, you can rely on this plasma lighter to ignite even in windy, wet conditions outdoors. It’s great for camping, barbecuing, hiking, or simply unpredictable settings. It uses electricity instead of butane, with four LED lights providing you with real-time battery levels. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery can deliver up to 500 lights on a single charge. This little lighter also features a safety lock over its ignition switch and an automatic spark shutoff after seven seconds to ensure you’re protected against potential dangers.

If you don’t mind spending a little more for even better quality, the Sipoe Plasma Lighter is the perfect premium pick. This electric plasma lighter is incredibly compact — it rivals a traditional flip-top fuel-powered lighter with its 3.15 x 0.98 x 0.51 inch size. But it offers even more power, delivering two windproof arcs of plasma beams generated by electricity each time you hit the ignition button. This lighter features an ignition head with four electric probes, each of which is engineered to deliver a light instantaneously. Able to light in even the windiest conditions, this lighter also includes an auto-shutoff safety feature that kills both plasma beams after seven seconds. The built-in 260 mAh rechargeable battery lasts for more than 500 lights, and it takes just 1.5 hours to fully recharge when depleted. Made with high-quality materials, this lighter even looks sleek and stylish, and it’s one you’ll be proud to carry.

If you’re in need of a new household lighter, consider the Reidea Plasma Arc Lighter. Designed to light candles and small enough to use around barbecues, pilot lights, and other slim items, this lighter is the perfect gadget to keep around the house anytime you need a light. It’s flameless, featuring a single electricity-powered plasma arc instead. The lighter measures 6.2 x 2 x 1 inch in size, and it requires zero fuel. Instead, the rechargeable built-in battery delivers the power and energy you need to light a fire. With no fancy buttons or features and an ignition that absolutely anyone can light, this plasma lighter will make it incredibly simple to spark a fire. It’s also a great option for windy or wet environments, as challenges like gusts of wind won’t affect the plasma arc at all. You’ll get hundreds of uses out of each battery charge, and you can rely on this lighter to hold its charge for a long time, even if you aren’t using it often.

If you’re looking for a plasma lighter you can rely on when it’s raining outdoors or you find yourself in unfriendly weather, the Lcfun Waterproof Outdoor Lighter is just the right fit. This wonderfully waterproof lighter can handle the wettest conditions, thanks to its IP56 waterproof rating. It’s designed to survive water, with a metal-ring sealed cover and a locking clasp that work together to prevent moisture from seeping into the lighter’s electrical components. Extremely compact so you can easily bring it camping, backpacking, hunting, or even into your backyard, this lighter measures just 1.9 x 0.7 x 2.7 inches. Its camouflage exterior is made from ABS plastic and zinc alloy, two materials that can also handle impacts, dirt, and more. A thick lanyard is attached to the lighter for extra convenience, and the built-in USB rechargeable battery lasts through hundreds of uses. You’ll want to add this plasma lighter to your emergency kit or even your everyday gear.

Even when you make the switch to a plasma lighter, you can still run out of “fuel” when your battery becomes depleted — but with the iLevar Dual Arc Plasma Lighter, you’ll waste no time getting charged up and ready to light again. This speedy and efficient lighter can recharge its battery as much as five times faster than your average arc lighter. It’s a dual-arc plasma model, generating two streams of high-heat plasma that can light items large and small. The lighter’s exterior is constructed from high-quality zinc alloy and high-temperature resistant ceramic plating. These materials ensure the lighter is both durable and safe to hold while you’re lighting a fire. A single battery charge can give you more than 200 to 300 ignitions, and you can easily check your power level thanks to the bright LED light indicators built right into the exterior. With no traditional flame, this lighter won’t waver in the face of harsh winds or rough weather either.

