Many individuals who prefer to purchase reusable products have moved from fluid-filled lighters to a butane lighter. These devices are cleaner-burning, impart no taste to tobacco and come in designs that are as windproof as their fluid-filled cousins. They also provide a very long service life and can be purchased in designs with ornamented and commemorative cases. While their reliability is not an issue, many individuals wonder how many lights they can get out of a tank of fuel.
There is no solid answer to this question. Butane torches come in so many designs that the question is really not one of how many lights but one of how efficient any given model of torch may be. For instance, there are butane torches which are very small and which have a single, low-temperature flame. There are others which are much larger and which produce high-pressure, high-temperature flames. Obviously, these differences in design will make a significant difference in efficiency.
Torch lighters can be adjusted to allow for a shorter, less powerful flame. This can help to conserve a great deal of fuel. In cases where one’s lighter is just about out of fuel and one is far away from home, this can help to get a few extra lights out of the torch. Remember that keeping a sustained flame will burn a very large amount of fuel, as well, and should be avoided if one is almost dry.
Multi-jet butane torches are not built for efficiency. They are a combination of a showpiece, a practical implement and a technological advantage for certain types of smoking. These lighters produce two or three blue jets of flame. For cigar smokers, this means a wide surface on which to light their cigar, a definite advantage. For outdoorsy types, this means enough heat to easily light a fire. However, this also means that some of these models tear through butane like a muscle car tears through gasoline.
One can sometimes increase the number of lights by using better-quality fuel. This also has the effect of keeping the lighter in better working order which translates to more efficiency. One can also lower their fuel useage by not holding their fuel release depressed for long lights but by, instead, using several shorter lights when possible. Turning down the fuel valve is always the best way to limit the total amount of fuel consumed.