Which Is Better Candle Snuffer And Wick Dipper?

Candle snuffers and wick dippers are two tools used for extinguishing candle flames. A candle snuffer is a small clamp-like device that fits over the flame to cut off the oxygen supply and quickly put it out. A wick dipper is a tool with a small cup on the end that is dipped into the melted wax and used to submerge the wick until the flame is extinguished.

Both candle snuffers and wick dippers serve the same essential purpose, but there are some differences between the two in terms of design, effectiveness, and other factors. This article will provide an overview and comparison of candle snuffers versus wick dippers to help determine which option may be better suited for different uses and preferences.

What are Candle Snuffers?

Candle snuffers are tools used to extinguish the flame of a burning candle. They consist of a small metal cup or bell attached to a handle. The bell is placed over the flame, cutting off the oxygen supply and putting out the fire. The inside of the bell may contain heat-absorbing material to help dissipate heat.

Candle snuffers provide a safe and easy way to extinguish candles by smothering the flame rather than blowing it out. They help prevent hot wax from blowing or dripping onto surfaces. Simply place the bell over the flame until it is extinguished.

There are various styles of candle snuffers. Some are purely functional while others are ornate and decorative.

Candle snuffers date back centuries and were quite popular before the invention of the light bulb. They allowed people to safely put out candles without getting burned. Today, they remain useful for extinguishing candles, especially tall candles or candles in hard to reach places.

What are Wick Dippers?

A wick dipper is a small tool used to extinguish candle flames by dipping the wick into a tapered metal cup filled with water. The wick enters the narrow end of the dipper and is submerged in the wider end filled with water. This deprives the wick of oxygen, putting out the flame. Wick dippers date back centuries and are still used today as a safe and effective way to extinguish candles.

Wick dippers allow for precisely extinguishing the candle flame without blowing air towards the fire. Dippers are typically made of brass or sterling silver. They often have decorative etched or embossed patterns. The dipper is partially filled with water before use. It can then be kept nearby to dip the wick into the water when desired.

The tapered shape allows the wick to smoothly enter the dipper when inserted. The wider base is filled with enough water to fully saturate the wick. This stops the combustion reaction that produces the flame. Wick dippers have a narrow channel that allows melted wax to drain back into the candle holder.

Pros and Cons of Candle Snuffers

Candle snuffers have a few key advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding between them and wick dippers:


  • Very effective at extinguishing candles – The enclosure design smothers the flame entirely.
  • Easy to use – Simply place over the flame and compress the two sides.
  • Minimal wrist motion needed – Unlike dipping which requires careful aim.
  • Compact size – Smaller and lighter than wick dippers.
  • Attractive antique aesthetic – Many are decorated brass or silver.


  • Can get hot with prolonged use – Metal conducts heat from the extinguished flame.
  • Not as decorative when left out – Bulbous shape isn’t as elegant to display.
  • Lack of reach – Short handle makes it hard to extinguish tall or elaborate candles.
  • Oil drips can escape – Gaps around the base allow wax to drip out.

Pros and Cons of Wick Dippers

Wick dippers have a few advantages over traditional candle snuffers when it comes to extinguishing candle flames:

Effectiveness: The narrow tip of a wick dipper allows for precise flame extinguishing. Simply dip the metal tip into the hot wax to put out the flame. This direct contact with the wick ensures the flame is completely snuffed out. Wick dippers are generally more effective than candle snuffers at extinguishing flames.

Ease of Use: With a wick dipper, there’s no need to place a snuffer over the flame and wait for oxygen depletion. Just a quick in-and-out motion of the dipper tip extinguishes the flame right away. The process is very straightforward.

Aesthetics: Many wick dippers today come in attractive decorative styles that add visual interest to candle displays. There are options like dippers shaped like birds, flowers, or other ornamental designs. So they can serve both functional and decorative purposes.

Potential downsides to wick dippers include the following:

– They leave a small melted divot in the candle wax each time they are used, marring the smooth surface over time.

– Metal tip can transfer heat back to the wick, potentially reigniting. Care is required.

– Small, decorative styles may not be as durable or easy to grasp as larger snuffer models.

– Can drip hot wax if not angled properly after dipping.

Safety Considerations

When using candle accessories like snuffers and dippers, fire safety should always be a top concern. Both candle snuffers and wick dippers involve dealing with an open flame, so caution is required.

