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#57098 - 01/03/06 04:22 AM Re: Lighters
Alan_Romania Offline


Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 610
Loc: Arizona
The el cheapo BICs are great. I always have one in my pack, truck, etc. I EDC an Windmill - Alaskan Outfitter All-weather Lighter from Cabela's. This is the first wind-proof, refillable lighter that has lasted more than a few months! I love it!
"Trust in God --and press-check. You cannot ignore danger and call it faith." -Duke

#57099 - 01/07/06 08:33 PM Re: Lighters
urbansurvivalist Offline

Registered: 11/27/05
Posts: 127
Loc: Asheville, NC
I just received my 'permanent match' today. I've only tested it for a few minutes, but here are my initial impressions:
It's pretty much what I expected, but a lot smaller than I expected, about 1.5"(plus 1/4" for the striker cap)x1"x1/3". Only 3 sides are made of metal, and 3 sides including the top and bottom are some kind of plastic. There is a short chain and keychain clip attached to it, but I wouldn't trust it at all. The very thin ferrocerium rod makes sparks easily, but the wick doesn't catch every time. After looking at the picture of the Coghlan's tinder kit, I realized it's the exact same thing minus the tinder, but possibly a different manufacturer. I should note that it is made in China.

The main problem I see with this is the ferrocerium rod, which I expect will wear out very quickly with regular use. The other concern I have is that it seems to hold very little fuel. The size of the unit would seem to imply that it holds a good amount, but during filling it overflowed very quickly, and seemed to have a very limited capacity. Time will tell if this is true.

That said, I think there are a lot of positives. It is simple, reliable, and has no moving parts. I like the fact that the flame has more 'reach' than most fire starting devices, since it's like holding a match where the flame stays at the end. The problem of the small ferro rod can be mitigated by carrying a seperate ferro rod or sparking device, which most of us would and should be doing anyway. If the fuel runs out, it is still useful as a sparker, and sparks with little effort. In my opinion, the small size, weight, and dirt cheap cost make it practical in any kit larger than a PSK, and possibly in a PSK as well. The sides could also be polished for use as a mediocre signal mirror for PSKs, although if using a metal tin for your PSK then obviously that's your better option.

As far as blowing out the flame vs. extinguishing it in the case, I tried it both ways and there was not difference except for a small puff of smoke when extinguishing it in the case. I'm not concerned about lighting the fuel because even if it caught fire, it wouldn't be explosive and the fire would be put out immediately be closing the cap. For now I'll stick to blowing it out, because it seems that way makes less smoke, and less smoke means less damage to the wick.

I would like to see a version with a bigger ferro rod, perhaps even a flat rod covering the entire side, and a more secure attachement for a keychain or lanyard would be nice, but I won't hold my breath. So far I would reccomend it and will probably order more, but I would also reccomend carrying another reliable firestarting method(as if I actually need to tell you people this!).

#57100 - 01/07/06 08:54 PM Re: Lighters
urbansurvivalist Offline

Registered: 11/27/05
Posts: 127
Loc: Asheville, NC
After a bit more testing I realized that it lights much more reliably(so far every time) if you strike up rather than down the ferro rod. I slide the striker up the rod at about a 45 degree angle.

#57101 - 01/16/06 06:40 AM Re: Lighters (Cricket sighting)
pizzaman Offline

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 183
Loc: The Great Pacific Northwest

I was at a Rite-Aid pharmacy today and found my first Cricket lighter ($1.97). It does seem to be of higher quality than a bic lighter. I like the built in lock too.

I've had bic lighters leak in emergency kits before. I started wrapping a rubber band around the lighter just below the fuel switch. It works great, but has to be removed before use.

I'd like to see a mini version of the Cricket like the mini bics.

There was also a 3 pack of cricket lighters for around $5. I was in a bit of a rush, but it looked like 2 butane lighters with a standard lighter fluid and flint type.

