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George G Blaisedell founded the Zippo Manufacturing company in 1932 after being inspired by a Austrian lighter which had a similar design, this led to the first zippo lighter being produced in early 1933.
There are several different Materials used to make Zippo lighters some of the more popular are Brass, silver, Chrome and Gold.The main functions of a zippo lighter were to light cigarettes but in more modern times they can be used for several different purposes.
The Iconic Zippo shape and style have not changed much since they were first made, slight variations In shape have occurred like making the lighter less angular and box shaped to being more rounded on the top of the lid.
The classic zippo design is just the perfect size in my opinion, it's small enough just to put in your pocket or throw into a bag, it fits perfectly In your hands and it is very easy use, just pop the lid hear the click and strike the flint wheel, fire!
As a avid collector of Zippo lighters Im really accustomed to the way they work and such this enables me to take great care of my collection, new zippo users should be aware that zippos need cleaning and some of the parts need changing over time. For a start the fluid needs changing more regularly than a standard lighter, this depends on the amount you use it but a approximate length of time would be 2 weeks, the wicks and flints also need replacing every once in a while too but this would be maybe twice a year or so.
This isn't really a hard process but some people aren't aware of this before purchasing.
The price of a Zippo lighter depends on which style you decide to buy, plain chrome or brass zippos start at around £15.00, but some of the more detailed zippos can go for around the £30.00 to £50.00 mark, even more for specialised designs or the limited edition lighters zippo produce.
Zippos are highly collectible across the world,meaning prices can fluctuate from piece to piece, on used lighters the price is what someone is willing to pay. There are lighters that have sold for over £10,000 to private collectors.
The Zippo lighter is really a once in a lifetime product, meaning that it is a well made substantial product, it's not easy to break one but if you do, zippo have a ' it works or we fix it for free' policy. Zippo claim that they have yet to charge a cent for repair of a lighter since 1932.
The price really reflects the workmanship and care the company takes over its products, I believe that although you pay more for one, you get what you pay for. Don't lose it and you will have it for a lifetime.
I have been using Zippo lighters for over 15 years and I can honestly say without any doubt that they are the best lighter out there, what other lighter gives you a fix it for free guarantee? What other company delivers such a nice looking lighter with great workmanship? Zippo are so good I now own over 70 of the beauties.
I believe the versatility of the zippo lighter is amazing, I used to smoke cigarettes on a regular basis, I don't anymore but I always carry around my Zippo lighter, I use it when I go camping to light fires, I use it to light candles, stoves and sometimes I light other peoples cigarettes.
Oh and one more thing, Zippos are windproof, perfect for when your in a blizzard trying to make fire.
In my opinion Zippos are the best thing since sliced bread, if your on the hunt for a present for yourself or someone else, buy a Zippo you won't regret it, and you can even get them personalised.
Zippo are the ultimate lighter producers and have been making these iconic little wonders for years.
The design is really clever, but rather simple, that's not a bad thing though. Sometime simple is the best!
Basically, the lighter contains a resevoir where you place fuel, that is soaked up by cotton wool and a wick, which carries it to the top/lid part. This can then be ignited with the little flint that sits right next to the fuel soaked wick.
The lid is the part that extinguishes the flame when needed, just by suffocating it.
The build quality of these lighters is exceptional. The lighters are rather heavy for what they are and are usualy made out of brass. They have 2 parts. The case with the lid and the insert. This is where all the workings are.
The insert, litteraly just inserts into the lighter case itself and there you go.
The other great thing about Zippo lighters is the fact that they all come with a lifetime garuntee. If the lighter is faulty at any point and it isn't your fault, you just send the lighter back to Zippo and they will fix/replace it and ship it back to you.
You are responsible for paying for the lighter to get to Zippo itself, but they will pay the return shipping.
These are a fantastic alternative to the chaep plastic lighters and I use mine all the time to light the rayburn/light my handwarmer.
They are brilliant and they look cool too!
There are 3 smokers in my house and all of us use a Zippo lighter and can't imagine ever going back to buying cheap throw away lighters.
Even when out and about they are fantastic as they don't get blown out in the wind - although the flame does get blown about which can make using it a little bit of a challenge. However this is still better than most types of lighters which won't even stay lit.
I have had mine for a couple of years yet and the only maintenance it has needed are to replace the fluid and the flints - both of which were very easy to do. I have found it needs refilling about every week or so but as I found lighter fluid fairly cheaply at my local weekly market I am not too worried about this.
