Zippo lighters are well known for their reliability, ease of use, ability to perform tricks, and their distinctive click sound. Since the introduction of the original Zippo in the 1930s, there have been countless varieties of the classic lighter released with different decorative features. Zippo has also produced several other types of lighters that vary from the classic design. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages due to the difference in features.
Zippo Classic Lighters
The most widely known type of Zippo lighter is the classic Zippo windproof lighter. This recognizable design features a flip lid with an internal hinge and spring mechanism, a replaceable flint, a wind shield for the replaceable wick, and cotton packing inside to absorb the fuel. The Zippo's lighting mechanism can be removed from the flip-top case, allowing access to the lighter's internal components for replacement or refueling. The case itself is available in hundreds of designs, such as metallic finishes, colored matte finishes, metallic with a stamped or engraved logo or text, printed finishes and many more.
Zippo Slim Lighters
The Zippo Slim was introduced after the classic windproof lighter was well established. The slim variety of the Zippo contains all of the same components and features as the classic Zippo but with a smaller profile to take up less pocket space. This also means that the slim holds less lighter fluid. Zippo Slims are available in a number of designs, and many correspond to the full-size Zippo designs. However the smaller lighter face means some designs aren't available, and various metallic or matte finishes are more popular for Slims.
Zippo Blu Lighters
In 2007, Zippo introduced the Zippo Blu, a modern windproof butane torch lighter. This type of Zippo has a different body profile, with aesthetic curves that make it instantly distinguishable from the classic Zippo. The lid is a flip top and still creates the distinctive "Zippo click"; however, the internal components are entirely different from the original. The lighter operates similarly to a standard butane lighter such as a Bic, with a flint wheel and a gas release valve that must be held with the thumb to maintain the flame. The flame appears as a small blue jet and produces intense heat, similar to other "torch-style" butane lighters.
Zippo Candle Lighters
Zippo recently released a new line of candle lighters. The Zippo candle lighters don't contain any of the distinctive features of the classic Zippo lighters but are a high-quality version of the standard candle lighter design. They're long and cylindrical in shape, with a protruding flame mechanism to allow easy candle lighting without burning fingers. The candle lighter is activated by a sliding thumb switch on the side, and features a fuel level indicator and an adjustable flame dial.
Crispin Trubiano has been working as a freelance writer since 2010. His articles appear on various websites, where he specializes in areas such as technology, health, television, film, literature and music. Trubiano currently studies sociology at Roger Williams University.