Perhaps one the most overlooked, yet versatile compact tools is a lighter. Whether you keep a lighter on you to light cigarettes, or throw one in your backpack when camping, these small, handy devices have a ton of uses.
Lighters have certainly evolved over time, beginning with the old flint spark & liquid butane versions, and onto the more powerful and stylish Zippo lighters that use butane gas and offer a big blue flame in a moment’s notice.
But now there’s a modern version that avoids the common issues that have plagues conventional lighters for years. Rechargeable lighters represent a new era of lighters that are not only fun to use, but much more convenient and eco-friendly.
After testing a wide range of plasma lighters, we’ve found Tesla Arc Lighter as the best plasma lighter of the time. But if you haven’t had a pleasant experience with it, you can try Mantello USB Arc Lighter, as what experts feel is the best USB lighter. This alternative is equally effective and has a longer shelf life.
Windproof lighters have surged in popularity over the last few years, and now there are countless products on the market, which can make it a little difficult when finding the best flameless lighter for your needs and budget.
This guide highlights the best wind proof cigarette lighters for 2018-19, covering a wide range of prices and styles.
However, before we get to all that, let’s first go over what defines a plasma cigar lighter, and why they are so useful.
What Are Plasma Beam Lighters?
Plasmatic lighters, sometimes known as thunder lighters, are actually quite simple in nature.
Rather than relying on a combustible fuel source and a spark, plasma lighters produce high voltage between two or more closely placed electrodes, creating an electric arc between them. The current flowing between the electrodes of the lighter ionizes the air it passes through, which creates the plasma.
The electrical arc that results can then be used to light things on fire by touching the volts to it.
There are actually quite a few benefits to this. For one, you don't have to worry about wind blowing the flame out like you would with an ordinary lighter. The volts are almost entirely windproof. Thunder lighters are also resistant to moisture in small amounts.
The most convenient aspect of these lighters is the fact that you don’t need to refill them with fuel. Almost every fireless lighter can be charged using a simple USB cord, whether that’s with an electrical outlet, or even just your computer. The majority of lights can hold a charge equivalent to 100-200 lights.
Another advantage is a cool to the touch lighter. Standard lighters can get very hot when used even more than a few seconds. Not so with plasma cigar lighters. Their lack of combustible fuel and heat has even led to the them being cleared by the TSA, so you won’t be bothered when bringing one on a flight. (Source)
Things to Consider When Shopping for Plasmatic Lighters
While windproof lighters are very simple devices, there are still a few aspects that differentiate models from one another. Here are some of the most common specs and features.
Number of Arcs
The main classification with plasma lighters is how many arcs they have. For now, the only two options are single and double arcs. Single arcs emit one bolt of plasma, while doubles offer two. Double arcs are best usb lighters for lighting things like cigars and other larger items, while single arcs are ideal for standard cigarettes and small candle wicks.
All plasma lighters are rechargeable, but some can hold bigger charges than others. Cheaper models can hold around 100 lights worth of charges, while higher-end lighters can offer anywhere from 200-300, sometimes more.
The majority of electric lighters are shaped like Zippo and flip top lighters, but these can be difficult for lighting some candles and bowls. In those cases, you might have to buy a separate plasma lighter for bowls. On the other hand cylindrical plasmatic lighters have a longer and skinnier profile that makes them more apt for reaching down into something to light it.
The Best Plasma Lighter Reviews for 2018
Ralix Electronic Lighter
Tesla Coil Arc Lighter(Best Arc Lighter)
Novelty Wares Dual-Arc Plasma Lighter
ETERNITY Double Arc
TriGear Elite Series Arc Lighter
BOLT Electric Plasma Lighter
Mantello USB Arc Lighter(Best USB Lighter)
RUIMX Tactical Flashlight with Arc Lighter
Useful Thingy Dual Arc Lighter
The 10 plasma lighters listed below are our favorites for 2018. Each one exhibits notable quality, value, and convenience that sets them above the other options currently available.
Ralix Electronic Lighter - Best Plasma Beam Lighter
This plasma lighter from Ralix is one of the most popular you’ll find, which is no doubt attributed to its low price and simple design. In the category of single arc is the the best electric lighter that is incredibly easy to use, and has a wider set arc space that can accommodate some larger items.
The smooth, black zinc alloy body gives it a more modern look that gives off the impressions that it's certainly a more futuristic lighter. Aside from the on button and Ralix logo, this lighter had a minimalist aesthetic that is very sleek.
The power button is located on the front of the body towards the top, which makes it feel kind of like a remote when you hold it. Definitely different from a conventional lighter.
The Ralix Electronic Lighter comes with a small USB charging cord, and can reach a full charge in around an hour. The lighter comes with an indicator light that lets you know when it’s fully charged, which is helpful.
An attractive box that matches the lighter’s look is included with the purchase, making it easy to gift to someone else, or just yourself.
Overall, the Ralix Electronic Lighter is not fancy, but that’s precisely the point. This is a smooth, cool, and sleek lighter that is a perfect replacement for an ordinary lighter, and makes a great gift as well. For under $10, it’s an incredible value for sure.
