A butane torch is one of the most efficient lighters on the market. They’re affordable, easy to light up, and very portable. On top of that, they’re ideal for various applications.
Some of these uses include epoxy crafting, welding, and soldering. However, like other gas-powered devices, torches have a limited butane fuel capacity.
So, after you use your lighter several times, fuel will eventually run out. Thus the need to refill your lighter from time to time.
Surprisingly, most butane torch users don’t know how to refill their butane torch. If you’re one of those users, worry not! In this article, I’ll show you all the steps you need to follow to accomplish that!
General Rules When Refilling a Butane Torch
Refueling a butane torch is a simple task that takes a few minutes. Besides, you just need a quality butane fuel refill can and you’re good to go. However, before you start refilling your butane torch, there are certain rules you need to keep in mind. Some of those rules include;
- Never refuel your butane torch right away after using it. Instead, give it some time to cool off.
- Bleed the gas canister before you refill the torch. This helps to remove the fuel and air that accumulate in the lighter.
- Always put your torch upside-down you refill it. This will prevent you from injecting air into your device.
- You should set the lighter’s flame height to the minimum setting. To do this, use a small screwdriver to turn the flame height adjuster in a clockwise direction. While doing so, avoid touching the smaller screw (mostly a Phillips head screw). That screw is intended for disassembling the lighter.
- Hold the torch away from your body and face, and carefully light it up. If it doesn’t ignite, repeat the refueling process.
- Let your lighter components and gas reach room temperature before igniting. This can take about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Always use premium butane fuel to enhance your lighter’s performance. Non-premium gas may lead to inconsistent performance and ignition. Besides, the gas impurity can cause the burner valve to clog or malfunction.
- Ensure you purchase a butane fuel refill can that’s compatible with your butane torch. Also, please read and follow the instructions for your exact torch model.
- Always refill your butane torch in an open space to avoid breathing in the gas.
Steps of Refilling a Butane lighter
If the following steps are not followed there is a higher chance that the butane sprays everywhere when filling torch and wasting the butane that you have just bought not to mention making a mess.
As you know, butane fuel is a flammable gas so prepare the working space properly. You also need to gather all the necessary equipment before getting right into the process of refilling a torch;
Ensuring the Area is Well-Ventilated:
If possible, I’d recommend that you refill your lighter in an open space. This is because butane creates many harmful spits and fumes such as carbon dioxide during the process. Thus causing serious burns and irritation on your eyes or face.
However, if you’re working in a closed space, ensure the room has proper ventilation. To achieve that, open the windows and doors. Alternatively, you can use a stationary fan to enhance the room’s air circulation.
Working on a Flat and Strong Surface:
Look for a clean and sturdy working surface like a table, desk, or countertop. Then lay down a drop cloth or some newspaper on the surface. This will protect the surface from any butane that sprays/spills onto it.
Allowing the Lighter to Cool Down:
Your lighter’s fuel probably ran out during usage. If that’s the case, don’t refill the lighter instantly. Instead, give it enough time to cool off completely before you refill it. To speed up the cooling process, you can place the lighter in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.
Keeping all Flammable Items Away:
At some point, this project may involve igniting the flame. For instance, after refilling the lighter, you’ll need to test and ignite it. Unfortunately, some gas may be trapped in the air. Thus causing any flammable items in the working area to catch fire. So, for safety reasons, it’s good to remove all those items from the room.
Keep The right Tools near Your Work Area:
Often when working with small fiddly items it is a good idea to keep a small assortment of tools nearby items like a magnifying glass, small screwdrivers a rag and some lubricant or grease.
2. Purge the Lighter
Purging involves removing any polluted air and remaining fuel from the butane torch. And there are various reasons why this step is important. For starters, the remaining fuel may act as an obstacle to the new gas you intend to inject. Also, mixing old and new butane isn’t a good idea, especially if they’re not the same.
But, how do you drain the pre-existing fuel? Well, start by moving the lighter’s face away from you. Then turn the lighter upside down and press on its refilling lever with a screwdriver. You can use other tools like a paper clip or pen for this task as well. While pressing the lever, you’ll notice a hissing sound. That sound stops when you’ve drained the lighter completely.
3. Adjust the Flame Intensity
Set the flame height to the lowest setting. In most cases, the flame height adjustment screw is located on the bottom of the lighter. To set the flame height to the lowest setting, turn the knob/ screw clockwise with a small screwdriver. Note, some lighter models have a wheel instead of a screw. But they all do the same task.
4. Shake the Lighter Properly
After adjusting the flame intensity, it’s time to prepare the butane refill canister. To achieve that, thoroughly shake the can about 5 to 6 times. This helps to dilute the fuel inside the can for effective spraying. More importantly, shaking the can enables you to prime the gas that sinks to the bottom of the canister.
5. Secure Your Lighter
Always make sure your butane lighter is secured tightly before you start refueling. Otherwise, air may enter the fuel tank if you hold it at an angle. Thus affecting its performance. On top of that, you need to ensure that the tip over its valve fits perfectly. If it doesn’t, use an adapter to make the nozzle fit the valve tightly.
6. Fill the Butane Torch
Once the setup is complete, it’s time to refill the butane torch. Turn the lighter upside down and look for the refill hole on the bottom of your torch. Insert the refill can’s nozzle into the hole, holding the can in a vertical position.
Now, press the refill can towards the lighter and hold it tightly. This will cause the canister’s nozzle to press in. Thus allowing butane gas to flow into your torch.
The filling process can take about 5 -10 seconds. To check the fuel level, some torches have a fuel window for that. This eliminates the need to pump the gas while fueling. Some models even come with a gauge, enabling you to track the level of the filled fuel.
