Even if you don’t smoke, a lighter comes in almost as handy as a pocket knife — especially with fireworks season upon us! Manufactured in Pennsylvania since 1932 (and also in Canada more recently), the Zippo lighter is an American icon as well as an indispensable tool.
Street pricing starts around $29 for this flag-emblazoned model. If you’re looking for something more flashy, Santa Fe Stoneworks — makers of the knife we posted yesterday — offer a version covered in red coral, mother of pearl, and blue lapis inlay for more like $110. (But that’s a bit pricey for poor bloggers like us.)
Ed. Note: As you’ve probably heard on the Tool Talk podcast, I’ve never smoked, but carried a Zippo for years. Though it might take you a bit to get there, from caveman-days on there’s not much you can’t accomplish with fire and a good knife. If you’re new to Zippos, though, just make sure you don’t overfill. Lighter fluid burns leave a nasty mark on your leg. (And if you ask me nicely, I’ll show you how to do the flip-light maneuver.)