Zippo lighter always drying out? I found three solutions.

Years ago, my wife bought me a gorgeous anodized green Zippo lighter. Though it's one of my favorite things, I don't smoke anymore and only rarely have a use for it. Unfortunately, the lighter fuel in it evaporates within weeks, so when I want to set fire to something it fails and I end up scouring the house for matches. I've been looking into solutions to this quandary and present my findings here, in order of preference.

1. Abhor fire permanently. Never a gentle master, after all.

2. The official Zippo butane insert. I've tried several third-party alternatives, and while they're cheaper, they're terrible—don't be tempted. Besides, the official one is only $13 anyway. The single-flame one is fine. The double-flame version is better for cigars, I suppose. The downside of all this is now it's a butane lighter.

3. Peanut lighters. You can continue to enjoy the fuel you have, but the screwtop lid means it won't evaporate anywhere near as quickly. I got mine weeks ago and it still lights. Like the zippo lighter, it also has the cachet of a beatiful and tangible object. There is a downside, though: you can't just flick it open and light it. Unscrewing takes a few seconds.


Things not to bother with: Zippo's fuel canister, which just means you end up carrying around both a lighter and a lighter-sized canister of lighter fuel; arclight inserts, which recharge via USB (!) instead of using fuel but make it awkward to light anything thicker than a candlewick; and anything that purports to seal a Zippo lighter so the fluid won't evaporate. They don't work well enough to bother, and make the lighter annoying and ugly.