Hello, i have seen many instructables on what you can do with zippos, but i have not seen a comp-lete guide where the author lists what you should and shouldn't do with a zippo lighter.

In this instructable I will tell you what you should and should not do with a zippo lighter.

please excuse the lack of pictures,but i will post them if i feel they are needed.

Step 1: The History of the Zippo Lighter

George G. Blaisdell invented the Zippo lighter in 1932, and got his idea after discovering a large and bulky Austrian made pocket lighter. Blaisdell was an oil engineer who saw a audience for a good looking lighter that would function even in windy conditions. He produced the first Zippo lighter in Bradford, Pennsylvania.he called it the ZIPPO because he liked the sound of the word "ZIPPER"

Zippos are classified as windproof lighters, and are are able to remain lighted in almost any wind situation. They were common in the United States armed forces, particularly in the second world war standard silver Zippo a military zippo lighter was standard gear for all men in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. During that period, all Zippo lighters produced went to the Allied war effort. In fact, during the conflict, since brass was needed for weapon systems, the interiors of zippos were primarily stainless steel. Following the war, Zippo reverted to the traditional brass design.

Additionally, Zippo lighters are known for the lifetime guaranty they carry: if a Zippo breaks down, no matter how old, the company will replace or repair the lighter for free.

Approx. 200,000 Zippo lighters were owned by U.S. military personnel in the Vietnam War. In one instance, a Zippo lighter transported in a shirt pocket blocked a bullet from going in a soldiers body.

these are the facts i have read from various websites. now while i did copy and paste,I ALSO READ THEM AS THOUROUGHLY(spelling?) as possible.I have confirmed their accuracy,but feel free to comment otherwise.

Step 2: Parts of the Zippo

look below in the pictures for the listed parts of a zippo lighter.

Step 3: What I Like/what I Don't

what i like about zippo lighters:
1.the reliability
2.they are refillable
3.they can use any type of lightr fluid,although zippo brand is recommened by zippo
4.they are rewickable
5.they are reflintable
6.cost effective(inexpensive)for most models
7.they last forever
7a.i have seen many models that were made in 1932,and they still work!!!!!!!

what i don't like:
1.the fact that zippo(this is more directed at the company) only suggest zippo brand fluid,while really any fluid can work just as much.this often confuses new buyers,and causes them to be picky about what type they buy

PLEASE note:there is only one thing i don't like,and now you can avoid that problem.

Step 4: Please Note:

i am neither bashing nor recomending any zippo related 'ible on this site.

i haven't viewed an 'ible yet that wasn't a good idea.

Step 5: Down to Buisness.....

i will list below some do's and some dont's.

1.ripping off flint from disposable lighters.......DO
but please note that you shoud have to cut it to zippo length flint pieces(i can usually get three pieces from one bic)

2.using alternative fuel........DON'T
let me explain.i mean only use lighter fluid,.and,in an emergency,axe.please look at my other instructable for further explanation

3.buying zippos from'T
they grossly overprice thier items.

4.buying zippos from
they grossly UNDER priced and sell genuine zippos.
(my zippo that is on order right now with 10 flints and 1 wick was the same price as just the zippo on the zippo site.) also shipping was 3 dollars less

Step 6: MORE Down to Buisness...

i have seen many people do this.....

1.replacing wick once section of wick is gone......DON'T
the wick in a zipo is about 4inches once you think you need a new wick,pull at it gently with some needle nose pliers.the wick should advance.pull it to about the height of the chimney(refer PARTS OF A ZIPPO .) and cut the wick where the fresh wick starts

2.replacing a flint because it a milimeter shorter than standard size......DON'T
just because the flint is a little shorter than a new flint DOES NOT mean you have to replace it.

3.replacing the rayon balls in the bottom with cotton balls.......DO
if you lose a rayon ball,is it definitly ok to replace them with cotton balls,just go a little slower when refilling

Step 7: Basics of Zippos

and now because i promised a complete guide to zippos,the basics.

'''reflinting''' gently pull on the chimney and the insert should come out pretty easily.there is a screw in the bottom of the insert.take it will shoot out of the tube it is placed in,so keep a tight hold on it.once the screw is out,you will notice that the screw is attached to the spring and a small brionze piec at the supposed to be that way the bronze piece is NOT the flint,dont pull on it.the flint will come out after the small piece,or if you were completely out of flint,nothing will come out.get a new piece of flint,and put it into the barrel either way,it does not matter.screw the screw back into the tube,and there you go.

