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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 December 2016
We have a number of these that we use for all manner of household jobs, even one in the red "snowflake" design that comes out for Christmas. An early one quite quickly failed to light (igniter problem, which Zippo replaced after a laborious exchange process, because it lasted just beyond the Amazon returns window). When they are working, though, they are excellent.

The Mini MPL doesn't throw out a huge flame, but can be adjusted by the knurled control at the opposite end to anywhere between unenthusiastic and moderately happy, which is all we need for lighting tealights, candles, a gas ring, or starting up a chiminea on a summer evening. Because they are quite tasteful-looking they can be left handy without looking awkward, as a yellow plastic lighter would be if it was in your living room for lighting candles. Of course, you pay a premium for that sophisticated look.

We both occasionally light incense to scent a room or a workspace, so we have plenty of times when one of these is useful, and now have a few around the house.

Refilling is pretty simple, using a standard butane can (perhaps 6 X Swan Universal Gas Lighter Refill 200ml, or from the cigarette counter that is in most supermarkets) with the correct nozzle (they usually come with a selection in the lid). You simply insert the refill nozzle into the receptacle at the base of the lighter (through the centre of the knurled flame adjustment control) and press the can to the lighter to allow the butane to flow. On each side of the lighter there are small windows through which you can see the butane level in the lighter rising as it fills. With regular use, our most "busy" lighter still goes many months (sometimes a year) between refills - and you know when it wants refilling by the fact that the flame gets less enthusiastic.

The only caveats I can think of are the obvious ones about naked flames and hot objects, that they should be kept out of the reach of children and that the lighter's tip shouldn't be touched for a few minutes after use, or allowed to touch anything flammable. The lighter is designed so that the tip doesn't contact any surface when you put it down, because the body is slightly larger in cross section.

So, in all, its a sensibly designed MPL - multi-purpose lighter - that looks tasteful and unobtrusive, has only what's necessary for the job, and which seems to soldier on extremely well (occasional igniter problems notwithstanding). The earliest ones we bought, in 2010, are still going strong and look new.
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on 30 January 2017
Super, love this.
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on 12 September 2011
I collect all Zippos, am a Zippo collector in fact.

So, when I saw this I had to buy it. Unlike other collectors, I test all my lighters, etc. to make sure they really work. So happened with this one.....

.....lit first time and lit the included waxy 'match like thing' so I got my fire started. I don't need to be astounded, cos I knew the Zippo would work, hence no surprise.

If you want a guaranteed fire starting kit, look no further.
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on 20 September 2013
It works very well but the refills are just a little dear. Impressed the heck out of folk we met camping, I like gadgets but their enthusiasm was so far over the top.
Simple to use.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2011
I won't go into the pros and cons of buying a fire-starter like this over a liquid or gas lighter as everyone has different needs when it comes to lighting things, and anyone capable of making fire should have the sense to work the differences out for themselves. What I will say is that, in my opinion, a fire starter will never replace a lighter for usefulness or for ease of use, but it is handy as a supplemental tool, particularly as it doesn't have a dependence on external fluid to work.

Although I haven't compared the two next to each other, the Zippo fire starter looks to be constructed using more or less the same style body as Zippo's much-maligned gas lighter range, the Zippo Blu, the obvious difference being its garish orange paint scheme. The body feels fairly solid, as tough as it needs to be, and the cap closes somewhat securely but doesn't lock; a plastic insert with a rubber surround on the top of the body keeps the cap down and the water out. The cap is held on by a hinge that doesn't look the most solid of pieces, but as I'm yet to have a Zippo lighter body and cap part company on me I won't judge it at this early stage.

Inside the starter you'll find a flint striker wheel and 4 rayon sticks that have been dipped in wax, all housed inside the plastic insert. Unfortunately, you don't get any spare sticks or flints, and the insert isn't removable so you won't be able to store sundry items like matches or extra rayon sticks in the space underneath it - a lost opportunity, I think. I would also have liked to see a lanyard, or at least a lanyard loop, attached to the starter as fire-makers (like penknives) are easy to lose when you're walking about in a field in the dark - hence the bright colour.

To use the fire starter, you simply remove one of the sticks, pull it apart so that some of the un-waxed rayon on the inside is exposed, then strike the flint wheel next to it. You do need to have the flint close when striking for it to work, and lighting a stick isn't always easy to do as there isn't that much exposed material on the inside to set light to, but I was surprised at how well the wax keeps the stick going once one is lit. You also have to make sure that the wax in the stick is burning well before you try lighting your fire with it, though, otherwise it may well blow out.

Even though it is said that the flint wheel is Zippo's standard trademark one, to me it makes more sparks than the one on my lighter - then again, perhaps it's just the lack of a chimney making it look that way. Whatever the case, the sparks from the flint won't blow out in stronger winds, but the rayon might do if it hasn't caught well; getting your fire ready and having your additional kindling close by before you begin would seem to be wise.

I also tried the striker on various other bits of kindling, as you're unlikely to find Zippo-brand wax-impregnated rayon sticks out in the wilderness (unless you find yourself marooned in a Zippo factory, that is.) I tested dried grass and other dry bits from around the garden, but nothing caught at all, so it seems a sensible precaution to keep a healthy stash of tinder with you, whether it has wax in or not. Of course, being able to hold matches or more than 4 rayon sticks in the starter would seem to have been the best solution of all, but that's not possible so you'll just have to make do with what you're given.

If truth be told, I don't think my Zippo fire starter will get much use as I usually have a lighter or matches with me, but there is always that one time when the matches have run out and the lighter has run dry, and this starter would seem ideal for those occasions. You do need to have some good kindling with you and to get everything prepared beforehand if you want to start a fire, but if you do that then things should go quite smoothly. As the blurb on the front of the product's packaging suggests, you should see this very much as an addition to, and not a replacement of, your trusty lighter.
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on 15 January 2016
Didn't realise you had to buy fuel as well so obviously this did not work when i got it which is a real bug-bear - like buying things that don't come with batterres. If it did come with fuel, it's impossible to light so quicker to pop to the shop for matches.

Looks nice though.
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on 15 December 2015
bought as a gift
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on 10 September 2014
I bought this thinking that a reasonably priced lighter from a recognisable brand would last better than a cheap plastic one. How wrong I was!

We’ve had the lighter about 6 months and the flame, if it lights at all, is so pathetically small that it’s useless. I’ve tried using a new butane refill and also emptying the lighter’s tank & refilling it but it’s still hopeless.

The Zippo guarantee is no good because there’s a “shipping and handling” charge of £5 which is way too much for a lighter that cost me £7.
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on 31 October 2015
Quit a unique fire starter easy to use just like a zippo one down side of this product the colour comes off very quick and easily in about 3 or 4 hours it turns to a silver sort of colour over all cool little fire starter
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on 13 September 2014
Great item, works very good, worth the money 5 stars
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