Zippo lighters have been around since the 1900s and have stood the test of time for their durability and functionality. They come in various sizes, styles, and designs, with over a thousand manufactured in the eight decades that it caught the trend.
These reusable and windproof metal lighters are no doubt one of America’s most iconic products. They have appeared in over a thousand films (Quentin Tarantino’s cult-classic Kill Bill even has its movie-inspired Zippo). They have appeared in every genre– from indie to multimillion-dollar blockbusters– drawing out suspense, style, or simply proving its worth as a prop master that gets anyone out of any sticky situation.
The familiar and unmistakable click the lighter makes upon opening and the bright spark it makes have earned a role in each production. Suffice to say, Zippos have made their way into the spotlight in one way or another. That ‘s why you are one of the cool guys if you have a Zippo.
However, if you think that owning and lighting one is the extent of the fun you can have with these lighters, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Why not add something more to your repertoire by learning a few Zippo lighter tricks or Zricks.
The 15 tricks listed below should get you started and once you’ve mastered them, you’ll soon have people begging you to teach them. These amazing Zippo lighter tricks will surely have the ladies talking. But caution must also be observed less you harm yourself.
This one is a beginners’ move and quite easy to follow and master. It’s named as such because you hold it like you do a gun. Only with the Zippo, you maintain a sure grip on the lid as you create the light.
With your dominant hand, hold the Zippo upside down with the hinge facing you and your thumb and forefinger clasping the lid. In one fluid motion, use your other palm to drag open the case and slide your middle finger on the flint wheel to ignite. Then you simply flick your wrist forward to close.
At first look, this trick may look similar to The Gun in how you hold the Zippo with one hand and light it with the other. The execution though is entirely different.
In a fist bump position, you grip the lid between two fingers making sure the hinge is facing upward. Then you flick your wrist backward to open and smack the flint wheel to the palm of your other hand to light it up. You flick forward to close.
The lighter can pop back close right after it opens when there’s too much force. That’s not what you want so make sure to pose your fingers slightly backward to keep it open.
This trick uses a straightforward process that any beginner can master with enough practice. You just need to work on your grip process and make sure to warm up the Zippo first so it lights up right away on the first try.
This one is relatively simple. It’s as easy as one-two-three. Literally. What you do is position the Zippo with the hinge facing you. Then hold the bottom case with your thumb and fingers, except for the index and middle finger.
You flip the lid open with your index finger and turn the Zippo on with your middle finger as you smack it down on any hard surface (can be a table, your lap, or leg). The impact should cause your middle finger to slide along the flint wheel to light it up.
This is a Zippo lighter trick that needs both grip strength and dexterity. It’s easy but takes practice to make sure that the lighter stays snug between your fingers when you smack it hard. You don’t want to see it flip backward or up and hit somebody.
The Bar Slide is another cool Zippo lighter trick that’s sure to impress anyone at the bar who needs a light. All you need is a lighter and a table (preferably a polished one).
It’s named as such because you slide the lighted Zippo across the person at the bar. You pass it on with style. Your index finger does all the work with this trick.
With the lighter open, you slide your pointer finger down the wheel and push it down with force to make it slide across the table. Make sure the Zippo is facing straight toward its recipient and not sideways if you don’t want it hitting the floor or on anyone’s lap. The farther you pass it on, the more force you have to exert.
Flick Spin Flick
This lighter trick is not for beginners but makes for a cool sleight of hand illusion once you master it. You’ll learn how to spin the Zippo around with your fingers and flick it on in the process. Everything is done in one swift fluid motion.
Imagine twirling a coin around your fingers where you initially use your middle and index finger. The Flick Spin Flick follows the same process but with a twist.
You start with your thumb and index finger holding the lighter upside down with the hinge facing away from you. Then you do a fast downward flick motion to open. Once done, the lighter should be resting on your middle finger.
The next step is to get your fingers in place for the spin so first thing you do is move your middle finger in front where the hinge is and your ring finger on the back of the hinge. The Zippo now rests between these two fingers.
Then you rotate by moving your middle finger backward so the wheel now faces your thumb for you to light it. By this time, the lighter slightly rests on your palm where you grip it to turn it on.
Lastly, you close by putting your thumb in front of the lid with your middle finger still on the back. Then you simply flick forward to shut the light off. This is a mesmerizing Zippo lighter trick that looks easy at first glance but definitely requires a lot of practice.
