February 07, 2024 8 min read

Vape battery dead or missing? Can't seem to get those last few drops of golden goodness to heat up enough to vape? Here's our take on an unconventional approach to vaping without a battery–how to hit a cart with a lighter. 

While a bit tedious, this skill can be invaluable for tweaking or troubleshooting your vape. With practical implications in various scenarios, our insights and step-by-step instructions will guide you through mastering this unique skill so you and your vape are prepared for whatever.

Let's cover some fundamentals and then we'll jump right to the strategy:

Key Takeaways

  • To hit a cart with a lighter, you’ll need a lighter, pliers, and something heat-safe to hold your cart with. 
  • This is a temporary solution–you’ll want to get a proper cart battery for future use. 
  • Alternatively, you can remove the concentrate and use a dab rig. 
A close up of a cannabis vape cart positioned near a cannabis plant

Understanding Your Vape Cart

Before we can dive into the steps to hitting your vape with a lighter, we need to dissect the fundamental components of a vape cartridge and theconcentrates they house. By grasping these elements, you'll be primed to hit a cart with a lighter effectively.

Vape Cart Components

A typical vape cart encompasses the following key components:

  • Cartridge: Serving as the vessel for concentrates, it typically features a mouthpiece and a threaded connection for easy attachment to the battery. A high quality cart should be made from glass. 
  • Atomizer: Situated within the cartridge, the atomizer serves as the heating element responsible for vaporizing the concentrate when powered by the battery. This is typically a metal piece that encases a wick or coils, used to absorb and heat the concentrate to vaping temperatures.
  • Battery: This power source energizes the atomizer and is often rechargeable. It's imperative to match the voltage and capacity of the battery to your specific cartridge for optimal performance.

Now that we understand these elements, we can move to the safe and efficient execution of hitting a cart with alighter.

Understanding Your Concentrate Oil

You also need to have some basic understanding of the concentrate oil that’s inside your vape and the temps needed to vaporize it. 

Cannabis concentrates are available in various forms, including wax, shatter, sugar, oil, and even more exotic options likeliquid diamonds. Still, oil and wax are the most common types of concentrate used in vape carts because they are vicious and free-flowing, allowing for a smooth vape experience. The concentrate material’s quality plays a huge role invape safety, too. 

If you’re trying to hit your vape cart with a lighter, that’s a huge plus. Thinner concentrate material will be easier to vaporize with a lighter. 

When hitting a cart with a lighter, discerning the type of concentrate in your cartridge is crucial, as different concentrates may necessitate specific heating techniques and temperatures to optimize the experience.

How to Hit Your Vape Cart With a Lighter: Steps to Get Started

What You'll Need:

  • Lighter
  • Vape cart
  • Pliers
  • Towel or something to help you handle a hot cart

Step One: Choosing a Lighter

Selecting the right lighter is crucial for effectively and safely hitting a vape cart. With various options available, it's essential to understand the different types of lighters and what to look for in a quality choice. 

Here's a concise guide to help you choose the best lighter for your vaping needs:

Types of Lighters:

  • Disposable: Cheap and easy to find with a small flame that won’t be too difficult to handle while hitting your cart. However, you may have trouble getting enough heat, and it may take some time to vaporize the cannabis material. 
  • Refillable Butane: Cost-effective in the long run and refillable. Usually works as a torch lighter and produces a larger flame. This will be more difficult to handle when heating your vape, but will heat it more effectively. 
  • Electric: Environmentally friendly with multiple recharge options, but likely won’t produce enough heat to vaporize a cart. 

Selecting a Quality Lighter:

  • Choose between torch and flame: Simple flame lighters are easy to find and use, but may not heat quickly or evenly. Torch lighters can be more expensive and harder to use, but definitely heat more effectively. 
  • Safety Features: Look for child-resistant locks and flame adjustment. You may need to be able to turn the flame on a disposable lighter all the way up to get enough heat or turn the flame on a torch lighter down for safe handling. 
  • Ease of Use:Prioritize comfortable grip and simple operation.
  • Durability: Opt for sturdy materials for daily use.
A selection of multicolored cannabis vape pens arranged in a row on a contrasting background

By considering these factors, you can choose a reliable and safe lighter for hitting vape carts.

Step Two: Carefully Heat the Cart

Follow these techniques for safe and efficient execution:

  • Maintain a steady grip on the cart, using pliers if necessary to keep your hands clear of the flame. .
  • Position the lighter's flame at a safe angle to minimize contact with extraneous objects and your fingers.
  • Heat the end of the vape cart that is furthest away from the mouth piece. You need to make sure that the mouthpiece does not get too hot or it will burn your lip.
  • Apply even heat distribution by maneuvering the flame around the cart. You’ll want to heat evenly and slowly to ensure that you don’t burn your cart or its contents. 
  • Exert gentle pressure to avoid damaging the cart or impeding the heating process.

Step Three: Take a Draw

Working quickly after heating your cart, you can take a few quick puffs. 

