Cigar Aficionado

Zippo Multi-Purpose Lighter

It's family barbecue time. You've got your apron, your chef's hat, a platter of assorted meats, all the utensils, your brand new stainless steel grill gleaming in the sun. Looking up at the wife and kids sitting around the picnic table on the deck, waiting in anticipation, you expel a breath of satisfaction.

Until you go to spark the flames with your disposable. You give it a click -- no light -- and another click -- still no light. You look up at the family and smile and they gaze down at you as the propane slowly mounts in a blurred cloud over the barbecue. With almost certain death due to an immiment massive explosion, you turn off the gas. Click the lighter, click the lighter and click the lighter -- nothing. Feeling like Clark Griswold from the Vacation movies, your face flushed with rage, you think of a couple solutions. You could excuse yourself and speed to the local Burger King, eat the meat raw or, better yet, press into action the same tool you can use to light your cigars: a Zippo Multi-Purpose Lighter.

The Zippo Manufacturing Co.'s new MPL lighter is an eight-inch-long, hefty homebody capable of multitasking in the nuclear household, and because it's powered by butane, instead of lighter fluid like its famous squat cousin, is ideal for the cigar-smoking family man.

The Multi-Purpose Lighter is made of brass, and has an extra-long refillable tank with a fuel supply window near 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 relight a large-ring-gauge cigar. 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 the lighter 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, over your tool bench, or from a belt loop.

Like all Zippos, the Multi-Purpose Lighter has a lifetime guarantee. It retails for $14.95 for the black brass model and $19.95 for the silver satin brass.

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