Zippo Hinges




The Zippo hinge, like the lighter cases themselves, have gone through many variations since the original external hinge design. Not only have we had 3, 4 and 5 barrels during the Zippo's years of manufacture, but the widths of the actual barrels have also been subject to change. Sometimes something as minor as the reduction in width of the centre barrel of a 3 pin hinge.

The latest in a long line of such 'minor' changes to the Zippo design took place in the first quarter of 2005. The 'New' 5 barrel hinge (shown in one of the images below) is noticeably shorter than it's predecessor.

From a purely logical thought process, I personally think that a narrower hinge may not be the greatest modification they have done. I have heard owners of the new version saying that the newer hinge mechanism feels loose, this being noticeable to them immediately they first use it. Any wear that a narrow hinge sustains during normal use will surely be amplified to a larger extent than a similar amount of wear to the previous wider hinged model? Only time will tell on this, but my present thinking would point to the possibility of 'floppy lid syndrome' being something that may happen a lot earlier in the life of the 2006 models than their previous longer hinged brethren.


The following images are a selection of hinge designs used throughout the Zippo's manufacture. It is not meant to reference to dates the hinges changed, merely a way to show the various hinge styles Zippo have utilised in the lighters production.


x34.jpg (28186 bytes) x36.jpg (29712 bytes) x37.jpg (29815 bytes) x38.jpg (29114 bytes) x40.jpg (32107 bytes) x42.jpg (35203 bytes)
1934 1936 1937 1938 1940 1942



x43.jpg (30268 bytes) x46.jpg (25725 bytes) x47.jpg (29082 bytes) x67.jpg (31467 bytes) x00.jpg (39316 bytes) x06.jpg (40887 bytes)
1943 1946 1947 1967 2004 2005


33rephinge.jpg (47035 bytes)
1933 1st Edition Replica (a regular internal 5 barrel hinge with an eye deceiving external look).


xreps.jpg (98499 bytes)
These three lighters have been fitted with replacement hinges by Zippo, the first was repaired recently, while the other 2 were done some time ago.





Whilst considering the prospect of creating this page, I spent a little time trawling the web and sifting through various Zippo books in an effort to decide on how much information I should put here. I want to keep the site relatively simple while giving as much detail as possible. But I am also intrinsically lazy. If I find somebody has done it better and the information is easy to find, then it kind of makes me doing the same thing a bit of a waste. This was the case when it came to most of the hinge information, it is a well detailed factor in many of the Zippo books and manuals out there, and they have covered the details in greater depth than I could justify doing here. One thing I didn't come across online, was a set of images to view the various hinge designs at the same time on the same screen. There are many sites that show models for each year on their own page, but not in a group for easy viewing. That situation prompted this current page layout.