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Looft Air Lighter 1 Review — a Fire Starter So Hot, It’s Cool

An electric Fire starter that looks a little like a lightsaber, gets a charcoal grill going quickly, and saves money over regularly buying firelighters. What’s not to like? In this review, I take a detailed look at the Looftlighter, what it is, how it’s used, its pros and cons, and more.

Mark Jenner profile picture
Written by:

Last Updated: March 7, 2024

A Looft Air Lighter 1 isolated on black, next to text describing this article as a review.

Join me as I review the Looft Air Lighter 1, breaking down its features, benefits, and ultimately whether I’m happy to recommend it.

If you’ve ever grilled over charcoal, then you already know that one of the biggest hassles is getting the charcoal lit. There are, of course, all kinds of solutions to this problem — someone is always ready to monetize society’s pain points.

Well here’s one you probably haven’t tried: The Looftighter.

Mr. Looft, a Swedish native, tells us his Looftlighter (the name makes sense now, doesn’t it?) is the:

“Most quick, safe and environmentally friendly method of lighting your grill.”

— Mr Looft

Is he telling the truth, or just blowing a lot of hot air? That’s what I’m here to tell you.

Ratings and Final Verdict

The heat shield end of a Looftlighter 1 in charcoal on flames.
Scores Out of 10
Design and Build Quality 8.0
Ease of Use 9.0
Speed and Efficiency 9.0
Portability 6.0
Value for Money 8.0

After thoroughly testing the Looft Lighter 1, I’m most impressed by its quick lighting and ease of use. It significantly cuts down the time to get cooking, which is great news for a busy working family man like myself.

The build quality is excellent. It feels sturdy, and I’m sure it will last. Some people have managed to melt the end of the heat shield, but that’s by leaving it in the flames for some time after lighting when the instructions expressly state not to do this. So, we’ll chalk this one up to user error. The added bottle opener feature is neither here nor there for me, but is a nice little touch, I guess.

While the need for an electrical outlet does limit its portability, and the length of the supplied cable could be longer, the convenience and speed it offers at home are unmatched.

At the end of the day, compared to other ways of lighting my charcoal, I find the Looftlighter faster and cleaner. So despite its higher initial cost, the Looft Lighter 1 proves its value over time, saving money on firestarters and precious time.

I’m happy to label it a valuable tool for regular grillers, balancing a few downsides with significant convenience and performance.


  • Super fast lighting of charcoal, it can light within 60 seconds!
  • Can be used to light charcoal, wood, or pellets, in a BBQ, smoker, or firepit.
  • Can be used to fan flames, to go from a small to large hot fire in record time.
  • Is effective at lighting partially used charcoal, something that is hard to do with traditional firelighters.
  • Replaces the need for firestarters, lighter fluid, and a lighter or matches.
  • Hook for hanging also doubles as a bottle opener, (You can never have too many bottle openers).


  • Needs to be plugged in, so must have an available power outlet.
  • Power cord is only 10 feet in length, so will likely need to run an extension lead out to your charcoal grill or smoker.
Looft Air Lighter 1 Electric Charcoal Starter
Looftlighter isolated on white.

A quick, safe, clean way to light your charcoal or wood fires. It uses electricity to create a stream of super-heated hot air that you blow onto your charcoal or wood, setting it alight in 60 seconds or less, with no need for lighter fluids or firestarters.

Our Ratings Explained

Here is why I gave the scores and ratings that I have:

Design and Build Quality

When I first got my hands on the Looft Air Lighter 1, my first thought was it’s larger than I expected, but it has a solid feel and a good balance, comfortable enough to hold and use by anyone. And the aluminum heat shield feels durable and built to last.

The downside to its build is that it’s not battery-operated and needs plugging in, so you are tied to an outlet. I have also read from others that if you keep the end in the fire too long, the aluminum heat shield can and will melt. It has happened. I would say it’s user error, though, because as soon as there is flame, you are instructed to move it back. And mine has been fine for dozens of uses now.

Score: 8/10.

