All About Zippo Lighters (How To Date Your Zippo For Collecting & Values)


Guys so today I want to talk about how to date your Zippo take it out to the movies you know maybe dinner Netflix and chill no clearly I’d you know that was pretty lame joke but what I’m talking about here is how to figure out how old your Zippo is suppose have markings and different things about them that will let you figure out how old it is all right I get this question quite often hey my father gave me a Zippo my grandfather game is a bow I was cleaning my grandmother’s house found a Zippo how old is it and people always ask me but it’s really easy to figure this out on your own people think I’m like amazing I remember all this stuff I don’t I remember some of the code some of the symbols but generally speaking if someone gives me a picture of a Zippo I look it up and you could do this at home very easily so on I actually have a couple cheat sheets which will explain some of the markings and stuff this suppo here I just got the mail today in a trade it is currently I believe the oldest one in my collection and we’re gonna date that together so you can figure out you know some different things look for in vintage Zippos they also another vintage Zippo here again just as an example to look up the old ones because the newer ones are quite simple so first three with this out of the way I’m gonna grab this newspaper now if you google Zippo date you’re gonna get a bunch of images of this all different colors red blue black different configurations from different years but this is basically a cheat sheet okay it should be pretty self-explanatory but these will be the symbols they’re here to see on the bottom of your Zippo all right now the very quick reference would be this all right they use three different logos so just by looking at the logo quickly you could figure out the range of dates that it was made most moderns of those as you can see here look like that then we have the kind of cursive type font there and then the block letters were right in the beginning alright so in this example you see this is obviously a vintage Zippo this one has that script type font okay as opposed to a modern Zippo which has the logo with the flame above the eye all right and compared to the original block letters so those are three different examples for three different styles of Zippo all right so there’s your quick reference guide again you can find this stuff online really easy I’m just trying to put it together for you in a video and then this is your kind of field guide now if you look from 2001 on to a current day it is the most easy way to identify a Zippo because they use the actual year they’re not using symbols so if I grab a random Zippo here you can see to the right of the logo is 14 so very simply put this was made in 2014 okay that’s why 2001 on is gonna be the easiest because that number is the year all right the letter that’s to the left of the logo is gonna represent the month that was made in this case is C so a is January B is February C is March alright just like that you go through the months so this happens to have been made in March 2014 grab another one here you see this one was made in 2007 and there’s an A there so is January 2007 and here’s another example you could see this one was made in 2005 and we have the letter e so E is the fifth letter in the alphabet they’re forced the fifth month so that would be May so this is made in May 2005 now besides the case the inserts also have markings alright so this particular case the case again was eo5 alright so May 2005 the insert on here you see the markings right here there’s a D and also o v okay so this was made one month prior to the case this is extremely common alright some people think it’s not the original insert if it’s not exactly the same as the case and it’s extremely common to have an insert that was made a couple months before or a couple months after the case because they’ll make a bunch of inserts and they can use them in all the different Zippos obviously they’re universal alright so that’s totally common sometimes you get lucky and they match up so sometimes they don’t I would say if it was a couple years different it’s probably not the original insert so it’s pretty easy to date your Zippo if it’s fairly new now if you look at this chart here from 1986 until present day the markings showed what month that was made as well as the year but prior to 1986 it only showed the year so you can’t tell exactly what month it was all right so before 86 you could see they had the slash marks here going back a little further we had no slash marks in the other direction then we also have lines up and down okay and then the dots now the dots are the most confusing because when you have a zip oh all right from 1964 all the way back to 1958 it sold that means it’s scratched and it’s dinged and oftentimes when I see these old Zippos little dings look like they could be those dots so it becomes really confusing once you get to the dot system especially like 1965 it’s just that one dot because they’re usually so beat up you can’t tell if it’s a dock or a ding now previous to 1958 they didn’t have symbols to mark the year that was made they actually use different patents so looking up a vintage zip I was a little bit more complicated but you can’t get into great detail I did a quick cheat sheet all right on how to figure out how old the olders of those are so first off let’s take a look at this one before we get into the real vintage stuff so this one has the cursive logo right very clear to see that so right off the bat we could see it’s between 1955 and 1979 but to narrow it down even further we could see that there are three slash marks going to the right on the left side of the logo and two on the right side three and two so looking at our little cheat sheet here we go down three on the left two on the right is