The Ronson Varaflame, introduced in 1957, set new standards in lighter design. There was more than hint of jet age styling to this lighter. The Ronson Varaflame VF500, above, cost 82/6 in 1960, around £60 in today's money.
The Ronson Varaflame was filled up from a single Butron multi-fill, which cost 3/6. It lasted a whole year. The Varaflame also boasted an adjustable flame.
A number of Ronson patents protected the design of the Varaflame, but it did not stop other manufacturers copying it. In the early 60s, Ronson had to take legal action to defend its patent against Japanese copies of the Varaflame. A 1962 ruling saw that Ichikawa Sangyo, Aiwa Kaguku, Toho Sangyo and Toyo Aerosol Kogyo agreed to stop production of lighters that infringed Ronson's patent.
Ronson Varaflame Premier
The Ronson Varaflame Premier was also launched in 1957. A similar model is available from Ronson today. The modern Ronson Varaflame Premier is available in three versions: there is a chrome model with a gold V, very similar to the 1950s original; there is a version that can be customised with a monogram; and a 50th anniversary gold model.
For more on the modern Ronson Varaflame Premier, visit www.ronson.com.
Ronson Varaflame Comet
In 1965 Ronson introduced the Varaflame Comet. The Comet was a light weight lighter made in plastic and available in a number of different colours. This model, left, was made in the 70s, it is a chrome version of the original design.
The Ronson Varaflame Comet also still available. It is retailed as the 'Super Comet' and available in brushed chrome or black finishes.
Buy Ronson Varaflame
There is a good market for Ronson Varaflame lighters on eBay. Prices vary from £10 or £20 to up to £100 depending on condition and whether the lighter is working or not.
Also look out for Ronson spares on eBay.
Your comments on the Ronson Varaflame
"I just purchased an old Ronson Veraflame Premier and I'm having some problems with not getting any gas flow. I've tried using another lighter to ignite the flame and no go. I have cleaned the gas jet as well. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks! " Phil
"Hi. Do you know of anywhere I can purchase the burners, valves and valve replacement tools for the varaflames. Just cant seem to locate any. Your help would be much appreciated. Thanks. Carl." Carl T
"Where can I find the screw and spring combination that holds the flint for my chrome Varaflame? Thanks" Peter McGlone
"Hello I wonder if you know anywhere that I can purchase the filler valves for the varaflame Thanks Richard" Richard Davies
"Can you please advise me where I can purchase flame and filler valves and fitting tool in order to service Ronson Varaflame Lighter With thanks, D. Foster." Dennis Foster
"Hi,as with another customer ,where can I purchase inlet and burner valves for my ronson varaflames? thanks." garry sives
"i have the ronsom varaflame premier and i take out the parts to clean and now i have problem to put them back , can you help me please with any way ?? please answer me , i am from cyprus and if you want i can send it to you to fix me please" antonis fotiou
"hi love your lighters got one from my mother years ago belonged to my dead dad sadly im having a few probs with it could you tell me if its possible to get the tools to try and fix it also have another 2 i got on ebay but having the same problem with them thanks" frank holden
"Salts of Coventry are a Ronson service centre, they will do a complete overhaul including any new parts and post it back to you for about 24. Their phone number is 02476-223475." Steve Harris
"i own a vara-flame lighter like the one above but with tight lines running through the body i wouldnt mind knowing how old or age bracket i can put the lighter in please help many thanks Andy" Andrew Gregory
"I tore a wall out in my basement and found two Ronson lighters. One is a Varaflame and the other is a Varaflame premier. The premier is in very good condition the other needs a litTle TLC, not sure how long they were there but believe it or not one actually still had gas in it but the flint stick is missing. Does anyone know of a place that services these kind of lighters?" Larry Champion
"How to get flints to my very old ronson" harald solen
"i purchased a new unused ronson varaflame from a collectors shop in wolverhampton with emblem land rover i was lead to believe this lighter was given to a leaving member of staff my problem is i cannot get it to work i have inserted flint with much difficulty but now wheel will not strike flint" e doherty
"i would like to know if i can get it fixed" alan sinise
" I have a Ronson varaflame Premier Mk II 57019. Since I wish to sell it can you kindly let me know the market value? Than you in advance for your kind reply" Manlio Ferrarini
Hi Manlio, Ronson Varaflames go on eBay for £20 to £50. More depends on condition than specific models. Retrowow.