Ease of Use

Using the Looft Air Lighter 1 couldn’t be simpler. Press the button, point it at your charcoal or wood, and it goes. This beats messing around with matches, lighters, and firestarters any day. The catch is needing an electrical source, which means you can’t just take it anywhere. Still, for sheer ease around the backyard, it couldn’t be easier.

Score: 9/10.

Speed and Efficiency

This thing lights up charcoal or wood in a minute or two and can have a raging fire in 4 or 5 minutes by continually stoking the flames with hot air. This speed is something I have only ever seen before with propane torches. It’s quick, which means less waiting around and more grilling, which is a major win for anyone who grills often.

Score: 9/10.


Here’s where I hit a snag. The need for an electrical outlet means I can’t just take the Looft Air Lighter 1 wherever I fancy it. It’s okay for home use, but for those beach BBQs or camping trips, it’s not going to cut it. It’s a bit of a trade-off: the convenience of quick starts at home versus the freedom to grill anywhere.

Score: 6/10.

Value for Money

At first glance, the price tag made me think twice. You can buy a lot of firestarters for $70. However, if you grill a few times a week and light the odd firepit or fire in your house to boot, then it will only take a year or two before you are saving money compared to buying firelighters.

Regardless, You’re paying for the convenience and the build quality, as well as the fact you’re not buying firelighters anymore. It’s a solid bit of kit for people like me who grill a lot and care about getting started quickly and cleanly. However, the cost might be hard to justify for more casual grillers compared to simpler, cheaper options.

Score: 8/10.

General Overview — What is This Thing, Anyway?

Looftlighter 1 electric firestarter being used to start a Kamado Joe grill.

Essentially, the Looftlighter is the world’s most intense hair dryer. The cylindrical unit blows a concentrated stream of super-heated air. Point it at lump charcoal, briquettes, or wood, and very soon you’ll have a fire going.

Bear in mind, it’s an electrical device, so you’ll need access to an outlet.

The prototype was Mr. Looft’s toaster, and a vacuum cleaner rejigged to blow instead of suck. (Stop giggling.)

He put charcoal in the toaster, turned it on, and created a powerful airflow to speed up the ignition process. Really, it’s not so different from using a bellows to stoke up coals.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Power: 1500W US; 1800W EU
  • Temperature: 1100 °F (600 °C)
  • Aluminum heat shield
  • Dimensions: 17.8” L × 2.6” W
  • 8’ cord
  • 1.94 lbs.
Looft Air Lighter 1 Electric Charcoal Starter
Looftlighter isolated on white.

A quick, safe, clean way to light your charcoal or wood fires. It uses electricity to create a stream of super-heated hot air that you blow onto your charcoal or wood, setting it alight in 60 seconds or less, with no need for lighter fluids or firestarters.

Unboxing, Review and Test Results

OK, let’s get into the meat of the article, really look at this thing in-depth, and see how it fares during use.

What’s in the Box?

A Looftlighter in front of it's orange box packaging on a wooden ta.

Not a lot! There’s just:

  • Looftlighter
  • Owner’s manual

That’s it. But then, what more do you need?

Design and Build Quality

Looftlighter held in a kamado Joe, about to light lumpwood charc.

The Looftlighter feels good in the hand. It’s larger than you might think, but it’s not that heavy, and it’s well-balanced. To be honest, it reminds me of holding a lightsaber, and that’s not a bad thing. All in all, it feels solidly put together.

Part of what makes it stand out from imitators on the market (there’s one that comes with free fire starters — that’s a red flag!!), is how far from the charcoal your hand is.

As I said earlier, there’s no need to wear protective gloves. Ok, maybe if you’re reaching way down into a big kamado, you may feel better with a pair.


The Looftlighter uses electric heat and air to ignite fuel. There’s no flame, and not even gas to put nasty flavors on your food.

It’s also a zero-emission product, and since you use it over and over, you’re not throwing out packaging like you do every time you finish a package of starter cubes or a can of lighter fluid — not that we ever condone the use of lighter fluid!

To turn on the Looftlighter, press down the button and hold it. It’s a dead man’s switch, meaning when you let go, it turns off. Definitely a necessary safety feature!