from 1977 it’s that simple now the one exception is Zippos made before 1958 they did not use these different symbols they use the patent number for the Zippo design I created a quick little cheat sheet you can find this information on multiple websites and this is just a simple version of this you can get into even more detail but there’s three different ways you can kind of narrow down of your Zippos so first the patent number all right you see here 1933 it just said patent pending until 1936 1950 we had this patent number two zero three two six nine five and from 1942 to 1946 they mistakenly forgot the two in that patent number so this was actually printed or stamped wrong so it was two zero three six nine five it was missing that two in there and I put a note here because those are usually the black crackles those with like wartime Zippo it’s very very collectible the black crackles from like World War two so next we have a separate patent number two five one seven one nine one from 1950 to 57 and then also the two five one seven one ninety one with patent pending we’re on the same models okay now the second thing you can look at which a lot of people don’t know is the type of hinge and its location so looking at a more modern obviously this one’s already 4 years old but I considered modern for Zippo this is the most common hinge style you’re gonna say this is considered an internal five barrel hinge internal because the actual hinge pieces are on the inside the case they are tack welded to the inside you can actually see the two weld marks alright but it’s hidden it’s it’s a cleaner look now the five barrel literally is how many you know pieces are there what makes up this hinge is one side I forget it’s top or bottom but one has to one has three they interlock together and then there’s a pin that goes through it if you look at the side and that’s how it stays together okay that’s how it hinges so that’s a five barrel internal hinge as compared to the most recent Zippo I got this is a three barrel internal hinge alright if you kind of like faintly make the markings out but there’s actually two wells on top next to each other and on the bottom there’s two welds vertically there so very very different and the last thing you could do to kind of narrow down your dates is the chimney okay how many holes are in the chimney so this is the old one that I have you can see you literally count them it’s one two three four five six seven eight and of course it’s the same on the other side so 8 & 8 16 so this is a 16 hole chimney this is the same as modern Zippos alright see the same thing 8 on each side create a 16 hole chili now if you look at the dates here this is the same from 1933 1934 and then 1947 until present day so a lot of Zippos have that style it was only between 1935 and 1946 that they had a 14 hole chimney now those are the easiest ways to identify you know vintage Zippos or even antique Zippos there’s other things too like the style of cam that’s used only down to how it spins okay if you look at again this is a 2014 example if you look at how the the wheel as well as the cam is pinned inside of the insert compared to this one which we’re gonna date in a second you can see there’s a hollow pin alright and this is a different style for the cam as opposed to on the left so those are the things that you know experts go more deeply into to get your real specific about it so with everything I just told you let’s date the new Zippo that it just got right so a very first thing I do is I look at the bottom how is it stands if I can get the glare to go away we can read this you could see we’re off to bat we have that block lettering so the block lettering tells me that it’s no newer than 1954 so it’s made anywhere from 1933 it’s a 1954 and PS 1932 suppose there were very blocky squares opposed that have outside hinges and stuff I don’t have unfortunately an example to show you maybe one day for the collection but uh but yeah I mean I’m just showing you what I got in front of me so the block block letters tell me 1933 to 1954 okay if you look further we could see a patent number on the bottom the patent number on this one is two zero three two six nine five all right so that tells me now that it is between 1936 and 1950 okay now we look at the hinge in this particular case we have a three barrel hinge and it is internal so an internal three bow hinge brings it to 1943 to 1948 okay getting closer still a little bit of a chunk there of years blasting is the chimney and as we saw before or chimney chimney or chimney anyway you say it eight on each side making it a 16 hole chimney so that tells me 1947 onward so I’ve narrowed down between 1947 and 1948 because of the hinge now for me that’s good enough I’m looking at the different style of pans and all that kind of stuff that’s that’s really getting deep into it and off top of my head I do not remember I’d have to look it up further and there’s plenty of awesome websites that have all this information on giving you I’m just trying to squeeze it into one quick little video that you guys can reference in the future so began an old Zippo first scene what I do go on to Google just type in Zippo date click on Google Images and you’ll get a ton of different websites with a different versions of this but it’s all the same information all right in fact I’m gonna scroll here you can pause anywhere you want grab your old Zippos grab them out of the junk drawer or ask your your grandparents for them and look them up you can see when they’re made so for collectors is a huge deal now the Zippo didn’t put dates on the bottom of their Zippos you know to make them collectible it happened to make them easy to collect anything that’s dated or has different marks different you know periods of time that can be dated that makes collecting a lot easier and it also gives people a different idea of values but the purpose of