Types of lighter wicks

As the purpose of this blog is to enhance the knowledge on cigarette lighters and it accessories I decided to share with you some of the most interesting stories coming from a small booklet called the Lighter Repair Manual which was written by Gilbert J. Gaugler for Lighter Parts Inc. in 1954.

Back to the 1950s when almost every person owned and used petrol lighters wicks where widely available. These days the range of wicks for lighters are limited most often to one or two types and obtainably rather only in tobacco shops. Listed below are the different types of wicks (with illustrations) and the lighters in which they should be used:

Standard Scotch Braid Wick

This is a standard wick that will work in most any popular lighter. It is chemically treated to keep it from burning.

Average diameter: .101
Average length: 6 inches

The Gold Seal Wick 
for Ronson and other lighters

This is a special modification of the standard wick. It has two notable improvements.
  1. It is equipped with a wire inserter, attached to the bottom end by means of a plastic tip.
  2. At the top of the wick is a small gold colored ferrule which fits the wick hole of most popular lighters. This small ferrule acts as a seal and reduces the size of the wick hole; cutting down on evaporation, preventing leakage, and prolonging the fuel's lasting qualities.

Average diameter of ferrule: .091
Average diameter of wick: 6 inches
Average length of wire: 3 inches

The Red Wick 
and seal for Evans lighters

This is another wick (red in color) equipped with the wire inserter and a special ferrule that fits the wick hole on most Evans lighters.

Average diameter of ferrule: .106
Average length of wick: 6 inches
Average length of wire: 3 inches
Wick for Giant

This is an exceptionally large diameter wick and can be used only in the Galter Giant lighter.

Average diameter: .156
Average length: 6 inches

Asbestos wick for Zippo 
and other windproof lighters

This wick is made of non inflammable material (asbestos). It is woven of several strands and the exposed portion in the top of the lighter can be frayed so that several ends are exposed to the sparks from the flint. This helps the lighter to light even in a wind. 

 Average diameter: .092
Average length: 6 inches

12 inch Wicks with Wire

This is a repairman's wick. It can be pulled through the lighter and a six inch wick cut of. Te the remaining six inches portion, with its wire inserter, can be used in another lighter.

Average diameter: .101
Average length of wick: 12 inches
Average length of wire: 3 inches

Wick for Dunhill

This wick is slightly smaller in diameter than average, due to small wick hole in Dunhill lighters. Has a flat metal inserter that reduces wick to correct size and guides it through the lighter.

Average diameter of guide: .070
Average diameter of wick: 0.89
Average length of wick: 10 inches
Average length of inserter: 2 inches

Wick Glassine

This wick is in same diameter as standard, but woven of spun glass. It is very stiff and hard to work with. It does not burn, but chars away until there is nothing left to get hold of to pull it up.

Average diameter: 0.75
Average length: 4 1/2 inches

Where to buy a wick nowadays? You may take a look at THIS POST.


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