"Hi, i have a Ronson Varaflame Jupiter. It is a table lighter, the top is chrome like any Varaflame and the botton is a big black rounded kind of bakelite. Can not find any information on the web for this model, never seen one for sale on ebay. Can you give me information on this model, are they worth something? Thanks" pierre durocher
Hi Pierre, I've not come across this model before. However, the top looks very similar to a wooden table lighter Ronson made in the 60s. They produced a variety of table lighters in different designs. Some are rarer than others. Perhaps someone else can shed any light. Retrowow
"I would like to get an idea of what my lighter is worth. It is 'Varaflame Bell' fashioned by Ronson and made in the USA. I think it needs a flint." lynne haupt
Hi Lynne, I've not come across this particular model. Have a look on eBay for something similar. If you are an eBay member, you can search completed listings. Retrowow
"As with some another customer I do need inlet and burner valves for some of my Ronson Varaflames. Can you please let me know where can I purchase these items? Regards " Gianni Rocco
"hi,have got a ronson varaflame,chome diacut with unused engraving plate.vf-216.open to best offer. (email@example.com)" nick
"hey ...my godmother gave me a Ronson lighter ....is lookz like an antique ...i pretty sure it still workz ....inside the box Say's "by appointment to HRH THE DUKE EDINSURGH"...WAT does it mean ...and how much is it worth ??" alex 28/06/2010
"i'm interessed" chris leenaars 04/08/2010
"hi i have had a ronson spode 1958 table lighter in box with all condiments for 20 years now .i can see these are becoming fashionable .the glaze pic on front is of buckingham palace and queen elizabeth statue ..i have researched everywhere and cant find any search results on value .please help ..i know of only one in blue glaze sold 5 years ago for 150 pound but decided to keep mine till now .it works and in box mint condition thanks" gary fortey 24/10/2010
"I've had great success in using a pinless scroll saw blade and pipe cleaners for clearing Ronson flint tubes. The blades are thin enough to insert from the topside clearing most obstructions. The Varaflame models have a straighter flint tube and can be partially drilled out with a 1/16" bit Caution! If you see brass shavings you have drilled too far! I've got about 85% almost 1000 ronson lighters working again without removing the striker wheel using the thin blades. On straight flint tubes (not curved tubes like many ronsons are) use high speed blades made for drilling hardened still they will drill through any flint. Many of the rubber seals on butane lighters can be reconditioned by removing the jets and placing a tiny drop of oil on the rubber seal. If the seal is too dry rotted heating and airconditioning suppliers sell o-ring kits the rings aren't exactly the same but will work. Unfortunately with these kits you will only use less than 10% of the o-rings they provide. They also sell orifice tools that are great for clearing clogged jets. A little patience clearing the flint tubes will easily get most Ronson lighters working again without removing the flint wheels by using the above methods. Good luck!" Richard Kuhl 10/11/2010
"Hi,i have a ronson varaflame premier.
When it lights the flame burns down in seconds.
It is holding gas ok.
Any ideas what it could be ??" los lobo 03/03/2011
"I have just acquired a lovely ronson comet lighter and am having trouble filling it with gas. can you tell me what adapter i should be using on my ronson gas can" Neil Culverhouse 05/04/2011
"I,have a ronson varaflame and it holds gas with no leaks,but the flame burns away in seconds.
Anyone know why this is ?" Bob Byrne 10/04/2011
"Can anyone help me? I have a square pewter based Ronson table lighter which needs rebuilding.I have most of the parts.The gas tank is cylindrical, which slides snuggly into the pewter base.I do not know what it is called.All I know is I bought it for my father in 1976 as a retirement present.It contained a square piece of stainless steel to accomodate an engraved inscription, but I lost that.The actual 'firing' mechanism is identical to the normal varaflame pocket mechanism.'Storm master' springs to mind.The flint wheel assembly needs installing since those are the missing parts.I do have the main two components - the pivoting front extinguisher/gas needle valve cover/gas shut off activator." John Giffard 11/04/2011
"Hi all, i have been collecting ronson lighters for many years, but i have decided to sell the majority of my collection as one lot, this includes table lighters,pencillighters,varachem pen lighter, many boxed working varaflames,many lighters for spares, total is around 250 ronsons, to be sold as a single lot.
