Zippo Wick Trick

Actually, it’s not a trick, but even if waving around your Zippo won’t help it light, check the wick.

When the wick becomes black from carbon, pull it up with pliers (or tweezers if you have a good grip) until the clean wick appears. Cut the wick even with the top of the chimney, then straighten wick in chimney. Because there’s a cap on the top of the pipe lighter insert of the Zippo, you may need to trim it a bit before pulling up the wick, since there’s no way to access it from the top and you’ll have to pull it up from the side. Make sure you can still grab what remains of the wick with your pliers or tweezers. Cut off too much, and you’ll have to disassemble the Zippo to feed the wick up again.

The wick is replaceable. Not all tobacco stores stock them, so you may have to order them online.

To replace the wick, remove insert. Unscrew the flint spring, taking care to hold spring and screw firmly when screw is released. Remove felt pad and set aside. Using tweezers, remove all packing from fuel chamber. Insert a new wick downward through chimney, pulling through with tweezers. Replace packing in small pieces, interweaving the wick between the packing. Replace felt pad, flint and flint spring and screw. Tighten screw completely, so the lighter will close correctly. Cut the wick even with the top of the chimney, then straighten wick in chimney.

Somehow my old Zippo insert’s wick worked for 20 years or so, and it wasn’t until I replaced the insert with a pipe lighter, that I had some troubles. Works like the dickens now.

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