Introduction: Zippo Tricks Number Two.

Picture of Zippo Tricks Number Two.
Even more ways to impress or confuse mates.

So this is a follow-up to my original instructable on Zippo tricks, Basic Zippo Tricks

If you've been looking at these wishing your Zippo was up and running then check out my 'ible on Reflinting and Rewicking a Zippo.

This one will cover some more tricks and little things, some a little more difficult and some new takes on previously covered ones.

As with last time I've added a short video on the first and last step to give a visual run-down of all the tricks...

On we go anyway...

Step 1: Slapping Open.

Picture of Slapping Open.

The way this trick works is very similar to the way slapping your wrist to close the Zippo works except you're opening it.

I'll do this with right handed instructions, though if you swap all the rights and lefts about the instructions are the same, it's just a mirror image.

There are two ways to open the Zippo doing this.

Hold the lighter as you would normally, hinge facing away from your wrist, towards the slapping hand.

Now the first way is to bring your hand down while the left comes up and hits the bottom of your hand where the Zippo is, it should simply swing open, if you're having trouble try hitting your hand in a slightly different spot or angle, it needs to be thereabouts parallel to the motion of the lid...

The second way can be a little trickier but is essentially the same, except you hold the lighter up as normal and hit your wrist with the other hand, the reason this one can be harder is that it's instinct to swing your hands together and beyond that there's less momentum involved.

Step 2: Palm Squeeze

Picture of Palm Squeeze

This one takes a little care and co-ordination until you get the hang of it.

Take your Zippo-ing hand, pinch the top corner just above the hinge in between your index and thumb, hinge facing up.

Now your middle finger should push on the top corner of the lighter on the opposite side from the hinge, if you're having trouble take a look at the photos, to make sure you have it right because it's not that easy to explain.

Now push the lighter in with your middle finger allowing it to catch on the webbing of your fingers, with this one pressure isn't the key, it's more about getting a continuing motion, plus with a lot of pressure the tendons in between thumb and forefinger hurt a lot while teaching this to someone.

Once you get this it's a pretty nifty way to hand someone a light, though take the time to practice, a friend tried this and managed to nip his hand and bleed over the girl he tried to impress, the fact he managed to get it wrong that badly was impressive in itself though...

Step 3: Squeeze Reversed...

Picture of Squeeze Reversed...

So if you remember the squeeze...

doing this is very similar to the standard squeeze the lid faces inwards.

So take the lighter, hinge facing in towards your wrist.

Index and middle finger go on top of the lighter and the thumb goes on the bottom.

Try squeezing a bit to get a feel for when the lighters about to flip over.

Once you get a feel squeeze hard in one fast motion, the lighter flips into your awaiting fingers while popping open like some kind of petrol fuelled ladybug.

This one isn't much trickier than the normal squeeze, just slightly different in feel.

Step 4: Now Invert It.

Picture of Now Invert It.

Now the squeeze inverted, this is a little harder because your fingers have to get from the bottom of the lighter to the lid which is more distance.

Again the motion is basically the same, it usually helps to build a little more tension in your fingers before popping them over, because they have to move pretty fast.

Again, with inverted you can also have inverted reverse squeeze, which is harder to say than do. Again similar actions, start with inverted then turn the hinge towards your wrist and try it that way, it takes a little more getting used to but isn't impossible.

Step 5: The Side Squeeze.

Picture of The Side Squeeze.

This one is a good bit harder but works on the very same principle as the other squeezes.

Either the middle or index finger goes on the top of the lighter at the hinge side corner.

The thumb goes on the the corner diagonally opposite to this.

Choosing which finger is just which ever feels better to you, personally I like using my index finger better.

You bring your finger down to meet your thumb with that same popping over the edge motion and should end up pinching the corner your thumb started at between index and thumb.

Again with this one building a little tension is a good thing, though remember that you're moving diagonally across the lighter and should put the tension that way, otherwise there's a chance you'll either shoot the lighter out of your hand at great speed or just make a fool of yourself.

Step 6: Three Other Ways to Open the Lighter

Picture of Three Other Ways to Open the Lighter

The first of these is simply to click your fingers.

Hold the lighter in one hand, and click your fingers to open it... The tricks to this is similar to clicking your fingers to light it, your clicking (usually middle finger) strikes the top corner opposite the hinge to open it normally by clicking your fingers. You can also have it hit the bottom corner opposite the hinge aswell.

By combining these with clicking your fingers to light the lighter you can have a pretty nice little effect, going on, and just for style you click the finger against the top of the lid while it's open to close it again.

If you're handing it to someone take the lid between your index and middle fingers while making a fist to hold it, a sharp flick of the wrist down to flip it open as they go to take it. This one is a little nifty since you can take it out of a pocket like that easily and makes you seems polite to some extent.

The last way is again just a cool way to hand people a lighter, take it out upside down and as you hand it to someone catch the corner of the lid opposite the hinge on something like the corner of a desk or on the edge of your pocket.

For extra points you can light it as it comes out of your pocket by catching the flintwheel, but this only works if you always spin the wheel that way, otherwise it's almost guaranteed to jam and we don't want to be going around sullying the Zippo name for the sake of silliness do we?


jdtwelve12 (author)2011-07-02

Great 'ible!. My personal favorite Zippo trick is this: Open and light the Zippo with one hand, against one's leg.

