Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Tested and Reviewed - Zippo Blu Butane Lighter


For a long time i tried to get my hands on the new Zippo Blu lighter. I tried to track one down from local retailers as well as harassing the people at the US Zippo headquarters. The problem being, that the Zippo Blu had not landed European soil yet.

Well, it took some time, but then at last i heard from some great people at the Scandinavian Zippo Marketing / Mr. Rikke Nielsen and a finnish importer Pekka Jerkku Oy/ Ms. Susanna Grahn. They offered me one of the new Zippos to be tested and reviewed here. Thank you guys, i really appreciate it! This is a kind of gesture, that makes it possible for me to run the blog and update it with great posts.

Now i have been using the Zippo for a month and testing it in action. First of all, i have to say, that the idea of a blue butane flame coming out of a Zippo took some time to get used to. Now, though, it seems to be the next natural step for the 75 years old Zippo company. As the interest in quality cigars is increasing, the regular Zippo just does not serve as a lighter for the aficionados.

What the Zippo Blu really does, is that it combines the iconized Zippo design and its flint ignition system with the flavourless and scentless butane flame.




Overall, the lighter is great, but it has some flaws too. The filling of the lighter was somewhat difficult at start, but that is partly due to the fact that i used an universal filler fluid, which did not have the exact adapter for the Zippo intake. It would probably be best to use just Zippo butane for the lighter, but that somewhat cuts down the freedom of choice a little. The gas level of the lighter is inspected through a small window on the side, but it really does not give you a proper picture.



The flint ignition is a little cumbersome, as you have to hold down the wheel as you roll it to start the butane flow. Then the button has to be held down similar to other butane lighters to keep the flame up. At the first ignitions the flame was somewhat flickery but it has been consistent and of great size once over the first tries.

This all might sound a little harsh, but Zippo Blu really is a good lighter. And personally I would be ready to forgive even greater flaws just for the cool and flashy image of the lighter. It is a true Zippo after all. Everywhere i have been using the Blu, i have had interested people asking questions about it and wanting to try it. They all have liked the idea and given it their thumbs up. The familiar clicking sound of the lid together with a proper way in combining the flint and the blue butane flame really make the Zippo Blu a lighter worth considering. And if you happen to like the regular Zippo, the Blu is the next obvious thing for you to buy and try.

Check out more details here, or contact me to ask additional questions or to give your comments.


31 comments:

DS said...

Hehe, the problem of the gas level window, is that you have to check the level with the window/lighter upside down... :)

Miker said...

That is true... and it is kind of small

cheers,

Anonymous said...

Cant believe u wrote psotively about this piece of rubbish lighter..Just look on any forum and everyone is throwing the things away..utter crap.

I had one and would only ignite maybe one for every 20 tries..Sent an email to Zippo and obviously no response as they have been flooded with complaints..

Obviously ur getting something from this or u only tried to lite the thing once..

Miker said...

thank you "Anonymous", for your insights on the lighter. I am getting nothing out of this, or anything else for that matter.

I have used it since i got it and never have i had any problems with it. I write only what i personally experience and my own tastes and preferences. If you consider it crap, then i have to say i am just lucky to get a working lighter, and i am happy about that.

I don't quite like your style on questioning my motives, but that is your right. It would be better, however if you would tell your opinions with arguments and create conversation.

cheers,

Mikko

Anonymous said...

I just got a zippo blu, too. I also got a can of universal butane gas filler and can't fill my new zippo. How did you do it? I bought the universal filler because I couldn't find the zippo fluid. I don't want to always have to order it online everytime I need more butane.

Miker said...

Hey Anonymous,

I just turned the Zippo upside down and showed the bottle to the intake. I think on a couple of first times i had to wiggle it a bit, but i am getting it filled. Just remebmer to measure the level of butane while the zippo is upside down to see the actual butane level...

I hope this helps, i am sorry that you have trouble with it...

cheers

Evan said...

I am also interested in your positive review of the lighter? Are you still getting consistent operation from your lighter?

I just recieved my Zippo Blu and I am extremely disappointed. The lighter is simply unreliable for me. Sometimes it lights after one strike, but most times it takes 5 or 6 strikes to light. The flame is also variable for me. Sometimes it's an inch tall and other times it's only a quarter inch tall. Many times after one or two lights it quits lighting altogether.

I've worked through all of the troubleshooting tips and used only premium Zippo butan and flints with no help. I've checked for vapor lock and tapped out the top to make sure I have no blockage but the problems persist.

