Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bic vs. Zippo As The Lighter For Your Fire Source.


     There are a lot of recommendations to carry a disposable lighter such as a Bic for lighting your fires or candles when there is a natural disaster or a power outage emergency.  As it turns out, only having the disposable type of lighters may not be a good choice, depending on temperatures as well as the wind.
 

     Last week, I was outside making up a rope handle for pulling two of my granddaughters on a snow sled and I needed to melt the ends of the nylon rope so they wouldn't become frayed.  In the 20 degree temps I flicked my Bic lighter to melt the nylon rope ends and all I got was a small 1/4 inch to maybe a 5/16 inch high flame that was very weak.  Apparently the gas gets cold and doesn't burn as readily.  This was a new lighter that hadn't been used over five times before this.  Given this situation, I took out my Zippo Windproof lighter, gave it one flick and instantly it had a nice big flame to do the job.  While it's important to stock up on a few disposable lighters, you better be sure to get some reliable ones too.  I recommend the $10 Zippo Windproof lighter.  As an added piece of information, when you buy a can of Ronsonol lighter fluid, it lasts a long time.  I would dare say that it will last longer than a 5 pack of Bic lighters would.  I've been using my can of lighter fluid to refill my Zippo Windproof for almost a year now, and there's about 1/4 of the can of fluid still left.  That's a long time for supplying me with refills for a lighter with such a strong flame.

     The performance of the Bic lighter confirmed the value I had placed on having another type of lighter included in my Every Day Carry (EDC), not just a disposable one.  I remember in high school that Zippo Windproof lighters were always the good ones, even in the cold winter, so that is what I chose as my secondary fire source in my EDC items.  A little checking showed me that Zippo has been making lighters for over eighty years, and they were the preferred lighter of soldiers in WWII.  If the $10 price seems a bit high, consider the quality of the lighter as it is very well made.  It is also made here in the USA in Pennsylvania.  Another high quality American Made Product!  It also carries their warranty:
"It works, or we fix it for free!"

     Here's a video of my Zippo Windproof lighter lighting and performing perfectly under the wind produced by the outer edge of the blades of a 52 inch ceiling fan while running on high speed:

 

     You might wonder how would a disposable lighter would perform under those conditions.  I tried it and couldn't even get a new one to light, let alone keep burning!

     I hope this information has been helpful to you in raising your awareness in selecting a reliable fire source for your needs and preferences.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful prepping day!

Bob Hotaling

 

3 comments:

Bette Davis said...

good advice, I was just about to buy a multipack of bic lighters

Josh W said...

Just beware of evaporation. Lighter fluid stored in a zippo will evaporate very quickly compared to a BIC because BICs use butane.

Bob Hotaling said...

You are correct about evaporation! You have to remember to refill your Zippo at a frequency that is associated with your use of it. Even if you don't use it, the fluid will still evaporate. I have evolved to filling mine once a week and that works out very well. As a side note, I have noticed in recent months that it is becoming more difficult to find the Ronsonol Yellow and Blue squirt fuel cans for the Zippos. I have accumulated many already, but I am always on the lookout for them. Wal-Mart in the camping section sells Zippo lighter fluid in little black cans, but they are much smaller and cost more.
Thanks for sharing your comment and happy prepping to you!

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