Best Inexpensive Electric Lighters For Survival (& Candles)

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 03/07/2024

Tough Tesla Electric LighterToday, I’ve got something I’m excited to share…

A Guide On The Buying (& Using) Electronic Lighters

Because these brand-new electric arc lighters are great for survival, camping, and lighting candles.

Yes, you should add some matches to your survival bag, but most won’t work in wind or rain.

And forget about rubbing sticks together because this isn’t summer camp.

You need a reliable open flame source to start your fire quickly anytime, anywhere…

TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…    ↓(click to jump)
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Best Electric Lighters On The Market Today

Now it’s time to look at the best electric lighters on the market today.

You should pick several different kinds from the list.

And include them in all your survival backpacks and vehicle survival kits.

1. Our Top Choice
Tough Tesla Lighter From Survival Frog

We all know the story of Tesla.

The man never made it to fame and fortune like Edison.

However, he did invent the Tesla coil using plasma to transfer energy.

Today we can thank him for the electric arc lighter.

The Tough Tesla Lighter is a dual-arc rechargeable electric lighter. And it's ideal for the serious survivalist.

It's constructed of military-grade rubberized plastic.

So it can take the rough n tough abuse of outdoor living and camping.

This also makes it completely waterproof, crucially important when traversing land and water.

It's also windproof, so you never have to deal with "finding cover" to get a spark.

It's lightweight and compact, so you can slip it into your pocket.

And when you need it, press a button, and you're ready to ignite.

If that weren't enough, this Tesla Lighter comes with the following:

  • a burnable tinder lanyard for starting a fire
  • an emergency rescue whistle attached

And you get over 250 strikes with a 2-hour charge time, so you know it won't let you down.

Finally, it comes with a 100% "Extra American Guarantee."

If you decide your Tough Tesla Lighter isn't exactly what you wanted, email Survival Frog anytime in the next 6 months for a full, prompt refund.

  • Extremely durable
  • Waterproof case
  • Windproof arc
  • Includes survival whistle and lanyard
  • Strong 6-month refund policy
  • Hard-time lighting deep-seated candle wicks
  • Dual arcs design twice as much power as single arcs
  • Bright orange color may not be for everyone
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LcFun Waterproof Windproof Dual Arc Lighter

This lighter comes from ICFUN and is another rugged survival lighter.

It's very compact, so you can add it to your emergency kits.

But it also has a lanyard to wear around your neck.

A large rubber ring seals the lighter when you close the lid and hook the metal clasp, making it completely waterproof.

This is the one you want for hiking and camping because it holds a long and durable charge.

Plus, the company offers a 60-day guarantee to ensure you get what you paid for.

To charge this electrical lighter, you must open the lid because the USB port is on the side of the coil.

All in all, an outstanding arch lighter keeps you lite when you need it.

  • Extremely durable
  • Waterproof case
  • Windproof arc
  • Lots of colors to choose from
  • It comes with a lanyard
  • Dual arcs design twice as much power as single arcs
  • Hard-time with deep-seated candle wicks
  • Only a 60-day guarantee
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↓ LcFun Waterproof ARC Lighter First Look And Test

Tesla Coil Lighters USB Rechargeable Windproof Arc Lighter

This is a single-arc lighter, and carrying one is a good idea.

Why? Because the charge lasts much longer than the dual arc.

It quickly charges with the included USB plug at the unit's bottom.

This coil lighter has a sleek design and a cloth carry pouch.

This means you can fit the lighter and cord when you stow it in your survival pack.

A button on the side ignites the lighter, but it won't light unless the lid is open.

That's an important safety feature, for sure.

It's not waterproof, but you still have no issues getting the plasma arc in high winds.

  • Single arc design will last a long time between charges
  • A few different color options
  • It comes with a cloth carry pouch
  • Single-arc design is not as powerful
  • Hard time with deep-seated candle wicks
  • No mention of a guarantee
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↓ Testing: Tesla Coil Lighter

RONXS Flameless Long Lighters For Candles and Camping

RONXS has a high-quality candle lighter that's ideal for everyday situations.