1. Hold the closed Zippo with the hinge facing your hand (wheel out).
2. Swing your hand past the side of your leg, first opening the lighter in one direction, and then sparking the wheel on the back-swing.

This can be done standing or sitting.  With practice it can be done with a simple flick of the wrist. Works best with denim or similarly rugged pants material. Not recommended for shorts or bare legs. :)

sharlston (author)2009-06-07

why have you got a posh zippo and a old disposable lighter?

Various reasons... None of which make sense, besides the fact that the Zippo was a present and I occasionally forget to fuel it...

if i used a zippo for say 10 times per day how long would i have to refil it?

cornflaker (author)sharlston2009-12-22

can't tell you exactly, but even if you don't use a zippo the fuel will evaporate by itself in like a week, the little bottles of lighter fluid you buy for them last for ages though

sharlston (author)cornflaker2009-12-24


mazeka.14 (author)2008-12-03

where can you get zipos

Many shops carry them, there are thousands of sites, most tobacco shops carry them, ones that do engravings and similar things are likely to have them...

I just found a web site after I posted this it called it has ZIPPO super cheap.

Good stuff... Sorted then?

Yeah you should check it out it has some zippos for $8

so does and they will engrave it for you ifyou want

Cool! Thanks:-)

yep :)

fallenspirit123 (author)2008-12-12

I have always had some trouble with the palm squeeze, I almost did it my first time! any tips?

Yes!!! i finally got the ide and palm squeeze!!!! you are my pyro!!!

It's a strange one, you always kind of lock up your hand until you get it, then it gets more relaxed and works... Glad you got it and liked the 'ible! Out of question did you watch the first of them?

I watched all of the zippo trick videos you posted its just those two squeezes where giving me a hard time and hardly anyone I knew could explain it well enough

It is explained in the 'ible aswell, do you reckon it needs explain better?

no its just I didn't understand how you get it to flip

Ah ok, I'm just after refilling and rewicking my Zippo which had been out of action for a wee while because I kept forgetting to buy fuel, was a bit rusty on the tricks myself.

lol same here

Sunbanks (author)2008-09-07

I think if I tried any of these the lighter would end up flying out of my hand and hitting someone. People don't like me using lighters around here...

Wafflicious (author)Sunbanks2008-12-04

oo! do it near a mirror then so you can make the broken mirror thing!

Sunbanks (author)Wafflicious2008-12-04

Hehe yeah!

killerjackalope (author)Sunbanks2008-09-08

So you're not to be trusted then... The flying out of hands thing could be a minor issue...

AnarchistAsian (author)2008-09-12

i anticipated more views...

Aye well the last one was featured and got on a few sites, plus it went out in the newsletter, granted it's annoying how many people were asking for another and I gave them it, then I get more people asking for another on the first on despite a few obvious links...

ok that makes sense sorry for the late reply... hurricanes...

Was it bad where you were then? Aye, eventually it'll probably pick up though...

not too bad... there was power outages and water contamination. we were lucky though, in other cities houses were destroyed.

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-09-07

My hinge is way to stiff. I've had it for a year, but I don't use it much so that probably explains it.

Aye they tend to stiffen up quickly when left alone... Well the can of fluid lasts me a few months unless I'm fixing mates aswell and costs £1.20 where as a pint often costs £2.70 here, in England it's cheaper but still better doing tricks to value, also it's better than minimum wage by a few quid...

I use a can a year. (the bigger size). DO you know if I can use coleman camp fuel in it? (naptha or white gas)

White gas would be smokey but I'm pretty sure naptha is alright, if the fuel is volatile and burns clean then that'll probably do you just fine...

Ok, I'll try it in my cheap one before putting it in my zippo

Billy mahony (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-09-10

do not under any circumstances use rubbing alchohol, the flame is ttttoooooooo hot. it heats the wheel too quick, so you get burnt if you try to relight it.

AnarchistAsian (author)2008-09-07

could you add my beer 'ible as a link? like:you could light up one of these to help you with lighting... i don't have many views...

Wouldn't make sense but I'll put it on the end of my opening one, as something to do afterwards, I do like having chains of stuff to creep around sites with...

thanks so much.

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-09-07

Good tricks. I suck at these, but then again I rarely use my lighter. 4.5

Cheers linux, they're pretty easy when you get them, like after the first time it goes right they're much simpler...

Yeah, they get easy once you get it. I need to get more fluid first. Keeping it for when I really need it until I get more.

Ah fair enough, I thought I'd lost a can for a while there, turned up in my bag yesterday...

I find them good timewasters on the bus and all, only problem is I got trapped doing tricks for people for half an hour in the pub because someone saw me pop it open, on the upside black magic = free booze.

1/2 an hour and an ounce of fluid is better than paying for your own. I think I'll actually watch the video now.

pyro13 (author)2008-09-07

Very nice. Mine has isn't loose enough to do that with :P

killerjackalope (author)pyro132008-09-07

If the inner bit isn't slid all the way down it wont flip out nearly as easily, it tends to pop up as you do squeezes aswell...

About This Instructable




Bio: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.
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