The distinct ping of a Zippo lighter opening is music to the ears of many, but for cigar lovers, it’s more of a warning. This is because seasoned cigarians know that old-school Zippos may look cool and inspire nostalgia, but they run on lighter fluid, an odiferous liquid that can taint the taste of a fine, handmade cigar.
Knowing this, the venerable company has released two butane-powered inserts that fit into any existing Zippo case, instantly turning it into a cigar-friendly lighter. While third-party companies have created inserts for Zippos that light cigars just fine, Zippo’s official insert supersedes these options with higher build-quality and better performance.
Some may recall Zippo’s first attempts to crack the cigar market with lighters specifically designed for lighting handmade smokes. In the mid-2000s, the company introduced the Zippo Blu, which worked fine but didn’t sell. After some tinkering, Zippo tried again in 2012 with the Blu2. Despite a new shape that was more similar to the regular Zippo, the sequel also did not meet sales expectations.
Simply put, the Zippo inserts are much better at lighting cigars than both versions of the Blu lighter. They’re also considerably less expensive, only $14.95 for the single-flame and $16.95 for the double. More important is the fact that Zippo ditched their iconic flint-wheel in favor of a more modern piezo-ignition system. So while you lose some of the “coolness” factor from the flint’s bright spark, you end up with a lighter that is much more dependable.
We used both the single- and double-flame inserts to light up about 200 cigars, and each and every time the inserts never failed. The 2,300 degree Fahrenheit flame also made lighting a cigar quick, and the precision of the fame made touch-ups easier. Should something happen, the inserts are backed by a two-year warranty.
The insert’s best feature, though, is that it retains that classic Zippo ping, meaning cigar lovers no longer have to head for the hills when they hear that sound.
For more information, visit www.zippo.com.