Zippo Flints

Whalehead King

I wish I owned a micrometer. I swear that Zippo flints stop producing reliable sparks way sooner nowadays than when I remember years ago. I just had to change my flint and I think it should still have plenty of spark left in it. I remember back in the day, I'd unloose the spring and all that would fall out were two slivers of crescent-shaped flint bits.

Is it just me or am I the only one who has noticed this?

Zippo is still my favorite lighter and I'm not going to change anytime soon. I'm sure the last thing they want is a letter from New Orleans accusing them of flint quality control issues. Then again, maybe I'll get a new one of these doohickeys freshly packed with quality flints----the good stuff they don't put on the general market.

Is there any other brand of lighter flint besides Zippo anymore?
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After a BIC is used up I break it down and get the flint out of it. They go in the "flint in waiting" place, ready at a moment's notice.
There is always a lot of spark left on those!
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Whalehead King wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:31 pm
I wish I owned a micrometer. I swear that Zippo flints stop producing reliable sparks way sooner nowadays than when I remember years ago. I just had to change my flint and I think it should still have plenty of spark left in it. I remember back in the day, I'd unloose the spring and all that would fall out were two slivers of crescent-shaped flint bits.

Is it just me or am I the only one who has noticed this?

Zippo is still my favorite lighter and I'm not going to change anytime soon. I'm sure the last thing they want is a letter from New Orleans accusing them of flint quality control issues. Then again, maybe I'll get a new one of these doohickeys freshly packed with quality flints----the good stuff they don't put on the general market.

Is there any other brand of lighter flint besides Zippo anymore?
This does vary from lighter to lighter. I think decreased spring tension may be to blame.
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Kevin Keith wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:47 pm
After a BIC is used up I break it down and get the flint out of it. They go in the "flint in waiting" place, ready at a moment's notice.
There is always a lot of spark left on those!
tightwad taken to advanced level
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Kevin Keith wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:47 pm
After a BIC is used up I break it down and get the flint out of it. They go in the "flint in waiting" place, ready at a moment's notice.
There is always a lot of spark left on those!
I used to do this until I had a Bic flint get stuck.
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I personally like the Clipper flints. They are sort of softer than the zippo version and make a nice explosion of spark. I've used Bic flints too which are suspiciously similar to the Clipper.. although it is just a flint.. how many people could really be out there making them? While you are at it, get yourself a Clipper lighter, just because they are awesome.
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houtenziel wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:18 pm
I personally like the Clipper flints. They are sort of softer than the zippo version and make a nice explosion of spark. I've used Bic flints too which are suspiciously similar to the Clipper.. although it is just a flint.. how many people could really be out there making them? While you are at it, get yourself a Clipper lighter, just because they are awesome.


Totally off topic, but Clipper even makes a chromed out pipe lighter version..
Image
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houtenziel wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:47 pm
houtenziel wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:18 pm
I personally like the Clipper flints. They are sort of softer than the zippo version and make a nice explosion of spark. I've used Bic flints too which are suspiciously similar to the Clipper.. although it is just a flint.. how many people could really be out there making them? While you are at it, get yourself a Clipper lighter, just because they are awesome.


Totally off topic, but Clipper even makes a chromed out pipe lighter version..
Image
This is more on topic than most digressions.
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houtenziel wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:18 pm
I've used Bic flints too which are suspiciously similar to the Clipper.. although it is just a flint.. how many people could really be out there making them?
Houtz, you've got me thinking. What is a flint made of anyway? I doubt it's really flint. Maybe there is a little ground up flint in there in some complex matrix of other materials---even a trace of magnesium, perhaps? I don't know.

I reminds me of the essay, "I, Pencil." It's worth watching the video:



The longer I am alive and understand the complexity of the world, I become more Hayekian, and more religious. No one person can build a lighter flint. Think of how insignificant this product is in the world at large. And, yet, there is an, albeit small, industry dedicated to producing lighter flints. It boggles the mind.

It's a wonderful world.
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Whalehead King wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:41 pm
houtenziel wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:18 pm
I've used Bic flints too which are suspiciously similar to the Clipper.. although it is just a flint.. how many people could really be out there making them?
Houtz, you've got me thinking. What is a flint made of anyway? I doubt it's really flint. Maybe there is a little ground up flint in there in some complex matrix of other materials---even a trace of magnesium, perhaps? I don't know.

I reminds me of the essay, "I, Pencil." It's worth watching the video:



The longer I am alive and understand the complexity of the world, I become more Hayekian, and more religious. No one person can build a lighter flint. Think of how insignificant this product is in the world at large. And, yet, there is an, albeit small, industry dedicated to producing lighter flints. It boggles the mind.

It's a wonderful world.
Apparently modern "flints" are actually made of a synthetic alloy called Ferrocerium.

"A modern ferrocerium firesteel product is composed of an alloy of rare-earth metals called mischmetal (containing approximately 20.8% iron, 41.8% cerium, about 4.4% each of praseodymium, neodymium, and magnesium, plus 24.2% lanthanum.[4] A variety of other components are added to modify the spark and processing characteristics.[1] Most contemporary flints are hardened with iron oxide and magnesium oxide."

Also of interest.. "About 700 tons were produced in 2000."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrocerium
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