Hope that helps. TR

#57102 - 01/16/06 02:17 PM Re: Lighters (Cricket sighting)--Mini Crickets
Pete_Kenney Offline

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 56
Loc: Sylvania, OH
Cricket makes a mini lighter that is the same length as the mini BICs (2-3/8 x 7/8 x 3/8 inches). They are not overly common; but, I found some at (I think) just an everyday drugstore.

#57103 - 01/16/06 04:45 PM Re: Lighters

an added benefit is that the fuel also works in the 2 old-fashioned hand warmers I keep in my cold weather gear. I do not recall the name, but they resemble a closed Zippo lighter stuffed in a red flannel bag

I have these for charcoal sticks is this what you are refering to ? do you just pour the fuel & light ? Please explain ... I'm interrested.

#57104 - 01/16/06 05:08 PM Re: Lighters

Haven't read all the posts but here goes.

Living in the great white north, my main concern is being able to operate the lighter with frozen fingers. It's amazing how difficult / impossible some lkighters are to light. Forget matches unless they are long wooden ones (more than one inch) must be in an easily openable container. Bics, Zippos and similar are nearly impossible to strike. You can however hold a Zippo & stike the wheel on your leg or other object.

In a survival situation, many tasks required the dexterity of bare hands. At 0 F or below (-20C) with a little breeze, you can "loose" you fingers in minutes. In a larger kit consider a BBQ lighter (many shapes & sizes available) refilable or not. I like these (not too long)

my 2c

(speaking from experience)

#57105 - 01/16/06 05:36 PM Re: Lighters
indoorsman Offline

Registered: 05/10/03
Posts: 88
Loc: Ohio
My vote goes to the lowly Bic. I've never been impressed with the reliability of windproof lighters and would never trust my life to one.

It's later than you think...

#57106 - 03/24/06 08:03 PM Re: Lighters
harrkev Offline

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Sorry to bring back such an old thread back from the dead...

As a fellow nonsmoker I thought I would tell you several of the reasons that I EDC a Zippo lighter.
<< BIG SNIP >>
You will have many people crowing about their favorite flavor of the month lighter that next month or in six months will be replaced by something else. Me I go with what I know works and one that has more than a few months of R&D behind it. I of course have several backup plans but my EDC will be my slim brass Zippo for a long time to come.


Based on your eloquent speech, I got myself a Zippo about three months ago, and I must admit that I am not impressed.

Because I decided that this would be an EDC item, I chose the "mini" zippo. They have two sizes, and because I am a non-smoker I decided that the smaller one would be ideal for occasional use only. Total cost: $9.99 plus Ronsonol fuel.

Though I am not a smoker, my elderly mother is. So, when I am with her I often have to light her cigarettes. I find that my mini-zippo does HORRIBLY in any sort of wind. Although I have not done any side-by-side tests, I figure that my zippo does about the same as a disposable butane in wind. One time, I went out to the van to get one of these Colibri Quantum Temptest lighters. It worked flawlesslyin the open wind, while my zippo would stubbornly refuse to light at all, even when shielding it with my hand and body.

Just a couple of days ago, I could NOT get my zippo to light outside in a brisk breeze. Finally, I went inside and was able to get it lit, and carry it outside. It stayed lit, but just barely.

I guess what want to know is if I am doing something wrong. Is there a special way to hold it to keep the wind off of it? Did I screw up by getting the mini-zippo? Should the wick be pulled out to be level with the top of the wind screen (mine is about 3/32 shy of the top)?


Now I am now on a quest for the smallest lighter that is both windproof and water resistant. My favorite right now (based on some web searching) is a Windmill polycarbonate, with the glow-in-the-dark case. Does anybody know of any smaller ones that have some water resistance?

And as to the drawbacks of butane lighters: I live in Florida, where the tallest point is still welll under 400 feet above sea level, and where the total time below freezing is measured in hours per year.
Darwin was wrong -- I'm still alive

#57107 - 03/27/06 02:26 PM Re: Lighters
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
The mini-Zippos in my observation are not as "windproof" as the full size. They also don't seem to get as large a flame as the full size version, I don't know why though as they use the same size wick and hole. <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

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