There are many ways to light a sparkler, but some methods are better than others. From matches and candles to torches and lighters, I’ve heard pretty much every idea out there. Lighters have widely been accepted as the best method for getting the job done. However, what is the best lighter for sparklers? Is there a certain type that works better than the others? Here is a breakdown of the different types of lighters and which ones work best.

Different Types of Lighters

Here is a list of the most commonly used lighters for lighting sparklers. I’ve put them in order of best to worst so it’s easy to follow. These suggestions are just my personal opinion, but it comes from years of experience in the industry. Here’s what you need to know.

Image of a Torch Lighter Igniting SparklersRefillable Butane Torch Lighters

Refillable butane torch lighters are by far your best option. Their design allows you to light multiple sparklers quickly and easily. Additionally, the concentrated flame ensures that ignition happens instantly. So, you can move from group to group getting everyone lit efficiently. It’s no wonder that these are often called sparkler torch lighters. Also, because they are so fast, you only need a few for even large groups of people.

BBQ Grill Lighters

BBQ grill lighters are the logical runner-up to torches. They don’t create nearly as hot of a flame, but at least the shape and design lends itself to easy maneuvering around sparklers. You can usually light 5 or 6 sparklers at a time with a BBQ lighter, but I wouldn’t suggest trying for more. Additionally, they are readily available at most stores, so they won’t be hard to find. When you compare them to the other options, they are clearly one of your best bets.

Disposable Butane Lighters

These are the most common type of lighter that you’ll see at a store. There are two main styles; BIC lighters and “Cricket” style lighters. BIC has long been considered the industry standard, but cricket style products are far less expensive. You’ll need to have several of them; they aren’t very efficient at lighting multiple sparklers. Unfortunately, you can only light 2 or 3 sparklers at a time with disposable butane lighters. Overall, they will work if you’re in a pinch; but there are certainly better options available to do the job.

Liquid Fuel Lighters

Lastly, we have lighters that use lighter fluid as their fuel source. I strongly recommend against using these because they are the least user-friendly. The most popular brand for these is Zippo, and they are often called windproof lighters. They can be handy if you need to light sparklers on a windy beach, but otherwise they have very few benefits. Additionally, the liquid fuel can spill and create a new threat at your event. When you add everything up, these are simply the worst option out of the bunch.

Alternatives to Lighters that You Should Avoid

Image of an Oil Lantern Used for Lighting SparklersIf you don’t happen to have a good lighter option on hand, there are a few alternatives that you might consider. However, I’ve put together this list of alternatives that you should never consider. The following list is all methods that should not be used under any circumstances.

  • Liquid fuel canisters such as Sterno.
  • Oil lamps or oil burners of any sort.
  • Coal or wood fires
  • Propane barbecue grills
  • Road flares
  • Matches

All of these options listed are incredibly unsafe. By using one of these methods, you are risking the safety of yourself or one of your guests. Additionally, they are all incredibly inefficient. No matter what the circumstances, none of those options should ever be used.

Acceptable Alternatives to Lighters

Conversely, there are many alternatives that work very well in a pinch. So, I’ve put together the following list of acceptable items that you can use to light sparklers. The following list is all relatively safe and efficient methods to use.

  • Candles
  • Incense sticks / punks
  • Another lit sparkler
  • Propane torches

All of these options are safe if you respect the equipment and handle it properly. Though it won’t be as efficient as using an actual lighter, they will still get the job done. Unfortunately, you may find yourself in a situation where you aren’t fully prepared. Knowing these alternatives, you can still have a fantastic experience!

Does Having the Right Type of Lighter Make a Big Difference?

Overall, having the best lighter for sparklers on hand will make your celebration go as smoothly as possible. However, your method for lighting them will only improve the setup process; the magical experience will be the same regardless of your ignition source. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be safe and enjoy your experiences. Choosing the right lighter to light your sparklers is just another piece in a very large puzzle.