BUTANE INSERT OPTIONS FOR ZIPPO'S REVIEW

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by GaryMc, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. GaryMc

    GaryMc Member

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    This will be a review of 2 butane insert options to replace the internals of a ZIPPO. Currently I use 2 different brands. First off let me say I have a love/hate relationship with these but I smoke cigars. For cigars you want to use a butane lighter and not a ZIPPO or BIC so these are a great option. Butane lighters in general are finicky from the most expensive down to the cheapest and that includes the inserts. They are hit and miss, I find some work great out of the package, some get returned quickly as they just stop. None in my experience are going to last multiple years just due to the design (unless they are traditional flint and butane flame not a torch) but I find that goes for any torch flame butane lighter. I have one Thunderbird insert that has now lasted almost 3 years but that is a rarity in any torch flame butane lighter. The new Z-Plus Extreme I got a couple of months ago is doing well so far.

    Keep in mind I smoke 2-3 cigars a day so my lighters get used a lot. They don't just ride in my pocket, they are an actual EDC item I use often.

    BUTANE INSERT PROS:
    Inexpensive
    Torch Flame
    Fairly wind proof
    Work great as a ZIPPO insert
    Fuel stays put until used up, no evaporation
    No lighter fluid smell, taste, or mess

    BUTANE INSERT CONS:
    Reservoirs are not huge but adequate
    Can be finicky at times
    Reliability long term

    SPECIAL NOTE ON ANY BUTANE LIGHTER:
    Do not use cheap Zippo or Ronson brand butane. These will clog a butane lighter quickly and they become unusable. Just don't do it, never even consider it an option is my best advice. You want to use a butane fuel that is triple or more refined, the more the better. Either of the ones I use will last me 6 months to a year per canister, I use:

    (1) Xikar Purofine Premium Butane ($9.51 per can at Amazon) - Never had a problem with it and get it at my local cigar store so just easy for me to get.

    https://www.amazon.com/XIKAR-PUROFI...d=1474555494&sr=8-3&keywords=xikar+butane+8oz

    (2) I have also used Vector Quintuple Refined Butane Gas Fuel Refill ($10.98 per can at Amazon)

    https://www.amazon.com/Vector-Quint...474555602&sr=8-8&keywords=butane+fuel+lighter

    INSERT OPTIONS

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    THUNDERBIRD BUTANE INSERT ($14.90 at Amazon)

    I have really enjoyed these, bought two originally over three years ago. One still working today, one quit after a month. I bought 2 more recently and the one I've opened works well so far but is a little finicky staying lit, I also at times have to depress it multiple times to get it to light. These provide a single torch, have an opaque fuel cell I don't like as you can't see the fuel level. However they are a very good option that I found much better than the original single flame Z-Plus.

    https://www.amazon.com/Vector-Thund...620&sr=8-1&keywords=Thunderbird+butane+insert


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    Z-PLUS EXTREME 2.0 TWIN TORCH FLAME BUTANE INSERT ($12.00 at Amazon)

    The original Z-Plus single torch inserts I bought a little over 3 years did not last, both worked well while they worked but both stopped working within 6 months. About a month ago I purchased 2 new Z-Plus Extreme 2.0 Twin Torch Butane Inserts. So far I am very pleased with these. The twin torch provide an amazing amount of flame that will light a cigar extremely quickly. These have a clear fuel container, so you can actually monitor the fuel level, a great benefit over Thunderbird or earlier Z-Plus models. Like the Thunderbird, you may have to depress it a couple of times to get a flame but find this not a real problem. So far this is now my favorite due to the benefits described above. Long term reliability is unknown yet but these are really inexpensive so no big deal as long as I get 6 months to a year out of it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Z-Plus-Extre..._13?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=GKCMB8SR312PREHE91PY

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    FLAME COMPARISON

    1) THUNDERBIRD BUTANE INSERT (SINGLE FLAME)

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    2) Z-PLUS EXTREME 2.0 TWIN TORCH FLAME BUTANE INSERT (TWIN FLAME)

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    FINAL VERDICT

    Either of these is a good choice, however based on cost, the twin flame, and clear fuel canister, the current winner is the Z-Plus Extreme 2.0. However keep in mind I don't know long term reliability yet.

    As always, thanks for taking the time to read another of my reviews.

    Sincerely,

    Gary
     
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  2. Espetar

    Espetar Member

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    Thanks for the review Gary. Very informative - especially to those that use a Zippo but want the butane instead.

    I also use a Thunderbird insert in my Zippo. As well, I use mine to smoke cigars, though somewhat different than the ones I've seen you post. ;) My wife gave me my Zippo on our first anniversary and I've used it continually with cigars now for one month shy of 19 years.

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  3. GaryMc

    GaryMc Member

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    @Espetar Love the lighter, cigars, & great pics. Anniversary present makes that a definite keeper, love items with sentimental value. You must have the Thunderbird butane with flint option, another great choice. Those tend to last I hear. Every torch lighter I've ever owned and there have been a lot are just finicky but I do like a torch. I might have to give the flint version a try though.
     
  4. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Moderator Staff Member

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    I have the same combo. Brass armor case plus the Thunderbird candle flame/flint ignition insert. About the closest you can get to a refillable Bic. I don't smoke, but I use it for melting cord ends, lighting fires, etc.
     
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