Trusty Bic lighters are a stalwart of many bug out bags and everyday carry kits because they’re so affordable and lightweight. But, are Bic lighters refillable, or are they meant to be thrown out when they run out of butane?
No, Bic lighters are NOT refillable according to the manufacturer. However, it is possible to do it IF you take necessary precautions and wear safety equipment.
Up next, I’ll walk you through the basics of Bic gas lighters, and offer some tips for refilling your lighter in a pinch.
What Does Bic Say?
Bic’s website clearly states that their lighters are not refillable. The company recommends using caution when trying to manipulate or alter their lighters so that they function in a way other than what was originally intended.
If you attempt to refill Bic lighter, you do so at your own risk, so please be very mindful of that.
Can You Refill A Bic Lighter?
Technically speaking, Bic lighters are single-use disposable lighters. So, unlike Zippo lighters, which are meant to be used and refilled with lighter fluid an endless number of times, Bic lighters are designed to be discarded when they run out of butane.
However, people don’t like having to buy new lighters every time it runs out. So, it’s no surprise that people around the world have found ways to refill their disposable Bic lighters.
None of these methods are sanctioned by Bic, of course, but if you have some spare time and a few tools from the hardware stores, nearly any disposable Bic lighter can become a refillable lighter for long-term use.
How To Refill A Bic Lighter
There are two main ways to refill a Bic lighter, from the bottom and from the top.
The first method is also the easiest because it doesn’t require you to disassemble anything… These are the general steps:
- There is a small ball at the bottom of every Bic lighter that you can push upwards to reveal a hole.
- You’ll use that hole to re-fill your lighter with lighter fuel.
- Once that is done, use a pushpin to block the hole once more.
- Lastly, use some pliers to break the pushpin in two, so the remaining half (the one stuck inside the lighter) won’t be too much of an inconvenience in your pocket.
From now on, you can re-fill the lighter as many times as you need by simply removing the pushpin, adding more fluid, then putting it back.
The second method (from the top) involves disassembling the hood of the lighter at the tp along with the spark wheel and other components. This is harder to pull off and, given the small size of the its parts, it’s likely you won’t be able to put it back together.
So while neither of these methods is recommended, the first one should not be a problem if you take the safety precautions and follow the steps to the letter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bic lighters have been around for a long time and most people have not thought to turn them into a refillable product. Here are some of the top questions people have before refilling their Bic lighters.
The method that is the least invasive would be filling it from the bottom with a pushpin. No fancy gas valves or dismantling of the existing equipment is needed.
Bic lighters can be refilled using liquid butane. If you try to use Naphtha which is commonly found in Zippos, it won’t work.
As long as the construction of the lighter is similar to a Bic and it uses butane then you should be able to make the necessary modifications to that lighter.
Bic might not like it, but their lighters can, indeed, be refilled. Refilling a Bic lighter isn’t necessarily difficult, but anyone that chooses to refill their lighter does so at their own risk.
If you want to refill your Bic lighter, be careful and follow the proper precautions to ensure that you don’t expose yourself to liquid from butane lighters, or to any other dangerous situation in the process.
Gabrielle is a professional outdoor educator, mountain guide, and survival expert with a passion for helping others be prepared for whatever might come their way. She is a polar guide in the Arctic region and is an experienced wilderness medicine instructor/EMT.