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3/15/13

Review: Maratac Split Pea Lighter


The Maratac Split Pea lighter are, to my knowledge, the smallest lighters out there, and despite their mini size, they actually work really well.

The Split Peas work in a zippo-like fashion - liquid fuel with a wick and flint striker wheel - but have an O-ring and screw top, sealing them up air tight when closed. This keeps the fuel from evaporating out during storage - I've left these lighters in a drawer for six or so months and then tried 'em out - and, every time, they've lit up first time, just fine and dandy.

Because they run on liquid fuel, you can use lighter fluid, but, in a pinch, use other fluids as well. Not recommended, but they will work on most any flammable liquid. Obviously, the ability to refuel is a good thing - I have one of the slightly larger Peanut lighters in my bug out bag for just that reason.

Since they are metal, they are a bit heavy, but also pretty much bombproof, too. They'll hold up to riding on a keychain, no problemo.

The flat bottom allows them to stand on end and function as a candle. If you don't want the lighter portion, they body makes a nice pill or tinder carrier.

I've jammed a few extra flints and a spare o-ring into the bottom of mine, underneath the lighter portion - a mini repair kit always along for the ride!

The only downside is inherent with the tiny size - it can be a little hard to hold onto and light...cold hands would only make this worse! They are also a two handed deal - you've got to unscrew the top - and, if you are not careful, the top could easily be misplaced or lost.

The copper split pea looks to be currently unavailable, but the stainless steel and titanium lighters are up for grabs on the CountyComm website.

2 comments :

  1. Back in the 40's and 50's they used to make small lighters for women that looked like lipsticks.
    About the same diameter and twice as long.
    The one pictured above could be extremely handy and the "O" ring seal would keep evaporation and fluid leakage to a minimum which are the biggest drawbacks to those type of liquid fuel lighters.

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  2. I have one of these and I took it off of my keyring. I would rather carry a mini bic lighter instead. Pro's of a bic over a split pea:

    * Price. $1 for a bic. If it gets lost or taken, it is no big deal.
    * Availability. A mni bic can be picked up almost anywhere.
    * Backups. The above two points means I keep a couple in my BOB, my GHB, my car, and one in my pocket.
    * Gifting. I don't smoke, and since I have spares, when I offer the use of my lighter, I will often simply give it away. It is a small gesture, but it gives the (often first) impression of being generous and laid back.
    * Fluid. The white ones are easy to visually tell how much fluid is left.
    * Easier and faster to use than a split pea.
    * Weight / fuel ratio.

    The only disadvantage is the lack of a split ring to attach it to a keyring. That is easily remedied by pulling the inner cords out of a couple inches of paracord. Hold the now empty cord over the flat edges of the lighter and make a couple of wraps around it with electrical tape, duck tape, or gorilla tape. Bonus: tape when you need it.

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