'''refillling''' to refill a zippo,you will have to remove the insert,pull back the felt pad on the bottom,and this is where you squeze the fluid into what is called RAYON BALLS there is five of them inside the insert,and they are slightly more absorbent than cotton balls.what i do it tip the can of fluid and let gravity do the rest,every second or so,i tip the can into the upright positon(not leaking) and let the rayon soak up the fluid then repeat until the rayon seems to not soak anymore fluid up.then wipe the insert with a paper towel,and imediatley WASH YOUR HANDS,so as not to catch yourself on is OK if the felt pad is damp,it just means you kinda sorta overfilled it,but dont worry about it.then put the insert back into the case,and attemp to light it.dont stop if it doesn't light on the first try,just keep trying to light it.soon enough,it will light every time.

'''rewicking''' go to step 8.please

Step 8: More Advanced

'''rewicking:'''to rewick a zippo,you will need to remove the insert,undo the screw in the bottom,remove the felt pad,and remove the rayon balls.then you pull on the wick and feed the new wick through the hole in the insert.make the new piece of wick about as high as the chimney.then continue to put the rayon balls back into the insert.try to "weave" the wick back and forth in between rayon balls.there should be five balls.



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    184 Discussions

    My father has a zippo lighter from Vietnam and the bullet went right through the lighter killing a north Vietnamese solder dead in his tracks!! I'm looking at the lighter right now as we speak! This one did not stop the bullet! The guy that had this one in his shirt pocket is planted in the ground dead! It's a pretty nasty hole right through the center of the lighter and my father assured me the man that was carrying this particular lighter is dead as a door nail! Lol

    18 replies

    I wouldn't keep that lighter if I were you. It belonged to someone that your father killed. When someone is killed under false pretenses (ex. war), the emotions run ramped and the soul is so strongly linked with emotions. That is to say, it is probably quite cursed and will bring you and your bloodline into horrible downfalls. I'm not instructing, I'm warning. Parts of the murdered man's rage could quite possibly be withheld in the lighter. Don't be so proud of something that was a prize for murder. It may already be too late for your soul; eternal hell and suffering may already be bestowed upon you. When you laugh at death, death's sinister grin awaits to be opened to devour your soul.

    hahahahahahaha that's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, religion is a lie and you believe it. Hahahahahahahahahaha

    Did he mention the word religion at all? Anywhere? Ignorant fool.

    Discussion of afterlife, hell, curses, and a soul.... in what way is that NOT religion?

    I don't believe in your theory but I don't have any negative attitudes towards religious people because those in my life have rather been cool fruitcake type of dudes. Thats that.. but how do you theorize about the fact that.. The NV guy shouldn't have had the zippo in the first place. He probably got that from a marine. So, maybe the marines afterlife rage helped to get the NV guy the bullet? But then it did help mr. Vanderbergs father didn't it? Maybe it still continues to? I was actually searching for a way to make my Zippo blu to ignite smoother(roll smoother), like the petrol ones I have tried. It's actually igniting much better now when I switched from Ronson to Unilite something.. I don't know if it is even Butane, because it only says universal feuerzeug gas but I don't care since it lights better and I don't think I have any overheating problems given that the butane flame is 1300c anyway.

    So. Good I refound the thread. Did I say something good about the unilite gas? Well, after a couple of refills the micture got so airy that you could extinguish flames with the zippo.. it doesn't clog like ronsons but... I hate that I just can't find any good butane around here. I wouldn't really mind to pay 50% or even 100% more than the 2.50€ that I paid for a can.

    Have to add that, yes I do the airing occasionally. In fact I did it each time I filled with the unilite but it doesn't seem to help.

    Wow. People like you are real. I thought that was just some kind of Hollywood thing.

    It's entirely possible that a Zippo could stop a bullet, but that depends on various factors, including range, obstructions prior to the bullet reaching its target, and, most notably, how powerful ththround/gun is. I'm quite certain a Zippo couldn't stop round from an m16 but stopping round from a .22lr is certainly believeable.

    Even a .22 slug can punch a hole through the zippo but you do have a point for the variables.

    The Zippo stopped the bullet, but ignited the fluid and the man burned to death.

    In the original story, the Zippo stopped the bullet, but ignited the fluid and the soldier burned to death!


    was there an OSHA change that dictates the good 'le fluid is history?

    Trying other brands. -BEFORE heading back out/into the icebox of daily life at 0°F