How to Supercharge a Cheap Lighter




About: I am a recent graduate of the Sustainable Manufacturing program at California State University Chico. I currently consult with local businesses and provide freelance design work. I've been making things for ...

This is how you can modify a normal cheap lighter to shoot the flame out, instead of just boring normal levels of flame.

I don't smoke, but I have lighters around for fun, and lots of my friends smoke. These lighters are fun for pranks, lighting campfires, or lighting hookah coals or pipe bowls more evenly, like an extremely ghetto bowl torch. Also, you can light plain old cigarettes with them too, just watch your long hair if you have it.

Step 1: Materials/tools

All you need is a lighter and a pointy slightly stiff object.

The lighter has to have an easily removable cage (the metal part the flame comes out of) and a flame-adjustment lever.

They might cost $1.25 US, at the most, If you are too young to buy lighters where you live, then get one through other means, be resourceful.

You can modify lighters different than this to shoot flame, but it is more difficult. See the "Theory" step at the end.

Step 2: Pop Off the Cage

The lighter cage is usually pretty easy to bend open a bit, then pull off straight up. However you can get it off without losing the ability to reattach it is a valid method.

Step 3: Wrenching It

The flame adjustment mechanism is a bit like a little wrench on a nut. Look at the lighter as shown in the pictures. Turn the little wrench to the right as far as it will go.

Now, you should be able to almost detach the wrench from the nut by lifting up on the wrench handle. you want it to look like the third picture.

Once the wrench is free of the nut, turn the wrench back to the left, and re-seat it on the nut.

Turn the wrench all the way to the right again. If you want, you can detach the wrench and turn the nut one more time for extra flame, but that approaches dangerous levels. Of fun.

Step 4: Reattach the Cage

Reattach the cage. It should just pop on.


Step 5: Test!

Flick yo Bic.

Should work, but with a much bigger flame. You might need a few tries to get it to light, depending on how many times you turned the nut.

Step 6: Safety (groan)

Use fire safety, blah blah blah.

When turning the nut, be very careful. If you loosen the nut too much, all the gas might leak, or the lighter might not turn off when you release the button. Unscrewing it all the way will blast gas all over the place.

Don't leave the lighter lit for too long, the extra heat will damage the lighter over long periods of time.

Step 7: Theory

Here's the basics of why this works: The nut you turned is a valve. It sits in the top of the gas reservoir on the lighter. You might have noticed that on top of the nut is a little metal barb. That barb is lifted when you press the lighter button. Lifting the barb releases the gas. Therefore, unscrewing the nut that the valve is in leaves more space at the base of the valve for gas to build up in. More gas= more fire.

Based on this system, any lighter with this kind of valve will produce more flame if the nut is loosened. Go wild.



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    12 Discussions


    1 year ago

    i wreanched it way to much and i feel like a pyro..... i feel preety good

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    I've had to get my boyfriend to do this for ten years. He made it sound really difficult, so I didn't try. I read your instructions and did it in less than a minute! Unbelievable, I've feel stupid for not learning how to do this myself. One more thing I don't need a man for! Ty

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Glad you found the directions straightforward and got it to work!


    4 years ago

    This works really good so good tht the flame is now 1 foot 2 inches tall which is insane


    5 years ago

    A torch lighter is the ones that run off butane and is way hotter than a regular lighter

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I know that, I have one. However, This one runs off of butane too. The actual name for this kind of lighter is a "crack lighter." But it was understandably decided that I couldn't name my instructable "How to make a crack lighter" (I tried to).

    Therefore, I settled on the more neutral "Torch lighter"


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    "Torch Lighter" refers only to a Butane Jet Lighter. The kind which sprays the fuel and mixes it with air before combustion, forming a tight blue cone.

    This is a cheap disposable lighter, turned up higher.

    Also, a crack lighter is a lighter that has been turned down a great deal to the point which it barely produces a flame. This allows crackheads to spend less money on lighters and more on crack.

    This modification to a lighter is trivial and fun, but all should know, these cheap plastic adjustable lighters will heat up on the inside and melt the plastic holding the valve in place.

    The valve will fly out the top and create an enormous fireball, if held longer than 30 seconds. Be safe.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, I should pay more attention to whether or not my slang is appropriate. Robot approval is always a good thing ;P