Zippo Fluid

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Gyrfalcon
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Zippo Fluid

Post by Gyrfalcon » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:31 pm

This is probably obvious to many people here, and I'm sure I had heard it before, but it didn't sink in until recently: Zippo fluid = naptha = white gas = Coleman fuel. No need to spend $4 on a little bottle of "Zippo Lighter Fluid" when you can get a gallon for $8.

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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by TacAir » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:45 pm

Gyrfalcon wrote:This is probably obvious to many people here, and I'm sure I had heard it before, but it didn't sink in until recently: Zippo fluid = naptha = white gas = Coleman fuel. No need to spend $4 on a little bottle of "Zippo Lighter Fluid" when you can get a gallon for $8.
*Not that I would know anything about it personally* but I understand AvGas will work in a Zippo - just before it leaks out into your pocket and burns the skin on your leg. At least that's how I heard it.....
Lesson? Never pocket carry a Zippo in an unpressurized 0-2..... YMMV.

I am interested in what others will say on this unique bit of American technology.
Last edited by TacAir on Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by Gristle McThornBody » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:58 pm

TacAir wrote:I am interested in what others will say on this unique bit of American technology.
Didn't someone do a bunch of tests on what will burn in a Zippo? IIRC, diesel, kerosene, and a bunch of others worked without damaging the Zippo. Can't seem to find it...
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by Skull_Hide » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:14 pm

I use 91%+ rubbing alcohol in mine, runs great and cheap.
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by Dooms » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:57 pm

Zippo lighter fluid is Naptha, however it's a mixture of a heavy and light weight Naptha distillate, which allows it to be less susceptible to evaporation. For a camp stove, this doesn't matter as the fuel is kept in a sealed container until use. Therefore, stove fuel only makes use of the lighter weight distillates.

Essentially, if using Coleman stove fuel, expect it to evaporate quicker.

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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by Lionheart » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:54 am

You can use pretty much an flammable liquid and it'll work. I've even used some of my cologne to fuel my Zippo when I ran out of fluid.
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:25 am

I've tried nearly everything in my own Zippo- with only a few notable exceptions, if it was flammable, it would light, and you couldn't hurt the Zippo. Obviously, some things worked better than others, and while it lights up REAL easy, I advise against using Acetone or MEK as a lighter fluid.

As Dooms pointed out, "Naptha" can be a misleading ingredient to find on the side of the package's list. We used naptha in a paint shop, but the same stuff in a Zippo, not so good, oddly enough.
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by squinty » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:18 am

Dooms wrote:Zippo lighter fluid is Naptha, however it's a mixture of a heavy and light weight Naptha distillate, which allows it to be less susceptible to evaporation. For a camp stove, this doesn't matter as the fuel is kept in a sealed container until use. Therefore, stove fuel only makes use of the lighter weight distillates.

Essentially, if using Coleman stove fuel, expect it to evaporate quicker.
My Zippos all dry up in short order, I have to fill'em every couple days even if I don't use them. I can't imagine the hassle of using even more evaporative fuel for any length of time.

I have an O-ring sealed 'peanut' lighter from county comm that retains fluid for much longer periods of time. I bet anything that burned in a zippo would burn in this little lighter.

For day-to-day use I got a three dollar Ronson refillable butane lighter. More reliable by far - though far less cool - than my old Zippo. Of course you can't burn gas or cologne in it.
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by Necrodamus » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:59 am

squinty wrote:For day-to-day use I got a three dollar Ronson refillable butane lighter. More reliable by far - though far less cool - than my old Zippo. Of course you can't burn gas or cologne in it.
Take that way cool zippo and pull the lighter out, get you a Z-Plus insert and have a way cool butane lighter! It cost about $15 but if you read the instructions on how to fill it (most people screw up on how to fill a butane correctly) it will run for a few months on a single filling and thats with daily use! The Z-Plus is one of those windproof, jet-flame, crack pipe type of lighters and the flame is easily adjustable with a fingernail.

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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by Neville » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:40 pm

squinty wrote:
Dooms wrote:Zippo lighter fluid is Naptha, however it's a mixture of a heavy and light weight Naptha distillate, which allows it to be less susceptible to evaporation. For a camp stove, this doesn't matter as the fuel is kept in a sealed container until use. Therefore, stove fuel only makes use of the lighter weight distillates.

Essentially, if using Coleman stove fuel, expect it to evaporate quicker.
My Zippos all dry up in short order, I have to fill'em every couple days even if I don't use them. I can't imagine the hassle of using even more evaporative fuel for any length of time.
I got a few Zippos (the 1941 brass model) because of the multi-fuel capability. With regard to the evaporation issue, I would wager (haven't tried this yet but seems plausible) that if you mixed white gas (coleman fuel) with kerosene at 50/50, it would probably be a close approximation of commercial lighter fluid. And likely wouldn't be quite as evaporative but still perform well at very cold temps. Maybe someone who lives in a very cold climate (let's say it gets down to 0 degrees overnight) do a side-by-side with 4 zippos left in the glovebox of the car overnight - one with commercial zippo fuel, one with pure kerosene, one with pure coleman fuel and one with the coleman/kerosene mix. That would make for an interesting Youtube video.

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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by MarylandFisherman » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:18 pm

I love my Zippo's but hardly ever carry them because the fuel gives me a sore throat... :?
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by BobtheBreaker » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:18 am

Just use the Ronson brand stuff, they were bought up by Zippo like a half decade ago.
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by Holger Danske » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:38 am

I used avgas a lot in my zippo, waaaay back when I was a Flight Instructor and I still smoked. Then another pilot pointed out that 100ll has a lot of lead in it (8x 'ish what normal old leaded auto gas had.) Hmmmm, that probably explains a lot.

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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by craig_o » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:03 pm

I hate Zippos. Incredibly maintenance-intensive and they aren't even supposed to be used to light cigars (apparently it messes with the taste), which is a deal-breaker for me.. Butane FTW.
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by Confucius » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:54 pm

craig_o wrote:I hate Zippos. Incredibly maintenance-intensive and they aren't even supposed to be used to light cigars (apparently it messes with the taste), which is a deal-breaker for me.. Butane FTW.
They give pipe-smoke a funky taste for the first few draws, but it goes away. It's enough for me to use a butane lighter when I light up, but I do like zippos.

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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by austin93906 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:12 pm

use a zippo for when i smoke Blacks at the casino, bot for my nightly pipe when im on my walk, i just use good ol' wooden matches. found it a pain in the ass to light my pipe with the zippo, dont have one of those pipe inserts with the huge hole in the side
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Re: Zippo Fluid

Post by DarkAxel » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:04 am

BobtheBreaker wrote:Just use the Ronson brand stuff, they were bought up by Zippo like a half decade ago.

I've noticed that Ronsonol tends to blacken Zippo wicks faster than Zippo brand fluid, and evaporates out of the lighter faster. The same company might own both brands, but that doesn't mean that those brands are equals.
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