Best Plasma Lighters

Updated November 2021
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.


Buying guide for best plasma lighters

Lighters are handy to have around for any number of reasons, but if you’ve ever tried to light one in windy conditions, you know how difficult it can be. Add to that the fact that lighters use butane and contribute to the plastic waste problem, and a lighter may seem like more trouble than it’s worth. Plasma lighters solve these problems.

Plasma lighters use electricity from a rechargeable battery to send high voltage between electrodes. This creates a hot plasma arc that can be used to light cigarettes, pipes, candles, or campfires, resulting in a more eco-friendly lighter that can be quickly and easily recharged via USB.

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If you’re thinking of giving a plasma lighter as a gift, look for one that comes in an attractive box.

Key considerations

Single vs. dual arc

One of the primary ways that one plasma lighter differs from another is in the number of plasma arcs, or beams.

  • Single arc: These lighters have one pair of electrodes and produce one plasma beam that arcs between the two electrodes. Due to the fact that they offer heat over a smaller area, these plasma lighters are better for lighting cigarettes or candles. Single plasma beam lighters have a hard time lighting items with a larger surface area, such as cigars.

  • Dual arc: These lighters have four electrodes that produce straight or criss-crossed plasma beams. The larger area enabling these lighters to more easily ignite items with a larger surface area, such as cigars. Dual plasma beam lighters are more powerful than single beam lighters and generally better at withstanding wind and moisture.

  • Triple arc: If you really want to power up, you can find some triple plasma beam lighters on the market.


Plasma lighters recharge via USB and ship with a cord, so you can easily charge them up wherever you have access to a USB port. Recharging typically takes up to two hours. Once charged, you can use a plasma lighter from 100 to 400 times (with an average of 200 to 300), depending on the particular model, at which point it will need to be recharged.

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Did you know?
The ionized air between the nodes of a plasma lighter can reach in excess of 1,000°C.

Plasma lighter features

Size: You don’t want a plasma lighter that’s too bulky or heavy. A bulky lighter is both difficult to use and hard to carry around. Look for a lightweight lighter with a slim design if you need both ease of use and portability.

Durability: A plasma lighter should be built to last, preferably out of a material such as stainless steel that’s both durable and resistant to rust and corrosion. A lighter with smooth edges will fit more comfortably in your pocket.

Appearance: Some people think of a plasma lighter as part of their personal image. As such, buy one that matches your style. Most of these lighters are sleek and stylish, with some in a traditional rectangular lighter shape and others with a more rounded, cylindrical shape. In addition to classic stainless steel, many of these lighters come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Button: All plasma lighters have an ignition button, although some are better positioned than others. The button should be near the top of the lighter and positioned so you can easily use the lighter with one hand.

Cap/cover: All the plasma lighters you consider should include some form of cap or cover. A cover helps to protect you from the lighter and protects the inner workings of the lighter from excessive moisture and other contaminants. Caps range from the traditional flip-top design to more creative hinged types.

Safety: Some plasma lighters have an on/off button on the bottom. Some incorporate an additional safety feature and won’t light if the cap is closed. If you have small children and are looking for even more safety features, some plasma lighters have a built-in ignition button. You must press the button rapidly three times to activate the lighter.

Packs: While most plasma lighters are sold individually, occasionally you’ll find some that come in sets of two or more.

Accessories: Some common accessories to look for when shopping include the following:

  • Cleaning brush for cleaning the electrodes

  • Lanyard for wearing lighter around the neck for camping, for example

  • Carry/storage bag

Plasma lighter prices

Prices for plasma lighters generally range from about $13 to $20 and up. At the higher price points, expect to find more durable designs, dual or triple arcs, and a strong battery that can hold a charge for a longer time. With such a narrow price range, it might be worth it to pay more for additional features, accessories, or overall quality.


  • Brush residue off the electrodes. To keep your lighter working properly and help prolong its life, gently remove any residue from the electrodes with a brush or a cotton swab soaked in alcohol.

  • Try a combo lighter for camping. If you’re searching for a plasma lighter to take camping, look for one that combines a lighter and flashlight in one unit.

  • Read the manual carefully. Manufacturers have different recommendations on the best way to use and care for their lighters.

  • Keep your lighter away from high temperatures and out of direct sunlight. Both can do long-term damage to the lighter.

  • Don’t hold down the ignition button. This can damage the battery.

  • Don’t overcharge your plasma lighter. It can damage the battery. Some lighters incorporate a charging light to monitor this.

  • Check for noise. Some plasma lighters generate a high-pitched noise when in use, while others are much quieter. Check the online comments for the product to verify that it doesn’t produce an annoying noise.
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Dual-arc lighters that are designed with two bolts that fire diagonally offer more burning surface area than criss-cross bolt designs.


Q. Are plasma lighters TSA approved?
Due to the fact that they don’t use any combustible fuel, the TSA has determined that plasma lighters are safe to fly with so long as they’re placed in checked luggage, not carry-on luggage.

Q. What are some of the benefits of a plasma lighter over a traditional lighter?
Because there is no flame involved, plasma lighters are pretty much windproof, and moisture isn’t really a factor in terms of using them. Plasma lighters don’t heat up like traditional lighters. Plasma lighters are also more eco-friendly because they don’t use butane and aren’t disposable, which results in less plastic in your local landfill.

Q. How can I tell when a plasma lighter is fully charged?
Most plasma lighters include a light that turns on when the lighter is being charged. When the light goes off, the lighter is fully charged and should be unplugged from the power source.

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