Author Topic: Zippo catalytic hand warmers  (Read 261 times)

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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« on: December 02, 2017, 10:58:22 PM »
Good to go!

I ordered one of the small 6 hour ones several weeks ago in anticipation of the annual Christmas light parade they have in early December every year. I fired it up for the first time tonight and it works well.  It's a neat little contraption.

You use a special fuel measuring dispenser and fill it with regular Zippo fuel to the line, then pour it into the hand warmer. It lights easily with a bic (or Zippo) lighter. So far it hasn't gotten painfully hot yet but it way outperforms the little iron and carbon packets. The little packets do work, but they take a long time to get going and don't do well if they aren't kept inside a pocket.

I might get another of these to have one for each hand. The only down side is the lighter fuel smell. The 6 hour burn time is more than sufficient for most outdoor events, spectator sports, etc including travel to and from.

I suppose it could be argued that you are better off wearing enough clothes so that your body doesn't draw back circulation to your core, but it isn't always possible or convenient to dress warm enough for comfort. These little hand warmers can help bridge the gap between  "warm enough" and "comfortable".

Offline woodsorrel

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 11:59:30 PM »
PetrifiedWood, are you actually carrying a flame in your pocket? 

Or are you just glad to see me?  :)

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Offline xj35s

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2017, 11:05:21 AM »
There was a recent thread on hammock forums about this. they are all fire phobic.

I have several of these. I think I put one in a PIF box. I used to use them all the time on the farm. I'd put it in my sweatshirt pocket inside my bibs and carhart coat. I have a large size one as well. I'll dig it out and get a picture compared to the original.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2017, 05:13:14 PM »
I used the Jon-e handwarmers in the duck blind and even in a tent for years.  They worked great in keeping hands warm enough to pull a bow or trigger.  Didn't know that Zippo got into them but it is understandable.  I bet lighter sales are in the tank these days compared to back when everybody smoked.

My achilles heel was cold feet as I got old and I seriously look at those electric socks they have now that are both very good and very expensive. 
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2017, 06:48:17 PM »
I have one of the big old jon-e 'GI' handwarmers, but the danged thing would about gas me out the deer blind, so I pretty much quit using it. :puke:   It has a red fuzzy bag to carry it in so it is not so apt to give you 2nd degree burns when it touches bare skin......however, it needs oxygen to stay lit, too, and sometimes it goes out and needs to be taken out of my pocket and be re-lit.  In my experience, it was not worth a bag o' beans! :-\
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2017, 09:24:36 PM »
I've had a pair of zippo for at least 4 years. Haven't used them enough to wear out the burners yet.
 The instructions say not to sleep with them but I have. There was plenty of open air. One time I thought being in a pocket was same as in the bag. Got a lil too hot.

They work pretty good. And the timing of the fuel levels has always been close. At time of purchase I saw a good amount of price difference so it is worth looking around, surely things haven't changed that much.

Do they smell bad, I didn't think they are terrible but my sense of smell may be off.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 01:51:44 AM »
There really isn't any open flame with these. The way they work is you heat them up for about 20 seconds with a lighter and this vaporizes the fuel which then passes through the platinum catalytic burner. It just sort of glows. They are supposed to work better in a slightly lower oxygen environment like inside the little bag.

There is a slight lighter fuel odor but it isn't overwhelming and you would not notice it outdoors or with the warmer in a pocket.

There have been two generations of Zippo warmers. The newer ones have a flat bottom so they will stand upright on a flat surface.

The included instructions are very minimal, only about a half sheet of paper when unfolded.

I wouldn't worry about a fire with these. As long as you don't overfill them there really is no way to get a flame. You could conceivably stuff something flammable through one of the little holes in the cap and get it to light, but you'd have to have it out of the pouch in order to do that. And it would have to be a deliberate effort on your part.

I think folks scared of catching on fire using one of these probably shouldn't operate motor vehicles either. :D

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 09:10:38 AM »
I never had a problem with my Jon-e catalytic heaters and really liked them in the duck blind when it was below zero. 

I haven't seen the new Zippo models but will look into them.  Who knows, maybe I will hunt ducks again sometime. 
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 10:17:47 AM »
Maybe I have overly sensitive olfactories, but mine seemed to put out more noxious fumes than a road flare! >:(
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 02:59:59 PM »
I didn't know about the stand up redesign. Does it make them bulkier, heavier? One of the neat things about the regular one is the sleek design. They are cool looking imo.

You might get a flame if you filled directly without removing the top, like might happen without reading instructions.

Offline woodsorrel

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 10:11:37 PM »
There really isn't any open flame with these. The way they work is you heat them up for about 20 seconds with a lighter and this vaporizes the fuel which then passes through the platinum catalytic burner. It just sort of glows. They are supposed to work better in a slightly lower oxygen environment like inside the little bag...

Thanks for the explanation, PetrifiedWood!

- Woodsorrel
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Zippo catalytic hand warmers
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 10:13:24 AM »
I didn't know about the stand up redesign. Does it make them bulkier, heavier? One of the neat things about the regular one is the sleek design. They are cool looking imo.

You might get a flame if you filled directly without removing the top, like might happen without reading instructions.

I don't think it's that much different. The big change is the burner element catalyst is flat rather than rounded on top. If it was bigger there would be an improvement in burn time.