The Drop Spark is a one-hand, four-step Zippo lighter trick that’s easy to follow although it requires a fast hand. It’s a flick-bend-flick process that looks effortless once mastered.
You start by holding the lighter sideways with the hinge on the bottom. With your pointer finger and thumb, pinch the lid and flick your wrist forward to open. Make sure to extend your fingers and not hold the lighter close to your palm when opening.
Next, you bring the lighter close to your palm so you can turn it on. You do this by simply bending your fingers in as if forming a fist. Then with your ring finger, light your Zippo. Shut the fire off with a simple flick upward to close the Zippo.
This trick takes using the Zippo to a daring level. It’s risky and can result in burnt flesh if not done properly so extreme caution is advised and advanced skill required.
This Zippo lighter trick is aptly named as such because you literally have to torch your flesh or make a torch out of your flesh. It literally uses your finger as a man-made lighter.
It needs a Zippo lighter fluid which you fill the device with without lifting the bottom cotton. This allows oversaturation and easily displaces the fluid to your finger.
Once filled, you close and hold the device sideways with the hinge facing downward. Your pointer finger and thumb should be holding the lid. Shake the lighter once before you flip open with a flick backward of the wrist.
Then dip your index finger on the flame and voilà! you have done a Flesh Torch trick. Just don’t forget to blow out the flame right away if you don’t want to completely burn your finger.
This trick is cool but certainly not one that you can just do spontaneously. I mean, who wants to bring along with them a lighter fluid?
Similar to the Smack Light, this trick requires you to light the Zippo with friction. In this case, you use your pants. This is for beginner’s level and so it’s just done in two steps.
The lighter should be facing down with the hinge facing upward. Hold the body with your thumb and index finger for a firm grip as you move the device along your pant leg. Remember to keep your pants wrinkle-free or else the Zippo won’t light up.
For this trick, you need a coarse material. You can use your jacket even and not just your pants. What you do is drag the Zippo backward along your pant leg. The friction automatically opens the lid. Then you push forward, making sure the flint wheel gets in contact with the material, to create a fire.
Be mindful of the proximity of the lighter to the cloth. Once lighted, make sure to bring it away to prevent burning your pant leg.
This is a handy, super simple Zippo lighter trick that will surely impress your friends. It’s one way to surprise a girl when she asks for a light in the bar.
Get cool points and feel like a Rockstar with this Zrick that’ll surely impress the girls. This one is quite a complicated trick and requires several finger movements.
It bears a resemblance to the Flick Spin Flick but a prolonged version of it. Also with this one, you twirl a lighted Zippo around your fingers. So on to the process.
First thing you do is position the lighter sideways with the hinge facing upward and the lid outward. Hold the entire body with your thumb and index finger. With your middle finger, squeeze until the lighter pops open with the wheel facing away from you.
With your palm supporting the base of the Zippo and your thumb and index finger holding the lid, turn the lighter on using your ring finger. Then bring your ring finger in front of the hinge and your middle finger on the back.
Now you have the Zippo in between these fingers. Let go of your hold on the lid. Then push the middle finger forward to rotate so the lid is now against your ring finger and the bottom case rests on your pointer finger.
Bring the Zippo back to its original position by bending your fingers then push rotate the case with your thumb. Closing requires a bit of flourish too. With your thumb and index finger holding the bottom, push down the body with your middle finger to flip the lighter down. Then grip the device between your middle and ring finger.
If you stretch out your other fingers it looks like you are making the rock and roll hand symbol. At this point, you can close the lid with your thumb.
This Zippo lighter trick definitely requires a lot of practice and nimble hands. But makes you look like a superstar once you’ve mastered it.
Snapping your fingers not only produces sound. It also creates light. Well, it does with the Double Snap (not the official name) Zrick.
This trick teaches you how to light and put out the flame from your lighter with a snap of your fingers. It’s an easy process that needs just a couple of snaps, thus it’s name.
What you do is wrap your hand around the bottom case and face the Zippo downward with the hinge facing you. Make sure you’re not covering the opening. Position the lighter also with a slight tilt upward to make opening it easy.
Then with your other hand, snap your fingers near the lid to open. Then turn your hand upright and snap again against the flint wheel to turn the lighter on.
