Got a new Thunderbird pipe lighter/side flame butane insert with the new lighter, same model as the one I have in the 1952 model. And, I am pleasantly surprised at a couple changes that have been made to the design in the year or two since I got my last one. One BIG change, that fixes my only problem with them; On my old one, where the flint comes out of the main body under the wheel, it is un supported from the body to the wheel…
So when the flint gets to a certain length, its too short to not torque sideways, and binds, not sparking and locking the wheel in place. You only get about of about half the length of the flint as you do in a regular zippo insert, thus replacing the things twice as often(monthly, to approx every 3 weeks for me depending)
BUT this new thunderbird has the same design as the stock zippo insert, a small tube that runs half way from the main body to the wheel, that supports the flint that much higher! I won’t be wasting so much un useable short little flints, nor having to fight the binding as they get shorter.
Old one on the left, new on the right.
The other design change is in the flame adjustment wheel on the bottom, from metal to plastic, and to a pointer shaped wheel.