Zippo offer a lifetime guarantee on all their lighters which means if anything goes wrong you simply return it to them, they repair it and send it back to you. I have been lucky and have not needed to use this service but my daughter had a problem with hers. She had bought a lighter with a gecko picture on the front and this soon started to peel away. She emailed Zippo with the problem, including pictures of the lighter, and they sent her a new one which arrived about 4 days later. To say I was impressed with the service would be an understatement. I don't expect them to always send new ones out like that but their prompt service speaks volumes.
The other Zippos in the house include the one I own which has a zip picture on the front and my husband's who has the Jack Daniels motif. The Jack Daniels lighter is a little heavier than most Zippos which gives it a really sturdy, high quality feel to it. Mine has had much use and whilst I am very careful about not losing it, I do always take it wherever I go as it is so reliable.
There are so many designs now available and with prices starting at under £10 from Amazon you can't go wrong. Whether it is bought for personal use or a gift for someone, you are bound to find a design that suits you and a quality product.
On my twentieth birthday I'd been with Mark for around a year and (unknown to me) he'd spent a lot of time browsing around for a special birthday present for me. I woke up on the morning to a pile of pressies, but this gorgeous Zippo lighter is the only thing that remains to this day - fifteen years later.
It is the Venetian Chrome design and came in a beautifully designed gift box, I'd never had a Zippo before but my dad used to collect older designs so I was well aware that this isn't your usual standard lighter. This lighter, believe it or not, ranks as one of my favourite possessions and would definitely be something I'd want to save if my house burned down - not merely because it's a Zippo (I have several now) but because it was the first real token of affection that Mark bought me.
It is a beautiful silver, still shiny after all these years with a stunning floral filigree design across the back and front of the lighter. The sides and edges do not have the pattern which really makes it stand out beautifully, if Zippo had completely covered it with the design it would have looked far too busy - but then Zippo (master lighter makers) know this already and are admired across the world for their understated yet very classy features.
On the front of this lighter is a small chrome panel which is there for engraving, Mark had my name engraved here at our local jewellers as well as a short message on one of the plain edges where he wishes me a happy birthday and tells me he loves me. Which seems incredibly puke-inducing now but as a romantic twenty year old I was thrilled! He tells me that when he bought this lighter the jeweller said this is one of the best Zippo designs for engraving due to the fact that the delicate wording stands out so nicely against the stunning patterns on either side of the lighter.
As is the case with all Zippo lighters I've come across, the quality of it is super. I don't actually use this one often as I'm terrified of losing it, it never leaves the house and is kept in my jewellery box instead of sitting next to my fags. This is purely for sentimental reasons, it works as well as any other Zippo but I want to keep it in pristine condition as a reminder of the early days of our relationship.
I have never had to have any work done on the lighter, other than replacing the flint a couple of times and also having the cotton wadding put back in after the screw that holds it in place failed. This job was done at the jewellers, although I could have taken advantage of Zippo's lifetime guarantee and sent the lighter back to the US to be repaired - again, the worry of it being lost in the post put me off so I was more than happy to pay the few quid charged by the jeweller. That's the beauty of Zippo, most minor repairs can be undertaken cheaply by any reputable jeweller instead of going to the bother of sending it back.
The wheel and inner casing are still in immaculate condition, which is amazing after fifteen years as although this isn't my most used lighter it has still been lit a huge amount of times over the years. The inner chunk (the actual lighter part) slides smoothly in and out of the case, there's a small amount of grittiness about it but this isn't a problem as it needs to be a tight fit in order to prevent the petrol evaporating too quickly. The Zippo logo is embossed into the inner casing, which is the only way to tell sometimes that you are buying an official product rather than one of the excellent (but inferior) replicas that are available now.
This lighter is also available with a brass finish, I've seen this one and personally thought it looked a bit cheap compared to this chrome version.
When Mark bought this lighter it was almost £30, but has since roughly halved in price and is now available on Amazon for £14.35 which in my opinion is a bargain. A cheap throwaway lighter is £1 now so over the years I've owned this I've definitely saved more than Mark paid just in plastic lighters which tend to last two weeks at the most.
Have been given a zippo lighter just after buying a cheaper version of one. The good thing about that zippo is it does as you expect. The flame does not go out in the wind, it becomes hard to catch with whatever you are trying to light, but it does not go out.