having a date on the Zippo is for Zippos quality control so they make a big old batch of Zippos and the wheels loose or something you know and they get like ten different people that complain and they ask the people all right what are the markings on the Zippo and they say okay well it was from 2014 and nine out of ten of those people said it’s from 2014 around August let’s just say then they can kind of narrow that down and say well maybe something happened during the assembly at there a lot of different companies date things sometimes on a piece of plastic you know you’ll see like a couple little mini clocks which is really random right well that that’s actually set in the mold to show that was made so they can pinpoint any kind of problems in quality control so pretty cool but for us collectors obviously it gives us a way to put values on the Zippos because without these dates this 2014 Zippo and this 1947 / 1948 Zippo look a lot like each other how would you know the difference right this one’s a little bit more rounded but very very slight obviously the hinge but you wouldn’t really know but because of the dating this one has a lot more value than this one so that’s pretty much it just wanted to show that you guys also just as a quick side being in 1947 / 1948 I got this in a trade personal I had this Zippo and obviously it doesn’t work because it has no Flint or guts needs a wick the rayon balls everything the Flint tube obviously is part of the case here but it’s missing the screw the spring and the spacer I did try a random insert here this one is from 2006 it looks like and I know everything will go in here the only thing I was questioning is this screw the threading on the older ones and it does work this screw does work with the older Flint – alright so I will probably take this which was a spare insert I had and I’m gonna gut this take all the parts basically and be able to make this 1947 / 48 functional so I may or may not carry that but yeah and also take a quick note you could see the case markings on this insert also have the same patent number alright so that shows that this is the original case or at least most likely the original case to the Zippo because it matches so that’s pretty much it guys just wanted to do a video talking about this I don’t know if I ever did one if I did it was so long ago I don’t even remember but hopefully this helps you to figure out how old your Zippos are and i just want to say real quick if this is interesting to you and you want to get into a hobby use airports there because once you get real deep into it you’re gonna want some of the more rare ones which could be costly but I have to say Zippos as a whole as far as collectibles they’re really inexpensive I mean buying a use if oh you can spend anywhere a dollar or two in a garage sale or on eBay for like a really used one all the way up to let’s say 50 bucks in the $1 to $50 range there are thousands and thousands of Zippos and unlike knives the old Zippo works just as good as the new Zippo and the five-dollar Zippo works just as good as the $50 Zippo whereas like you know with knives you buy a bunch of cheap knives like okay it’s cool but I really want to try a four dollar knife well guess what the five dollar Zippo works the same as the $500 Zippo the only difference is how rare it is that’s the really the only thing that’s going to be you know making these other Zippos cost more of course there’s a couple ones but actually have different materials like there’s a titanium Zippo that’s out there that I had at one point that’s worth a lot more money right now obviously there’s a sterling silver Zippo there’s a 24 karat gold Zippo which most of us watching will never have but generally speaking 99.9% of Zippos are all the same they function the same they just have different looks different designs different coatings and they’re really really fun to collect but it can be a very affordable hobby if you want to just jump in and have an instant collection you can hop on eBay you see lots all the time when I say lots I mean it’s literally like a small collection for sale at once and it might be like 10 different Zippos that are used just like randomly or sometimes people have a theme and you’ll get anywhere from like twenty dollars to fifty bucks or more sometimes you’ll see a whole collection 100 Zippos for like 300 bucks or whatever it is but if you compare it to like knife collecting it is a lot more affordable than knives and like I said the quality is always gonna be there it’s always going to be the same functional Zippo the insert on the five dollar one works exactly the same it’s probably the exact same answer as the 500 dollar one so yeah I mean it’s a really fun cool hobby but uh but that’s it let me know down in the comments section if you collect Zippos if you do how many do you have I know you’re wondering how many I have I don’t know if I had to guess an accurate guess would probably be like around fifty to sixty maybe in that range I probably have like 20 or 30 that just means something to me whether they were gifts from certain people or just certain you know rare ones I don’t want to get rid of but for the most part I just have a bunch that just rotate through when I use the whole time so it’s just fun and obviously there’s a certain part of my life that I got really into simple tricks yes I know you want more of those videos too perhaps in the future just like the bowel songs it’s just something I haven’t really had time the last couple years to do regretfully but hopefully as things change and progress in the future I will have more free time to do stuff like that but uh but yeah that’s pretty much it so all about Zippos hopefully this was interesting hopefully it helped you guys out I thank you very much for watching I hope you guys have a great day and I’ll talk to you soon

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