If anyone is interested i would be happy to supply images." chris bradley 03/09/2011
"hi i have a ronson variflame sorry i know thats not howyou spell it but i just baught it and when i fill it with gas it just comes out the same hole so if that link fails can i fix it please let me know" quentin 20/09/2011
"hey can anyone sell me a box of spare parts" quentin 20/09/2011
"I have a 1957 ronson varaflame premier case and all were can i get an adapter so i can fill it with fuel and what kind of butane shuld use and im pretty sure it works its in great condition and i need a diagrahm of its inner parts?" jason 27/09/2011
"i also have a ronson varaflame windlite so what hapend to them?" jason 28/09/2011
"sorry I forgot to put a , between all and were. and what i ment by what kind of butane is what grade of butane I should use any help will be very much apreciated and thanks for any help you give me." jason 28/09/2011
"Hi, i am looking to sell my late fathers Ronson Varaflame. It looks like the premier one produced in 1957. My father passed away in the early 80's and i remember him having this lighter in the 60's. Please could you give me any more info and or price. It is in good condition and full working order.
Thanks Mike" mike 06/12/2011
"Please tell me where can I find valves and seals for Ronson Varaflame Windlite
Thanks for your advise" Alejandro Villa 16/02/2012
"Hello good morning i was woundering if you could pkleaseb help me by explaining to me how you put back the arm and the spring in my ronson varaflame as it came of and i am sure how to put it back ! Many Thanks Rose........" roseanne 22/02/2012
"Just found Fathers Varaflame table lighter. I recall in the 60's there were standard flints and harder Firebronze flints. Which are best for the V/flame? I see the gas filler s screw threaded, which gas filler do I need and any idea from where in the uk? Many thanks .Barry" Barry 23/02/2012
Try e bay which should give you a good indication of price,
Again it will depend on condition etc,
good luck" john r 24/02/2012
"where can i purchase burner valves for my ronson premier lighter? Thanks" gemma 25/03/2012
"Where can i find answers to these qustions as i have the same issues myself? How to service the Ronson Premier Varaflame lighter, how to fill it up with gas etcetera. Many thanks!" Gerrit 11/05/2012
"please can anyone tell me how to replace gas valve in ronson comet or where to get it fix cheers" stevie g 30/05/2012
"can you tell me where i could get 1970 ronson comet burner valves from cheers" stevie g 04/07/2012
I have many Ronson Varaflame lighers I am reconditioning for my family so they can dicontinue buying disposable lighters ... and save on the environment!
I have the replacement seals and type "B" filler valves (the type "B" filler valve is for the newer Ronson Varaflame lighters).
However, half of my Ronson Varaflame lighters have the Type "A" filler valve. So I need to buy 10 of the convertor screw (so the Type "B" will fit) OR Type "A" filler valves. Where can I buy either one of those?
Thanks much! Bob" Bob Bagilen 21/07/2012
"I wish to buy varaflame burner valves type 'B'. Can you help?" stuart gibson 12/09/2012
"How do you remove the inlet valve on a ronson varaflame? Mine leaks" Vic 04/10/2012
"Ronson Filler valve for varaflame.
Many questions have been logged about where to get filler valve and tool.
Ebay has several options by a reliable Uk supplier. Just search Ronson Inlet valve and you will be able to see the tool etc. Its superb (and cheap) Regards David" David 05/10/2012
Thanks for the comment. I've added some links at the top and bottom of the article.
best regards" Steven 05/10/2012
"Hello,how and with kind of gas i can fill up the old 'ronson priemier' lighter?
Thank you," Tomas 21/11/2012
"Hi I have a ronson varaflame and I tried taking it apart to clean but I do not know how to reinstall the button because I'm insure as to how the flexible piece of metal used as a spring underneath is supposed go back, can you help me out or know where I can find answers?" Daniel Peroni 17/01/2013
"Hello I have a Varaflame from the 1970's and I am looking for a 'filler cap'. Can you advise how I would go about getting hold of one.
