Is it time to throw out all of your old regular flame lighters? I mean, a flameless lighter has to be better, right? In this electric lighter review I’m going to answer some commonly asked questions that come up about arc lighters in regards to survival settings.
For this review I will be using the UST Tekfire Pro, a model produced and advertised within the survival and camping niche.
What is an arc lighter?
Arc lighters produce heat by small arcs of concentrated electricity between two arc points. This concentrated electricity can actually be hotter than a standard flame lighter, like BIC or Zippo, but only in a smaller concentrated area. Most arc lighters are activated by holding down a button on either the front or side. For example: The Tekfire Pro has an on button located on the front that will activate the arc points.
Are electric lighters better to use than a traditional lighter?
In some scenarios, an arc lighter would be a much better option to use than a traditional lighter. A huge pro for the arc lighter is that they are “wind proof. So in a windy situation, an arc lighter would be a much better tool for getting a fire started.
However, since the arc area is so concentrated, whatever tinder you are lighting, must be small enough to fit between the two arc points. For larger tinder and kindling, a traditional lighter may be a better option. This is really evident in the Youtube video I shot showing the lighter here:
How long does it take to charge an Arc lighter and how do you do it?
Each different model may vary, but from what I have seen, the average charge time is up to 2 hours. For the Tekfire, the bottom of the lighter has a USB port that uses a standard usb mini cable, similar to most cell phones.
Should an arc lighter replace your traditional lighter?
The short answer to this is: no, you shouldn’t throw out your old lighters just yet. BUT I do think the arc lighter should co-exist with your current lighter set up. Here’s why: the Tekfire pro is both windproof and is contained within a watertight casing. This means in the event of high winds you’ll still be able to get a heat source to help start a fire. Additionally, if you find yourself stuck in a storm or some other wet situation, the lighter you’re currently packing might get disabled until it dries out. However your arc will still be functional.
UST Tekfire: Pros & Cons
- Comes in bright orange or blue (easy to spot)
- Quick recharge tims
- Long lasting battery
- Small surface area to light something
- It can not be left in areas that exceed 120 degrees in temperature (Don’t leave it in your car!)
- Needs electricity to charge