Barry Bagnall, of Treveena Way, Wrexham, was told by Judge Rhys Rowlands at Mold Crown Court that 18 years was the minimum period before which he could be considered for parole.
He had been convicted by a jury last month of killing 60-year-old Terry Edwards in his flat at Caia Park, Wrexham, in May last year.
At the time Mr Edwards, who was vulnerable and weighed only seven and a half stone, had been trying to get off drugs.
Bagnall had also been found guilty of trying to pervert justice by getting a witness to lie.
Bagnall, a warehouse worker and heroin and crack cocaine addict., was described by Judge Rowlands as “a dangerous and manipulative man with no remorse for the violence inflicted on Mr Edwards that night”.
The murder involved “an explosive loss of temper”.