The design makes it ideal for reaching into:

  • Fires
  • BBQs
  • Out-of-reach candles

It does this with a sturdy handle base and flexible neck.

This single arc lighter will give you over 6000 uses when fully charged.

And there's even an LED charge indicator on the side with 5 ascending lights.

This is a game-changer because you know when it is getting low and when to charge it.

Its simple design has a USB port, an on-and-off switch, and a button to engage.

This is ideal for indoor and outdoor use, so bring one on your next camping trip.

  • Gooseneck design is ideal for deep-seated candle wicks
  • Keeps fingers further away from arcs when lighting
  • Single arc design provides over 6000 uses per charge
  • LED charge indicator light helps manage power needs
  • Not rugged enough for survival or camping
  • Not waterproof - no waterproof container
  • No mention of a guarantee or warranty
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↓ RONXS Electronic Arc Lighter Review

Zippo Lighter Insert - Arc Lighter

If you've been an avid outdoorsman for a while, you probably have a standard Zippo lighter.

They are small and sleek, and high-quality.

Now with this new plasma lighter technology, you need to switch over.

Zippo has you covered because their new electric lighter inserts fit almost all standard Zippo lighters.

You'll get around 300 charges with 40 uses per charge.

You get:

  • Double plasma arc beam
  • Micro USB port
  • Safety double-click ignition
  • 10 second time out feature
  • Windproof heat source
  • All metal construction

It's great to add a genuine Zippo lighter to your pocket and one to your emergency kit.

  • Durable all-metal construction
  • If you already own a Zippo, there is no need to buy another lighter
  • Safety features - a double-click ignite and the 10-second timeout
  • The deep-seated arc design makes it hard to light candles or fat cigars
  • Only 40 uses per charge
  • No mention of a guarantee or warranty
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↓ Zippo Butane And Arch Lighter Inserts – The Ultimate Lighter?

Candle Lighter Rechargeable Electric Arc Lighter

Here we have another excellent rechargeable electric arc lighter from HiFan.

This electric candle lighter with a wand design makes it easy to reach awkward places.

This is also very safe for children because the arc is at the end of the wand.

So they won't get burned or shocked when using it.

The neck rotates 360 degrees to get any angle you need.

It is ideal for relighting fires, BBQs, candles, and fireworks.

There is a safety on/off switch and an automatic 7-second auto stop.

You get 600-800 burns per charge.

And it quickly charges with the supplied USB cable from your portable solar charger or solar power station.

  • Gooseneck design is ideal for deep-seated candle wicks
  • The neck rotates 360 degrees for maximum flexibility
  • Keeps fingers further away from arcs when lighting
  • 600 to 800 burns PER CHARGE
  • Not rugged enough for survival or camping
  • Not waterproof - no waterproof container
  • No mention of a guarantee or warranty
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↓ Better Than A Traditional Lighter!

Black Beard Pirate's Plunder Fire Starter Kit with Waterproof Plasma Arc Lighter

So far, we've checked out some tremendous electric lighters.

But it's time to step up your survival gear with the Black Beard Fire-Starting Bundle!

This is the ultimate fire-starting setup because you have everything to start and maintain a fire on your camping trip, off-grid cabin, or bugout location.

This bundle includes the following:

  • 1 dual arc electric lighter
  • 4 Black Beard fire starters
  • 1 Ferro rod
  • a top-notch fire kit organizer
  • and a Black Beard velcro patch

You will have no problem getting a fire going with this bundle, that's for sure.

Just cut off some starter rope and use your electric arc lighter to ignite it.

Then you can build your fire around that.

The starter rope is waterproof; you'll get over 50 fires out of each one.

The backup Ferro rod is there when you need it as a backup.

