is arguably the most famous name in lighters. Zippos have gone to war,
been featured in film after film, blocked bullets and have set fire
reliably since they were first made in 1933. Since then, the company has
sold close to 500 million lighters.
For years Zippo has sought to find a home in the cigar market, as traditional Zippo lighters are fired by lighter fluid, an odiferous liquid that can taint a cigar. After several tries, Zippo came out with the Zippo Blu in 2005, a version of a Zippo powered by odorless butane, the preferred fuel for lighting a cigar.
The original Zippo Blu had a different shape than a traditional Zippo lighter, with curves making it look more like a sarcophagus than the familiar Zippo rectangle. The new Zippo Blu2, which was released in November, is shaped just like a regular Zippo, an improvement in our estimation. Why change an iconic piece of Americana?
As with regular Zippos, the Zippo Blu2 works via a flint—roll the large flint wheel, depress the gas release, and hold it down. This is different from many modern turbo or jet lighters, which operate via electronic ignition. Zippo says the simplicity of the flint-wheel ignition results in reliability. “Performance that no electronic lighter can deliver,” in the company’s parlance.
two-stage burner system patented by Zippo sends a thin but long jet of
blue and orange flame. The lid opens and snaps shut with the familiar click that will bring back memories to all who have used a Zippo in the past.
Zippo Blu2 lighters are masculine and simple. Some might find they lack the panache of a high-end butane lighter and might be out of place in a ritzy cigar bar, but they are ideal lighters for the golf course, a campsite, or a ski trip. For cigar-smoking anglers, they would make a fine addition to a tackle box.
Zippo Blu2 lighters are made in the United States. While these Zippos don’t feel as sturdy as older models, which seem to have been made with heavier metals, Zippos have a guarantee that’s legendary. The company operates a very simple “It works, or we fix it free,” mentality. If the lighter breaks, they fix it free of charge. It retails for $64.95.