A flint is a simple, little piece of special stone that makes a spark when struck or rubbed with an abrasive, hard substance like metal, rock or another piece of flint. Shaped into a small cylinder that fits into the flint tube of your lighter, the flint generates the spark that ignites the stream of butane gas or lighter fluid-soaked wick. The action of moving your thumb across the striker wheel or depressing a thumbpiece (older lighters) causes a “flint wheel” or “spark wheel” (used interchangeably) to rub its little metal cuts against the flint to generate heat and the spark. Each strike rubs away a tiny piece of the flint, which is why after a few hundred strikes, the flint needs to be replaced.
So how do you replace a flint? Here are some very short videos on how to do so on the most common flint-striker lighters available today.
The first is the Alfred Dunhill Unique lighter and the flint is replaced the same way for the similar IM Corona lighters.
The next video is the Alfred Dunhill Rollagas style of lighter.
The final video is for the S.T. Dupont Line 2 lighter, which is very similar to most S.T. Dupont lighters that use flint ignition.
And there you have it. Three short videos for replacing a flint in the most common styles of lighters that use flint ignitions. Many of the “jet flame” lighters that are popular today are ignited by an electric sparking unit and do not use flints, but the old tried and true reliability of the flint ignitors have been around for 100+ years and will continue to be used in high-end lighters for many years to come.
We just wanted to make it official that despite the ongoing shelter-in-place regulations here in North Carolina, we ARE once again accepting repairs at our regular address (see “send us your lighter for repair“). We moved some things around, made other arrangements, streamlined some procedures and cut some fat in order to make this happen.
We would like everyone to know that in no way are we breaking any rules, nor have we furloughed, laid-off, or put any employees in any sort of risky positions with relation to the Coronavirus. Our sanitary and social distancing protocols are well in place and working well. All lighters and packaging are kept individually sealed and separated until time of shipment and the last thing done before a lighter ships back to you is a final sanitization involving alcohol.
Please note that we are expecting a great deal of packages to arrive now and this may delay the repair times a little bit. Currently we are working at 3-4 weeks repair time from the date of payment of your invoice. This may increase as the next few weeks pass (as of this writing, 4/27/20).
We continue to look forward to servicing our customers and taking great care of your lighters.
With the shelter in place orders in effect here in North Carolina, we want to give you all an update and answer some additional questions that have been coming in day to day.
We are asking that you please hold off on sending your lighter repairs to us at this time. Once the SIP orders have been lifted, we will alert you on our homepage that we are once again accepting new repairs. For those of you who had already sent lighters off to us for repair and paid the invoice in full BEFORE the SIP order took effect, your repairs have either shipped or are being shipped back to you next week (the week of 4/5/20).
Those of you who paid your invoices AFTER the SIP order, those repairs are being held until the order has been lifted and normal business can resume once again. Once this occurs, you can expect a 4-6 week turnaround time for your lighter to ship back to you.
If you are looking to place an order on the website for any of the lighters or accessories that we have for sale, those orders are shipping out day to day with no delays. Please keep in mind that the USPS, UPS and FedEx are all facing delays, so your shipment may take a day or two longer than expected to arrive to your delivery address.
As a matter of fact, so long as delivery services like USPS, UPS and FedEx are unaffected, so is the case with our repair service. While we do not work from home, our repair facility is just a few moments away from our team’s residences and we are not a facility that is open to the public.
As of this writing, repairs are still being completed within 2-3 weeks of the date of payment. Estimates are still going out by email (preferred) and mail (for those without email) within 48 hours of arrival at our shop.
For those that have brought up the concern, before all repaired lighters are shipped back to our customers, each lighter is carefully wiped down with alcohol and handled with gloves. Usually, we do this to help prevent fingerprints on the metal or enamel, but the practice became unexpectedly poignant with regard to disinfecting any possible germ transmission. Everyone here on the team is healthy and working with no issues.
If you are an owner of one of the high-end S.T. Dupont or Alfred Dunhill lighters or are thinking of purchasing one, there is an option which you should be aware of. Dunhill Rollagas and Unique style lighters, as well as S.T. Dupont Line 2 lighters can all have burners with the options for cigarette, cigar or pipe smoking. What’s the difference, you ask? Isn’t fire always fire? Well… actually no. When it comes to lighting cigars, pipes and cigarettes–fire isn’t always just fire.
