Cigar Aficionado

The Zippo Multi-Purpose Lighter

The Zippo Manufacturing Co.'s new Multi-Purpose Lighter will not be snapped out in a nightclub following a shot of whiskey and a barroom brawl. At eight inches long with a child-resistant ignition switch, it just wouldn't look right. However, it is ideal for the cigar-smoking family man looking for dependability and quality.

The lighter is a hefty homebody, and because it's powered by butane, not lighter fluid, it's better suited for cigars than its famous, squat cousin.

The Multi-Purpose Lighter is made of brass, and has an extra-long refillable tank with a fuel supply window toward the bottom. It operates with a patented, child-resistant safety button, located at the lighter's center. Once you've released the safety button and clicked the switch, a hardy flame shoots from the long end of the lighter, which can light and re-light a large ring gauge cigar with no problem. It can reach burned-down candles in sconces, hard-to-reach candelabras, the underside of a barbecue or, of course, the long end of a nine-inch smoke. It can be used repeatedly throughout the day and still have the juice to light dad's cigar after he settles down from a hard day's work. Keep it in the kitchen drawer or in the study next to your ashtray and leather chair -- or use the folding clip and hang it on the grill or on your tool peg board.

Though the Multi-Purpose Lighter is made in China rather than the United States, where all other Zippos lighters are manufactured, it comes with the most endearing attribute that has characterized Zippo lighters since 1932 -- the lifetime guarantee. If it ever fails, return the lighter to the company, and it will be repaired or replaced for free. The lighter retails at $14.95 for the black brass model and $19.95 for the silver satin brass. The Zippo MPL is sold at most candle stores, fireplace shops, home centers, gift shops and other Zippo retailers.