The Top Five Reasons You Should Own A Zippo Lighter

When it comes to deciding which petrol lighter you should purchase to use or better yet, to start a collection around, Zippo isn’t the only name to consider. There are literally dozens of commonly known manufacturers of petrol lighters from the past and untold numbers that have slipped through the cracks and dissolved into time. There are countless reasons to buy and use any one of these vintage old brands but today’s article will assert the top five reasons you should own a Zippo lighter!

It’s Cool!

We start with the obvious because to do otherwise would prove insincere. Zippos are just flat cool! From the distinctive “click” when you flip one open to the iconic profile when a Zippo stands lit,

Brushed Chrome 1941 Replica Zippo

the aesthetic appeal of Mr. Blaisdell’s little fire making gadget is undeniable.

I knew what a Zippo was long before I had any idea of the principles upon which each one functions. I have been exposed to them throughout the course of my life via movies like Full Metal Jacket, television programs such as China Beach and a multitude of other pop-culture references.

I have talked at length of my entry into the cigarette lighter hobby being that of a seller rather than a collector but I bought my first Zippo a yr or so before I ever conceived of selling a lighter. Perhaps, my first step into the door of the hobby was actually as a user of these fine items rather than either a collector or seller!

It was the smoking proclivities of the white sneaker wearing, motorcycle riding character Jax Teller on the T.V. program Sons Of Anarchy that prompted my first Zippo purchase. It looked so cool every time he would pull up on his bike, whip out his Zippo and light up that I had to become more familiar with what that lighter was all about.

It’s Better For The Environment Than Disposable Plastic

I have made the case for yrs that using disposable, plastic lighters is irresponsible behavior in light of the availability of refillable petrol and butane lighters. A Zippo was not meant to be thrown away if it

Vintage Look Zippo With Slash Corners

quits working but rather replenished with fuel or flint, and to keep blazing on down the road.

Even a broken Zippo is not an excuse to throw one in the garbage. If your Zippo breaks, the company will gladly put your lighter back into working condition at no cost to you. Sure, it’ll cost you a few dollars to mail it back to Bradford, PA via First Class mail but Zippo has made good on their promise for ninety-something yrs that no one’s ever spent a penny to get their Zippo lighter factory repaired and they pay the postage back to you to boot!

Referring to the previous section, there’s nothing cool about a plastic lighter in the first place but especially when you consider all the options available in the world of refillable lighters in general and new or vintage petrol lighters to be more specific. The principles under which petrol lighters function make them very simple to repair even in the absence or dissolution of other company’s repair policies. But Zippo is still cranking out repairs at no charge to the customer, no matter how old or beaten out of shape their lighter is.

It’s A Reasonably Dependable Lighter

In the past, I’ve been somewhat critical of the Zippo Windproof claim. You know, “A Week’s Trial, Then All The While…” A great amount of my negative sentiment may be due to the brutal Oklahoma winds as I’ve never had a problem with one failing to

1941 Replica

light in the wind, just experienced an inability to light what I was smoking as that flame dances with the wind.

I don’t always smoke outside though, so there are plenty of windless opportunities to light up and I do that often with the brushed chrome 1941 Replica Zippo that is part of my Every Day Carry(EDC) rotation. Practically, (but not quite)all of my personal collection of Zippos are also users, so any given day I could also be lighting up with a 540 Color Process lighter or one of the Vintage Looks that have just been added.

Regardless of the embellishment or outer appearance of a Zippo though, they are excellent lighters that deserve to be used as their original design intended. I’m not certain that there is such a thing as a perfect or ideal petrol lighter as in my estimation, all have flaws but if their is one Zippo is certainly in the running for the title!

There’s A Zippo For Every Taste And Style

The sheer volume of different looks and embellishments that have adorned Zippo lighters over the yrs make it almost impossible for a person not to find one that interests them. Whether it be a military emblem applied by Zippo in the 1950s or a far out 540 Color design

A 540 Color Process Zippo

that demands your attention, the breadth of possibilities are almost to many to even try to list. The many cannabis leaf designs are some of my favorites.