I can actually reliably reproduce the problems. I'd be interested if you can light your lighter repeatedly for short durations. For example I will light mine and hold for 5 seconds, then relight and hold. Usually by the third light the flame reduces in size until it goes out and simply will not light at all. This doesn't even include the fact that it usually takes numerous strikes just to keep getting it lit.

In addition to the lighting problems I've got other issues with the construction of the lighter. The hinge on my lighter is wobbly with noticable lateral movement. This causes issues when closing because the lid hits the butane insert. My lighter is only two weeks old and already has scratched worn marks on the insert by the button and Zippo perforated "Z" holes.

Not only does the thin metal of the body seem flimsy but my flint wheel has problems. After nearly every strike the flint insert pops out too far. I end up having to align the notch in the flint insert with the body almost every time I light it. Sometimes it does't pop to far out but many times it comes out and then interferes with closing the lid which by the way is not scratched on the inside from the flint hitting the lid repeatedly.

I've even got a complaint on the tack welds where the hing is mounted to the body. Mine has very noticable divots in the body. It looks like I've got two dents on either side of the hinge. At first I though that it was common to all Zippos but from every picture I can find on the web by Zippo, I can't visibly see these marks. It appears my hinge was simply "stamped" on too hard.

I've since contacted Zippo but it took two emails and almost three weeks for a reply which was simply to return the Zippo for repair.

I would love to have a lighter that I can simply rely on and own for many years but with all the negative reviews I don't see that happening. Your review does give hope, but I'm curious as to whether or not you have any of the same issues.

Does your lighter really light reliably and repeatedly? Try lighting a cigar for 20 seconds and tell me if you can even get the thing to light again...

Miker said...

Thank you Evan, for sharing your experience.

This is what i am hoping to achieve with my writings and insights - conversation and multiple views on same interests.

I am beginning to wonder if my lighter is one of a kind! I honestly have not had any major issues with it. It lights reliably, keeps a constant flame and works time after time. I even get the bugger filled properly.

i consider it a cumbersome and clumsy piece of machinery, but my lighter works.

It seems to be, that 1 out of a thousand works, and i have that one. This also creates an awkward situation, when i have to explain, that my lighter really works and i have based my review on that.

thanks once again, and keep 'em coming!

cheers,

Mikko

Carlos said...

I agree with your review. I have been using a zippo blu with no problems for about 5 weeks. My only complain is that it's heavier than the regular zippos. But I am not looking for another lighter, I am keeping this one.

Evan said...

I've got an update to my ongoing Zippo Blu issues. It took three emails to Zippo, but I finally got hold of a very nice lady who is really trying to help. I explained my problems and she said to send it back in.

I told her I didn't want to send it in just to get back a lighter with the same issue so she sent me a new flint wheel. The new flint wheel actually looks better quality than what was in my lighter.

The new wheel actually works better and doesn't pop out everytime I use the lighter. It actually lights more reliably, but still not like I'd expect.

I am, however, still left with the problem of a low flame and sometimes little or no gas coming out. So my lighter will work better but continually goes back and forth between having a 1 inch flame to an 1/8th inch flame.

Still disappointed but pretty happy with customer service at this point. I think I'll end up sending in the lighter to get the fuel delivery issue worked out. I'd love to keep the lighter but I am still stuck carrying a Bic along with my Zippo...

Anonymous said...

I really like the new blu. It is the first new zippo I've had in 20 years. I have two old daily use zippos, one from my grandfather, he got it in the early 50's and the one I got for myself in the early 80's. So I thought it was time to get a new one and try something modern that won't mess up a cigar's taste. (I've only recently started smoking cigars) I'm very impressed with the new Blu. It lights first strike, it feels like a zippo, sounds like a zippo, but does not leak in my pocket like a zippo. The fit and finish is superb, and I've had none of the problems so many people mention in these pages. I think Zippo has heard the comments and upped the quality on those things. Over All it is a must buy lighter.

Dan said...

I like the new zippo blu alot. I do not understand why so many people are having problems lighting it, but you must be operating it wrong or not filling it right. I made a video to prove mine works good.
http://tinypic.com/r/242ee89/5

Anonymous said...

I just got my Zippo Blu and noticed I was having some of the problems that were mentioned above. (Getting 1 light in about 20 tries...) Turns out mine was vapor locked from the way it was initially filled.

If you take a sharp object (I used a key) and depress the small filling button on the bottom (make sure to invert first) you can vent any air that might be in your lighter.

Mine now works 99% of the time. Give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

WOW Thx, it really does help to let the gas out if your Blu won't light. I did this then filled with universal Butane fuel and now it works fine. Good look to anyone else who has any problems.