Cigarette burners are designed with a thin, “single flame”. These burn straight up out of the burner valve of the lighter. It’s the basic type of everyman type of flame that can be found on every flame-making device. From wooden or paper matches to the venerable Bic-type disposable lighter, that’s a cigarette burner. Shown in the picture above from a Dunhill Rollagas lighter.
Cigar Burners are designed to produce a slightly wider and ever-so-slightly angled flame that better ignites the tip of a cigar evenly. It does not take much practice to master where the widest portion of the flame is produced. Care should be taken to not touch the lighter burner to the tobacco. Doing so will result in the “gunk” that a lot of cigar lighters develop under the cap. This can lead to the need for repair over time. The cigar burner in the photo above is from an S.T. Dupont lighter.
Pipe burners are an ingenious invention (first commercially available in the vintage Beatte-Jet lighter) that produces the single-wide flame, just like a cigarette burner. This flame ignites at a 90-degree angle to better facilitate igniting the tobacco by tipping the lighter into the bowl of the pipe. As with the cigar burner, care should be taken to not allow the lighter to come in contact with the tobacco. *Note – Pipe burners are no longer being produced by the Alfred Dunhill company. The stock we have is all that we will ever have and once they’re gone…they’re gone. This is not a problem with the S.T. Dupont line 2 lighters, as they are still in production.
And there you have it. The three types of burners available when you purchase any Dunhill Rollagas lighter, Unique lighter or S.T. Dupont Line 2 lighter. Can you light any type of tobacco product with any type of burner? Of course, you can. It IS fire, after all, but for such an expensive smoking accessory, why not have it customized to what you predominantly want to use it for?
99.9% of all repairable lighters that come in for service require what we call a lighter “overhaul”. But what does that consist of and what’s the process? Not to mention–what’s the difference between overhauling a butane lighter vs a petrol lighter?
An overhaul of your butane lighter means that the cigarette, cigar or pipe lighter will be completely disassembled and thoroughly inspected for worn or broken parts. Those damaged parts will be replaced with factory original parts. New seals will be put in place. The valve system will be carefully rebuilt. The tank will be tested for leaks and any leaks found will be repaired. Then a thorough cleaning is done to both the inside and outside of your lighter. Once complete, the outside is polished and then the lighter passes onto testing.
An overhaul of your petrol lighter, which is any lighter that uses lighter fluid instead of butane gas (like a Zippo and many older and vintage lighters), means that the lighter is completely disassembled. Then, all the cotton packing is removed from the tank of the lighter as well as the cotton wick. Any worn springs are replaced and cut to custom length for that particular lighter. The flint tube is then drilled out to remove any “frozen” flints or flint residue. Any worn or broken parts are replaced from the lighter mechanism with factory original parts. The lighter is thoroughly cleaned inside and out. A new wick and new cotton packing are replaced to hold the lighter fluid. The outside is polished and then the lighter passes onto testing.
Testing your lighter is essential prior to shipping in order to make sure that the repair was done correctly. We also want to ensure that the lighter is free of leaks. The lighter is filled, tested, adjusted, re-tested, adjusted again and then left to sit for 2-3 days. After sitting untouched, the lighter is tested again to ensure that no leaks are present and all is functioning.
After testing, your lighter passes to the shipping department where it is tested again prior to shipping label creation. All butane or fluid is then emptied from the lighter before shipment. We cannot ship butane in a device that can cause combustion.
Save Your Eyebrows
Once you receive your lighter, be sure to fill it up with either butane or lighter fluid and give it a test. Please point it AWAY from your face… just in case. Note that butane lighters that have adjustable flame heights will be set to around a half an inch by the technician. Remember to keep your lighter clean and for heaven’s sake… don’t light candles with it. We HATE cleaning candle wax out of your lighters.
While there are some average prices for different lighters sold new, it’s much more difficult to determine value on a used lighter. Style, model, finish and design all contribute. Then you have the condition of the lighter to consider. Are there dents and scratches? Plating wear? Rust? All factors contribute. In our experience, 99.9% of the value of a lighter comes in how sentimental the piece is to you. Spending over $100 to repair a lighter you picked up at a flea market for $10.00 may or may not be worth it to you. Spending over $100 to repair Grandma’s old lighter that she left to you can be priceless.