Tesla Coil : Best Arc Lighter
Tesla coil arc lighter is about the quality you’d expect from the company. This windproof lighter focuses on quality materials and build, giving it a very solid feel. It's one the best arc lighters, providing ample space for lighting a number of items.
The lighter comes in 6 distinct colors, all of which feature two tones with a stripe running down the center, flanked by the Tesla logo. The lid is a flip top that has a safety shut off that will not let the plasma activate unless the lid is fully open.
Tesla Coil arc lighter has the power button positioned on the front towards the top, which is common with single arc lighters. Some may find the button’s location inconvenient, but it’s really a matter of preference.
A charging cord is included with the lighter, which can last about a week with a full charge, or anywhere from 100-300 lights -- whichever comes first. Other extras that come with the lighter include a soft drawstring storage bag in place of a box.
The Tesla Coil Lighter is available for under $16, making it one of the cheapest lighters on this list. Overall, it provides smooth and simple operation, and extended space that doesn't make the arc area feel crmmed.
The low price, abundance of color choices, and solid build quality are all factors that contribute to making this one of the best wind proof cigarette lighter you can buy today.
Saberlight Sparq: Best Dual Arc Lighter
Saberlight lighter provides a different option from the more common and traditional lighter design. This lighter uses a cylinder shape, making it more geared towards lighting candles, pipes, bowls, and anything else it can reach.
This is a dual arc lighter, and the actual arc mechanism sits off the tip of the end, giving it an extended reach that makes it ideal for lighting larger surface areas. The safety cap flips off to the side and out of the way so as to not hinder the lighter’s reach.
The arc’s power button is located towards the top in a convenient spot that makes perfect sense from where you hold it when in use. An on/off button for the lighter is located on the bottom, along with the charging port.
The Saberlight Plasma Lighter’s stainless steel body provides a very clean and modern look, with a blue illuminated area around the arc’s power button. The arcs themselves are a bright pinkish/purple color.
When fully charged, the Sparq can offer around 300 lights, or 3 hours of continuous use when the power is turned on. A USB charger is included, and the charge time takes around two hours when fully depleted. A gift boxs is included as well, in case you’d like to give the Sparq as a present.
The Sparq is one of the older plasma lighters, and still one of the best. The strategic design makes this the most versatile lighter on the list, and worth the higher price. If you need a plasma lighter that can do it all, we strongyl recommend the Sparq.
Novelty Wares Dual-Arc Plasma Beam Lighter
Novelty Wares’ Dual-Arc Plasma Lighter is a powerful electronic lighter that is both highly portable and very efficient. The smaller size and solid build makes it the perfect substitute for your current flip top lighter.
The smooth and simple body is available in 6 different vibrant color options, making it easy to pick one out that best matches your tastes. The lighter uses a standard flip top design, which reveals a dual arc mechanism that is great for larger items like cigars.
The power button is located on the sides towards the top, which allows you to hold the lighter like you would a butane version, giving it a more familiar feel. The body’s material is resistant to corrosion, adding to its overall durability.
The Novelty Wares Dual-Arc Plasma cigar Lighter includes a USB charging cord, which connects on the bottom, and is located next to a status light that lets you know when it’s charging, and when it’s finish. After two hours, the lighter offers around 300 lights.
A square gift box is included as well, along with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. For under 15$, this dual-arc lighter is an attractive buy, especially with the abundance of color options.
ETERNITY Double Arc: Best Cigarette Lighter
The ETERNITY Double Arc lighter is a compact and long-lasting dual arc lighter that is quite stylish, and comes with plenty of extras too. It’s intended as a smoker’s lighter, but offers enough versatility for other uses as well.
This lighter uses a familiar flip top design, which opens to reveal the two arc mechanism, along with a moderate sized area to place your cigarette or cigar. The body of the lighter has a matte finish to it, and is available in black, gold, and silver, long with a rainbow-themed color scheme too.
The button is located towards the top of one side, allowing for a natural feel when holding it to light something. The lighter has a very light feel thanks to a weight that’s a little under 3 ounces, and measures 2.7 x 1.1 x 0.4 inches.
A USB charger is included with the lighter, which offers around 200-330 lights off of a full charge. Extras include a gift box, a soft carrying bag, and even a small brush to help remove any ash and debris off the lighter's surface near the arc area.
ETERNITY manages to offer all of this, while still keeping the price under $20. In terms of convenience and extras, this value is hard to beat.
The TriGear Elite Series is one of the best plasma lighter in the category of single arc model. It offers a convenient shape and size, combined with added durability and a comfortable power button that makes using it a breeze, regardless of application.
The body of the lighter is a very smooth and understated, and features a small, flat shape that should easily fit into any pocket. This is a suitable replacement for a daily use standard lighter, for sure.
As for the arc mechanism itself, while it is a single arc, the mechanism protrudes out further than most other lighters, and also has a bigger space that can make it easier to use with cigars, candles, campfires, and more.
The flip top lid keeps the lighter safe when not in use, while also protecting the inside. To power the lighter, you can simply flip open the lid, and press down on the button that has a similar placement to what you’d find on a standard Zippo lighter, which is definitely appreciated.
