Picture of free flints for your zippo!
ever hang out at a bar? know anyone that smokes? have friends who like to light fires for fun and recreation? ever light candles?

you probably know someone who uses a lighter for one reason or another. and most likely that lighter is a disposable butane lighter. there is a flint in every one of these lighters (not piezo electric) that is made to outlast the butane contained therein. why buy flints when you can reuse that spent lighter's flint in your zippo?

here's how to harvest the freebies!!!!

Step 1: No man left behind

Picture of no man left behind
people routinely leave 'dead' lighters at bars and in trash cans all over the world. if you can find one or get a friend to give you one, you have all you need to complete this instructable. i assume you have a zippo or you wouldn't be checking out this particular project.
aonixk10 months ago

DONT USE THE FLINTS FROM NORMAL CIGARETTE LIGHTERS!!! It will only work temporarily. They are harder than the flints made for Zippos, and will wear down the sparker wheel rather rapidly until it wont spark when spun, no matter how hard you try. I have had this happen to several Zippos. Sure, if you send it in to the factory, zippo will fix it for free, but its less work to just go to a gas (petrol) station or someplace and buy a pack of flints for like 75 cents and avoid damaging your zippo in the first place.

oilitright aonixk2 months ago

I have also heard don't use flints from disposable lighters in a Zippo. I have one Zippo that I've had 30 years and still haven't had to send it for repairs. But I don't flick them open or rub the wheel on my pants leg to show off. A pack of Zippo flints is about $1.50 at my local smoke shop. I don't use Ronson flints or fluid always seemed to have better results with Zippo brand.

IHateCheese made it!6 months ago
Use wire cutters to chop the flint in half. Then use both pieces! Works very nicely.
aebe11 months ago

Excellent ! Am still going to look for how to make one though...........

aebe11 months ago

Excellent ! Am still going to look for how to make one though...........

amando962 years ago
I discovered this today... I was expecting different sizing but it fit perfectly, now all the zippos in my collection work :D
Redgerr4 years ago
might as well give it a try... whats the worst that can happen? :)

thanks for the idea -- cheers
Jupitane6 years ago
I love my Zippo...
me too... they are amazing
Patented5 years ago
well thats a good idea !
pdub77 (author)  Patented5 years ago
cybesystem5 years ago
Haha, this was exactly what I did when my zippo stopped working. Just a week ago. Found this instruct today tho.

"Pressbyrån"-lighters here in sweden (like $1 each, you can buy them at every station or major bus nexus over here) is perfect for the reckord. Works like a charm
rownhunt6 years ago
I do not reccomend this unless you want to clean your lighter after awhile i collect lighters and when people put soft flints in there lighter it clogs up the wheel and stuffs dust in the flint chamber and has to be cleaned. zippo flints are only a dollar for 3 anyways!
pdub77 (author)  rownhunt6 years ago
Well, I've never had an issue, but maybe I'm the only one. I'm not a collector, but I've been using zippos for twenty years or so with no problems from any random flint I may be able to procure. If you are a collector, I'm sure you want everything to be as clean as possible and I can respect that. However, I have not had any problems with lighting, sticking, corrosion, etc. with any lighter I've put non-zippo flints into. I would welcome a study or web page or whatever that talks about this. I had no idea some flints were "softer" than any other and have not seen anything anecdotal to suggest otherwise. Please let me know.
chadeau6 years ago
2 pts to ponder-cut the flint to length or it WILL bind when closing the screw,-and don't try the "baby" BICs,they bind in the flint tube.To trim to length,I use Leatherman wire cutter and cup tool and flint in hand to prevent moon shots....sumtimes ya get a loooong flint and can use both cuts.
pdub77 (author)  chadeau6 years ago
Not all flints out of these lighters are the same length. Some are too long and do bind the flint wheel, but not all. I've had some come right out and be fine. Also, the flints I've gotten from the mini bics (what I used in the instructable) are the same size (diameter) as the larger bics. I've talked to others in different parts of the world that have had different experiences, but this has been mine. But I have had to snap them in half before as well and I totally agree with your technique to keep pieces from flying everywhere. Not to mention the liftoff if you're not careful when removing them from the disposable lighter.
sharlston6 years ago
the only flints you should use are zippo flints and swan exta long ones cos others are too soft
pdub77 (author)  sharlston6 years ago
Not true. I've been using others for years with no problems.
really? ive heard allot of people saying they are too soft
pdub77 (author)  sharlston6 years ago
Never had any issues. I usually get the ones from bic lighters because they make them way longer than they need to support the life of the butane. The only problem I've had is that sometimes they are too long. Too much pressure against the strike wheel and it doesn't want to turn smoothly. What kind of problems do you have with them being too soft? Do they gum up the works, so to speak?
well with mine they get stuck in the little ridges of the wheel then when you turn the wheel again the soft flint hits the flint in the tube and starts to gum up maybe we have different bics from where im from im from uk are you?
pdub77 (author)  sharlston6 years ago
The basic Bic lighter is not made to be refilled. Replacing the flint when needed would be a nightmare as well. Just buy another or get a refillable lighter. Plenty of cheap ones out there. I'm in the US. It's possible they use different materials.
oh i wonder why bics are dearer than disposable lighters but just the same?
pdub77 (author)  sharlston6 years ago
I'm not sure I understand.
1 bic lighter equals 50p 0r $1 yet 8 disposable lighters are £1 or $2
pdub77 (author)  sharlston6 years ago
Gotcha. Yeah, bics here are about a buck fifty or even more sometimes. Exchange rate factored in that's on par with yours. Bics are well made and are more reliable, I think. At least that has been my experience. There's a lot to be said about a brand name as popular as theirs as well. They are everywhere. I wonder what percentage their market share is. I'm sure it's huge.
oh please check out my latest instructable i think you will enjoy it

ive heard of bic lighters been refilable is this true?
nice man i always run outta flints for my zippo and they're like 2.99 at the shop for a slide of 5 replacements which are usually all missing one or two from people that help themselves.
are you serious? i saw some for like a dollar for 6, i think ill go scavenge for some bic lighters though, much more thrilling.
pdub77 (author)  hello people6 years ago
They tend to charge more for Zippo brand anything. Lighter fluid, wicks, flints, etc.
pdub77 (author)  companero_cal6 years ago
i haven't paid for flints in ten years or more. it's a small expense, but these days, why not take everything you can get, right?
berky936 years ago
its only free if you already own some disposable lighters, which is less likely if you carry around a zippo. although disposables are found everywhere on the ground, so its still a useful trick. and the flints fit correctly?
pdub77 (author)  berky936 years ago
the whole point to this was to point out how easy it is to obtain spent lighters left at bars or from friends. for free. i say that in the instructable. as to your question, a good 90-some percent fit fine with my only issue having been a flint that was a bit too long. this can be broken in half. thank you for looking, and no offense implied, but it's a good idea to read the whole thing before you comment. cheers.
Great Idea about going to the bar, bad thing is you can't smoke here any more in bars. well the bar idea is great boo now im thirsty 4 some Beer.
Hey wait, were you that guy who asked to use my lighter and never returned it?
pdub77 (author)  ErnieInHawaii6 years ago
possibly. what were you wearing?
I saw him return it. But he kept the flint. :-)