It isn’t uncommon during deer, elk or moose season for snow and cold to grip the hunting grounds. While this is to be expected from late fall until very early spring, it does make it very uncomfortable for the hunter. With cold hands, it can become difficult to gently squeeze off a shot and it can cause the hunter’s hands to shake. Shaking hands make it difficult to draw an accurate bead on the animal you are trying to hunt. Thankfully, there is a little help available in the form of hand warmers. In this Zippo hand warmer review we will cover its features, how its fuelled, durability, quality and value for money.
Hand Warmer Features
The Zippo brand hand warmer has been around for many years and a lot of hunters have used them. The warmer is polished metal and once started, it produces heat for hours. According to Zippo, the hand warmer heats for 12 hours and I’d have to disagree with that part of their literature. However, my experience has been that the hand warmer will produce heat for 8-9 hours.
The Zippo isn’t large, either. It is a little less than four inches by three inches and it is only a half inch thick. The weight is less than three ounces.
This hand warmer comes with a little funnel so you can refill it easily. The procedure for filling this device isn’t greatly different than how the old-fashioned lighters are filled and the funnel helps to prevent spills of lighter fluid. Not only does this save money by not wasting fuel, it also prevents problems that can occur when surfaces get splashed with the corrosive lighter fluid, which is a solvent.
Also included with the Zippo hand warmer is a bag that is lined with fleece. This serves a triple purpose. It protects the hand warmer, it helps to evenly distribute the heat and it protects against accidental burns. This device is made of metal and while that makes it more durable, the metal gets hot in a hurry. The bag is a necessity for preventing burns once it is lit.
There have been many complaints that the zippo hand warmer won’t light so lets dive in to how it works and some instructions on how to get it lit.
The hand warmer works by using a no-flame catalytic burner. After it is filled with fluid, a person simply holds a match to the burner long enough to light it. This normally takes only a couple of seconds. The warmer can then be put in the bag and slipped into your pocket or even inside of your hunting boots. Since you can use it in this way, it is advisable to have one for each coat pocket and possibly two more for your boots.
The negative on this is that since it is lit with a match, it might be a little hard at times to get it started. For instance, if it is raining, snowing or it is windy, it can be difficult to keep a match going long enough to start the catalytic burner. It is not advisable to try to light the hand warmer with a disposable lighter.
Naturally, a person can light it before getting out of the car or pickup, but since it burns lighter fluid, the combustion produces carbon monoxide. This makes the hand warmer unsafe for use in enclosed spaces and it should only be used outdoors.
Even though the hand warmer will be inside the bag during both use and storage, it is available in both black, chrome and cameo. Outside the bag, it is also elegant and stylish.
Hand Warmer Fuel
The fuel source for the hand warmer is lighter fluid, which is widely available. Zippo produces fuel that can be found in many stores and which is designed for the warmer. There is a bad side to this, though. Once it has been started, the hand warmer will keep producing heat until it runs out of fuel. It has no means of turning it off. Still, considering the low cost of the fuel, this is mostly an inconvenience rather than a problem. The hunter simply needs to know that they need to have plenty of fuel for refilling the device. While they are at it, a hunter would be advised to buy extra burners for the hand warmer, too.
Refueling should also be done outdoors. The lighter fluid has a strong aroma, which is quite noticeable since it evaporates readily. The fluid can also be smelled when the hand warmer is all fueled up, but this is largely unavoidable and again isn’t greatly different than the old style lighters.
The Zippo hand warmer is reasonably durable as long as it isn’t handled roughly and it does come with a carrying bag for extra protection. The fabric of the bag is fireproof. Interestingly, Zippo’s recommendation for getting around the issue of not being able to turn the hand warmer off is to put it in the bag and set it on a non-burnable surface until the fuel supply has been used up.
Quality and Affordability
The quality is certainly there and the brand name is well known. Zippo has produced these hand warmers for over 50 years. The hand warmer is also not relatively expensive and it is often sold for less than $20. The replacement burner costs about a third of this amount. Since this device does a good job of keeping the hands warm, I’d have to say that it is well worth the price. I give it high marks for affordability because of this.
The Zippo lighter fluid, usually sold separately, is only a few dollars for four ounces, which isn’t bad at all. Care should be taken when handling the lighter fluid, though. Lighter fluid is extremely flammable. The hand warmer should not be filled while it is still hot, for this reason. It also shouldn’t be over-filled, which will get lighter fluid everywhere and increase the odor. Most people would prefer not to have their clothing smelling like lighter fluid because of a hand warmer that was filled too full.
I would and have recommended the Zippo hand warmer to others and have purchased them as gifts for other hunters because of the value they represent. In fact, they are great gifts for outdoors sportmen and this makes a great and yet unique Christmas or birthday gift (perfect for engraving). I have difficulty saying how it stacks up against the competition, though, since I’ve only used another brand once and don’t remember what that other brand was. I do recall that the performance of the other hand warmer wasn’t as good as the Zippo.
This is a worthwhile product to purchase for the hunter or outdoorsman, if they go out into the cold country. It is almost a must for moose and elk hunters, too. I really like this little device, despite its shortcomings.Click here to buy the Zippo Hand Warmer on sale for the best price
If you would like to add anything to this Zippo hand warmer review, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave these in the comments section below.