Monday, April 19, 2010

Best lighter?

Anonymous said...Speaking of updates, have you looked into different style lighters? I used to carry a Zippo regularly but in the last year or two have changed to an IMCO Super Triplex. Same fuel, same flints, and without extensively scientific testing it seems to preserve the fuel longer
Funny that you should ask. I DID run a serious test and came up with the following results:

The zippo lasted 17 days. The Imco (original, made in Austria) lasted 35 days! The test was done with both lighters full of Zippo lighter fuel, turned on for 3 seconds once a day.
The peanut lighter blows them both out of the competition in terms of durability, since it can keep its fuel for 2 or 3 months. But of course capacity is much smaller, so its better for emergency use and as a spare.
If you're going to be using it often though, and you want something practical you are correct, technically and speaking from a practical point of view, the Imco is simply better (and cheaper) than the Zippo.

I collect lighters and have many. I have a cheap Chinese Imco imitation that I bought as a kid. I loved it beucase, like the original one, its terribly reliable, tough, and the fuel lasts twice as long compared to Zippos. Back then I was living in the province of Cordoba, I went trekking and camping much more often and the Imco imitation was a trusty companion when starting fires.  If anyone out there has a thing for lighters like I do but never tried the Imco, you're missing the experience of using this little gem.

PS: Oh! Yet another reason to buy this lighter:
In the movie Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the lost Arc, Elsa (the hot german blonde chick) gives Indy her "lucky charm" the zippo with the clover leaf badge similar to the one I have and posted pic below. This lighter was a fantasy piece and zippo made if AFTER the movie,  but quality is poor and it peals off. The one I have has custom made badges by an Indy fan in California called "Relic Raider". Anyway, after Indy goes to save his father in that nazy castle ( and uses Elsa's zippo to burn the ropes) Elsa is left without a lighter, so on the scene where she leaves in a car and lights a ciggar, she uses.... an IMCO Super Triplex! Its silly but I thought its kind of cool to know that it has been used in the movie. Its also the lighter used by Marion in the Raven bar ;-)
I added an Amazon affiliate like and get a small % but really just buy it anywhere as long as you get one, it cheap and deffinitely worth it, any tabacco store sure has it.



Unknown said...

After reading about your love for your zippo last year, I went to their website to find one. There I saw that they are guaranteed for life. In my junk drawer I had an old one that was froze up. So I paid $5 postage and sent it on to zippo with no proof of purchase. They sent it back repaired/polished along with a complimentary second lighter without the case and a set of flints. In the letter they said to send it back if I ever have a problem. Zippos malfunctioning will always be repaired or replaced for free.
As long as the malfunction is from proper use. Zippo Wins!?

Unknown said...

Forgot that they also sent a bunch of free wicks.

Anonymous said...

Zippo went to war and that's good enough for me. I've carried one daily for sixty years.

Anonymous said...

My IMCO hasn't held onto its fuel supply as well as FerFAL's has, but it is a simple, elegant design that exceeds the Zippo in terms of speed and simplicity of use.

My preference is for the IMCO. It's cheaper than the Zippo and equally reliable.

Bones said...

I didn't realize zippo had such an awesome customer service policy. That and the long history make them extremely desirable. The triplex lighters are very nice, too. For practical EDC the limited fuel life makes me want to look elsewhere.

Google "peanut lighter" to see one that's sealed and will retain it's fuel indefinitely.

Refillable butane lighters can be very useful. Some have a very hot pinpoint flame that could be used for soldering in a pinch.

Good old disposable lighters shouldn't be overlooked. 3/$1 or better pricing means you can throw handfuls in your EDC/BOB and never worry.

None of these choices are as cool as zippos, though.

Anonymous said...

Not really a lighter, but the Chinese 'Permanent Match' unit I tested held lighter fluid for over a year. This was not daily lighting though - I tested every two weeks for at least 6 months, then forgot about the experiment until I found it again - lit right up.

So I don't know how long it actually will light, but I know it will not dry up by itself for quite a while. Good backup for a kit you don't have access very often. Costs about $3 each, free shipping if found on the web - google permanent match, they are pretty common.


Anonymous said...

Sportman's Guide has a pair of them for $13.00: http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=80062

Anonymous said...

My strategy is to buy abotu 20 bic lighters and just stash them all over the place.....they come out of my ears.....

I do this because I am too lazy to maintain a zippo, or some other such thing.....I know this, so I plan accordingly.


Anonymous said...

I always thought of a regular sized Bic lighter as the GLOCK of lighters and the Zippo the 1911 of lighters.

Wish I would've known about that warranty deal before i threw out that bucket of old Zippos.

A couple of these other comments, well, they made me laugh:) I can relate I guess.

Anonymous said...

But the 4 leaf clover Zippo gives Ferfal good luck! I don't think the Imco has as much good luck factor, does it? So it's Zippo all the way!

Anonymous said...

Fire can be used to boil water and prevent hypotherma as well as light and phycological comfort. A Zippo or Bic is fine if your life might not be in the balance. For a 'sure' fire, that is, a guarrenteed fire, a must have fire, use a Strike Force or other flint and steel device with trioxane, Wet Fire cubes, cotton balls diped in vasoline or even dryer lint comprised of cotton. If damp or wet wood is the only available, split the wood with a hachet or 5 to 7" knife using a baton, a stick of wood 2 to 3" in diameter. With the dry wood exposed, shave off splinters or fine shavings to be used a tinder.

There many examples or 'How To' start a fire videos available. Practice these and other techniques to own the skill. Flint and steel will never run out of feul or easily break. A Strike Force flint and steel is the easiest to use and provides the most sparks and may last upwards of 16,000 strikes. It can be found for less than $25. The price of cotton balls dripped in vasoline is negligable and Wet Fire cubes, although expensive, fit inside the Strike Force. Other methods of starting fire should also be in your skill kit, but this is the easiest 'Sure' fire technique.