This is a cool trick that looks complicated but actually only relies on one simple action. You basically just need to hit the tip of a finger to the lid and the wheel. In a sense, you’re flicking it open and igniting it when your finger goes down.
The tricky part though is turning it on since you need to know the approximate distance to create the flame. If your finger is too near to the wheel you could burn it. If your finger lands on the chimney top then it could get sliced by the thin metal.
Turning it on requires a bit of practice then. On a side note, some of you may have seen this trick in action in Kill Bill when Harvey Keitel snapped on his Zippo.
Now, this is one of the most complicated Zippo lighter tricks out there. It not only requires nimble hands but also fast execution to make it look awesome. By the time you master this trick, you’ll feel like you can do all the other Ztricks there are.
It’s unclear why this is called the Devil’s Kiss because it resembles nothing like a kiss. Perhaps the fact that you twirl a lighted Zippo around and around near your flesh makes it so.
If you’ve mastered the Flick Spin Flick, then this one is a walk in the park since it uses the middle and ring finger too to rotate the Zippo. It follows the same process but requires more twirls.
You spin the lighter around three times, or more if you’re feeling promiscuous, in and out of the opening you make with your thumb and index finger (by this time the fire starts to burn your hand). After the spin, you flip it close with your index finger.
This trick is a little complicated to explain in words. It’s best to check the video below for a proper tutorial.
This is one of the easiest tricks in the book but needs practice nonetheless. It doesn’t involve crazy twirls or extra flourish in igniting. All it needs is a snap.
The trick applies to open the lid and needs only three fingers. Your thumb holds the middle part of the bottom case.
Meanwhile, the tips of your index and middle finger go to the top of the lid. By pushing down with these fingers, you create a sliding and snapping motion that pops open the top. Your end grip should be at the bottom of the Zippo.
Basically, what you’re doing is squeezing the lighter open. Then you close the lighter any way you want.
This is a nifty Zippo lighter trick for those who love to fidget with things. The only downside is it wears down the hinge over time.
Once you’ve mastered the Top Pop, you can proceed with the Hot Spin. This trick makes for a cool way to close your Zippo.
What you do is clasp your hand around the bottom part and extend the thumb and index finger to the nearest corner of the lid. Pinch the corner and let go of your hold on the body so you can move the lighter downward.
With a firm hold on the lid, you swing the Zippo around until the bottom rests on the crook of your thumb and pointer finger. Then you just flip it shut with a forward flick of your wrist.
This is an easy Zippo lighter trick but for first-timers, it’s best to practice it without the flame first. This way you avoid the burn.
This trick works for opening and turning on the Zippo. It’s aptly named because it uses your ring finger to ignite the flint wheel.
It requires a fairly simple process involving just four fingers. You start by positioning the lighter with the lid up and the hinge away from your palm. Then you curl your index and middle finger and pinch the lighter in between these two fingers and your thumb.
Then you open the lid with your ring finger and use it to strike the wheel to light the Zippo. A simple flip forward closes the lid.
These steps should be done in one swift motion for it to look impressive. Once you get the hang of this trick, you’ll be able to make it look like you already have the light on before you open the lid.
The last on the list is called the disappearing flame, which looks like a straight-up magic trick. It involves extinguishing the flame with your fingers and bringing it back on with a snap or a spitting motion.
This Zippo lighter trick makes it look like you’ve grabbed the flame right off the lighter. It’s a surprisingly simple skill to pull off once you know the how’s of it. This does not involve any crazy ideas in opening. Simply open the Zippo as you like and turn it on.
Here’s where it gets amazing. You grab the flame and you see the light go out. You then make a play of putting the fire in your mouth, then you spit it back out to the lighter.
Pretty neat right? Well, the trick actually lies in the wick. You bend the wick a little sideways so when you ignite the wheel and grab the flame, there’s still a little bit of flame left.
Then with a simple shake or slight movement of the lighter, the fire comes back on. You can improvise to make the trick look more mesmerizing. You can also snap your fingers near the wheel to release air pressure that will blow the flame back on.
As with any other complicated Zippo lighter tricks, this one also needs lots of practice. Those who’ve tried it said they had to at least grab the flame several times to the point that it burned their fingers.
Meanwhile, others got the grabbing part easy but the relighting is another thing. They never managed to put the flame back on. Either way, caution is always necessary with this trick since it involves skin to fire contact.