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#15806 - 05/10/03 09:17 AM Zippo fuel possibilities?

Hello All,

What types of fuels will work in a pinch with a Zippo lighter? I've heard that the boys used tank fuel (diesel?) during world war 2. Will unleaded gasoline work? Any others?


#15807 - 05/10/03 11:27 AM Re: Zippo fuel possibilities?
dBu24 Offline
new member

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 81
Loc: IL
You may use Ronson lighter fuel instead of Zippo....
. NEVER use gasoline , it gives off some very nasty fumes and smoke.
Diesel fuel is of course out of the question ( a Primus stove might work on diesel, though -Not same thing).

Alcohol will not be ignited and white benzine will evaporate in no time.

Stick to that good old Zippo fuel or switch to a BIC gas lighter

#15808 - 05/10/03 12:14 PM Re: Zippo fuel possibilities?

BCB make a petrol (gasoline) lighter.

#15809 - 05/10/03 12:51 PM Re: Zippo fuel possibilities?
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
Doesn't the answer depend on what the original poster's intent was? This is equipped.org, after all - not zippo.com. Maybe he was considering the options if he couldn't pop into the local tobacconist?

Could a Zippo lighter be filled with gasoline or kerosene *in an emergency*? If I want to light a cigarette, nasty fumes and smoke might spoil the taste (although I thought nasty fumes and smoke was the whole point of smoking <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> ) but if it's a survival situation and I need to get a campfire started, and I discover (for whatever reason) that all my good ol' Zippo fuel has evaporated, what alternatives are there?

I'm pretty sure that the GIs in WWII ran out of Zippo fuel on a regular basis and had to improvise; what did they use?
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#15810 - 05/10/03 01:33 PM Re: Zippo fuel possibilities?

Tanks (Sherman's being the most common.....commonly refered to as Ronson's after the lighter) were powered by gasoline. Actually, all vehicles were gasoline powered.

#15811 - 05/10/03 06:40 PM Re: Zippo fuel possibilities?
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
WWII US tanks were gasoline powered until very very late in the war and yes, GIs substituted mogas for lighter fluid all the way up to the present era (almost everything is compression ignition now and therefore burns jet fuel, diesel, kerosene, etc.) Diesel won't work and I'd be surprised as heck if kerosene worked. Gasoline works and so does naptha-based stove fuel ("white gas", Coleman Fuel, Blazo, etc). I do not know if mineral spirits will work or not - that's probably about the raggedy edge of what will work.

There are some other less-encountered flammables that will work.


#15812 - 05/15/03 12:58 PM Re: Zippo fuel possibilities?
Kuzushi Offline

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 22
I've tried two other fuels in a Zippo.

91% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol): Worked fine. was able to spark up fairly easily. Also evaporated fairly quickly from the resevoir. Note: rubbing alchohol comes in 2 strtengths, 70% and 91%. I have a feeling the 70% may be too dilute to light w/ the sparker.

Liquid parrifin (lamp oil): could not light it from sparker.



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