Even when you make the switch to a plasma lighter, you can still run out of “fuel” when your battery becomes depleted — but with the iLevar Dual Arc Plasma Lighter, you’ll waste no time getting charged up and ready to light again. This speedy and efficient lighter can recharge its battery as much as five times faster than your average arc lighter. It’s a dual-arc plasma model, generating two streams of high-heat plasma that can light items large and small. The lighter’s exterior is constructed from high-quality zinc alloy and high-temperature resistant ceramic plating. These materials ensure the lighter is both durable and safe to hold while you’re lighting a fire. A single battery charge can give you more than 200 to 300 ignitions, and you can easily check your power level thanks to the bright LED light indicators built right into the exterior. With no traditional flame, this lighter won’t waver in the face of harsh winds or rough weather either.

Trying to light a fire while you’re camping, hiking, hunting, or even just surviving outdoors is much trickier than lighting one at home — and you’ll want to choose the Survival Frog Tough Tesla Lighter for these situations. Designed to be used in the most unexpected outdoor settings, this lighter is well-built and highly durable. It’s both a dual-arc plasma lighter and a survival tool in one. It runs on electricity delivered via a rechargeable battery, and the plasma arcs are both waterproof and windproof so you can always get a light in rain, wind, snow, and more. The top-facing dual arcs can light anything they touch, and you’ll get about 300 lights per battery charge. A built-in flashlight offers three emergency lighting settings, and an included emergency whistle offers you a bit of added security. No matter where you find yourself, the three-year warranty that backs up this product will ensure you have a reliable fire power source anywhere, anytime.

The Lcfun Dual Arc Plasma Lighter is a great option for those who want their lighter to function reliably, work under any conditions, and look good while tackling all types of jobs. Featuring a bright, modern, and kind of flashy design, this gold lighter is sure to catch attention. It’s a dual-arc plasma model, which lights even faster and with more power than your average single-arc competitors. The lighter is perfectly pocket sized, measuring 1.4 x 0.4 x 2.9 inches in size, and its 75-degree sloping pole design keeps your hand cool while lighting items up close. Constructed from zinc alloy and high temperature-resistant ceramic plating, this lighter will protect you from the high heat it generates. Able to be recharged with an included USB charging cable, you’ll get about 500 uses out of each charge — and it takes just 1.5 hours to reach a full battery once again.

The Sipoe Windproof Plasma Lighter is the right option for you if you’re looking for an electric arc lighter that’s extra powerful for lighting large, difficult-to-ignite items. It’s a high-powered accessory that features an ultra-slim build and a sleek, modern-looking finish. Two upward-facing electrodes are nicely angled to make lighting any kind of material a bit easier, and the entire device is lightweight and super compact so you can wield it without problems. A built-in 300 mAh rechargeable battery delivers up to 600 charges, and a single charge will last you several days for increased longevity. A set of four LED lights show you the battery’s level each time you turn the lighter on. With a flameless double-arc plasma beam, you’ll be able to light a fire even in the face of windy conditions outdoors. Quick and easy to ignite with the press of a button, you’ll find it simple to wield.

Related: The best windproof lighters for your next outdoor adventure

Why should you trust us

I have nearly a year of experience reviewing products for Brookline Media’s websites, including The Drive and Car Bibles. My past reviews include best ATV bags, best solar chargers for backpacking, and best waterproof tents. I’ve also written historical articles for War History Online, how-to articles for WonderHowTo, and the nonfiction book Fidget! for Adams Media.

The most common types of plasma lighters

Plasma lighters are simple and straightforward in their design. And, no matter which plasma lighter you choose, these lighters all work in the same way. They use two electrodes that spark and create a plasma arc when a button is pressed. That arc can be used to light anything, from grills to candles to firewood. 

However, there are a few small differences between different kinds of plasma lighters. The electrodes can light in different ways, and some lighters offer more reach than others. To learn more about some of the most common kinds of plasma lighters you’ll come across, read on below.

Single-arc plasma lighters

Single-arc plasma lighters are perhaps the most common type available. These lighters generate just one arc, or stream, of plasma between their two electrodes. Though this single arc is thin and small, it’s hot enough thanks to the electricity generated to light just about anything. They’re particularly handy to keep around the house in place of traditional butane lighters, and they make great everyday lighters if you’re someone who reaches for a lighter frequently.