Once the torch is full, butane gas will start to leak out. At this point, stop filling the tank immediately. And remove the canister’s nozzle from the refill hole. However, if the torch isn’t filled, repeat the entire process.
7. Reset & Test the Flame Intensity
Butane fuel comes in a compressed form, making it colder than at room temperature. So, once you refill your lighter, you’ll realize that the fuel tank becomes cold. Leave your torch for about 5 minutes for the butane to reach room temperature. This will also allow any excess gas from the lighter’s exterior to evaporate.
When everything is at room temperature, reset the flame height. But first, flip the lighter over. Then put the flame adjuster screw in its original position. In other words, use a screwdriver to turn the flame adjuster back up. Afterward, check whether your butane torch is leaking. If you notice any leaked fuel, use a damped rag to wipe it up.
Lastly, check whether your lighter is flaming properly or not. Just remember to maintain a safe distance from the torch. On the same note, make sure you hold the torch safely. With that in mind, light the torch to produce a flame. If the flame is weak or doesn’t light up at all, add more fuel. Then repeat the above steps until your lighter produces a uniform burning flame.
Many people are looking for alternatives to butane due to the environmental impact and health concerns associated with using this type of fuel. In this article, we will explore some of the alternatives to butane for those who are looking for a more environmentally-friendly and safer way to use a torch.
- Propane: Propane is a popular alternative to butane as it is widely available and is a more sustainable fuel source. It burns cleanly and is a more eco-friendly option compared to butane, making it a popular choice for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Natural Gas: Natural gas is another alternative to butane, and is also a more sustainable fuel source. It is widely available and is often used in homes and businesses as a source of heat and energy. The main advantage of using natural gas as a fuel source is that it is significantly less expensive than butane, making it a cost-effective option.
- Biofuels: Biofuels are made from renewable sources such as plant oils or animal fats, and are considered a much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternative to butane. These fuels are made from biomass, which can be easily replenished, making them a great option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
- MAP gas: MAP gas, or MAPP gas, is another alternative to butane. It is a mixture of propane and methylacetylene-propadiene and is commonly used in the welding industry due to its high flame temperature and stability. MAP gas is also a cleaner burning fuel source compared to butane, making it a more environmentally-friendly option for those who are looking for an alternative. However, it is important to note that MAP gas can be more expensive than butane, so it is important to consider the cost factor before making a decision.
- Heat gun: A heat gun can be used to remove bubbles from epoxy resin, but it may distort any patterns or designs in the resin due to the hot air blown by the gun. However, a heat gun can be a good option for those who prefer not to use open flames.
What Type Of Wick Should You Choose?
One of the essential parts of a butane lighter is its wick, which helps to regulate the flow of butane and create a flame. There are different types of wicks available for butane lighters, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits.
- Cotton Wicks: Cotton wicks are the most common type of wick used in butane lighters. They are made from pure cotton fibers that are braided together and treated with a special solution to help them burn evenly and consistently. They are a cost-effective and reliable option for lighting candles and cigarettes.
- Fiberglass Wicks: Fiberglass wicks are made from a blend of glass fibers and other materials. They are durable and long lasting, making them a great option for outdoor use. They are also resistant to wind and weather, making them ideal for lighting candles and starting fires in windy conditions.
- Ceramic Wicks: Ceramic wicks are made from high-quality ceramic fibers and are designed to provide a consistent and long-lasting flame. They are ideal for use in high-end butane lighters, as they provide a clean and controlled flame.
- Metal Wicks: Metal wicks are made from a combination of metal wires and other materials. They are durable and long lasting, making them ideal for outdoor use. They are also resistant to wind and weather, making them a great option for lighting candles and starting fires in windy conditions.
- Flat Wicks: Flat wicks are a newer type of wick that is designed to be flatter and wider than traditional round wicks. They provide a larger flame and are ideal for use in large candles or in outdoor settings where a larger flame is desired.
- Hemp Wicks: Hemp wicks are made from natural hemp fibers that are braided together and treated with beeswax to help them burn evenly and consistently. They are a popular choice among eco-conscious consumers, as they are made from renewable and sustainable resources. Additionally, they are often touted as providing a cleaner and more natural-tasting flame compared to traditional cotton wicks, making them a great option for lighting candles and cigarettes. Hemp wicks are also known for their slow-burning properties, which help to extend the lifespan of your butane lighter and conserve fuel.
Each of these different types of wicks has its own benefits and features, and the right type of wick for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. When selecting a wick for your butane lighter, consider factors such as the size of the flame you desire, the conditions in which you will be using your lighter, and the type of material you want your wick to be made from. With the right wick, your butane lighter will provide you with a reliable and consistent flame for all your lighting needs.
To sum things up, refilling a butane torch isn’t a time-consuming or difficult task. Instead, it’s so simple that anyone can easily do it. You just need to follow the tips and instructions I’ve highlighted above step by step. And you’ll be done refilling your torch in a matter of minutes.
Nonetheless, always read your lighter’s users’ guide before you start refueling it. That is because the refueling process may be different in some lighter models.
1. How do I know if my butane torch is full?
Butane gas starts to leak from the stem when the torch is full, so you’ll easily know. Also, some torches have a fuel window or gauge. That way, you can monitor the fuel level to see if it’s full or not.
How to fill a zippo with Butane?
A zippo is a brand of butane lighter. The 7 steps above will help you refill most brands of butane lighters available on the market even Zippo
2. How do I bleed air out of my butane torch?
Hold your torch in a vertical, upright position. Then use a small screwdriver to press in the filler valve. This will cause the fuel tank to produce a hissing sound, indicating that the fuel is being bled. When the hissing stops, shake the lighter and repeat that process. This ensures the torch is bled completely.
3. What will happen if I overfill a butane torch?
Overfilling your butane torch will cause the fuel to leak. So, always avoid overfilling it.