“Can I refill a Bic lighter from the top?” is a question I hear a lot with people that are preparing for emergencies. Ferro rods are making fire starting without matches or a lighter much easier, but sometimes you are hungry and in a hurry and you just want to use a lighter. Since it is easy to store a can of butane in your emergency supplies, and since butane and Bic lighters are so inexpensive, being able to refill Bic lighters would be a huge benefit in emergency preparedness.
The good news is yes, you can refill a Bic lighter from the top. And it is not that difficult. Since the Bic is meant to be disposable, you need to be careful not to break any of the parts as you are taking the Bic lighter apart, or you will have to buy a new one. In this article below I will explain the steps in refilling the Bic lighter from the top.
Refilling The Bic Lighter
In another article on this website called “Are Bic Lighters Refillable? – A Helpful Guide!” I take you step by step through two different ways to refill a Bic lighter through the bottom of the lighter. Refilling Bic lighters through the bottom is more common. Of the two ways I go over, one is simpler and easier but has some potential draw backs (which I discuss), and one I call the “right way” which is a little more difficult and takes more tools. However both work. You just have to weigh the pros and cons and choose the method you prefer. You will find this method from the top might be the one you like best of all.
Refilling A Bic Lighter From The Top
There are some real advantages to refilling your Bic lighter from the top. Basically you are just disassembling the top of the lighter, and then refilling it, so you know that when the lighter is put back together it will function just as the manufacturer intended. Refilling it from the bottom, although effective, changes the lighter a bit from how it came from the factory.
However when you refill the Bic from the bottom the way I call the “right way”, you never have to disassemble the lighter again, until you need to replace the flint. And the flint will last a couple of years even under heavy use. So I encourage you to read both articles (they are both short), and watch the videos, then decide. People who swear by all three ways.
To refill your Bic lighter, you will need the following materials:
- A standard can of butane
- An empty Bic lighter (for safety this is very important)
- Flint (optional – but you should have these on hand)
- A small standard Flathead screwdriver (This is for prying the parts loose)
- A strong thin wire or a paper clip
Some quick advice so that you don’t have to learn this lesson the hard way lol! (I tend to learn things the hard way sometimes…thats all I will say here. I recommend that you do this on a large table with a cloth or towel spread out on it first. You don’t want to do this on a small hard surface or as you disassemble things parts may fly, bounce or roll away and you lose things. I have seen several people online recommending doing this on a tray with edges if you have one. If so that might be a good idea as well. Either way you want to have everything together before you start and do it in a place where you won’t lose anything. Now to refill the lighter, following are the steps to take:
- Safety first. Double check to make sure that your Bic lighter is completely empty. If so you can continue flicking the spark wheel until it no longer creates a flame.
- Use the screwdriver to remove the “hood” of the Bic lighter. The “hood” is the metal that surrounds the lighter just below the flame. (Remember to keep all the parts together.)
- Remove the child safety guard. This is the metal shield that covers the center of the spark wheel that you turn to create a spark. You remove this by inserting the screwdriver under it and gently prying it off. Be careful so that you don’t break anything (be gentle). Also pry away from you because this part tends to fly off. This is the one part you do not need to keep or replace. It is a nuisance more than being useful.
- Remove the spark will very carefully. This wheel fits into hinges that can break. If you are gentle you can remove this spark wheel without breaking the hinges. (If you break them the lighter is ruined.)
- Remove the flint and the flint spring. This will be obvious and simple to do. Again just be careful not to lose them. If the flint is in good shape reuse it. If not when you put things back together you will replace it. In my material list above I have a link to where you can get replacements on Amazon.
- If you look carefully you will see the flame adjuster. Turn it counter-clockwise eight to ten times.
- Now you should see the “fork”. This controls the release of butane coming from the fuel tank. Insert the wire or straightened paper clip under the fork to keep it open.
- Refill the lighter with butane. To do this insert the butane can nozzle on the open fork and press until the lighter is refilled.
- Once the lighter is refilled you will want to pull the paper clip or wire out to close the fork.
- Now turn the flame adjuster back to where it was before you started. Since you turned it counter-clockwise eight to ten turns you will now turn it clockwise the same number of turns again.
- Carefully insert back the flint spring and the flint into the lighter.
- Gently put the spark wheel back in place. Again be very careful not to damage the hinges.
- Reinstall the lighter hood back on.
- You are done! Assuming you did everything correctly your lighter should work like new again! Congratulations!
Example Video: In the below video it shows the disassembly of a different brand of disposable lighter. I include it only as an example. Pretty soon I plan on filming my own example of how to do this to a Bic lighter. Once I do that video I will replace it with this video so you have a more accurate example. I still recommend watching this video in the mean time because it will put a visualization to some of the above steps.
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