One of the main fire hazards with candles is touching or knocking over a burning candle. Snuffers and dippers both help extinguish candle flames, reducing some of the fire danger. However, they also require reaching over an open flame, so accidents can still happen.

Users should be careful to keep flammable materials like curtains or paper away from candles when using accessories. Loose clothing or sleeves should be avoided as well to prevent catching fire.

Another consideration is the hot wax. Both snuffers and dippers come into contact with melted wax around the burning wick. The wax retains heat and can drip or splash, posing a burn risk. Allowing enough time for cooling and handling accessories gently can help mitigate this.

In general, candle accessories are designed to improve fire safety if used properly. But carelessness around the open flame can still lead to accidents. Following basic precautions and the manufacturer’s instructions is important.

Environmental Impact

When considering the environmental impact of candle snuffers versus wick dippers, there are a few key factors to take into account:

Reusability – In general, metal candle snuffers are more reusable than wick dippers, which are often made of disposable materials like cardboard. A quality metal candle snuffer can be used for years without replacement, while wick dippers tend to get discarded after shorter periods of use. This gives candle snuffers an edge when it comes to limiting environmental waste.

Materials – Candle snuffers are most commonly made from metal alloys, while wick dippers tend to be made of cardboard, plastic, or wood. Metal production has a significant environmental impact, including CO2 emissions, high water usage, and mineral extraction. However, metal can often be recycled. Cardboard and wood wick dippers are biodegradable, but some plastic variants may contribute to the plastic pollution problem. Overall, the materials factor is split between the two options.

In summary, candle snuffers may have a larger upfront environmental impact due to metal production, but they tend to have a longer usable lifespan and can be recycled. Wick dippers have less impact during production but are more disposable. Choosing reusable, long-lasting accessories and properly disposing of any waste can help minimize the ecological footprint of either option.

Cost Comparison

When comparing the costs of candle snuffers versus wick dippers, there are a few factors to consider:

Candle snuffers tend to have a higher upfront cost, with decorative pewter models ranging anywhere from $10-$50 depending on the intricacy of the design and the material used. Basic tin candle snuffers can cost as little as $5. Wick dippers on the other hand are very inexpensive, usually $1-2 for a basic plastic or metal dipper.

However, since wick dippers can damage candle wicks over time, requiring the candle to be replaced sooner, they may need to be replaced frequently as well. So while the upfront cost is lower, you may go through more wick dippers and candles in the long run.

With candle snuffers, the higher initial investment pays off in longevity. A quality candle snuffer can last for years or even decades with proper care. So if you want something that will snuff out candles effectively while also looking nice on display, a decorative candle snuffer may be worth the extra cost.

For those on a tight budget or just looking for a utilitarian tool, a simple wick dipper gets the job done cheaply. But candle snuffers provide better value in the long run and can add visual interest to your living space.

Aesthetic Options

When choosing between a candle snuffer or wick dipper, the aesthetic appeal can be an important factor. Candle accessories are often displayed prominently, so their visual design makes a difference.

Candle snuffers come in a wide variety of colors and decorative styles. You can find simple, minimalist snuffers in solid colors like black, silver, or gold. Or choose an ornate, decorative snuffer with etched designs, crystals, or pearl accents. Snuffers with longer chains can be hung on the wall as functional art pieces.

Wick dippers also come in numerous color and style options, but tend to be more subdued and tool-like. They are usually made of stainless steel or nickel for durability. Some have silicone coating on the dipper end for grip and heat resistance. The range of decorative choices is narrower for wick dippers than snuffers.

If you want your candle accessory to make a visual statement, candle snuffers offer more possibilities for colors, embellishments, and decorative flair. Wick dippers provide a simpler, more utilitarian look. Consider which aesthetic fits best with your candles and home décor.


When looking at candle snuffers versus wick dippers, there are pros and cons to both options. Candle snuffers are generally simpler to use and more effective at fully extinguishing candle flames. The spring-loaded design protects fingers from getting burned and minimizes smoke. However, the metal caps on snuffers can get hot and some styles may scratch glass holders.

Wick dippers offer a charming old-fashioned look, especially the antique styles made of brass or silver. They allow more precision in trimming wick length. However, they require more care to avoid spills and don’t always fully extinguish candles. The liquid wax can also be messy. Safety is a concern if children or pets are around.

Overall, for most households, a spring-loaded candle snuffer is the better choice for convenience and safety. But for candle enthusiasts who want more control over wick trimming and an elegant decorative accent, wick dippers can be an attractive option when used with care.

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