Replace Your Zippo Flint With Flint From a Dead BIC




these are step by step instruction on how to replace the flint in you Zippo with some from a disposible BIC light that has run out of gas.

Step 1: Removing the Flint and Disassembling Your Zippo

if your flint is too small from being worn down, or just completly gone, you will need to take apart your zippo. do this by removing the metal portion fomr the colored shell, the same as you would to refill the lighter.

Step 2: Taking Apart Your Dead BIC

first remove the metal sheild that surrounds where the flame would be.
Also, remove the saftey if you have one.
you can do both of these steps with a pair of needle nose pliers.
just grab, twist, and pull. both should come off fairly easily.
next, put the lighter in a clear plastic bag.
the lighter is spring loaded and if you don't take it apart in a clear plastic bag,
the parts wil fly out and be lost forever.
through the bag, grab the wheel with a pair of pliers.
carefully pull it to on side. after one side of the rod holding it in pops out,
it should come out easily. as soon as the wheel is removed,
the flint and spring will shoot out. the spring is about and inch to an inch and half long. the flint is about 3/32" in diameter.

Step 3: Cutting Down the Flint

once you have taken apart the bic, lay out all the parts.
it should look something like this.
you will have a dead lighter body, spring, wheel, sheild, and flint.
the only thing you will need for this project is the flint.
place the flint in a pair of wire cutters, (usually found on needle nose pliers.)
put the pliers back inside the clear plastic bag.
you will be cutting the flint in half (length wise) becusae it is about twice as long
as it needs to be. the purpose of the bag is to prevent the flint from shooting across the room. next, simply cut the flint in half.

Step 4: Replacing Your Flint in Your Zippo

unscrew the bronze screw on the bottum of your zippo "guts."
there will be a long spring attached to this, pull it out.
turn your zippo right side up, and shake it to make sure there is no
flint or anything else in the tube. next drop the flint you cut down the tube.
replace the spring and push it down and screw it in.
it won't be flush with the bottum, but it will close.
put the lighter back together and try it out.
if the wheel doesn't spin, the flint is too big.
you can either cut it down more, or file it down with a metal file and pliers.

3 People Made This Project!


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124 Discussions


3 days ago on Step 4

Anyone ever attempt this procedure. If so did it actually work? Anyine interested please reply your comments. Thank you all. Ralph Linck.


12 years ago

good idea, i myself have done this in times of desperation but here is the issue: BIC lighter flints were designed for...a BIC lighter..right? Zippo flints were designed for...yes good a Zippo lighter. BIC flints do NOT work near as well as Zippo flints! AND THEY HURT YOUR ZIPPO LIGHTER!!! BIC flints are not resistant to liquids like Zippo flints are, they just don't perform as well in a moist environment (i.e. in a Zippo where the fuel is a liquid, argue all you want, the flint DOES get moist) but more importantly, BIC flints leave flakes on the wick of your Zippo, which absorb the fluid, drying out the wick, which causes the wick itself to burn, in turn leading to an early wick replacement. no offense to tmiron as it is still a good idea if you absolutely have to have fire, but if you don't want to pay for expensive lighter parts and upkeep, don't buy an expensive lighter, :P

4 replies

Reply 2 months ago

It's a single flint & and particles of said flint burn. This is easily visible if you grind a Bic & light it. You get a nice sparkler display. But even if particles don't burn & become embedded in the wick they will only absorb fluid to the point where they become saturated. Also, the wick is much better than any solid particle at, well, wicking fluid. So the wick isn't going to dry out. MAYBE you'll use more fluid than normal but that's it.

Now, everything may burn/end up dirtier than if using genuine Zippo/Ronson consumables (they are the same company now), but that's nothing a quick cleaning won't fix. Using a single Bic flint isn't likely to necessitate needing a fresh wick, but even it does one only needs to pull a ¼" of fresh wick to solve any problems.

One should obviously use genuine consumables whenever possible but using a Bic flint once in awhile isn't going to harm your Zippo. It may require a quick cleaning with a wire brush & ¼” of wick, but that hardly constitutes "expensive lighter parts and upkeep." It's simply routine maintenance that should be done anyway.


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

I believe you might be right about non-Zippo flints, since the red flints are much softer (like Ronson brand), as I describe in another post here. Since I have mostly Zippos I've always bought Zippo flints for them. Now I'll never run out since I found a display of Zippo flint packs on eBay. I think it had 50 packs for about ten bucks, which beats the liver out of the drugstore prices. I've had to pull up the wicks on a number of old Zippos I've bought, and this might have been the reason the wicks were trashed & burnt.