  • Gently tap the mouthpiece with your fingertip to ensure that it is not too hot and will not burn your lip. 
  • Next, take a few slow draws from your cart. Slow and steady will likely pull the best draw. 
  • Remember, pulling air through your cart will cool it down, so you’ll need to repeat the heating step in between every 1-2 puffs. 

Step Four: Post-Lighting Care

After successful ignition, adhere to these post-lighting protocols:

  • Extinguish the lighter to avert accidents and conserve fuel. If there is a child safety lock, put it in place. 
  • Allow the cart to cool sufficiently before handling with your bare hands or storing it to prevent burns or damage.
  • Clean both the cart and lighter to ensure consistent performance. The cart may have some residue on the outside that's left over from heating. This should be easy to wipe away after the cart has cooled 

By adhering to these guidelines, you can safely and effectively hit a cart with a lighter.

Alternative Option: Use a Rig

If you're stuck with a cart without a battery and want to make the most of your leftover concentrate, there's another option–you can remove the concentrate from the cart and use it in a dab rig. Here’s how:

What You’ll Need:

  • Dab rig or dab straw
  • Torch lighter
  • Dab tool or other scraping tool
  • Small jar or container to hold wax or a piece of wax paper

Step One: Remove the oil from the cart. 

Before you can use the oil in your cart on a dab rig, you need to figure out how to get the oil out of the cartridge. Every vape cart is different, but you should be able to unscrew the end with the atomizer to open the cartridge. 

From there, you can gently heat the sides of the cart to allow the oil to flow more smoothly, using your dab tool to scrape the remaining oil into your container of choice or onto the wax paper. 

Step Two: Collect a Dab

Using your dab tool, collect a small amount of concentrate that you will later apply to the hot dab nail. Having it ready before heating the rig allows you to quickly transfer the dab to the hot nail before it cools. 

Step Three: Heat Your Dab Rig

Using your torch lighter, heat your dab rig nail until it is hot enough to vaporize the concentrate. Be careful not to touch the nail and keep the flame pointing away from you at all times. 

Step Four: Apply the Concentrate and Puff

Using your dab tool, apply the concentrate to the hot nail and instantly draw the vapor through the mouth piece. Exhale slowly and enjoy the fast onset. 

Step Five: Repeat as Necessary (and Be Mindful of the Heat)

Remember, your nail will still be very hot after each hit, so don’t touch it! However, it will cool down too much to vaporize another hit, so you’ll need to reheat it before placing another dab on it. 

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When attempting to hit a cart with a lighter, steer clear of common errors to ensure a successful outcome. Let's explore these pitfalls and strategies to avoid them:

  • Not enough heat/weak lighter: Opt for a high-quality, reliable lighter to avoid insufficient flame output or malfunction.
  • Burns from improper flame use: Always point the flame from your lighter away from your body or possessions. It’s a good idea to test the flame in an open space to see how large it is and adjust its power before using it on your rig. 
  • Burns from handling a hot cart: Secure the cart firmly in the pliers to prevent movement during the heating process. Set the hot cart on a non-flammable surface to allow it to cool. 
  • Improper fire safety: Exercise caution when using lighters near flammable materials and maintain a fire extinguisher or water source nearby.
  • Melting/Burning: Cheap quality vape pens that are not made from heat-safe materials will melt or burn. These carts should not be heated with a lighter (and are not a good vaping option overall). Read “Delta-8-THC Carts Buying Guide” to learn more about choosing a high-quality vape pen. 

By sidestepping these missteps, you can enhance your likelihood of hitting a cart with a lighter effectively.

Conclusion: Hitting a Cart with a Lighter Effectively

Vida Optima Elev8 Collection

When it comes to hitting a vape cart with a lighter, safety and technique are key. You've got to be careful and responsible whenever you're using a lighter near anything, especially a vape cart.

We've learned that hitting a cart with a lighter takes some precision in how you position and angle it to get the best results. Finding the right balance between distance and angle is crucial for a successful and safe session.

Plus, we've looked into different types of lighters, like regular ones, electric ones, or windproof ones, and how they can affect your vaping experience. With this info, you'll be better equipped to make smart choices when you're vaping with a lighter.

Looking for Hemp THC?

At Vida Optima, our Delta-8 products are legal and accessible to anyone 21+, meaning you can order online and get your favorite legal hemp THC products without leaving your couch. OurElev8 Collection contains a full selection of Delta-8 gummies, flower, vapes, and more, including a variety of strains and dosages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the risks of using a lighter to hit a vape cart?

Risks include potential damage to the cart, release of harmful chemicals, and burn/fire hazards.

Is there an alternative to hitting a cart without a pen?

Yes. You could remove the concentrate and use a regular dab rig, though the best option may be to buy a new battery for your vape. 

What is the wire trick, and is it safer?

The wire trick involves creating a connection to hit the cart. While it may offer a safer alternative, proper connection and voltage consideration are crucial, and it’s not something you can do without proper understanding of how electric circuits work. 

Can I use an Apple charger or non-designated adapter for vaping?

Using an Apple charger or any non-designated adapter for vaping purposes is discouraged due to associated risks.


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