If you’re like me, you have a junk drawer in your kitchen full of household necessities. Spare batteries. A multitool. A longneck lighter. I use the lighter to light candles of the birthday, scented and citronella varieties. Until a few months ago, I had a standard butane lighter, but I recently made the switch to a Tacklife Electric-Arc Lighter. Dear reader, I’m never going back.
Instead of butane, the Tacklife uses an electric mechanism powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. To operate the Tacklife, you flip the switch from off to ready and then hold it, much like a traditional lighter. The two prongs at the tip light up with a purplish spark is way more wind-resistant than an open flame and looks super cool to boot. There’s no smell from burning fuel, just a high-pitched noise that my ears can pick up, but others don’t seem to notice.
When I received my Tacklife in the mail, I used the included USB cable to charge it for a few hours. I haven’t had to plug it in since. The manufacturer claims it can be lit 1,000 times between charges, which means I’ll likely go years before I plug it in again. When that day comes, I’ll be happy not to have to run out to buy a butane lighter. My future self has already thanked me.
The Tacklife has many of the features found on higher-quality traditional lighters, such as a flexible neck for reaching into deep candles and a child-resistant lighting mechanism. Instead of a small window showing how much fuel is left the Tacklife has a light that blinks when its battery is running low.
Because the lighting mechanism is a focused electrical current and not a flickering flame, only a small part of the tip heats up. After use, it cools down quickly so I can put it back in my drawer without worrying about melting anything or burning the house down.
At $15, the Tacklife does cost more than a traditional lighter. But who cares? It’s rechargeable so it will pay for itself. And if it prevents me from having to buy yet another butane model, then it’s priceless.