If you’re stranded on an island, the most important thing (other than food, water, and shelter) you need is fire. You could try and start your own fire like Chuck Noland from Cast Away, or you could keep a pocket-sized BIC lighter with you at all times. So, how big are BIC lighters?
A standard BIC lighter will measure about 3.25 inches tall, 1 inch in width, and roughly half an inch deep. BIC makes all kinds of lighter types that vary in size.
So, what are the different BIC lighter types and their sizes? I’ll address this question and more down below.
BIC Lighter Types
If you take a look at BIC’s website and navigate to the lighters section, you’ll notice how BIC separates its lighters by type and sub-types. If you don’t have the time to check out the individual BIC lighter types, I’ll summarize them for you.
Pocket Lighters—This is the type of lighter that most people associate with BIC. They come with a button, known as a fork, that releases butane from the tiny fuel tank. When turned, the spark wheel will rub against a small cylinder of flint to create sparks.
To use these lighters, use your thumb to turn the wheel immediately before pressing and holding the fork. The sparks will make contact with the jet of butane, turning it into a steady flow of fire. This diagram will show you the various parts of a BIC pocket lighter.
BIC pocket lighters come in 4 sub-types—classic, mini, special edition, and electronic.
EZ Reach—This type of lighter is almost identical to pocket lighters. The differentiating feature is its elongated wand that directs butane farther up and away from the gas button. The wand allows you to set fire to flammable objects while keeping your hand and fingers away from the flame.
Multi-Purpose—A BIC multi-purpose lighter has a completely different form factor from the previous lighter types.
Instead of having a fork at the top, it comes with a trigger-like switch that, when depressed, will send butane up through a long wand. This is the type of lighter you would want to light a barbecue pit since the wand is several inches longer than that of the EZ Reach.
Multi-purpose BIC wands come in the classic version and the special edition, which has a flexible wand.
BIC Lighter Sizes
Now, let’s take a look at the dimensions of each BIC lighter type.
|BIC Lighter Type||Dimensions (H × W × D)||Additional Notes|
|Pocket Lighter—Classic||3.25 × 1 × 0.5 in.|
|Pocket Lighter—Mini||2.38 × 0.87 × 0.5 in.|
|Pocket Lighter—Special Edition||3.5 × 1 × 0.5 in.|
|Pocket Lighter—Electronic||3.5 × 1 × 0.5 in.|
|EZ Reach||4.95 × 1 × 0.5in.||The wand extends roughly 1.45 inches above the gas button|
|Multi-Purpose—Classic||11 × 1.5 × 0.63 in.||The wand extends roughly 5 inches above the base of the lighter|
|Multi-Purpose—Special Edition||14 × 1.5 × 0.63 in.||The wand extends roughly 7 inches above the base of the lighter.|
Are BIC Lighters Good?
Seeing as how BIC lighters rank first on most top-selling lighters lists, it’s fair to say that they’re pretty good. The real question is, what makes them different?
Since they first came out in the 1970s, the company made a point of making their lighters as safe as possible. One of the first safety features that set BIC lighters apart from the rest was a steel lighter hood (the metallic portion that fits on top of the lighter).
It’s designed to prevent the flames from going back to the user’s thumb while also shielding the flow of butane from the wind. In addition, the head portion of BIC lighters comes with a safety guard that stops curious children from messing around with the spark wheel.
The flint cylinder can be found by removing the hood. It sits atop a long spring that automatically pushes it upward to keep it in contact with the spark wheel. BIC claims that a single cylinder of flint is good for up to 3,000 ignitions. BIC’s flint assembly sparked copycats, so now, 3,000 ignitions are pretty much standard in all classic-style lighters.
Polyoxymethylene, which is a type of plastic branded Delrin, is an engineered plastic that is highly durable, stable, and nearly frictionless. These things combined make for a lighter that doesn’t puncture easily under mild stress to keep the butane tank intact for longer.
Are BIC Lighters Refillable?
No. All BIC lighter types are non-refillable. When the 0.3 grams of butane runs out in a classic lighter, you pretty much have to dispose of the lighter. Sadly, due to the trace amounts of butane in an empty tank, BIC lighters are not recyclable.
Can You Replace the Flint in a BIC Lighter?
Yes, you can, but BIC doesn’t sell replacement flint cylinders. The only way you can replace a worn-out cylinder of flint is by taking the flint from another lighter.
You will first have to take the lighter apart, being careful not to lose any of the tiny components. Replacing the flint is needlessly meticulous since you can pick up a brand-new BIC pocket lighter for around $3 at the nearest gas station.
What Is an Electronic Lighter?
BIC’s lineup of electronic lighters isn’t like plasma lighters or rechargeable lighters that you can get at specialty stores. These lighters are simply pocket-sized lighters that use a button to create a spark, so you don’t have to manually spin a spark wheel. This type of lighter will usually last for a couple of months, but it will most likely run out of gas before its battery runs out of power.
How Long Does a BIC Lighter Last?
BIC claims that its regular-sized pocket lighters can last for up to 3,000 ignitions. If you press down on the butane fork, it will release gas for up to 60 minutes before running out. However, if you increase the butane flow rate, you might only get 2 minutes of flames before it runs out of fuel.