The only real downside to a single-arc plasma lighter is the size of the arc itself. For larger items, like logs of wood, that single arc can take forever to get a fire started. It’s a better choice for twigs, dried grass, and other, smaller firestarters. 

Double-arc plasma lighters

Double-arc plasma lighters are a step up from the single-arc options. They offer double the electrical current and double the surface area, giving you more capability and more flexibility. Instead of creating just one arc of plasma when lit, these lighters create two. This makes them better equipped to light larger items, as they have more “firepower” behind each light. Generally, these plasma lighters are a better choice for heavy-duty jobs or tougher environments. 

Double-arc lighters can use up their battery power faster, since more power is needed to generate more plasma. This means you may get fewer lighters per charge. However, lighters with larger batteries are available.

Flexible arm plasma lighters

Another option in plasma lighters are models with flexible arms. These lighters have their electrodes (or “flames”) placed at the end of a long, flexible metal extension piece that you’re able to flex, bend, and angle for better reach. Available as single-arc lighters and double-arc lighters, these products are the perfect pick if you’re trying to light a fire from tricky angles. 

Flexible arm plasma lighters are just the right fit for lighting a grill, a candle, or even relighting some pilot lights. They can reach into small, narrow spaces and offer you more length to light items you can’t get close to. These plasma lighters also tend to be able to curve or bend around obstacles.

What to look for when buying a plasma lighter

When you’re picking out just the right plasma lighter for your needs, you’ll want to think about two particular details: the battery power or size and the durability of the lighter. 

Battery power is critically important. It’s a plasma lighter’s sole fuel source, and it’s what delivers the electricity needed to spark a plasma arc so you can light a fire. If you choose a lighter with a small battery, you’ll face more limitations; for example, you’ll get fewer lights per charge. You may also get a smaller arc. Larger batteries will last longer, offering hundreds of lights on a single charge. They may also limit how frequently you need to recharge your lighter.

Durability is key because it determines just how reliable and versatile your lighter will be. While most plasma lighters will work under any conditions, tougher lighters — those that are built to handle impacts, frequent use, and even weather like rain or snow — will ensure you can always get a light when you need one. Durability is especially important if you plan on putting your lighter through quite a lot of wear and tear. 

The advantages of owning a plasma lighter

Plasma lighters are rapidly becoming the go-to option for everyone. If you need a lighter, a plasma model will deliver — and it won’t require fuel, give off fuel-scented fumes, or feature any of the disadvantages of a traditional butane lighter. They’re just as easy, if not even easier, than the lighters you’re used to — and they can deliver just as powerful of light as a flame lighter. 

It’s the convenience that’s making more people switch to plasma lighters. Instead of relying on fuel that needs to be replaced or, even worse, lighters that have to be tossed out once they’re emptied, plasma lighters are a more environmentally friendly option. But the benefits of making the switch to electric plasma lighters don’t end there. You’ll also enjoy other advantages, including:

  • A neverending fuel source, since you can simply recharge the battery via USB when it’s depleted;
  • A cleaner, more eco-friendly way to light fires and get flames roaring, with no emissions and a greener fuel source;
  • A safe and easy way to light fires, with locking covers, button covers, and other safety features that prevent accidental lights or burns;
  • Hundreds of uses on a single battery charge for increased longevity and reliability; and
  • A windproof, waterproof design that allows you to light a fire under any outdoor conditions.

Pricing ranges for plasma lighters

  • Under $15: Most plasma lighters are priced at $15 or less — and you may even be able to find packs of two lighters within this price range. These lighters vary in power, battery size, and arc size, but you can find plenty of options within this affordable range.
  • $15 to $30: For a bit more money, you’ll find a selection of premium plasma lighters. Spend between $15 and $30, and you’ll be able to take your pick from a selection of more durable, more reliable, and more specialized lighters, including those made for outdoor or camping use.

How we chose our top picks

To pick the best plasma lighters, we took a deep look at Amazon’s highest-rated and most recommended lighters. We looked at the star ratings for each option on our list, compared functions and features alongside power and durability, and took users’ reviews and comments into account to choose the best of the bunch.

Related: 7 magnificent multitools that belong in every toolbox

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