Disposable Lighters

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Hanzo, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Wanted to compare the old standard Bic with the Clipper lighter. On the one hand, we have the Bic. And on the other, the Clipper. Am I being too corny?

    How are they similar? Both are lightweight and inexpensive. Both can be considered disposable. Both light easily with a non-adjustable flame. Both are fine with my dominant hand, so to really see how they feel, I used my non-dominant hand. Not sure if that is a fair test. For most things, I am ambidextrous.

    Tried it without and with gloves.

    Bic vs Clipper

    How are they different?

    The Bic body is plastic, while the Clipper is nylon. So the plastic will burn while the nylon is more heat resistant. After running through the tests, the Bic was warmer to the touch. My disclaimer is this is a small sample size.

    The Bic's shape is more uniform, making mods like wrapping duct tape around it more easy. The Clipper is round but with a protuberance for the flint striker, making it not uniform in shape.

    The Bic's striker wheel is round and has a child safety (which is easily removed). The Clipper's striking wheel is more squared off with no child safety. So with gloves on my non-dominant hand, the Clipper is easier to light.

    The Bic is not refillable, making it truly disposable. The Clipper is refillable, so it could be not disposable.

    I do not know if you can change the flint in the Bic, but you can with the Clipper. Not only that, the flint and striker is removable so you could use it like a Spark-lite.

    For a similar price point, I am digging the Clipper more than the Bic.

    You guys have experience with?
  2. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I can;t use a Bic. My big thumb half covers the flame spout when I flick it, and I like my thumbs.
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Really cool review @Hanzo. I never knew those round lighters were called clippers, nor did I realize they were refillable etc. I always thought they were normal lighters. This is all really useful info.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  4. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    The removable striker lets you get the spark a little closer to the tinder.
  5. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Zippo FTW IMO :) been using the same Zippo I got for my 18th birthday for 32 years now. Disposables have their place in a kit and don't require a stock pile of flints, wics and fluid so there is that.

    Disposables were without question not created for guys with big hands :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2017
    chelloveck, M118LR, Hanzo and 2 others like this.
  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    While I keep BIC's around in my packs and vehicles, in my get home/travel bag I carry an Austrian, IMCO windproof lighter. These were designed and issued to the Austrian troops in WW1. They met the tough challenges of trench warfare. The inner wick/fuel tank comes out to light fires under the toughest conditions!
    I carry wicks and fuel in the same pack, flints I would scavenge from one of the BIC's. They have much longer flints than needed for the amount of fuel that a BIC carries! IMG_1247.JPG
  7. Imasham

    Imasham Monkey

    What is the advantage in being able to change the flint/striker on the Clipper? Can you buy them separately and if so, what is the cost compared to the cost of just buying a whole lighter? And speaking of cost, what was the price of the Bic?
    Hanzo likes this.
  8. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    Going to get one of these for DH. Double arc lighter (Got one for the neibour last christmas) Charge last agesssssss & can easy be recharged if you have a small solar charger setup for USB.
    No gas, flint etc. & wont blow out if its windy/raining etc.
    & Metal case (well the one im getting dh which I cant find a pix of at the moment. Neibours is actully wood I think. )

    Plus.. Cooooool:p
  9. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Amazon.com: tesla lighter double arc
    Almost as many flavors as Baskin-Robbins.
    Hanzo likes this.
  10. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    As fun to wave in front of men as using a lazor pointer to tease cats:LOL:
  11. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I'm so bummed that I lost mine. They don't make em anymore. The knockoff I bought to try to replace mine is crap.

    No real big advantage. I treat both as disposable. Main difference is the Clipper is refillable, so you could always top off or fill up, should you choose. Cheapest price for Clipper is $1.20 vs $1.00 for a Bic, at least per Google shopping. And I think the nylon vs plastic combined with being able to refill is worth 20 cents.

    How much is that bad boy?

    Scroll down and there's the answer...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2017
    chelloveck and Sgt Nambu like this.
  12. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I have big hands, XXL size glove. Never had a problem using Bics. But I stock ferro rods/strikers in my various kits/packs/vehicles. Have several Bics too.
    First I have seen of the Clipper.
    Hanzo likes this.
  13. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    They run around £10-20 here, so looks comparible to the US prices. Bics are pretty cheap but the number of bics or sim. type lighters that ive cracked the casing on... I dont like or trust them. (also ive has the topband actully snap off when lighting and resulting in a kinda nasty gash in my thumb)
    Gator 45/70 and Hanzo like this.
  14. Imasham

    Imasham Monkey

    Hanzo likes this.
  15. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    They probably all work in a pinch. To me, the main thing about disposable is bag em and forget em. Until you need em. Fuel typically does not evaporate from them. However, if the gas button is depressed long enough, you can still lose your fuel. I'm lazy. I throw them in a bag and leave them. They get bumped around and stuff. So far (knock on wood), I haven't had one empty out on me.

    I am enjoying the Clipper though. Easy to use. Feels like it gets slightly less hot and not quite as quickly as the Bic.

    So far, I have not refilled one nor have I used the flint striker other than to light the lighter.
  16. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I just ordered a six-pack of Clippers via Amazon. Gonna see how they compare to Bics.
    Motomom34 and Hanzo like this.
  17. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Got my six-pack of Clippers in, and in comparing it to the Bic, functionally identical. No problem for my oversized thumb to operate. Easy enough to handle, though the cross sectional shape is different.
    So, functionally nothing really to commend one over the other.
    But, the refillable feature and replaceable flint of the Clipper might appeal to some.
    Basically, as in so many factors in life, it comes down to simple personal preference.
    I will tuck these into my preps, in various kits.
    I may order more, along with some fuel sources.
  18. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I've always had a problem with the refillable lighters losing the lighter fluid before I use them. I don't know if the Clippers would be any different.
    Bics are cheap and easily found so I keep several packs of them around.
    Gator 45/70, Hanzo and Motomom34 like this.
  19. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Long term review...

    After much time and play... usage...

    I like the Bic better.

    The Clipper has a better striker, to me. I have yet to pull the striker out to use separately, so no biggie. But the fuel does not last as long as the Bic. Possibly because of the shape. Maybe the button is more easily pressed. And the refilling doesn't matter that much.

    The Bic retains fuel longer and has a better shape, to me. Easier to neatly wrap gorilla tape around it. And wihile the Clipper's striker wheel is easier, the Bic is no problem. And you can easliy remove the child safety.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  20. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey+++

    I keep a few Big lighters around. Better than a wet book of matches!
    chelloveck, Gator 45/70 and Hanzo like this.
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