What is the difference between clipper and bic lighters?

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The Original Bic

Now we grab a lighter without giving it a second thought, but disposable lighters didn’t hit stores until the 1970s. In 1973 Bic stared test-sales of a disposable lighter that provided 3,000 lights. Today, Bic is America’s best-selling lighter and available in more than 4 million retail outlets with a seemingly endless variety of designs and styles to fit everyone’s interests.

Breaking Down Bics

Bic disposable lighters are typically the cheapest on the market. They are made mostly of plastic, filled with butane fuel (holding an average of 4.9 grams), and offered in a variety of colors and designs. Bics are lightweight and simple to use: press the spark wheel down with your thumb, pull your thumb back towards you, and voila! The flame will ignite. The 3.14″ tall oval-shaped barrel is meant to be ergonomic, making it the right fit for your hand and pocket. The flame height is pre-adjusted and can’t be changed.

The Clipper Way

The refillable Clipper was the first of its kind, and created a whole new market. The signature, cylindric Clipper shape with a removable flint was designed by Enric Sarda in 1970. In 1972, the first refillable lighter to ever exist was produced at the original Clipper factory in Barcelona. Clipper now manufactures more than 450 million units per year and offers flint, electronic, and metal lighters.

Inside Clippers

In contrast to a simple spark wheel, Clippers have a removable lighter flint with a ridged thumb wheel. The flint can be used as a packing tool. Clipper is the only lighter on the market that allows you to not only refuel but also replace the flint if needed. The Clipper flame burns at a constant height, increasing when the lighter is turned sideways. Clippers have a child-resistant mechanism and are made out of strong Nylon material that is less likely to crack and more heat resistant than cheaper plastics.

Bic and Clipper lighters meet different needs. People often end up using disposable lighters when they have no other choice. When you weigh the pros and cons, some are more important than others. It might not bother you that your Bic lighter ends up in a landfill or that you need to plan ahead to refill a Clipper. While Clipper has advanced features like a self-adjusting flame meant to give you a smooth light, Bic is the simpler option. The removable flint/packing tool also adds another dimension to Clippers, making them more useful for “roll your own” connoisseurs.



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