The amount of fluid that the lighter hold lasts a long time when using the lighter for 'normal' use.
The guarantee which zippo provide with each lighter means that it is the only lighter you will need, but if you do not want to send your lighter to America you are able to take it to zippo approved retailers, some of which are able to replace the inside of the ligher for a minimal charge, somewhere in the region of £5.
I think that the Zippo lighter is a very good investment if you use lighters a lot. It is easy to use and refill.
And they look cool
Zippo Brushed Chrome Lighter
Me and my partner both being quite heavy smokers our selfs, we do tend to get through quite a few lighters! Normally we use disposable lighters from, say, the pound shop etc., but recently we have started using Zippo lighters. We both have our own, mine being this brushed chrome one his being a brass coloured one. Though we could have probably shared one, being at each others throats everytime we need a fag and your other half has stolen the lighter ... it isn't good for relationships! So last Christmas we each brought each other one of these babys. Here are my experiences with the chrome one so far:
Lets face it, there isn't really that much for a lighter to do ... except light up a fag! It would be pretty amazing if it let you watch a dvd at the same time, but I am afraid it doesn't. It lights up ciggeretes well though and I usaully only have to hold it up to the fag and flick it once. Then it normally lights the fag and I can begin smoking it!
5/5 stars because it lights the fags - more than some of the disposable lighters used to do!
Ease Of Use
And again, not really much for it to do, to be honest! The flip top lid cover opens easy enough and once you have opened it, it isn't hard to work out what to do! You simply flick it and Bobs your Uncle, you've got a little flame right in front of your eyes!
5/5 stars as it is as simple as a disposable lighter to use and to light!
This is the only downside of the Zippo lighter really. As I am a heavy smoke, as mentioned above, I use my lighter nearly just as much as my other half does. And about once every 2 weeks we have to fill them up. Also, if you don't use it for a while it dries up inside and you have no choice but to refill it. I know this for a fact as I did lose my lighter for about a week (don't even ask how!) and when I eventually found it, it was as dry as a bone. Though refilling it is just as easy as any other lighter, it is a bit of a pain. Espically when you are dying for a fag just to come out to the kitchen and find it all dried up or empty!
So 4/5 stars for refilling. It's the same as any other lighter really as they all need refilling at one time or another! It has more juice in it than most refillable lighters though, so it is mostly pluses for Zippo.
This was one of the main things I was worried about to be honest. Though my kids have grown up a bit now and know not to play with lighters, I regulary have my friends kids over at my house. They however are still quite little! But one huge plus I have found for the Zippo chrome lighter (and the brass lighter) is that children struggle to open it. I once found my friends little girl trying desperatly hard to open the flip top lid, and failing! This was really good for me as I knew she wouldn't be able to open it for at least a few years! This also means that a baby can't grab it and be transfixed by the flame! Another good thing is that, although it has never happened to me, I do sometimes worry if a dispoable lighter (with no lid) will somehow spark inside my handbag. I know they need some air and so on to spark, it doesn't stop me worrying! But I can stop with the Zippo lighter as it has a lid, therefore that couldn't ever happen!
6/5 stars for the safety ... who could ask for more?!
When it is rolling around in my handbag it does tend to come into contact with some things that do make it a tad dirty. And holding a sticky lighter isn't nice at all, I can tell you! But I simply get some warmish water and a cloth and wipe all around the outside of the ligter. I'm not sure if you are acutally meant to or not, but I do it quite often and I havn't caught fire yet! So it is pretty easy to clean as well.
5/5 stars as the sticky stuff (still not actually sure what that was!) and all the muck it gathers in my handbag normally just flies off!
When you actually feel the lighter in your hand, it isn't as heavy as it looks. It isn't really light, I'm not saying that, but it isn't as solid as it seems. However, it is very tough and has been through constant punishment with me and my family! It could be dropping it, or stepping on it ... it puts up with everything! As far as I can see, except for the little scratch here and there, it is actually in superb condition! It being silver, it should show up marks quite badly, but I can't see any.
5/5 stars for the durability as it seems very hard wearing. I greatly hope it will last for years to come!
To be honest, there isn't a user manual at all. However, I thought I would include this as if you ever have any trouble with the lighter, there are many, many different sites with instructions to help you with just about anything! There is probably even one explaining how to light a fag!
