Though originally inspired by an early 19th-century Austrian lighter that used brass shell-casings for the main body, with an external flint and striker, the simpler and more self-contained Zippo design has become an American icon known throughout the world (along with its distinctive, opening "clink!" and smart, closing "clunk!"), and especially so by outdoorsmen and military personnel.
In recent years, Zippo has seen to adapt their unchanged-for-generations lighter design to make something a good deal more efficient for lighting up a pipe. Initially released as an insert, then as complete lighters, this newer model features a few simple, but very useful changes. Namely, both sides of the fire-spout have been opened up, and a removable plate with a much smaller hole has been added up top. Held vertical, the flame rises through the latter, while the former provide oxygen, operating much the same as a traditional Zippo. Held sideways, however, and their roles reverse - and it's by holding the lighter above your bowl in this manner, that giving the pipe a few puffs will draw the flame down to gently light your tobacco.
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I've always enjoyed zippos for their iconic look and sound and this one feels even better in my hand with that little extra weight. The pipe insert is a game changer as well making it much harder to char your rim. I have always just used a standard i... Read Morensert for my cobs but they tend to char the edges if you arent really careful. Let it burn a couple of seconds before putting flame to tobacco to avoid the potential lighter fluid taste that some smokers notice. Read Less
I just bought this lighter and it has been the single greatest improvement to my pipe smoking enjoyment in a very long time. I've used matches exclusively for the past ten years. For ten years before that, I used matches, the old boy pipe lighter a... Read Moren bics on occasion. I find that matches and soft flame butane lighters burn hotter which scorches the tobacco. With matches, I always let the head burn off completely but still always got the flavor of the match wood in my smoke, especially when the match blew out while lighting which tainted the tobacco with wood smoke--very unpleasant. Using premium zippo fluid and burning it off for about 15 seconds I find no fuel flavor imparted to the tobacco. No scorching of the rim or the inside of the bowl which is easy to do with matches and soft flame butane lighters. It takes a little more work on the initial light because the flame is so soft. This means the tobacco doesn't get scorched. I have zero tongue bite using this lighter and no stinky match smells on my fingers. This is the best way I have found to light a pipe and will never go back to anything else. I have avoided zippos for years as I've always heard they imparted flavor to the smoke. I have a very sensitive palate, but have found that filling the lighter carefully (not over filling) and burning off for 10 to 15 seconds provides a clean light with no tainting of the tobacco. Best product I've bought in a long time. I smoke Vincent Manil's Pure Semois and Le Petit Robin, so not tainting the tobacco is very important to me. I can't recommend this product enough. Read Less
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