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Thread: Zippo hand warmer - different fuel?

  1. #1
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    Default Zippo hand warmer - different fuel?

    I got one of the Zippo hand warmers today and it's a great wee thing. I've had it running for twelve hours now on lighter fuel and it's still roasting hot.

    Has anyone tried them with a different fuel? I was thinking Paraffin (always have some with me for my Primus stove) or Meths?

    Taking a small bottle of lighter fuel is no hassle as it doesn't use much but I'm just curious about alternatives.

    thanks and atb,
    Stuart.

  2. #2
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    Hi Stuart , I know its hard to describe but how Hot is Hot? Are we talking the outside of a kettle once it boiled and cooled a little hot??

  3. #3
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    just tried the Swann lighter fuel in mine, works just fine, same as the Zippo stuff.

    not sure if meths etc would burn as well as lighter fuel.

  4. #4
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    I have tried meths in mine, and I have to say it was ok on stupidly cold days, but I can imagine it being overly warm if it is slightly more than just above freezing
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    Richard

  5. #5
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    It's too hot to hold comfortably for more than a few seconds unless it's in the felt bag that comes with it. You won't be far off with a not long boiled kettle for comparasin.

    Good to hear it works on meths, thanks for that.

  6. #6
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    They will run on naptha, which is basically what lighter fluid is. I wouldn't put anything other than those two fuels in one.

    BB

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    naptha panel wipe in mine. Also cheaper than meths.
    Townies- the people that spend the money that allows rural folk to still live in the pretty bits

  8. #8

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    solvent 50 works in zippos so i guess that would work but i guess you would also need to work in a chem lab too :-D
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiritwalker View Post
    solvent 50 works in zippos so i guess that would work but i guess you would also need to work in a chem lab too :-D
    I bought my wife one of these a while back, and she loves it.

    The thing that causes the combustion is a catalyst, and just like the ones in car exhausts nowadays a catalyst can be 'poisoned'.

    Normally a catalyst takes part only temporarily in a chemical reaction, and so it isn't consumed. However some things can react permanently with a catalyst and then its performance may be very much impaired, or it may cease to perform altogether. Impurities in the fuel may poison the catalyst. That's one reason we have unleaded fuel now, the lead would destroy the catalytic converters in cars. Lead is quite commonly found as an impurity in petrochemicals. Zippo are quite clear that using any fuel other than their own will void their warranty, I imagine that their source for the fuel has guaranteed a low lead content, amongst other things, in the fuel.

    I wouldn't worry much about using other lighter fuels, but I don't know what their manufacturers specify about their products and I think it's still a risk; but using things like industrial solvents and panel wipes is probably asking for trouble. Using such things in a stove, out in the open air, is one thing, but in these hand warmers it's something entirely different. Not only are you risking the catalyst but your body is likely to be in close contact with the combustion products and you've no idea what they might contain. Yes, lighter fuel is expensive, but I reckon at UK prices it's about 20 pence for a 12 hour fill and I'm prepared to pay that so I don't get it in the neck from her indoors if she's outdoors and her hand warmer packs up.

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    The impurities are the thing. So PURE PW would be fine. PURE methanol again would work but might be too hot.
    Its not to hard these days to get pure solvents.
    But I agree the zippo fuel is not that expensive (I pay about 1 per can).
    Alan

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