5/5 stars as they help you with everything.
Though I'm not sure how much Mark (my other half) did pay for this, I think I remember paying around 10 to 12 pounds for his. From just looking it up on Amazon I see that it is avalible for £9.99. Though they cost a tad more, there are also ones with different pictures on. One with england on, another with a golfer and even one that says "I Love London!". The Lighter itself is definetly worth the money and I would strongly recommend it, not if you don't smoke though of course! It is a perfect lighter that will stay with you for years to come!
Thanks for reading! Hope I've helped :) x
Review of the Zippo Lighter.
Zippo lighters have been around for many years and are renowned for being sturdy, durable lighters. The box-like styling is very traditional and functional in appearance.
I have owned my brushed chrome Zippo for about 4 years now and overall, have been pleased with it. It was purchased for me as a gift. I am a smoker and usually use cheap, disposable gas lighters. The drawback with these is that the flint part often wears out before the lighter fuel is finished and is impossible to replace, leaving a frantic, frustrated smoker struggling to light up!
To avoid the foul language and temper tantrums that this scenario can cause, my non-smoking other half bought me the Zippo.
~~**The Zippo In Use, Price and Maintenance**~~
I am not going to insult readers intelligence by getting into a lecture on smoking, lighters and keeping them away from children. Suffice to say, I am sure anyone capable of reading this knows that smoking is bad for you and lighters can be dangerous to old and young alike!
The Zippo lighter is a roughly oblong shape. It consists of a flip up, hinged lid which then reveals the mechanism, a wheel which you spin to create a spark, which in turn ignites the fuel, to produce a flame. To douse the flame, simply close the lid which obviously cuts off the air supply, putting out the flame.
I have found that the Zippo lights well even in windy conditions and is a handy thing to have even for non smokers. These lighters are great to take with you on camping trips and for lighting candles indoors.
Maintenance of the Zippo lighter is easy. Flints do require renewing every so often, it is impossible to say how often as of course this depends on usage! To replace a flint, simply remove the small screw over the flint housing, tap the lighter gently to remove any residue of the old flint and slide a fresh flint into place. Flints can be purchased from most cigarette kiosks in supermarkets.
Refuelling the lighter is easy too, simply slide off the bottom section of the chrome housing, turn upside down and squeeze the fuel into the wadding until damp. Do not over fill as this will cause spillage, which WILL ignite when you strike up the lighter!
The lighter is quite chunky, but does not weigh as much as you might think it would. I would say that is is about twice the weight of a disposable lighter. The size is around 2 ½ ins x 1 ½ ins. Zippo do make these lighters in a variety of designs and the price can vary according to where you buy. Mine was a present, so I am unsure exactly how much it cost, but a quick web search brought up prices of around £8 - £10 for the basic brushed chrome finish Zippo, Amazon being one of the cheapest retailers.
For the purposes of this review I have been studying my lighter and I cannot see where it was made anywhere on the casing. This may of course, be due to the age, wear and tear and so on
~~**My Thoughts and Conclusion**~~
As mentioned, I have owned my Zippo lighter for several years now. The brushed chrome casing still looks good, it does have a few 'battle scars' from being dropped, bounced around in my bag and pockets. I do like the lighter but do not use it regularly any longer.
The main reason for this is that I am a little uncomfortable about using a petrol fuelled lighter. I am sure that it is safe, but I am not that keen on carrying something containing petrol on my person. My secondary reason is that I was finding it increasingly difficult to buy lighter petrol in my area. I used to get it from the cigarette booth in my usual supermarket, but they stopped stocking it. I did find some in the local 'Pound shop' but it was not particularly effective as it seemed to dry out very quickly.
This and the safety issue has meant that my Zippo is languishing in the back of a drawer more often than not. However, I was recently at a boot fair and spotted some branded lighter fuel for sale and I bought some, so I must get around to giving the Zippo another go!
I am actually pondering as to whether I would recommend this lighter to other consumers. I think the answer has to be 'yes', as the lighter is easy to use, easy to maintain and is very sturdily made. I am awarding the Zippo Brushed Chrome lighter a 4* rating in view of the difficulty I have had with locating fuel and the safety issues of carrying a petrol fuelled lighter.
Thank you for reading
©brittle1906 December 2011
N.B. My reviews may be found on other sites under the same user name.
