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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015

    Zippo Handwarmer hack

    Hi all, just wanted to share a hack i did to the large zippo hand warmer(12 hour burn time) and a few other upgrades that I found on YT. I added a nut and bolt beside the burner head for refueling. In the stock form, refueling requires waiting for it to burn out, then removing the head and adding the fuel through the middle and relighting. This eliminates that. I donít recall the size I used but it was from canadiantire automotive section under machine bolts/screws. It has an Allen head so easier to unscrew with just fingers. I drilled to the side and JB welded the nut on. The nut is just big enough for the plastic filler that the hand warmer kit includes. One can argue that 12 hours is plenty but these things are a pain to get going so I try to keep it going for as long as I can especially if I know i'm going to use it the very next day.

    The screw is this brand but without the shoulder.
    H ttps://

    credit goes to this gentlemanís video on handwarmer upgrades. He uses a grommet instead to refuel.

    H ttps://

    He also makes and sells some of the parts for the mods.
    H ttp://

    His upgrades
    -replacing the catalytic material with platinum catalyst in it and bonding the head. The stock burner material is thin and the head pops off easily when bumped. The platinum material burns hotter and gluing(JB weld) the head down prevents it from coming off and snuffing out. Iíve read the catalytic material that it comes with eventually loses its ability to light and has a limited life. Zippo sells replacement heads for this reason. I am unsure of the life that the platinum catalyst has. So far itís been a couple years and its still going good.
    -replacing the cotton packing inside with carbon felt(welders blanket) also used by lots of campers who make DIY cat can(fancy feast) alcohol stoves. The stock cotton wick/wadding inside burns at the top and gets black when the fuel gets to the end. Carbon felt wont burn as it can withstand high temps and is supposedly better at wicking.

    Extra notes.
    I find lighting the burner finicky when using a regular lighter. Even after the burner upgrade itís still finicky. Maybe its just a PITA with these types of handwarmers. Mparameters mentions using an USB ARC lighter instead. I found using a butane jet torch to be the best as I can depress the igniter halfway to inject the head with gases then start it. it always ignites. And if you ever want the warmer to get hotter just inject more butane on the head and it will glow more red/hotter.

    I use coleman camp fuel (Naptha) and it does have that smell to it. MP said he eliminates that smell by mixing essential oil in. havenít tried it myself. Could be worth a try especially if one has a sensitive nose.

  2. The Following 4 Users Like This Post By ryukin81

    chrisc (11-16-2022), Dewey Cox (11-16-2022), labradort (11-18-2022), Rory McCanuck (11-16-2022)

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