There are two popular ways to light up your bong: through a wick or a butane lighter. One is an all-natural material, while the other one is purely synthetic. Let compare the wick vs butane lighter and see which one is the better option for you.
What is a wick?
Wick is made from fibers processed from an industrial plant coated in beeswax to help you control the burn rate. Because of the presence of a multitude of organic elements, burning wick produces several combustion byproducts. Some of the chemicals released through wick fumes include carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and other nitrogen-containing compounds. These are harmful to your health, but there is no scientific evidence yet on the effects of exposure to burning wick.
What is butane?
Almost all lighters contain butane, a flammable, odorless gas sourced from crude oil. In low pressure, butane is in a liquid state. Press the release on your lighter, and it turns into a gas that is combustible and toxic. However, add a spark and butane will burn to carbon dioxide and water. Many are concerned about butane exposure in massive amounts. However, there’s no evidence or studies yet on the effects of butane in small yet repeated exposure.
Which is more convenient?
A wick needs another tool to light it. It can be a lighter, a match, or a lit candle. It takes time to light up because the material itself isn’t flammable. Once you get it going, putting it out may take a couple of blows and shakes to get it out.
A butane lighter, on the other hand, can light up on its own with just a (few) flick(s) of the wheel. Within a split second, you have a flame that can help you light up your bowl. If you want to take it out, just let go of the fork, and the fire dies out. However, if you’re lighting up the last remnants of your herbs in a deep bowl, getting a cherry going will be a challenge.
How about burning temperature?
Wick burns low at 300 °F-500 °F, while a butane lighter can go as hot as 2,000 °F-4,000 °F. just like with the principle of vaping herbs, the lowest burning temperature allows you to enjoy the subtle flavor of your herbs. Because of this, some find the smoke easier on the throat and it tastes better.
How about cornering?
Cornering is when consuming your bowl by burning the herbs at the side instead of the whole bowl. Doing so allows you to get fresh hits from your pipe each time you draw, enjoying the full potency of your herbs. The long, slender length of the wick gives you better control over where the flame will hit inside the bowl. It’s lighting up your herbs with almost laser-like precision.
Cornering is hard to do when you use a butane lighter because of a wider flame size. The tapered tip will always point upwards, following the direction of the gas. Whether you decrease or increase the flow of gas, your herbs will always come in contact with the middle part of the flame.
Wick vs butane lighter: Which one should I get?
If you want better control over the burn rate of your herbs and enjoy a leisurely, flavorful session, a wick is the best one for you. The low temperature and the absence of chemicals make it ideal for those who want a clean experience.
Butane lighters are suitable for fast, efficient, and convenient smoking. If you’re a clumsy smoker with poor hand-eye coordination, the broad flame of a lighter makes the session effortless.
Although there are many who will say that using a wick is healthier and safer, there’s no concrete evidence that will prove it is so. Making an informed decision when comparing wick vs butane lighter is a tough one for now.