I don't smoke, never have done, never will but my dad smoked from about the age of 13. Thankfully he has given up now but back in the day he always had a zippo lighter with him. I remember being fascinated by these as a kid and loved to watch his smoke plumes go up in the air whilst sitting next to him. This was before the days when everything got politically correct and you weren't meant to smoke around kids, in restaurants, in airplanes etc. This probably explains my bad asthma but hey, never mind.
A zippo lighter is a refillable, metal lighter manufactured by Zippo Manufacturing Company of Bradford, Pennsylvania, U.S. According to an article I read, George G. Blaisdell founded Zippo Manufacturing Company in 1932, and produced the first Zippo lighter in early 1933, being inspired by an Austrian cigarette lighter of similar design. It got its name because Blaisdell liked the sound of the word "zipper" and "zippo" sounded more modern.
I remember always being excited about lighting my dads cigarette for him. In order to do this with a zippo lighter you flip the lid, which was always the fun part, and then pull back on the little wheel which made a spark and then it lights the wick inside the lighter. The flame will then go out once you flip the lid back on. This was the fun part also, flipping the lid back and forth, often to the annoyance of my father! Apparently in the same article I read, this is the best way to distinguish the flame as Zippos are known as, ""windproof" lighters and are able to stay lit in harsh weather, due to the design of the windscreen and adequate rate of fuel delivery. A consequence of the windproofing is that it is hard to extinguish a Zippo by blowing out the flame. However, if the flame is blown from the top down, it will be easily extinguished." Interesting stuff, huh!
The lighter takes lighter fluid which you buy separately and fill up although as I was never allowed to do this dangerous part I can't comment on how it works. The lighter seemed to last quite a while but I'm sure it must have been annoying having to fill it up now and again.
Zippos come with all different designs and suit tastes of all, from sparkly ones for girls to Playboy ones for boys, a truly iconic lighter.
Zippos have been around for decades, and although they seem to be a lot more frequent in films than they are in real life, these lighters are the best option to go for and I'll explain why.
To refill the lighter, you need to take the main part out of the case and pour you're lighter fluid/petrol into the cotton at the bottom (there's often a hole to pour it in) and place it back. Sometimes I've poured litres (exaggeration) of fluid and it's only produced a tiny flame, other times I've been greeted by the towering inferno but despite this my lighter has always returned back to it's standard sized flame before long, just try to watch how much you put in. How often you need to refill your lighter largely depends on how often you use it, but once every three days should be enough for the regular smoker.
Although Zippos can be expensive, sometimes £40 or even more if you have it engraved, they are a good investment as a long as you can get hold of lighter fluid and flints, you're zippo will never stop working. On the minus side, changing flints cant sometimes by tricky as they are very small and the silver Zippos can get scratched pretty easily, ruining the way it looks. Also, if you have a roll up or joint (of legal herb) high zippo flames can seriously hinder you smoke, making it burn down to fast or sideburn within a second, but you can get use to the technique to stop this happening. However, Zippos have more elegance than disposables or clippers, the flame emitted is a lot more weather-resistant and will obviously last several times longer than both of them put together, so if you smoke somewhat regularly buy a Zippo, especially if you can get one cheap.
I have had a Zippo lighter now for a number of years but the majority of the time it will stay in the house for fear of loosing it.
It was given to me by my Dad who although didn't approve of my awful smoking habit did like to treat me to things so I was presented with this authentic Zippo in a lovely black box.
The Zippo lighter is silver and has a nice pattern engraved onto the outside. It has a good heavy weight and the prices of these lighters differ greatly depending on what material they are made from and what engravings/pictures are on them. The cheapest ones you can probably pick up for under £5 but the prices can sore to great prices if you wanted to spend a ton of money on a lighter.
The Zippo lighter is a good choice when purchasing a lighter because really it is something that could last a lifetime. They have a flip lid which is easy to get on and off quickly and the flame is a thick one which doesn't blow out very easily in the wind.
They are refillable with lighter fluid and this can be bought for around £1 per good sized can. The flints will also need replacing from time to time and this is done just as easily as the gas is although a small screw will need to put removed in the inside of the lighter and flint popped in. The lighter fluid is literally just squirted on to a woollen type inside of the lighter and a good soaking of this material will ensure the lighter is good for use for many times.
The Zippo lighter is good because it means you don't have to by a lot of lighters that will get thrown into land fill and take goodness known how long to disintegrate (if ever). It can also look a lot nicer than using a cheap brightly coloured plastic lighter and the flame you get when using it is a good reliable one too.