Anonymous said...

look.... U HAVE TO USE THE ZIPPO PREMIUM BUTANE FOR IT TO LIGHT ON THE FIRST TRY!!!!!!!!!!!

the regular butane is not as flamable as the zippo premium butane....

the zippo blu is the best of the butane jet lighters i have ever seen....the don't break and they are more fuel efficiant than other jet lighters

Anonymous said...

Hello everybody,

The Zippo blu is manufactured in the USA. This is the original Zippo Blu.

I havan't got mine yet, but a friend had a lot of problem as people said before. In fact, his Zippo blu is a fake.

So be careful of your retailers. Maybe you'll have a "replica" made in China!

Anonymous said...

I had also a problem with de flintwheel. (Getting 1 light in about 20 tries...)
I tried to use a harder flint (Ronson)
Now it works perfect (Getting 19 lights in 20 tries)

xezzta said...

When I got mine it worked ok for a week or so then it wouldn't light but every 10 or so strikes. I checked the flint and it was down to just a chip. I replaced it with a new flint and now it works great. I just wish you can adjust the flame.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to add that, you must push down on the flint wheel for two seconds then strike the flint. This will release gas in advance for the flint to ignite. If you just try and light right away it is about one and ten chance of it working. I have had many different torch lighter and the zippo is the best one on the market as far as reliability.

Anonymous said...

I'm about to get one, I hope it lives up to it''s potential

Zippomole said...

Well I must say I love my new Zippo Blu but it is proving a challenge to stay that way. When I got it a few months ago all was great but then it just refused to light. Only ever use Zippo gas & flints, and I could hear gas coming out but I never got a flame. My email to Zippo got a very quick response - send it in. So I did. Got the lighter back four weeks later but it immediately started playing up again. It seemed that it won't light if the air temperature is above about 18C, but now it's started not lighting again even when the air is cooler. If it gets any worse I'll send it in again in the hope they can fix it or replace it. I assume, for the fact it has been in and returned, that it IS a genuine Zippo and not a fake (bought from a reputable online supplier).
I agree with an earlier posting - I wish the flame was adjustable. I reckon that is the problem I'm having - the more forceful the flame, the more likely the speed of the gas is blowing out the flame or just preventing ignition. Such a shame for such a great lighter with a fabulous pedigree. I'd welcome other people's thoughts on the issue.

Anonymous said...

Hi, interesting to read the critical comments about the Zippo Blu. I bought a second-hand one, C-08, on Ebay. Initially I also had ignition and flame consistency problems. I eventually solved these problems by poking a fine wire down the very small, gas-flame hole, and dislodged a small amount of flint residues. I did this a few times. The lighter now ignites at first strike almost every time and the flame is full and steady. The wire I used was from a 10cm garden plant tie-up... I just stripped the plastic coating back a few cm in order to expose the fine wire. I am now very pleased with my 'new' Zippo Blu.

Anonymous said...

Hi i have found that purging the lighter till it is totaly empty then refilling fixed my problems with a low flam or not lighting i now get a consistant 1" flame and it lights almost every try (no worse than my petrol zippo)

Anonymous said...

keep your petrol zippo !!!!! I paid nearly £30.00 for a new zippo blu WAS NOT IMPRESSED, as good as my clipper !!!!! have been a zippo fan for years but zippo blu is rubbish.

Miker said...

I hope you do not use your petrol Zippo to light cigars! the petrol really ruins the taste of the cigar!!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting reading all these comments. I had the same problems as everyone else has said here but had to work out how to fix it my self. I've had my zippo blu for a year and half now and still use daily. the thing with this lighter is that you've got to regularly maintain it e.g. check the flint, make sure there's a sufficient amount of fuel and make sure you get no air inside when fueling up. as long as you remember those 3 things your lighter Will work fine.

Anonymous said...

I find that the zippo will light well at first and then it's like it over heats and doesn't light well. Also I don't like that it can't stay lit upside down. In general I find it a cool lighter.

zippoblu said...

The best lighter in the world! Unfortunately, this Zippo lighter is not yet well-known.

bsca said...

My zippo blu lights every try and if I hold the button down all the way for a few seconds the flame stays consistant and starts to get a lil bigger even.

The button sometimes sticks for a second when I let go tho.

Other than that it fills easily with my off brand butane and the lid has that distinctive zippo "click" when opened

I haven't had to change the flint but it seems like the screw head is a hex key or something and might be difficult.

I got mine at a thrift store for ten bucks and I'm definetly happy with it.

It would definetly stay lit if I were to light a large cigar

Anonymous said...

You are obviously have the dexterity of an infant. Work on it and stop blaming zippo for your short comings.

Cautious... said...

Anyone know the best site to order?... that will not get you on a fake zippo... Thanks!