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AMAZING - 48 hours on one fill!!
on 26 November 2010
I'm not kidding - this lasted a little over 48 hours on one fill (to the brim) of lighter fluid. I've tried both main types of fluid available in our area now, (Zippo's own black tin and Swan's yellow one), & I've not noticed the slightest difference - except the price of course!
When I first used the Zippo handwarmer, I couldn't get it to stay lit more than a few minutes, but the secret I've found is 3-fold:
1) Fill with the lighter fluid and leave it for a few minutes (with the catalyst burner-head in place) to allow the fumes to move around the product (so there are no air "gaps") which can cause it to go out;
2) Heat the burner-head properly on each of its flat surfaces with a lighter (not the top of the yellow flame or it will soot - use the top of the blue inner) when you're lighting it, even after it's obviously "lit" (about 15 seconds) - this helps to vapourise the gases and sustain the ignition (you should NOT apply lighter fluid to the burner-head itself - it will flame and damage the head);
3) Put the metal lid onto the lit burner and put it into its soft, draw-string case and into your pocket. Don't ask me how (I'm not a combustion expert) but this actually seems to encourage it to work. I DO know that it doesn't require additional oxygen to work - whatever is available in your pocket is clearly sufficient.
Obviously, if you don't want it to last for 2 days and 2 nights constantly, then don't fill it up to the brim. As mentioned by others, Zippo do supply a nifty little container clearly marked for showing what fill one needs for 6 or 12 hours of heat.
For instant heat I use the clicker-pads (and yes, you can recharge them very effectively with a microwave) but for long-term sustainability, the Zippo is surely hard to beat.