The only downsides are the fact that I hate taking it out just in case I loose the thing or that someone pinches it! Also it is rather heavy and bulky so does take up more room than a cheap disposable one would do.
Overall though, I do think they are great lighters and work and look good. It is not the sort of thing that you would continue to buy if you lost but perhaps for a special present or a nice treat they are worth a look.
I think a 4 out of 5 star rating and a high recommendation is in order for the Zippo Lighter.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you.
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
I have been a smoker for several years but have always loved zippo lighters.
Zippos are made to an incredibly high level with attention to detail and quality being amazing. There are thousands and thousands of different designs out there, some very common (most usually the plain silver) to some which are very rare and worth a lot of money. The lighters make great presents and you are also able to have them engraved which is very nice. I recommend these as gifts even for non smokers.
I have a collection of around 7 or 8, each costing around £30. The lighters are all refillable which is good and you are able to replace the flint also. They all come with life time guarantees which shows the quality of them. The lighter itself is windproof which is very good for smokers.
Most of the lighters are fuel however there is a new range of gas Zippos which burns a lot hotter.
Zippos have been around for decades and are without a doubt the most trusted and respected lighter company there is.
Zippos are more than just plain lighters, they are collectors items, an things that can be kept and used for life.
As far as lighters go, the Zippo is probably the most well-known iconic brand. There are so many different designs which make it a popular choice for gifts and souvenirs, in addition to be a fashionable item to own, but they don't come cheap.
Zippo was born in 1932 as a product of the Zippo Manufacturing Company, patented in 1936. It secured a popular image and fan base amongst the military and gained credit from advertising in the 1960s, and has since remained a classic lighter.
Initially, Zippos were dated by dots so you could identify the year of manufacture. This changed to slashes, then letters and Roman numerals, and later to Arabic numbers. This was obviously a good idea since Zippos have been around for decades, produced in so many different designs and have become collectors' items thanks to special productions and anniversary additions such as the 1992 60th anniversary edition.
Zippo was unique at its time of creation for being a reliable, refillable and windproof lighter. It's rectangular shape, which is wide and solid due to being cast in metal, makes it durable and easy to fashion via logos and designs on the front.
Over the years the Zippo range has expanded both in terms of visual designs (eg. Film & brand names, British & American versions, Jack Daniels, Playboy, collectors' specials etc), it's overall appearance (such as classic & slimline) and purpose. The latter has been developed with the introduction of Multi-Purpose lighters in 2002 and the outdoor utilities lighters that were released later in 2005.
Although these retain a strong association with the military, I would argue these have become extremely fashionable within everyday society. Because of the vast range of designs, there's something to cater for everyone and so many brands & themes bear a logo on a Zippo.
Because of their popularity, they're relatively easy to come across in markets, gift stores, some jewellers and specialist stores, and several internet sites etc, but the price tag is usually around £25-30 for the standard zippo. You also need to be weary of copycat items, especially on the Internet, so ensure you're buying the genuine thing from a trustworthy place.
I've bought one before as a present, which I got engraved to personalise it, so I would rate them highly in terms of their designs and customisation. In terms of their actual use, once new the flint and thumb-roller mechanism are sturdy and strong, making it feel like a durable lighter rather than something with a flimsy mechanism.
To hold it, it feels sturdy and of good quality, though a little bulky if you're used to lightweight refillable or disposable lighters. Most genuine Zippos come with a guarantee I believe, so if anything should go wrong then you have some back up, which is reassuring considering you could end up paying upwards of £30 for one.
In terms of ease of use, they can take a bit of getting used to if you don't normally use a thumb-roll mechanism, plus it's a relatively sturdy one which means you often need to apply more pressure. Refilling is quite straightforward and easy to do as with any other refillable lighter, and the fluid can be bought fairly cheaply so you can rest assured that your Zippo should last you a while.
Overall I would recommend the Zippo as a present or as a special lighter for yourself, though it's not one I would want to use on an everyday basis due in part to its size and weight, and it's price.
Ah, the classic chrome Zippo lighter. I got mine by accident one New Years Eve on my walk home I caught sight of a small shiny object in the snow reflecting a street light. Once I actually realised what it was I was ecstatic as I was a school kid with not much money and I knew it was worth a few quid.