Reply 12 years ago

I tried this a couple years ago with a dead BIC and found the same problem. If you look closely while turning the wheel and compare the BIC flint to a Zippo flint you'll see the BIC flint isn't quite the right size or something and has some slop. I didn't know about the flakes, but that would explain why a couple of the Zippos I've tried that on don't fire up right away.


Reply 12 years ago

everybody loves a good zippo


6 years ago on Step 4

Good Instructable something i noticed is that if you have a older Zippo that is sparking but not lighting easily. The problem may be with the spring that holds the flint to the wheel, if the spring isn't putting enough pressure on the flit it won't spark right, my solution is to put a second Zippo brand flint in tube. when your tightening down the brass screw there it should take a little extra pressure. the result should be a good strong spark that should have no problem lighting the wick. Resist the urge to just stretch the spring a little to get the same effect it will work for a short time but the spring will just end up returning to its previous shape, usually after a day or two.

A second unrelated problem that will effect the ability of Zippo lighting on the first strike is that the wick in the lighter may not be of good quality, this is common in second hand or found lighters where at some point the wick from a cheep oil lighter was used as a replacement for the original Zippo at some point. The only good long lasting solution for this is to get a Zippo brand replacement, in my experience only use the Zippo brand, other wick use synthetic fibers that that almost always burn away to nothing but the copper wire. Buy once and buy right and you wont need to worry about your Zippo's wick for a long time

1 reply

Reply 2 months ago

Just an FYI for people. On my Zippo the spring collapses completely with the correct size of flint so adding any extra stuff means the screw won't turn in completely.


4 years ago on Introduction

I've done this many times in a pinch, but I must say the Bic flints do not work as well as real Zippo flints. Only real zippo flints work like they're supposed to. These will do the job, but not as well, plan on many strikes to get it lit. If you ever look closely in comparison, you'll notice Zippo flints are a silver color. I think they have more to them than just flint material. Ronson flints don't work as well, neither does their fuel. Why, I don't know but having tried them all over the years, the fact is Zippo stuff works best with their style lighters. I've taken the flints out of other kinds of lighters too, it does work, just not as well as the real deal.

2 replies

Reply 2 months ago

Ronson & Zippo are now the same company & the products are identical except for branding & packaging.


Save the spring as well, it can be used to replace a broken or damaged one. Needs cutting to do so, but will work.


11 years ago on Introduction

hey my zippo fluid just ran dry and i don't have any replacement fluid is there anything around the house i can use instead of zippo fluid like regular ligher fluid for camp fires or something like that?

8 replies

yes, you can use the kind for the grill, it works, im not sure if its better or worse because i have an imitation zippo (it uses the same thing for lighting and stuff) and ive never used the other kind, but you can certainly use camp fire fluid.

Don't use Charcoal Lighter Fluid or Lamp Oil (Parafin) Neither can catch a spark anywhere near as good as a zippo. And once you fill it with a bad fluid, its a pain to flush it out. Down here, its like 1.50 for a can of zippo fuel that lasts forever (12 ounces is plenty!)


Reply 2 months ago

This. I tried charcoal lighter fluid and couldn't get it to light with the Zippo. It would ignite using another flame source but what's the point in that?

Afterwards I had to take the cotton & wick out & wait a few days for it to evaporate completely before "filling" with Zippo/Ronson fluid.

gasoline might work and supposedly coleman lantern fluid is cheap cheap cheap and lasts forever sports shop have it a gallon for like 5-8 bucks supposedly its the same material i dont have a zippo, so cant test


Reply 3 years ago

liquid lighter fluid is acetone so just buy it at a hardware store. it should be wherever they keep paint thinner. you could also use nail Polish remover (also acetone). alcohol and acetone won't burn you if you spill it and light yourself on fire. I've done it several times and have never been burned. not that i would recommend it...


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

you can use any number of thing as long as you saturate the cotton exp. axe spray, bug repelant suff of that flammability ( or you could go to a smoke shop they sell tons of lighter fluid for cheap


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Isopropanol i beleive its called, But to be perfectly honest its rubbing alchohol very convenient very cheap. Burns very well just be sure to be very careful with it i was sent to the hospital with third degree burns. Isopropanol is clear 95% alchohol and odds are is you won't notice if you spill it on yourself, And it really burns running around just feeds the flame. But over all very convenient and easy to find.