But your primary source of ignition is the included electric lighter.

It charges fast and will supply you with over 300 ignites.

That's a whole lot of fires between charges!

This is an awesome bundled kit for the serious survivalist and deep woods camper.

So why not carry this extensive fire bundle for your next adventure?

  • It's a complete survival fire bundle
  • Includes a Ferro rod as a backup
  • Includes waterproof lighter and starter rope
  • More expensive price point (due to it being a bundle)
  • No mention of a guarantee or warranty
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↓ Wind And Waterproof Rechargeable Dual “ARC LIGHTER”

Saberlight Sparq Rechargeable Splash and Wind Proof Flameless Lighter

This rechargeable lighter is in its own class.

With the Sparq by Saberlight, you get a plasma igniter, unlike any other arc lighter.

They re-engineered it using free-form plasma energy, making it a plasm torch.

Suppose you have had trouble lighting flat surfaces with the standard arc lighters with narrow Tesla coils.

In that case, this will solve all your problems.

They call their technology "Star Wars-like," for a good reason.

The electrodes come right off the end with a fully hinged cap, so it's not blocked.

On the bottom, you have the on/off switch and a USB port for charging.

It charges in about an hour and will give you 3 hours of use.

The ignite button is always illuminated, so turn the unit off when not in use to preserve the battery.

This is an incredible electric lighter with an intelligent design.

  • The slim design makes it highly portable
  • Includes an On/Off switch for safety
  • If you accidentally leave the switch ON, it will drain the battery over time
  • The blue "power on" ring is very bright - can draw unwanted attention
  • Unclear how many "uses" a full charge gives you - dual arcs use more power
  • No mention of a guarantee or warranty
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↓ Sparq Electric Lighter – Survival Fire Starter

TG Plasma Lighter Windproof Waterproof USB Rechargeable Electric Lighter

You want a tactical advantage for extreme adventures and survival situations.

This plasma lighter from TG fits the bill perfectly.

It's built with a tough silicone rubber casing to protect it from all damage and waterproofing.

There is a robust locking system and push to open the cover for a tight seal.

This makes sure the plasma coil is protected during your outings.

Plug in the included USB cable for a quick 2-hour charge, and you will get over 300 uses before it runs out.

You get a powerful double arc for fast ignition, and built-in short-circuit protection.

These features make this electric lighter a must-have item on your bug-out bag checklist.

  • Extremely durable
  • Waterproof case
  • Windproof arc
  • Dual arcs design twice as much power as single arcs
  • Hard time lighting deep-seated candle wicks
  • No mention of a guarantee or warranty
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↓ TG Tactical Waterproof, Windproof, Rechargeable Plasma Lighter

Electric Lighters Vs. Fuel-Based Lighters (Pros/Cons)

Primitive lighters can be traced back to the mid-1600s.

However, the first fuel-based lighter was invented in Germany in 1823.

They have come a long way with the Zippo and Bic lighter and used naphtha and then butane as fuel to make fire.

Electric arc lighters first hit the market with a 2015 Kickstarter campaign.

And with the ability to recharge, they are fast becoming the go-to lighter for:

  • Smokers
  • Campers
  • And survivalists

Electric Lighters

These lighters run on electricity. It’s in the name!

They are a breakthrough in portable lighters.

Why? Because you don’t have to worry about fuel running out, and that means no tossing it in the trash and no messy refueling.

They have an electric coil or use either 2 or 4 electrodes and generate a plasma beam.

They quickly charge up via USB, and then you’re good to go for hundreds of lights.

And are really cool.

Because you are using plasma energy to make fire, that means no impact on the planet.


  • Safer to use
  • No messy fuel or need to throw away
  • Recharge with a USB connection
  • Windproof


  • Not as lightweight as disposable lighters
  • More expensive
  • Small lighting surface

Fuel Based Lighters

Your standard lighter comes in either a metal or plastic container.