Many thanks" Jan 28/03/2013
"Ho can u tell me about my ronson lighters one is a queen ann silver one and a wooden one cant realy find out how much thay worth thank u" sandra miranda 02/04/2013
The Ronson Queen Anne was made be Ronson for many years, originally as a petrol lighter and later as a Varaflame lighter taking butane gas. Value depends on condition. Good ones are worth around £20. Is the wooden one similar to the one pictured on this page?
best regards" Steve 02/04/2013
"I have a boxed Ronson Varaflame Comet VC160 lighter in atlas black with a chromium band.
The lighter was made for David Brown Tractors and has the D.B. emblem on the front of the lighter. It is in the original box with the guarantee etc. The lighter has never been used.
Please could you tell me if it is worth anything. It was my late fathers and he passed away many years ago.
Regards. Sandy." sandy mulroy 02/08/2013
Ronson Comet lighters sell for £5 to £20 on eBay. Working lighters sell for more. The David Brown connection might push up the value particularly because of the association with Aston Martin.
Best regards" steven 02/08/2013
"Hi, today I was given a boxed ronson varaflame with black leather. Can anybody tell me where I can sell this item as well as a estimated value?
Thank you for your help!" Natasja 10/11/2013
"i have a ronson lighter that has tortoise shell on the outside i need help with model and value" james 14/02/2014
"Hi I've got a storm Ronson can you tell me where to buy the flint etc from would it be the same as Zippo?" vicky simpson 06/02/2015
"i have a ronson varaflame wooden table lighter
and dont know much about it. what fuel thabksand how to service it." bates 11/02/2015
"I found a Ronson Adonis lighter in my late father's collection. I believe it's a pocket-type lighter. It's wedgewood blue with 3 cherubs. I don't believe this is a table lighter - it's too small. It's in its original plastic box that is labeled "Ronson" and "World's Greatest Lighter". Any information or value would be appreciated!" Laurie 12/02/2015
"I have just got. A ronson varaflame lighter of eBay put a flit ok try too fill it but no go do I have too un do the little screw inside where it has too be filled or do I need something else too fill it up" Mark taylor 26/02/2015
"I have a ronson lighter which needs serviced bought in 1961" james richardson 01/05/2015
"which way round douse the spring go under the
the lighter button on varaflame , thank you" GEORGE TIDIMAN 20/05/2015
"So I've been shopping around for a Ronson Varaflame Sunrise Table Lighter. I see a few on ebay and on etsy but some say Varaflame Sunrise and others say just Sunrise. Which is authentic? Can you shine some light on this? Thank you for your time." Stormy Stormson 25/05/2015
I found an old ronson varaflame lighter when clearing a relatives house. I have fitted a new filler valve, but need a new burner valve. The tiny seal at the bottom of the gas tube leaks. I may be able to fix it by pushing in a small section from a Viton O ring. Thanks." simon wilson 03/09/2015
"I recently re-discovered a ronson varaflame premier lighter in my shed. The lighter lid had stuck but was freed after some wd40 and taking apart. I unscrewed the flint screw but the spring has stuck in the lighter preventing me from replacing the flint. Is this a common problem and what is the best most careful method of removing the spring? I have tried twisting by hand but am too afraid of causing damage. Can you advise me?" Tony 28/09/2015
"have replaced flint,OK. Gas is not holding, it hisses after filling,have tightened valve screw assembly but still hisses; chamber empty when removed. have tried valve stem on gas can and Red valve cover but apart from lots of gas and fluid gas, it is not filling.don't want to mess with the outlet flow adjuster. Any suggestions please?" Roger Bulman ( Isle of Wight ) 12/10/2015
"I HAVE AN OLD RONSON VARAFLAME STARFIRE IN GOOD CONDITION IT HAS A FEW SCRATCHS ON THE BOTTOM BUT OTHERWISE IN PERFECT CONDITION MY DAD HAS HAD IT IN HIS THINGS FOR A LONG TIME AND AS HE WAS GOIN B THROUGH HIS LIGHTER COLLECTION GETTING RID OF SOMR OF THE LESS UNIQUES LOOKING I CAME ACROSS A FEW RONSON CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME TO FIND THEIR VALUE AND ANY OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION?" MISTY S 14/11/2015
"Very useful information.
