How to Know If Your Lighter Is Butane Refillable?

Kenneth Crawford

Butane lighters are only good as long as there is fuel. Some butane lighters are refillable while others are not. Many smaller cigarette and cigar lighters are refillable, especially quartz lighters. Canisters of butane are available at convenience stores, drug stores and tobacco shops.


Bleeding the lighter, or purging air, allows for proper refilling. If there is no hole or you cannot depress the hole, the lighter is not refillable.


Allow the lighter body to come to room temperature after refilling before lighting. Wash your hands after refilling the lighter to remove butane gas residue.

The tip of the can of butane fits into a specially designed hole on a refillable lighter. Knowing whether or not your lighter is butane refillable is a simple matter examining the lighter.

  1. Hold the lighter and turn it upside down. Look for a small hole near the center bottom of the lighter.

  2. Point the hole away from your face and insert a small jeweler's Phillips-head screwdriver or a small brad nail into the hole and press inward slightly. A refill hole allows air and butane to bleed out when depressing the hole.

  3. Find a small hole along the handle of larger lighters such as fireplace lighters. Perform the same bleeding test to the hole as you would for a smaller lighter.