Brushed or High Polish Chrome were the standard pretty much up into the 1980s and could feature advertising applied by multiple painting processes like the Etch & Paint style and Town & Country series. There, of course, have been painted finish lighters since at least the early 1940s and the company currently does many different wrap and other overall finishes that take their ability to embellish a Zippo to a whole other level.

Sterling silver and solid gold versions are available to those with an eye for luxury and I have seen several such precious metal examples shown off in the Facebook lighter groups as daily users. For those who entered the Zippo collecting hobby through their newer offerings like the Collectible Of The Year or limited club lighters, being open to buying old can open up a whole other range of possibilities!

It Could Be A Piece Of History

Browsing Ebay to shop and buy vintage is how I got started after making that Jax Teller inspired purchase of the 2016 Brushed Chrome Zippo. You

All-Around Cannabis Leaf Zippo

can get creative in the methods used to search Ebay listings that may or may not be identified the best they could be for the highest possible selling price.

Many old Zippos are sold in groups or lots of many lighters at a time simply because the seller doesn’t want to go through all the work of listing them individually. Maybe the seller is lazy, maybe there are other reasons but either way this can work out to the buyer’s advantage if they are willing to search deep enough.

I have owned three different legitimate WWII era Black Crackle Zippos and none of them were identified as such in the listing which I purchased them from. Not just Black Crackles either but the most expensive lighter I’ve ever sold, a gently used 1949 or ’50 Town & Country Geese Zippo was acquired the same way, lumped in with four other Zippos in an Ebay listing that didn’t specifically identify any of them!

What Say You?

Some folks think that Zippo is the only lighter worth owning. They wouldn’t think of collecting any other brand to put on the shelf beside all their beloved Zippos. Nor would they consider using any other petrol lighter,

A Couple ’41 Replicas

though there are many that may be superior.

Regardless where you stand in the debate, Zippos are most certainly worthy of your collection and use alongside so many other examples of excellent petrol lighters that have been produced over the course of the last hundred yrs or so. I would appreciate any insights, comments or questions you would like to share on the subject.

The comments section below this or any other article at is the best place for you to contribute and make your voice heard.

We would also be glad for you to check out our YouTube channel and the show & tell and vintage petrol lighter instructional repair demonstration videos we publish on a regular basis. Please also stop in and say hello on the YouTube live stream Vintage Coffee And Lighters Live! that we conduct Tuesdays @10am central time.

Until next time…✌️

Author: Joseph

Be cautious when anyone tells you what you need or have to do...

14 thoughts on “The Top Five Reasons You Should Own A Zippo Lighter”

  1. I must say I do agree with you! Zippos are cool and practical! I was unfortunate with my first one as I was excited to use it but it was broken which was sad but I sent it back to Zippo for repair and they sent it back to me in perfect working order. I immediately bought another one and fell in love! Are all zippos the same design or can there be different mechanisms? I also wanted to know if you had a favourite type of Zippo?

    1. Hey Seb, thank you for stopping by and sharing your personal experience with the Zippo Lighter. It is unfortunate that your first Zippo broke but even better that the Zippo repair clinic put it back in perfect working condition.

      Zippo only has a couple petrol mechanisms and the only real difference is the size, Full or Slim. They have made various butane mechanisms over the yrs but none have really found their niche in that broad market sadly.

      My favorite Zippos are the vintage advertising models with various painted graphics adorning them. I don’t own any but they are still my favorites.

  2. This was a great read, I never thought there were so many reasons to own a Zippo lighter! I love the durability and the iconic design of these lighters, and now I know they’re also refillable and have a lifetime guarantee. I think I might just have to get one for myself now. Thanks for the informative post!

    1. You bet Dave, I am glad you stopped by to read the article and also thanks for the comment. The Zippo guarantee is one of the more unique elements of owning and using a Zippo lighter. I grew up working on cars with my Dad and he always bought Craftsman brand tools. He did that for much the same reason as many folks purchase a Zippo, the no questions asked warranty policy that if it doesn’t work it will be replace or fix for free!

      The refillable nature of the Zippo shouldn’t be discounted either though as that is as fine a reason as any for folks to flock to this famous American brand.