Down at the business end, an aluminum heat shield protects the heating element from getting knocked around. It won’t, however, protect you from a nasty burn, so don’t touch it. You shouldn’t need to wear gloves, though, because the handle is far enough away from the hot spot.

On the underside of the Looftlighter, you’ll find a multipurpose attachment protruding from the handle. Its most obvious use is as a stand for when the Looftlighter is not in use.

Resting it on the stand will protect the heat shield from damage, and protect the surface it’s resting on from the heat. You can also use it for hanging the Looftlighter off the side of your grill or from a hook.

The third and coolest use of this attachment is as a bottle opener. Yup, you can crack a cold one with your barbecue lighter. That’s a fun little add-on!

Close up of the Looftlighter combination stand and bottle ope.

Ease of Use, Speed and Efficiency

The operation of the Looftlighter couldn’t be more straightforward. Press the button. Point it at something flammable.

Now, actually getting the hang of lighting charcoal does require a bit of patience and learning. You must follow the instructions provided.

You start with the lighter touching the charcoal and turn it on. Once you see that spot begin to glow, pull back a few inches, but stay focused on that same spot. Soon, you’ll have a pocket of glowing coals, and that will spread through your pile.

It’s important to understand that the Looftlighter is a faster, fuel-free way to start a charcoal fire. You won’t be ready to cook in 60 seconds — you still have to wait for enough charcoal to ignite for you to cook over.

To speed up the process, just move to another section of your charcoal pile. You’ll probably be totally ready to cook in about 5 minutes, depending on how much charcoal you’re using.

I’ve now used mine scores of times, to light my charcoal grills, firepits, and a log fire in my living room. It’s very quick, easy and great to use.

Here’s a quick video demonstration of how fast and well this thing works:

Maintenance and Cleaning

The Looftlighter is essentially a zero-maintenance device. The only call-out from the manufacturer is to keep the holes in the heat shield clear.

It’s hard to imagine what could possibly gum them up, but just keep an eye on that. If it gets sooty, wipe it down with a damp cloth after the Looftlighter has thoroughly cooled.

It’s also essential to remember to pull the Looftlighter away from the hot coals once they are lit. Continuing to hold the lighter against hot coals or inside flames will melt the heat shield, and that damage is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

It also seems to be the number 1 owner complaint, which probably annoys the people at Looft since it’s easy to avoid.

Reviews for the Looft Air Lighter 1

At the time of writing, this is the customer feedback from some online retailers where the Looftlighter can be bought:

  • 4.5/5 from 199 reviews.
  • 4.6/5 from 28 reviews.

The Amazingribs review of the Looft Air Lighter 1 is a bit of a mixed bag. They touch on its efficiency and innovative approach to starting charcoal, described as a cross between a hairdryer and a flamethrower. And they are impressed with its ability to quickly light charcoal.

However, the review also points out some limitations, such as the necessity of an electrical outlet restricting where it can be used, that it sounds like a leaf blower, advising against using it in wet conditions, and cautioning against putting it down after use as it stays hot. But they do say these are minor inconveniences.

Despite these minor criticisms, the overall tone of the review remains positive, and they even suggest it can be used for searing after sous vide, which is an interesting use case I’d not heard of or thought about before.

Warranty and Support

As of 2018, Looft has increased the length of the warranty from 2 to 3 years, so long as you register your purchase at their website. The warranty covers manufacturer’s defects, and it’s a straight replacement guarantee — no repairs. To make a claim, just fill out the online form.

There’s a limited FAQ section on the website to help you out, and you can email them with your questions.

Looft also has a small YouTube channel (you could watch all the videos in about 10 minutes), plus Facebook and Instagram accounts. You can also phone or fax them in either the United States or Sweden.

Summary of What We’ve Discussed

A Looftlighter on a wooden table next to its .

That’s all the facts — but what do they boil down to? Should you light it up or let it go?

What We Like

First off, we like what it does; the ability to light charcoal quickly is a gift from the grilling gods. Even better, you can light it already in place — build your charcoal snake or set up your 2-zone pile off to one side of the firebox and then turn up the heat.