Can you re-plate, refinish, re-lacquer or otherwise make my busted up lighter look new again?
Unfortunately not. There is nothing we can do to change the finish of your lighter. Dents, scratches, plating wear, chips or missing lacquer – consider it all part of the charm of your lighter.
How fast can I get my lighter back from repair?
Lighter repairs generally take 3-4 weeks from the date of payment. Why? Because we repair lighters from all over the world. Sometimes it goes a little faster.
If the lighter is a petrol lighter (uses lighter fluid and NOT butane gas) then there is a chance we can still repair it. Send an email with pictures of your lighter and a brief description of what it is and what’s wrong with it to: Repairs@LighterRepairs.com.
Can I pay you more money to push my lighter to the head of the repair line?
How long is the guarantee period for my repaired lighter?
All S.T. Dupont and Alfred Dunhill repair warrantee’s are 1-year. All other lighters are 90-days.
Why can’t you call me with my repair estimate?
Nobody picks up their phones these days. It takes too much time to make the call, leave a message (when your voicemail box is not full) hope for a call-back, on and on… We email estimates or if you do not have an email will send it regular mail.
Can you take parts out of one lighter to use them to repair another, similar, lighter?
No. We just don’t do work like that. If we do not have new, unused parts to repair a particular lighter, we simply don’t take on the job. And yes, even unused parts that we have in our inventory that may be forty years old are still considered “new” parts for us.
Can you put the “PING” back into my S.T. Dupont lighter?
Sorry. The “ping” sound made when popping open the cap of certain S.T. Dupont lighters is an accident based on fine craftsmanship. Since these lighters are hand made to such high tolerances, this “ping” sound has come to have meaning to some buyers. Unfortunately, the Dupont company has also started mentioning this sound in some of their advertising and product descriptions. The problem is the fact that not all of them will “ping”. Some come straight from the factory with a dull or absent sound. There is simply nothing that can be done about it. Even more unfortunate is that through normal use of the lighter and wear and tear on the hinge, the sound will eventually disappear. Our advice? Use the lighter for what it was designed for–a high quality accessory of superb craftsmanship. Something for the distinctive smoker that looks and works the way it should in making fire. The “sound” your lighter makes is inconsequential.
Whats the difference between a cigarette flame, a cigar flame and a pipe flame?
Your lighter has stopped working. It was working six years ago when you put it in that drawer, but now it’s not. Well, it happens right? You’ve heard all about how o-ring dry out, get cracked or corroded, decay with the normal passage of time. Simple solution–just go on eBay or Etsy and buy yourself a little “o-ring kit” that’s all the rage now. Watch a few online videos made by gentlemen who barely speak the English language and presto… lighter is good as new. After all, it’s all in the o-ring.
Or… at least that’s how it was supposed to happen
More times than not, the reality is that you have damaged your lighter even worse than before trying to replace o-rings. Most high-end cigarette, cigar and pipe lighters require specialized tools and replacement parts in order to rebuild valves. Often times you can break the delicate valve systems by the simple act of even taking the lighter apart.
That was not mentioned in the o-ring video
Very rarely does the easy way out actually work. Do yourself a favor and save yourself the aggravation. The parts that you need are not for sale. The books that are out there on the subject of lighter repair are for historic appreciation. In all our years of doing this (since 1957) it has been many times that a customer has presented us with a smoldering pile of lighter parts because the “DIY” drive got the best of them.
But all is not lost! Your high-end S.T. Dupont or Alfred Dunhill lighter, your IM Corona and Elie Bleu lighters can still be saved! Save yourself the aggravation first and send your lighter in for repair. Your lighter is not one of these listed above, you say? Check out our list of lighters that we can and cannot repair.
When it comes to your valued maker-of-fire that you spent a kajillion dollars on… or even one that cost just a few bucks but you love it dearly… trust us and believe when we tell you that its more than just the o-rings. We will take great care of your lighter, saving you the wasted time and money trying to do it yourself. It’s okay… we believe that you are handy. Go fix that squeaky cabinet door and leave the lighters to us.