And it’s filled with either flammable liquid fuel or compressed gas.

There is an ignition mechanism to make your flame so you can light anything you need to set fire to.

You can find these portable lighters at most checkout areas of stores, and they are cheap.

They will only last as long as there is fuel and are either thrown away or refilled if you have that option.


  • Durable plastic or metal
  • Inexpensive
  • Long-lasting


  • They are not waterproof
  • Striking wheels get very hot
  • Disposable ones are garbage when they run out of fuel
  • End up in the landfill
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Electric Lighter Used To Lite Candle Wick

5 Main Types Of Arch Lighters

Electric lighters use the fourth state of matter.

Energy gets ionized in the air, and the gas is called plasma.

When you charge the lighter, it stores energy waiting to be used.

And when you press the button, an arc of energy crosses the electrodes.

Pretty awesome, right?

Let’s check out the different types of electrical lighters you can get.

1. Electric Candle Lighter

The advantage of these is that they can reach hard-to-get areas like candles or into your fire or BBQ.

They have a long body and neck, so getting a good grip on them is easy, and an extended, flexible neck where the arc is produced.

They’re convenient for different applications.

Plus, using them is safer if you have kids because the heating end is far away from their fingers.

They are a bit bulky and won’t fit into your pocket.

So you need to stow them away safely when on your outdoor adventures.

2. Electric Cigarette Lighter

An electric cigarette lighter is slightly different because it has a heated coil to make a fire.

It’s like the car lighters of yesteryear and works very well for cigarettes.

They can look like regular fuel lighters or large memory sticks and charge easily via USB.

They are lightweight and can fit in your pocket.

But you won’t have much luck starting fires as there is no exposed flame or arc.

Use these for lighting your smokes.

3. Single Arc/Double Arc Lighters

Most of these new lighters will harness the element of plasma to make ignition.

This is produced by ionizing energy in the air and stimulating the atoms to create a current.

It’s like a mini lightning bolt in your pocket!

The plasma travels from one positive electrode to another negative electrode at different charges.

This creates the ignition.

  • A single arc lighter has two electrodes, creating one arc.
  • A double arc has twice as many creating two arcs.

The dual arc also has twice the power but is less energy efficient.

Depending on your needs, you may get by with a single arc, but a double arc gets the job done faster.

Both need to be recharged with a USB connection.

4. Zippo Insert

If you regularly carry a lighter, chances are you have a Zippo.

They are an excellent lighter brand and stand out, far above those cheap plastic lighters.

Maybe you don’t want to give up that custom Zippo case you have.

What can you do?

Zippo has different lighter inserts to change out your type of lighter.

And give you options depending on your needs.

You can get single and double torch butane inserts.

It’s time to switch to their rechargeable lighter.

It’s a double arc insert where the arcs cross for powerful plasma ignition.

Why not customize your tried and true Zippo by converting it into an electrical lighter?

5. Survival  Lighter

We’ve shown you a quality lighter will have multi-uses like:

  • starting fires
  • candles
  • cigarettes

But other electrical lighters out there take survival head-on.

This type of electric arc lighter is designed for rugged use and is made to take a beating.

They will have molded rubber and hard plastic exteriors.

These features keep your lighter intact through almost any survival situation.

Plus, they also come with vital assessors.

Things like:

  • a locking mechanism
  • short circuit protection
  • starter rope
  • and a Ferro rod

These survival features help when you must start a fire in the wilderness.

Tesla Lighter Double Arc

7 Reasons An Electric Lighter Is Superior To A Fuel Lighter

1. Rechargeable

This may be the best reason to buy an electric arc lighter.

Having the ability to charge your lighter means you won’t run out of fuel.

Yes, you need the have a charger.

But you already should have that covered for your smartphone, tablet, and laptop.

It just plugs into the USB port on your portable or solar-powered charger, and you are good to go in a few hours.

Forget about those butane lighters because they run out and get thrown out.

2. Windproof

Ever try to flick your Bic when it’s windy?

It’s super aggravating, and if you need to get your fire going quickly, a fuel-based lighter isn’t your best friend.

They have the advantage that the wind doesn’t affect them.

You can be confident it will ignite regardless of wind strength or direction.

So no more cupping your hands around your lighter and burning your fingers.

3. Less Environmental Impact

When plastic lighters run out of fuel, you throw them away.

Guess where they end up?

In the local dump or worse.

Unfortunately, plastic lighters are among the most common debris found in the oceans.

And this is a damn shame.

When you use an electric arc lighter, fuel is not running out. Just recharge and reuse for years.

There are also no ozone-damaging fumes from refilling and burning butane.

4. Waterproof

When camping or in a survival situation, you need a reliable fire-starting source regardless of the weather.

You should always carry matches in your survival bag as a backup, but they are useless if they get wet.

That’s why you need an electric lighter that is waterproof.

Many are designed with a locking lid and waterproof housing.

So your electric plasma lighter will work no matter what happens when you are out in the wilderness.

5. Cost-Effective

If you compare only the upfront costs of a standard lighter to an electric lighter, it’s more expensive.

But every time you throw away your Bic when it runs out, you’re wasting.

Fortunately, the arch lighter recharges repeatedly, so once you buy one, that’s all you need to spend.

The lithium battery inside an electrical lighter will recharge around 500 times.

This gives you over 10,000 sparks.

Now that’s money well spent!

6. Safety

Owning a rechargeable lighter gives you peace of mind.

Why? Because it’s safer than regal lighters. There is no fuel to leak and no accidental sparks.

Most have a locking system and an on/off switch as built-in safety features.

No flame is also coming out, so you and your kids will not get burned.

You can even use them upside down or in any 360-degree direction for ignition.

7. Stylish

Besides all the other great features, it looks cool.

They come in various designs, so you can choose one that fits your style.

Everyone is familiar with the dull flame of a standard lighter.

But when you start creating plasma, it draws attention.

You don’t need to be trendy to own one, but it will improve your game.

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Want a free 54 item survival gear checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

How To Make A DIY Electric Lighter

What about making your own?

Do you need the brainpower of Tesla, or can the above-average Joe construct it?

DIY Electric Lighter

Start with a good-sized metal housing unit that will fit the components.

But small enough to still comfortably slip into your pocket.

The transformer for the circuits will need to fit inside, so find one to work with.

You may have to uncoil the primary circuit and create a new one.

You need to form a resonating circuit, so solder a capacitor to the primary coil to get the right frequency.

Then connect an inductor to give you constant current from the voltage.

Attach an appropriately sized battery to supply the current.

If this sounds complicated and high-tech, it is.

Ensure you know what you are doing or follow someone doing it online.

↓ DIY Arc Lighter

DIY Arc Lighter Glove

You can create an arc lighter glove for an even more fabulous DIY project!

Strip down your arc lighter and take out the components.

Wire extensions will need to be soldered on.

This allows the switch and electrodes to be placed on the fingers of the glove.

Use a heavy-duty rubber and stiff plastic glove that will protect your fingers.

But still, be able to activate the lighter and switch it off and on.

Separate and mount the two sides of the arc electrodes on the fingers.

The plasma will jump and ignite the spark when they’re brought together.

Mount the switch on the thumb or between the finger where it is easily activated.

Be extremely careful because you are modifying transformers, circuits, and batteries.

You don’t want to get burned or shocked, so get the necessary knowledge and go for it cautiously!

↓ DIY Arc Lighter Glove!

Final Thoughts

The ability to start a fire in an emergency is a top 3 priority.

Make it easy on yourself by not screwing around with matches.

Instead, get several, as they’re a great survival gift.

Put them in all your EDC bags and IFAK kits. Now you are ready to dominate the terrain and survive!

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