Finding Your Perfect Everyday Carry (EDC) Lighter

This is a Guest Post by Jeremy Rogers

EDC lighters I have carried over the years.

If you’re like me, you probably have a lighter as part of your EDC. It’s hard to imagine life without one. I’d like to briefly discuss the ones I’ve used in the past, as well as my current EDC lighter. Moisture resistance, fuel retention, and durability are the main attributes I look for in an EDC survival lighter. Other features are nice, but these are the most fundamental and important aspects, in my opinion. I’ve used the standard BIC, BIC Mini, Zippo, QIMEI Peanut Lighter, and the Anodized XL Maratac Peanut Lighter.

BIC is the first lighter I carried for a long time. I still use them around the house, at camp, and for survival kits. Water and leak proofing a BIC has been challenging. I always worried about fuel leakage if the ignition button became held down in my pocket. I put a zip tie under the ignition button to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, this makes the lighter inconvenient to use if it’s needed quickly. Also, because the zip tie has to be cut off to use the lighter, replacement zip ties have to be carried.

I started using a Zippo about three years ago. Zippo has an optional belt pouch with a metal clip and a fuel canister that I purchased. My Zippo hasn’t failed me yet. I fretted over the case getting bent because I’ve heard of this happening. However, the main issue I’ve had is fuel evaporation. I used a piece of bicycle inner tube to prevent this. It helped, but it didn’t eliminate the problem. Plus, the inner tube made the lighter inconvenient to deploy and it tore easily.

While searching for something better, I ran across peanut lighters. The QIMEI was my first one. It came with a spare O-ring, flints, and a wick. It’s durable, leakproof, and waterproof. The only problem I’ve had is that its tiny size makes it difficult to hold and it gets hot fast. Other than that, I liked the design better than anything I’d found until that point. I later obtained a Maratac Peanut Lighter as a replacement for my QIMEI. The Anodized XL Maratac Peanut Lighter is my current EDC survival lighter. I’ve carried it on my keychain for almost a year now. I’ve never had a single problem with the Maratac. Its larger size makes it a lot easier to grip and light. Spare flints, wicks, and O-rings are sold separately

THE MARATAC PEANUT LIGHTER IS WATERPROOF

The Maratac Peanut Lighter comes with a rubber O-ring to seal out dirt and moisture. Neither one of these has affected my Maratac. I put a small amount of lip balm or Vaseline on the O-ring and threads as an extra precautionary measure against moisture. The aluminum case also makes this lighter impervious to the elements.

The Maratac Peanut Lighter is a strong option for a dependable EDC lighter.

THE MARATAC IS LEAKPROOF THANKS TO THE O-RING

I have not been able to note any fuel evaporation for the long length of time that I have carried this lighter. I’ve also never had a skin burn from fuel leakage while carrying the Maratac in my pocket. Skin burn from fuel evaporation is a reason that I carried my Zippo in a belt pouch. 

THE MARATAC IS DURABLE

It’s built like a tank due to the robust aluminum case. The case is considerably thicker than a Zippo’s. It can be used as a waterproof container for small items by removing the brass insert. My Maratac has some cosmetic wear, which I expect.

Aluminum casing for the Maratac is durable and can double as a watertight container to store other items, like tinder.

The Maratac peanut lighter will hold five extra flints at the bottom of the brass insert. I still carry my Zippo fuel canister along with my Maratac lighter. I’ve carried the fuel canister for a long time and it’s never leaked. I can use the extra fuel as a firestarter in poor conditions. I keep a spare wick coiled inside the cap of my fuel can. I’ve been very pleased with my Maratac lighter. I can no doubt make it last a very long time if I had to.

I still carry my Zippo fuel canister along with my Maratac lighter.

I hope you’ll find something useful in this article. I’d love to hear your thoughts and thanks for reading.  

Jeremy Rogers is an up and coming freelance writer. His blog address is http://www.heritageoutdoors.net.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    JLA
    November 5, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    For the past few years, I’ve been carrying a Zippo lighter that’s been upgraded with a Thunderbird Yellow Flame insert. It runs on pressurized butane just like a Bic, and it solves all of the fuel leakage and evaporation problems that are very familiar to Zippo owners. Better yet, it still works like a Zippo is supposed to work! Open the lid, the gas turns on. Close the lid, the gas turns off. Simple. There’s no button for you to hold down so that you can burn the crap out of your thumb while trying to light uncooperative tinder. (If you’re the kind of guy who likes constantly playing with your lighter, this upgrade isn’t for you. Doing that will run all of the butane out of your lighter right quick!) The insert I use is the Thunderbird Yellow Flame Insert. There are also several ‘torch’ inserts available as well if that’s what you prefer, but the combination of the Zippo case and the Thunderbird Yellow Flame butane insert solved the EDC lighter problem for me.

    I also have a small stainless steel peanut lighter on my keychain. I got it from Amazon a few years ago and only paid $2.99 for it, but it’s O-ring sealed, and it’s still on its first fill up. Every now and then I take the cap off, test it to see if it still works (always does), and then put the cap back on. It doesn’t like windy conditions, at all, but, as long as you can keep the wind off of it, it always works.

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