For some, smoking is an experience and sometimes a sacred one. Your experience at times can only be as good as the tools you use to accessorize your smoke. One controversy has always been between Bic lighters and the alternatives such as Hemp Wick and Clipper Super Lighter.
We decided to take the challenge ourselves and put each to the test to find if there is a taste difference or any difference between them at all. We will also look at the contents of each product in order to figure out which is best or better for you.
In order to complete this challenge, we decided to smoke a bowl of some wonderful flowers so that we can see if we notice any differences. Take a look at our thoughts and then you decide on what best fits your needs.
1. BIC Lighter
The BIC Lighter is recognized as a worldwide leader in producing a safe, reliable flame for millions of consumers every day. In more than 160 countries around the world, BIC has sold more than 15 billion lighters in over 40 years of business.
Taste and Smell: We may be wrong but it does seem that the BIC lighter has a stronger smell than that of the Clipper or Hemp Wick. It also seemed like the hit was slightly harsher when using a BIC lighter. BIC lighters are filled with butane and while barely noticeable, do have some stronger characteristics.
Usage and Reliability: The BIC lighter is obviously very easy to use and is extremely reliable. It even states on their website that they use a sophisticated computerized camera equipment to precisely measure flame height and other characteristics.
Health and Safety: There are those out there who believe the butane from BIC lighters are dangerous, however we can’t find anything at this point that states this as fact. We found many articles of BIC being in trouble for injuries while using the lighter but nothing tied directly to the butane. In general, you should not be inhaling large amounts of the contents of BIC lighters and you should handle any flammable item with caution.
Environment: While searching through BIC’s websites we did not find anything in regards to being environmentally friendly. We do know that BIC is not refillable and that would mean more BIC’s in the trash. There is also nothing on the packaging that states the lighter or the packaging is recyclable. We would like to see that in the future.
OVERALL: At the end of the bowl, we were very pleased with the BIC lighter. It has always been reliable and has always been available. We think BIC could start being more environmentally friendly in the future, as they have ignored anything regarding its environmental impact and detailed information about the contents of the lighter.
2. Clipper Super Lighter
Clipper Super Lighter is the alternative to BIC lighters. Designed in Barcelona, Spain since 1959, Clipper is focused on delivering a scientifically and environmentally superior lighter. Barcelona is known for its famous designers and architects, and the round shape of the lighter has become a visual icon. Clipper boasts many high end features from safety to even the type of gas used to ignite the flame. We had little experience with the Clipper Lighter prior to about 2 months ago and so far we are very impressed.
Taste and Smell – While the Clipper Lighter was not 100% smell proof, it did seem to have a slightly “lighter” smell to it then it’s competitor, BIC. This is probably because it uses a more refined iso-butane which offers a cleaner burn. Ever since I picked up a Clipper Lighter I have not put it down. For some reason it truly does seem to have a better taste when used to smoke a bowl, almost felt like you could taste more of the flowers.
Usage and Reliability – We think this is a category Clipper Lighter excels in. Not only is the lighter refillable and have a unique design, it also comes with a pressing tool for packing in those joints. So far the reliability has not been an issue and the pressing tool has been very convenient. The design of this lighter definitely feels far superior than its competition.
Health and Safety – When visiting the Clipper Lighter websites, you can’t look anywhere without seeing how safe this product is. They claim to use only the best quality isobutane to fill its lighters and have manufactured the lighter itself out of a nylon that won’t break or explode. Clipper also claims to be child-resistant due to the design of the “flicking” part of the lighter, which is shaped in a way that makes it difficult for children to operate it. Safety seems to be the number one priority for Clipper.
Environment – This is another category that Clipper is strong in. On top of the isobutane, we have already spoken about, which gives it a cleaner burn, this lighter is refillable. This not only saves you money but helps save the earth as well by allowing you to keep a lighter long term. On top of all that, the lighter itself is made from recycled materials. From an environmentally friendly standpoint, this lighter has it all covered.
At the end of the day, some times a lighter is just a lighter but if you are looking for a high end lighter that will save you money and help save the environment, Clipper is for you. We have no complaints or doubts about Clipper Super Lighter, for the consumer, it will be a matter of preference. For us, we look forward to using the Clipper Super Lighter from now on when we can.
3. Hemp Wick
Hemp Wick is a huge craze in the cannabis community. The thought of lighting your cannabis with cannabis (or hemp) is appealing to many and has even brought on talks about it being healthier than using a butane lighter. For this trial, we will use Humboldt Hemp Wick in order to figure out if the hemp wick product is truly superior. Humboldt Hemp Wick is from the great Humboldt County, CA and is produced by local farmers. Hemp Wick is a small rope usually coated with wax as an alternative method to lighting your buds.
Taste and Smell – This is where the Hemp Wick is most superior. Ask any smoker and they will tell you the taste of a bowl lit with hemp wick just tastes far better. From our experience, we can confirm that you do indeed feel like you taste more of the bud and less of the butane that conventional lighters contain. We couldn’t really tell if it smelled unique but for a fact, you don’t smell any butane or gas.
Usage and Reliability – Where our other two products excel, we believe hemp wick lacks. The practical use of hemp wick is debatable. I believe this factor alone has stopped me from using hemp wick often as it seems like a job just to light and put out the flame as you smoke. Many stoners wrap their lighter with the hemp for easy access but even that requires a little skill once you want to actually smoke. I always feel that my thumb is in danger of being burned since I like to sit back and enjoy my smoke and not rush through a bowl. There are probably 100 other smokers out there who will tell you differently but for us, hemp wick takes too much effort to use regularly.
Health and Safety – When it comes to health and safety, Hemp Wick would be one of the better choices even with the concern over burning yourself if not paying attention. For the most part, the fact that you are not inhaling even a small amount of butane makes hemp the superior choice. The hemp wick burns at a lower temperature which can help make the smoke cooler and smoother going down, which means no throat burn! If you have any concerns over butane in lighters, hemp wick is definitely your answer and a worthy product.
Environment – For those most concerned with their environmental impact and using products that are eco-friendly, hemp wick is for you. There is virtually no waste, as once it runs out it literally is ashes. Hemp is made naturally and contains nothing additional beyond the wax coating in order to achieve a flame. I believe this is why hemp wick is the favorite of most hippies and environmentalists in the cannabis community.
In the end, hemp wick is definitely a viable option for lighting your herbs. In groups, hemp wick can be perfect to pass around alongside the bong or pipe. There is a noticeable difference in the smoke using hemp wick, everything from temperature to taste. If we could learn to use it more efficiently I believe we would use it more often. For us, usability is a major factor and for some reason, we have yet to master using the hemp wick. One day 🙂
With all things considered and the trial complete, we feel Clipper Lighter is the best value and most reliable lighting tool. It touches on many safety and environmental points that we at HotBox feel are important. That being said, BIC and Hemp Wick are excellent products and you should feel confident in using them. This debate will probably stretch on for decades or until some sort of facts come out about the use of butane gas for smoking vs hemp wick. We invite everyone to join in on the discussion below or on our social media, do your own trial and let us know your thoughts!!