Burned fingertips and singed hands are no fun, but sometimes incurring those minor injuries are unavoidable when we’re lighting candles or barbecue grills — especially with small lighters or matches.
The Zippo Flex Neck Utility Lighter ($19.95) is a new product from the Zippo Manufacturing Company that’s bigger than the traditional Zippo windproof lighter. It looks like a small torch you might use in the kitchen to caramelize creme brulee, but it has a lot more dexterity. The movable neck can twist in various directions to light candles deep in hurricane vases, or light your broiler, hot water heaters, fireplaces and other areas that are hard to reach with matches or even typical long-reach lighters. Adjust the long neck in the direction you need the flame to go and then light it. To light, just slide a little switch on the Zippo while holding the button on back. An adjustable flame dial allows you to control the power of the fire. A fuel gauge on the side lets you monitor how much butane is in it.
Ever since Humphrey Bogart lit-up with a classic Zippo lighter in the movie Casablanca, the lighters have been used in more than 1,200 films. As far as the Flex Neck Utility Lighter becoming famous by appearing in films, David Warfel, director of global marketing at Zippo, said “we’re hopeful that it will achieve Hollywood fame but it’s not yet the iconic product that our windproof pocket lighter is.” However, he adds “many studios have already been in touch requesting the lighter for props and we’re excited to see just where the Zippo Flex Neck Utility Lighter will make a cameo or starring role.”
The Flex Neck comes in Silver and Rubberized Flat Black, and has a three-year warranty.
It’s the little high-tech tweaks and upgrades on gadgets we use everyday that make life easier. Take this smartphone pen, which makes “writing” on touchscreens easier and less shaky by using a sensor. This Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush lets you track your brushing habits on your smartphone. And this planter grows your indoor plants for you by tapping into a microchip to determine when your plant needs water.
What’s your favorite innovative home-use gadget? Tell us in the comments.
Photos courtesy of Zippo