Thanks a lot." Bill Johnson 02/12/2015
"My daughter found a Ronson Premier at a shop and loved the look of it so she purchased it. Unfortunately we have not been able to generate a spark. We have elongated the he spring a touch, replaced the flint and even disassembled the mechanism and cleaned the components. We can tell the clutch wheel is making good contact with the flint as the friction increases when the flint and spring are installed. Please help, we are looking for any suggestions that will help this beautiful machine come back to life." Tim and Leah 03/01/2016
"i took my varaflame apart and have problems putting it together again , does anyone have a diagram or schematic drawing of this lighter?" MICWER 25/03/2016
"Gday, i have a variflame electronic butane lighter model 60400. Does anybody have any clue where i can find any kind of info about it? Im looking to sell it in original case and box with its papers." Jesse 04/05/2016
"I have a collection of Ronson lighters going back to 1930's, do love the shape of the Varaflame, have had a lot of success repairing Ronson lighters.
Funnily enough, I don't even smoke." Scott 13/11/2016
"7 months on from my above post and I now have 27 Varaflame lighters, some in original boxes, some with bits broken or missing, love the look of these, a great design typical of late 50's and early 60's.
I've not paid more than £5 for any, it's amazing how many can be found at car boot sales, typically from 2 I can get a working lighter, flints are inexpensive, gas too.
I make my own seals from 2nd hand bicycle inner tubes, can be a bit fiddly to make but worth the effort. Most have swolen flints, best way to remove these is by removing top mechanism and drill out with a 2.5MM drill.
If anyone needs any tips see my Varaflame video on YouTube." Scott 05/06/2017
"Just to anser peoples queations. Varaflame burner and filler valvez and reduction valve and seals and tools for remove and replace are on ebay. I am not a seller its where i bought mine to fix several varaflame lighters." Mark 07/10/2017
"Hi I got a Ronson premier mk2 from eBay last week and all was well until today. I pressed the striker and the flint shot out of the bottom of the lighter .
Iíve put a flint in but I canít get the spring back in . Is there a tool Iím supposed to be using ?
Any advise greatly received , Dai" David Keeling 21/02/2018
"Hi I have just bough an original premier in mint condition with the original needle/spike vale which seems to work perfectly.Do I need a special adaaptor from the gas cannisters currently sold? THANKS" Graham Butler-Shawe 22/02/2018
"I have a 1970's Ronson Variflame Gas Table Lighter with a blocked flint tube. Can you advise where I can get these thin drills you mention to clear this tube. I have had this item since new and I intend to sell it when reconditioned." firstname.lastname@example.org 27/10/2018
"I have nice ronson varaflame, however I'm not able to press down to ignite to spark. The handle or ignite is stuck, I try to press down it simply won't move. Any advice?" Richard 17/02/2019
"I cannot fill my Ronson Vareflwme" Victor Marelli 31/07/2019
"Just going through my mother's cupboards & have found a varaflame Ronson with the date 20/3/73" Melanie Adam 19/08/2019
"I have the same problem as Richard....
"I have nice ronson varaflame, however I'm not able to press down to ignite to spark. The handle or ignite is stuck, I try to press down it simply won't move. Any advice?" Richard 17/02/2019" Kas 28/08/2019
"Attention those with ignition buttons that won't move:
Your lighter's flint has absorbed moisture, and swollen up inside the brass flint tube. The best way to remove the flint is to remove the flint wheel and related assembly, then carefully drill straight down through the flint.
Sometimes you'll get lucky, and the flint will easily pop loose. Otherwise, slowly drill through the flint, taking care not to gouge the inside of the soft brass flint tube. It may be better to turn the drill bit by hand while holding it with a pair of locking pliers (vise grips). That way you have more control, and will be less likely to damage the tube.
The brass tube may also have been split by the flint swelling up. If it has, you'll most likely need a new flint tube." Floyd 14/01/2020