Confused About Zippos

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cosmicfolklore

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For the record, I use a Bic 99.5% of the time. After a few times of going to a cigar bar, pulling out my pipe and all of the accouterments, starting the ritual of packing, etc... with all these guys starting to perk up and pay attention... then I take out a Zippo or a nice Kiribi, and all the eyes all light up... then I strike it, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk... a flint out, or the wheel is dirty, or it's out of fluid... and, the whole room that was hanging on my every move busts into laughter. I always carry a Bic. They've never left me flaccid in front of the boys. And, if so, anyone would understand when a Bic doesn't fire up, but when a specialized piece of beauty doesn't it becomes hilarious, ha ha.
 
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Sonorisis

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Dec 24, 2019
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The difference between lighting a pipe with a Zippo and lighting a cigar is that, with the cigar, you're putting the cigar in the path of the flame as the fluid burns and evaporates and rises. With a pipe, you're drawing heat down, off the bottom of the flame as the evaporating fluid goes up, away from the pipe. Different mechanics.

Actually, Zippos are not very good for lighting cigars because the flame is hard to control and it is almost impossible to use a Zippo to touch up a wrapper while smoking. Cigars are a job for torch lighters, where you can precisely control the flame's contact with the tobacco.

But, for pipes, I've found nothing better than a Zippo.
 

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cosmicfolklore

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I don't let the flames from a Zippo even get close to my cigar. I just pull in some of the heat, and usually I get an immediate jet of flame shooting back out of the cigar, just as with my pipes. I don't want the flames of any lighter to touch the tobacco. half and inch to an inch away, that's all. Just draw a little heat in with the puffs. No need for the flame at all.
 

bullet08

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Nov 26, 2018
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used to only use zippo for everything. cigarettes, cigars, pipes, everything. then i got lazy. never noticed any fume, smell or taste. only downside was having to refill often. cigarette lit with zippo tastes the best to me, chased with a pint of Guinness.
 
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didimauw

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I don't let the flames from a Zippo even get close to my cigar. I just pull in some of the heat, and usually I get an immediate jet of flame shooting back out of the cigar, just as with my pipes. I don't want the flames of any lighter to touch the tobacco. half and inch to an inch away, that's all. Just draw a little heat in with the puffs. No need for the flame at all.

I should really try that sometime. I keep hearing that the flame doesn't have to touch the leaf. It just doesn't make sense in my head. That's like hovering your foot above the water, and claiming it gets wet.....hahaha
 

TinCup

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Nov 14, 2019
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I think it's more a matter of odor than a taste. That being said, we get a lot of our precieved taste through out olfactory sense. So under certain circumstances you might get a minor taste of lighter fluid but it's my experience that it burns off rapidly.

To be honest most cigar aficionados will tell you that a wooden match is best but I ways found that the odor and taste of sulfur is more objectionable than that of lighter fluid.

To me it's a matter of preference and as another poster already said, don't over think it, just do what makes you happy.

You know as i was reading down the replies an idea was forming and it solidified when i reached your post

We need blended aro matches!
(patent pending)
 
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olkofri

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Indeed: with matches you also have to wait a couple of seconds for the sulphur to be consumed before lighting anything (pipe, cigar, &c.)—no different from a Zippo. Hence I prefer butane.
 

anotherbob

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I think it's more a matter of odor than a taste. That being said, we get a lot of our precieved taste through out olfactory sense. So under certain circumstances you might get a minor taste of lighter fluid but it's my experience that it burns off rapidly.

To be honest most cigar aficionados will tell you that a wooden match is best but I ways found that the odor and taste of sulfur is more objectionable than that of lighter fluid.

To me it's a matter of preference and as another poster already said, don't over think it, just do what makes you happy.
I swear the snobbery that goes with some people and pipe smoking is so similar to the behavior of the dreaded hipster (not hipsters, just the ones you enjoy avoiding entirely). If you don't use matches or smoke VaPer you're not really a pipe smoker, sounds just like oh you don't like Snow Patrol well you're not really into music and your taste is shit. That's at least how I see these things these you musts, they're cover for people who are either pretenders or so lacking in any other interesting traits. Or at least that's what I think.
P.s. one of the things I love is you don't run into these things very much here, which is super nice. And one last thing if someone occasionally and rarely says something like that, it's fine I'am talking about the people where saying such t^*%. waffles is one of the things that defines them.
 
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anotherbob

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You know as i was reading down the replies an idea was forming and it solidified when i reached your post

We need blended aro matches!
(patent pending)
that might work. Hell you could probably make a killing on the Yankee Candle fans out there. Not sure how viable it would be but if it was that sounds to me like a potentially awesome line. By the way if anyone steals that idea we know TinCup came up with it.
 

anotherbob

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Mar 30, 2019
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For the record, I use a Bic 99.5% of the time. After a few times of going to a cigar bar, pulling out my pipe and all of the accouterments, starting the ritual of packing, etc... with all these guys starting to perk up and pay attention... then I take out a Zippo or a nice Kiribi, and all the eyes all light up... then I strike it, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk... a flint out, or the wheel is dirty, or it's out of fluid... and, the whole room that was hanging on my every move busts into laughter. I always carry a Bic. They've never left me flaccid in front of the boys. And, if so, anyone would understand when a Bic doesn't fire up, but when a specialized piece of beauty doesn't it becomes hilarious, ha ha.
cosmic thanks for dropping the hints on how to use a bic to light a pipe. I still prefer the Zippo but now I carry a bic with me as back up. Both can light a pipe perfectly. The bic is a bit more touchy and easier to mess up with, but they both work if you know how to use them.
 

jpmcwjr

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May 12, 2015
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I love the history, the practicality, the lore of Zippos, but do not use them for lighting anything unless I am in a gale force wind. I keep mine in a form fitting plastic bag to slow down the evaporation. And, yes, it's mostly the fumes I don't like one bit.
 

jpmcwjr

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May 12, 2015
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I should really try that sometime. I keep hearing that the flame doesn't have to touch the leaf. It just doesn't make sense in my head. That's like hovering your foot above the water, and claiming it gets wet.....hahaha
Yup. It's plenty hot beyond the visible tip of the flame. Try it on your next stick.
 

jpmcwjr

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May 12, 2015
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Carmel Valley, CA
cosmic thanks for dropping the hints on how to use a bic to light a pipe. I still prefer the Zippo but now I carry a bic with me as back up. Both can light a pipe perfectly. The bic is a bit more touchy and easier to mess up with, but they both work if you know how to use them.

Any implement can be used to properly light a pipe, even a torch. The formula has to do with BTU's, distance from the tobacco, and time.

Torches are not recommended.
 
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cosmicfolklore

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In very rustic situations, in the days of old, even rustic old London, pipes were occasionally lit by hovering a chunk of burning coal or charcoal from the hearth with small tongs made to hold it. The tongs were held to hover the coal an inch or so above the pipe to light it. The bowls were lit without anything touching nor open flame... just drawing down some heat.
 
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