With a charcoal chimney starter, you light it first and then place it where you need it, and that can be a messy, spark-filled job.

The length of the Looftlighter allows you to light charcoal (or wood) without gloves on. With some imitators, or with a standard heat gun, your hand may be dangerously close to the fire or coals.

And, we can’t forget about the hook/stand/opener! It’s practical and fun at the same time, and it helps remind us of one of the main reasons why we barbecue in the first place — because it’s sociable!

What Could Be Improved

It would be great if there were a cordless version of the Looftlighter, but I suppose the battery would need to be tremendous to generate that kind of heat. Fortunately, the nearly 10’ cord gives us a fair bit of freedom.

The only other slight quibble I have is the inability to run the fan without heat. This would be useful for getting coals going, or even blowing a bit of ash off the grate. Mind you, Looft estimates the cost of running the Looftlighter is about $0.004 per minute, so it’s not like a fan-only mode would save you money.

Will You Get Value for Money?

Low-cost imitations of the Looftlighter are available, but they simply aren’t as well-made or designed as the original. We believe your money is better spent on the one that started it all. If it weren’t good, no one would copy it, would they?

This isn’t one of those gadgets that are so cool you have to own them even if they’re not especially useful. The Looftlighter is not only cool, but it also works like a charm.

My belief is that it’s worth every penny if you grill with charcoal. And it’s really worth it if you also enjoy bonfires, fire pits, and fireplaces.

The initial purchase price of a Looftlighter might seem steep, but if you grill 2 or 3 days a week, you will probably be break even compared to the cost of firelighters at the end of one year. Year 2 and beyond then becomes a time when the Looftlighter saves you money.

BUT, the most significant saving is time. Other ways to light charcoal simply aren’t anywhere near as fast, so the benefits go far beyond just saving some dollars.

Do We Recommend this Product?

Looftlighter lighting coals, just at the stage the coals are spark.

Anyone who grills with charcoal needs some sort of helper or starter to get the coals going. The Looftlighter is one of my favorites because it’s easy-to-use, and it gets me from unlit charcoal to cooking temperature FAST.

And we are here to eat, am I right?

So in my opinion, get one — you’ll love it. $70 might seem like a lot to spend, but you never have to buy firelighters again, so you soon make that money back.

Looft Air Lighter 1 Electric Charcoal Starter
Looftlighter isolated on white.

A quick, safe, clean way to light your charcoal or wood fires. It uses electricity to create a stream of super-heated hot air that you blow onto your charcoal or wood, setting it alight in 60 seconds or less, with no need for lighter fluids or firestarters.


Thank you for taking the time to read my Looftlighter review.

Do you have any questions or comments regarding the Looftlighter? If so, please do leave them in the comment section below, and I will make sure to get back to you.

Happy grilling!

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Mark Jenner profile picture

Written By: Mark Jenner

I'm a BBQ fanatic and have been barbecuing and grilling since 2005. I founded FoodFireFriends in 2017 and have extensively written for the site since.

I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke whatever the weather, and I currently own over 30 grills and smokers of all varieties that I frequently cook on to produce epic food.

My goal with this site is to help as many people as possible enjoy and be good at doing the same.

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  1. Avatar for Neil O Neil O'Brien says:

    My dad used a traditional electric loop fire starter and a hairdryer decades ago! You could buy them today for $30. Seems like this gadget is an expensive ‘solution’ to an already solved problem.

    1. Avatar for Mark Jenner Mark Jenner says:

      There’s more than one way to cook an egg, so to speak.


    Excellent review. Purchasing now. Thank you

    1. Avatar for Mark Jenner Mark Jenner says:

      I’m sure you’ll love it!

  3. Would you use it once your cook is under way and you want to stoke the coals some? Or would that blow ash around the smoker and onto the meat? Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Mark Jenner Mark Jenner says:

      Hi Bryce,

      I have used to stoke the fire, yes. But you’re right, this will blow ash everywhere, and lost of it. So remove your meat before you do!

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