How Long Does A BIC Lighter Last (TIPS)

An ongoing survivalism debate goes about with this question: Which is better - a BIC lighter or a survival match?  For us, both tools are essential in a kit for survival. There are pros and cons in both sides.

But one more question, which is the main concern now. How long does a BIC lighter last? Several points need to be considered.

The Advantage of Lighters over Matches

Proponents of the good old BIC lighter and other lighters point to the following benefits:

  • Lighters are easy to use.  They are more convenient as you only really need one hand to get them to work. This frees up an extra hand, which is important should you even find yourself in an emergency situation. They are also much easier to stow-away and you need not worry too much about taking extra precautions—unlike with matches that you need to keep dry all the time.
  • Lighters can start hundreds of fires. The good thing about these tools is that they are made to produce flames several times over compared to their stick-based competitors. The advantage becomes more obvious when it is windy and the strong wind can easily put out the flame on a lighted match.
  • Lighters are great at surviving water-related mishaps. Some lighters are actually designed to be waterproof. This is especially made for outdoor use and survival situations. These tend to be heavier and bigger than you normal lighter, but they are no less useful. But even a simple BIC lighter can be waterproofed using a few simple hacks—compared to matches that could be easily rendered useless should they happen to get wet.

How Long Do BICs Last? 

The question has three components:

  • How long can we use BIC lighters?

For smokers using a BIC, the estimate is that the lighter lasts for at least a thousand times. The company’s version is it lasts at the average rate of 3000 lights.

Nevertheless, it is commonplace to find BIC lighters kept for several years in old drawers. Incredibly, most were found still working. So, for BICs, the only issues that can put them to a quick end are mechanical in nature like if you fail to prevent early wear-out of the flint. Otherwise, if there is always available fuel for refill, BICs will last until the ordeal is through.

  • How long can they last and still burn?

It depends on the size. The full-sized ones can burn up to an hour, while the minis average is twenty minutes. The smaller versions however can last only up to 10 minutes when kept lit until they run out of fuel.

Most survivalism enthusiasts, however, have preference for the mini BICs, for the reasons that their flints are replaceable and that they can be refilled. The small minis can also be operated while held upside down.

  • How long can they be stored and still be useful when retrieved from storage?

Long storage for a BIC lighter has consequences. It can gather rust over time. If possibilities of rust formation are not an issue, it can be made to work after years of storage – provided you will also take care of other storage concerns.

Aside from the possibility of rusting, you also make sure that it will not run out of fuel while in storage. Check the aperture of the vent and also the temperature around the area.

Now, some people are careless with their lighters. They fiddle with their lighters in their boring moments – flipping the flame on and off. In the survival trail, you aren’t supposed to do that. Keep those lighters on the upright position. Otherwise, you’re going to slowly release needed fuel and found that your lighter can’t make a single flame out of fuel deprivation.


To recap, there are contentions as to whether BIC lighters are the best lighting instruments to use during survival challenges in our lives. We think that they are good for this purpose without discounting the efficacy of other lighting and fire-making tools like survival matches.

Our BICs can last long if we are careful storing and using them. Keep them from expelling out fuel when in storage and never play with them when not in actual use. The length of lie of the instruments we use is significantly related to how we use them.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: