Zippo Keeps Your Bits Safe

[Laura Kampf] found a new use for an old Zippo lighter by turning it into a carrier for her screwdriver bits. There are several multitools out there which can accept standard screwdriver bits. The problem is carrying those bits around. Leaving a few bits in your pocket is a recipe for pocket holes and missing bits.

[Laura’s] solution uses her old Zippo lighter. All she needs is the case, the lighter element itself can be saved for another project. A block of aluminum is cut and sanded down to a friction fit. Laura uses a band saw and bench sander for this. The aluminum block is then drilled out to fit four bits. Small neodymium magnets are taped into the holes with double-sided tape. These magnets retain the bits, ensuring none will fall out when the lighter is opened.

This is a great quick project and an excellent way to carry four bits. We’re curious if the second set of holes (and a shorter bar) could expand this carrier to 8 bits – 4 on top and 4 on the bottom. [Laura] noticed this too, but decided to keep the build simple with 4 bits.

We love Every Day Carry (EDC) projects like this – in fact, a few years back we had our own EDC contest featuring the Adafruit Trinket. Check out the awards announcement post for some awesome pocket projects!

29 thoughts on “Zippo Keeps Your Bits Safe

    1. I’d just buy a cheap broken zippo internal. Zippo offers free servicing on it’s lighters. They will return the lighter to excellent working condition but don’t cover the finish.

      So if you see a broken zippo in a backyard sale you can probably have it repaired and sell it on for much more even plain lighters are worth money if they are old.

  1. Never smoked so no Zippos lying around, but some pocket-sized plastic mint cases might do as well. This idea would give a Zippo a happier, more legitimate use than lighting cancer sticks, however.

  2. Great idea. I was thinking bits and bytes also. Then I read and was thinking like the ammo can cases… can make use as a better shielded (other than the seam needing RFI/EMI gasket to be really sealed) case for electronic projects or drives. A lighter is little small for a power bank… though would work.

    HHHmmm… wondering what microcontroller boards fit inside those where you could even have the interfaces designed so available once open using a Manhattan style make.

  3. Hmm…I don’t have that, but I have an Altoids Arctic tin velcro’d to the frame of my frankenPrusa. It has a flip-top lid on the small side rather than the clamshell style of regular Altoids. I use it to store all the small bits (spare nozzles, allen driver tips, reamers, drill bits) I’d need for maintenance and repair of the printer. It would probably be no problem to design and print an insert for it to make sure each bit has a spot rather than rummage through the thing (ie, dump it out on the table and then put everything back in) each time.

  4. As yesterday, the local “Sears” (Going Out Of Business) store had a 300 bit set, complete with snap lock case for $24.99, I’ll pass on ruining a collectable Zippo.

    1. Buy a knock-off Zippo style lighter for a few (currencies), get a cheap minimal set of hex bits (or use the duplicates you always end up with if you own more than one bit set). This isn’t a toolbox item, it’s an everyday carry. I have a Leatherman multitool EDC I love but it doesn’t have Allen/Torx drivers – this could complement it nicely.

  5. Oh, my! This is terribly frightening. . . using a band saw without lowering the foot to just above the piece being cut and drilling metal with no eye protection. . . EEEEK! I hope whop newbies do NOT follow her example.

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