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Back in the bad old days, when I smoked, I used lighters. I always hated the design of the horrid plastic things and remembered all those war films on Sunday afternoons where they'd light up with a click and a snap. So I treated myself to a Zippo. Zippos are an American brand of lighter, and at the outbreak of WW2 were made of Brass. When the US were finally forced to join the war after Pearl Harbour two years later, the Zippo corporation dedicated all lighter manufacturing to the armed forces. Brass going towards the manufacture of munitions casing, they switched to steel instead. The design of Zippos is very simple. You have a case within a case, The outer shell protects the inner case. The inner case contains a fibre called Rayon which absorbs liquid, in this case, lighter fluid. It also houses a spring which positions a flint against a thumb operated sparking wheel. Thumb the wheel, friction causes sparks and the wick in a wind-resistant chimney catches fire. All parts are replaceable. The flint is the part that will most frequently need replacing, followed by the wick. An average can of lighter fluid will last quite some time. Here's a must know tip about Zippos. Never, ever overfill them. They will leak. Best case, you thumb the wheel and the whole top of the lighter bursts into flames. Worst case, you will end up smelling of meths and may have a burn on your leg caused by the slightly caustic lighter fluid. Always put a measured amount of fluid into the rayon. You don't want it wet, just damp. Zippos have a classic cool appeal to them. If brass is not your thing, steel may well be. Both metal cases engrave well, and there are hundreds of designs to choose from. I chose JD's because I was, and still am, an avid fan of their product. You can order one of these from Amazon for around £25 or 25,000 doo you miles. With the consistent loss of smokers in the first world, Zippo has started to produce other products as well, one of the more interesting one being a hand warmer that I will probably buy for a tenner.
I was given my Jack Daniels Brass Lighter as a gift from my other half this last Christmas. I love to collect lighters of different designs and I am always on the lookout for them. I keep many of them inside my glass display cabinet in the spare room where nosey little fingers do not often venture unaccompanied. I particularly like this Jack Daniels lighter because I really do love the JD design and logo which is very intricate and well made on the sides of the lighter. It looks good and whenever I have used it someone has commented on it. We do not smoke in our house but we use lighters on November 5th for the firework displays and for lighting josticks and candles in the house when we get the little lad has gone off to bed and off to sleep. I also love this lighter because it is such a quality product and it feels solid, heavy and very durable. It has the capacity to take a replacement flint, though I have not needed to do this as yet. It is refillable but again I have not had to do this as it is not really used that much, but more of a display lighter and takes first place in my collection. It's heavy, it's solid and it's good looking - and you certainly wouldn't want to be dropping on your toe! I particularly like the fact that it opens so smoothly and the hinge moves and glides well. It is windproof and I can vouch this is so because I have used it to light fireworks in our garden on a very windy Bonfire Night! The whole thing is clearly well made and the hinge is good and strong. It is great to look at and fantastic to use and a real eye catcher of a lighter and I would recommend it.
Zippo is often praised as being the company which makes the best lighters in the world. The company was formed in the early 1930's in the USA and Zippo lighters remain highly collectable yet useable today. I bought the lighter as a collectable which could be used if ever I needed to light candles, the gas cooker or fireworks in the garden. I do not smoke and never will but the lighter has come in handy around the house. The lighter was superb value for money and very easy to use. Appearance The main reason behind buying the product was the collectable Jack Daniels Whiskey design to the front of the product. The product is made from brass which gives the lighter a good weight and solid build quality. The front of the product is quite rough and dull, with a lovely JD design engraved into the front. The product reads "JACK DANIEL'S", with an "Old No. 7 Brand" logo in a circle, leading down to the text "Tennessee Whiskey" which is again, all engraved up from the brass. The product features swirls of rope around the outside of this which give it a great classic finish. There is a small hinge to the left of the product and the rest of the product has a shinier form of brass finish compared to the rougher front design. The product has a wheel of flint which serves as the means for ignition and I've found it simple and reliable to use. The product with the lid down is a rectangular shape although the corners of the product are smooth and slightly curved. There is a windhood component which covers the flint system and is supposed to make the lighter windproof although I've never used the product in windy conditions outside. The product was delivered in its own Zippo box which was a great finishing touch. Ease of Use The product is very easy to use as a lighter. The flint wheel system is easy to turn, the lid lifts very smoothly with the hinge and the flame has the added protection of having a windhood in case of windy conditions. The product has a replaceable flint should it cease working and the product is refillable with a fuel/combustible should it ever run empty, all of these supplies readily available on Amazon UK. Durability Zippo put out a lifetime guarantee on their products as they are often acknowledged to produce the best lighters in the world. The build quality is strong and reliable, the hinge is strong, the flint is replaceable and the fuel is refillable, so I can see this product lasting a very, very long time. I've saw replaceable flints, fuel and wicks in a package on Amazon UK for only £3.58. I've encountered absolutely no problems with the lighter and have only used it sparingly for fireworks, candles, gas cooker etc. If you take care of the product I could see no reason as to why this product could not last a lifetime, a superb brass build and a lifetime guarantee from Zippo! Pricing The lighter itself was £19.08 which I bought on Amazon UK as it had a RRP of about £35. In my opinion the lighter was a bargain at only £19.08 as it was made by Zippo, was windproof, reliable, had a lifetime guarantee and replaceable components were cheap to buy online. The lighter is a lot more expensive than the cheap plastic lighters you can buy from the poundshop for £1, but since I don't smoke and never ever will, I wanted the lighter for collectible purposes and the occasional lighting of candles. To get such a collectible and attractive product for under £20 was superb in my opinion and great value for money. Conclusion To conclude, I cannot find any faults with the product but if your wanting a cheap disposable lighter then look away. The Zippo JD lighter has a superb quality finish, nice weight and solid build, reliable flint ignition system which operates on a wheel, is very collectible by people, comes in a lovely display box and all of the replaceable components are dirt cheap to buy online from Amazon too. Couple this with a lifetime guarantee by Zippo and very good durability, then I think my investment of the JD Zippo Brass lighter was brilliant. I've not looked back since and anyone interested in Jack Daniel's Whiskey or Zippo collectible lighters would be hard pressed to find a more suitable and well made product. To put it simply, a superb product. Thanks for reading my review. Revo9 (2011) *Note, I am both a member of Ciao and Dooyoo.co.uk under the same username of Revo9*