As a part time / social smoker, at the time, I always remember the amazement of my friends when I pulled out the shiny metal case at the pub. It always went down well and on a practical note it never failed to light. I would go so far as to say it was a bit of a status symbol more than an actual lighter.
From the moment when I first used my found lighter to now I have been a fan of the classic Zippo lighter style even though I have now completely stopped smoking. I still buy them for my smoker friends and get an enormous amount of pleasure when you see the persons face when they open it up.
Three minor negatives about this lighter are:
1) You will forever be trying to wipe peoples finger prints off it.
2) You will forever be trying to get it back as people have a tendency to use it and then put it in their pockets and walk off.
3) You will forever be offering people lights just to get the pleasure of opening it up and flicking it on.
This is a great lighter and everyone should have one.
The ZIPPO Manufacturing Company was established in 1932 Bradford, PA by George Blaisdell who decided to design a lighter based around an Australian lighter and decided to call it a "Zippo" because he liked the word "Zipper" and he thought that Zippo was the best variation because it sounded modern. the first Zippo's cost $1.95 each.
Now you have heard about the history of zippo, here's some information about the lighter itself.
Forget your usual, basic, boring disposable lighters. Zippo are one of a kind.
Zippo's are in a rectangular casing (sometimes with a design on)with a hinged lid making up the top third of the case. when the lid is opened you will see a "chimney" and a flint wheel. when you recive your Zippo it will NOT contain any fuel or a flint, so you will have to fill it my removing the casing and you will be left with the insert. on the bottom of the insert there is a felt pad held in place by a screw, lift the felt pad and pour fuel onto the cotton for 5 seconds, wait a few seconds for it to soak it up then pour fule onto it again for another 5 seconds then replace the felt pad and put the insert back in the case.
To put in/replace a flint you must remove the insert from the case, remove the screw, spring and spacer and tap it on a hard surface to make sure no flint is stuck in the tube. put a new flint in the tube and replace the spacer, spring and screw.
now you have put in a flint and filled it with fuel it is ready to use. to ignite all you need to do is strike the flint wheel with your thumb and it will usualy light first time.
Once or twice a year you may have to pull the wick up and cut off the part that has become black form carbon. it usualy takes years to use a whole genuine Zippo wick but if you do need to replace the wick, all you have to do is take the inset out of the case, remove the felt pad, remove the cotton balls ans thread a new wick through the hole in the chimney until it is level with the top then replace the cotton balls one by one whilst consertinering the wick each time tou put a cotton ball in.
If ever you Zippo breaks all you ned to do is send it off to zippo and they will repair/replace it for you free of charge. Zippo has not sent a lighter back unrepaired and has not demanded a penny for a repair
Although using disposable lighters to ignite your smoke of choice is cheap, I have to admit they aren't particularly classy, and whether we want to admit it or not, there is an image to smoking.
I myself have three zippo lighters, a silver one, a Jack Daniels brass one, and another silver one with a black widow façade on the front: an ancient travelling buddy from my days in Poland. The first thing that strikes you about a zippo is the quality of the construction, despite being made from three simple parts: the outer casing, inner casing, and lid. They are perfectly weighted and fit comfortably in your hand, and the lid and sparking mechanisms are a work of genius. They are sturdy, windproof, and give you a 'I may die of cancer, but I'm damn well gonna look good doing it' look when you light up. And of course, there's the infamous zippo tricks. The only one I ever mastered was the 'finger click trick,' where you snap your fingers close enough to the flint-wheel ignition to spark the lighter. Unfortunately I have the hand-eye coordination of a lobotomised goldfish, so that's probably as far as I'll get.
Zippo lighters are incredibly durable and long lasting. You often hear tales of old navy recruits who've had the same lighter for several decades, and to be honest I completely believe it. Apart from occasionally having to change the flint, the petrol and wick, all of which are easy tasks, the lighter needs no other maintenance. On the downside they are quite expensive, usually settling between £20-30, but you certainly get what you pay for. Refilling them, something that has to be done about every fortnight depending upon how much you use your lighter, can also be quite a performance. Although putting the fuel in is easy, it can be quite messy, so be sure to wipe any excess fluid from the lighter or your hands before you use the zippo again. To be honest I've lost count of the amount of times I've set my hand on fire.
All in all a zippo lighter is a must have for any smoker. They're windproof, long lasting, and dare I say it, cool as hell.