Introduction: Make a Lighter Out Of: Battery + Gum Wrapper

If you've been watching the second season of the popular Netflix original series "Orange is the new black" you've probably seen and wondered about these lighters. To answer your questions, Yes they are real and yes they work. Although not exactly how they are portrayed on the show. Even if you haven't seen the show, an understanding of battery and gum wrapper lighters could be a useful survival technique.

Step 1: Watch This Video!

I'll show you the steps and you can see this thing in action as I use it to start a small fire!

If the embedded video isn't working just click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbwQ3zuOJw0

Step 2: What You'll Need

Just a pair of scissors, a AA battery, and a gum wrapper with a foil or metallic side. Keep in mind that this won't work with a gum wrapper made only of paper. A few kinds of gum that have partially metallic wrappers are "Wrigley's 5" and "Extra".

Step 3: Cut Your Strip

Simply cut a long thin strip from your wrapper.

Step 4: Fold and Cut

Fold your strip in half. Cut diagonally across the folded strip as shown in the picture. When unfolded, your strip should have a narrow spot right in the center.

Step 5: Light It Up!

Make sure you are connecting the metallic side (not the paper) to the battery. Hold both ends of the strip to both the positive and negative charges of the battery. The flame won't last too long, but as I demonstrated in the video, you can use it to start a fire if you're prepared. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. This instructable is meant as an explanation of how this is done, or as a technique to be used in a survival scenario where a fire is necessary but matches and regular lighters are not an option. When done properly it is fairly safe, but done improperly it can be dangerous (as with most things fire related). Thank you!

Here's a link to my youtube channel: The Best Hobbies Blog Youtube Channel


Comments

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craftclarity (author)2014-06-16

Simple and clever, like all of the best hacks.

author

Thank you very much!

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MatthewL37 (author)2015-09-22

I have try but isn't work!

author

Try using a better battery. AA batteries are what I used. If you are using that, try different brands. if your using a gum wrapper, try using foil instead. Hope this helps. ???

author
MotionLessWhite (author)2015-02-21

i was just wondering if anyone can answer my question ??

What is the connection of the gum and the Battery that it created a fire??

i was planning to do this on my physics project and i need some information on what connection that they have... please i need an urgent answer, PLEASE :!!! :D

author
Jrmchugh (author)MotionLessWhite2015-06-19

I know this won't help you now, but I figured I would answer anyway. When you connect the foil side of the wrapper to the positive and negative ends of the battery you make a relatively weak circuit. Since the foil is not the best conductor it releases energy in the form of heat. According to the law of the conservation of energy: energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change from one form to another. In this case the electrical energy is being changed to heat. The heat then ignites the paper side of the wrapper when it gets hot enough. A more efficient connection such as copper, silver, gold, or a higher grade of aluminum would allow more electricity to pass through without it being changed to heat energy.

author
PiotrT9 (author)Jrmchugh2015-12-18

I'm sorry but you have no idea what you're talking about... It's the exact opposite. The foil is a good conductor, as is copper, sliver etc. It's the high current passing through the foil that causes it to ignite.

author
TiffanyB7 (author)2015-10-05

ha! this is awesome! now I need to test drive this out to tease my boyfriend when he has no lighter! Thanks!

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FahimuzZ (author)2015-09-10

WOW this was flat out amazing... TY TY this will serve well for all those times my lighters go out.. *(I need to stop smoking).

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lucavanryker (author)2015-05-20

is it possible to use the battery safely afterward?

author
MotionLessWhite (author)2015-02-21

i was just wondering if anyone can answer my question ??

What is the connection of the gum and the Battery that it created a fire??

i was planning to do this on my physics project and i need some information on what connection that they have... please i need an urgent answer, PLEASE :!!! :D

author
kevanchristian (author)2014-10-22

O that is so cool!

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patatarium (author)2014-09-23

I will ad this trick to my survival kit

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von rad (author)2014-07-11

Great!

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Camilo543 (author)2014-07-09

I saw this on Orange is the new black and I thought it was fake til I saw this instructable. Thanks.

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capacitor99 (author)2014-06-19

This was very cool and amazing. Never would have thought of this.