The Elite Series lighter includes a small USB charger cable, and also a soft carry sack to protect or store it when not in use. An indicator light on the side informs you when the charging is complete, which shouldn't take more than an hour or two when totally drained.
This lighter manages to stay under the $16 range, and also comes in a choice of four different colors. If you prefer a single arc lighter with more versatility, this is the one you need.
This lighter from BOLT has the appearance of a single arc plasma lighter, but is actually a spin on dual arc lighter designs. Its small size, attractive design, and innovative arc mechanism all work to help make the slighter stand out from the rest.
This plasma lighter falls under the electric lighters category and is only available in one color, but the black/stainless steel color scheme should appeal to most, along with the slight detailing along the middle. The lighter uses a traditional flip top design that prevents the lighter from activating when the lid is closed.
Rather than use the basic criss-cross arc setup found with most dual arcs, this lighter uses a dual arc mechanism that has the two bolts alongside each other. This increases the lighting area, and makes the lighter easier to use in certain situations.
The power button is located on the front towards the top, which some may or may not prefer. The lighter also includes a charging cable, an indicator light to tell you when it’s done, and a soft carrying case for protection, if you’d like.
BOLT took a chance with a different double arc design, and it certainly paid off. If you have a hard time using dual arc lighters with a criss-cross pattern, this lighter is a great alternative to any. For under $11, it’s one of the best dual arc lighters in the list.
Mantello Plasma Arc Lighter: Best USB Lighter
The Mantello USB Plasma Arc Lighter takes a more futuristic approach in its overall design and look, opting for a different arrangement when compared to other flameless lighters that are made to look like standard lighters.
This lighter has a sort of garage door opener look to it, but in an appealing and unique way. Rather than the normal flip top lid, the lid folds back instead, with the single arc mechanism located in the middle and facing out to the front.
The design compliments the location of the power button, which is just an inch or so below the arc. This gives the lighter a quick and convenient feel to it, and also makes it fun to use. You'll definitely get a few looks if you use it while you’re out and about.
The sleek black body goes well with the blue light around the power button, and matching blue arc as well. The lid has a safety feature built in that keep the arc from going off when the lid is closed.
As expected, the lighter includes both a USB charger, and a soft carrying case for storage. If you’re in need of a unique cigarette lighter for daily use, this lighter from Mantello is a good choice, especially since it stays under $11.
RUIMX Tactical Flashlight with Plasma Beam Lighter
Now this isn’t solely a plasma lighter, but is included, and really acts out the versatility aspect of what arc lighters can provide for outdoor and emergency use. The RUIMX Tactical Flashlight with Arc Lighter is equal parts flashlight and lighter.
The front end has the flashlight portion, and even a self defense design with jagged edges if needed. The other end has a screw off lid that reveal a single arc plasma lighter inside. The arc is powered by an alkaline battery, rather than a rechargeable lithium battery.
The lighter itself isn’t the strongest arc mechanism you’ll find, but it will definitely get the job done when you need to get a campfire going. It can work for cigarettes and smaler cigars as well.
The flashlight/lighter is incredibly durable, and can take a beating, while also being resistant to moisture as well. It’s already a decent arc lighter on its own but adding in the flashlight part really makes this one of the most versatile tools you’ll ever use.
Even with all of the extra features, the RUIMX Tactical Flashlight with Arc Lighter is still very affordable, hovering around $25. If you want a true outdoor lighter than can do that and so much more, this is a great purchase, and would make a nice gift for an outdoors enthusiast or prepper as well.
Useful Thingy’s Dual Arc Lighter features two lighters in one purchase, both of which make use of dual arc technology. The dual arc setup makes these lighters suitable for everything from cigarettes, to cigars,t to lighting candles, to campfires, and pretty much anything else you’d need to light.
The lighters use a criss-cross arc design that is instantly activated by the power button located on the front towards the top. The arc area isn’t the most spacious you’ll find, but the dual arcs still allow it to easily light up.
The flip top is the same you’ll find on most every lighter with this design, and the lid also serves as a safety cutoff that prevents the lighter from activating when not in use.
There are some very unique color and design options that go well beyond the typical color choices. You can get a matte grey and stainless steel combo, or go with more bolder designs, such as golden eagle and scorpion, marble, or all gold.
The lighters come with their own USB chargers, and packages in an elegant gift box, making this combo a great present idea for special occasions. The price is around $20 as well, which is an excellent value considering you’re getting two high-performing dual arc lighters, and a gift box. -- all at once
Our Top Pick
While all of these windproof lighters are solid buys, and represent the best on the market, we favor the Saberlight Sparq. With plasma cigar lighters, the more versatile the better, which is why we prefer the cylinder design of the Sparq.
With the skinnier design and strategic arc setup, the Sparq is the "best plasma lighter" that can be used to light up nearly anything you can think of without having to struggle. From candles that have burnt down within their jars, to a tobacco pipe, the Sparq can do it all, and manages to stay within an affordable range most people will have no problem paying.
Do you have a favorite plasma beam lighter of your own? Let us know in the comments below! We always appreciate recommendations.