  3. Thank you for writing this amazing post, Joseph! I think I might just get a Zippo lighter after reading this. What really stood out to me was how customizable Zippo lighters could be and that it’s meant to be reused multiple times over. I love that a Zippo lighter could be something to represent yourself as a person. Do you know if having a Zippo lighter is cheaper over the long run because you can refill it?

    1. Hey Kevin, thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate you interaction here at the website. There are many avenues by which a Zippo Windproof lighter can be customized and so many other ways the lighters are embellished that an individual can easily find the perfect model to suit them usually by browsing the vast number of different designs that are available from the company both as Web Debuts and also Amazon, Ebay or so many other outlets.

      Owning a Zippo and refilling it is definitely less expensive over time than buying a new Bic or other plastic lighter like a Scripto every time you go through the line at the convenience or department store. A can of fuel is pretty cheap and would last most users yrs at a time!

  4. I have enjoyed your articles on lighters, but the my obvious reason for having a good lighter didn’t dawn on me until this article.  You mentioned that a Zippo lighter is better for the environment that a plastic one.  I hike and camp quite a bit.  I always carry a disposable plastic lighter.  It just makes sense to carry a Zippo lighter that can be refilled but does not need to be replaced.  Thanks for the advice.


    1. Thank you Jim for your comment and I am thrilled you discerned the true motivation for the article in the first place. Most of the other reasons for owning a Zippo Windproof lighter are purely subjective and in this article, even whimsical! I mean, it’s kind of hard to quantify what exactly equates to the coolness factor of most Zippos though I did have fun trying to explain it. The issue of the environment though is much more fact based as you can’t really argue with the damage done by the production of such plastic products and then a good number of them will remain in sealed packages never to be used.

  5. Your passion for Zippo lighters really shines through, and you make a strong case for why Zippos are superior to other types of lighters. I particularly appreciated the focus on the longevity and durability of Zippos, as well as the fact that they are refillable and environmentally friendly. Disposable lighters end up in the ocean way too often. Your article has definitely convinced me to consider getting a Zippo for my husband!

    1. Thank you Chrisna and I really appreciate you sharing! I am sure your husband will be glad to have a new Zippo.

      As far as disposable lighters go, it’s not only that the litter of them all can end up in the ocean but also the fact that the production of such plastic products causes off-gassing and other harmful results to our environment. The refillable nature of Zippos along with the fact of its all metal construction make it a much better choice and certainly more responsible for most consumers.

  6. I really enjoyed reading this article on the top five reasons to own a Zippo lighter. The author provides compelling reasons for why everyone should consider owning one of these classic lighters, from their durability and reliability to the wide variety of designs available. The article is well-written and easy to follow, making it a great read for anyone interested in learning more about Zippos. I especially appreciated the personal touch added by the author’s experience with owning and using these lighters. Thank you for sharing your insights on this classic accessory!

    1. Thank you Murry and please stop by on a regular basis! My experience using these fine little fire making machines and refurbishing and putting them back into working order make writing about them a thoroughly fulfilling enterprise and I plan to continue doing so for as long as the Lord allows!

      Zippo Windproof lighters are an extremely useful tool that just so happen to be very collectible at the same time. There are many aspects of this hobby that would have hooked me even if I hadn’t fallen in love with repairing them.

  7. Although I am thoroughly convinced that Zippo is the best lighter in the world, that is not to say I don’t love other makes and models of lighters. Ronson, Lancel, Quercia, Mouchon, Flamidor, Dunhill to mention a few. So long as it’s the old-fashioned petrol wick lighter.

    1. Hey Jonathan, I appreciate you stopping by to check out the article and especially for the nice comment. I do love Zippo lighters but like you said I am really a fan of the old petrol wick lighters. There are so many brands that were made and such peculiar and interesting mechanisms that I love them all. Zippos definitely have some limitations, especially in windy conditions like we typically have here in the state of Oklahoma but that doesn’t mean they are not excellent lighters and certainly some of my favorites. I also appreciate all of your interaction in the Facebook group my friend!

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