This is yet another pipe lighter story. This morning I noticed a lot of carbon buildup on my Old Boy lighter. I got an old tooth brush and some rubbing alcohol and started to clean it. I was thinking, "Where did all this carbon come from? This lighter isn't that old". I've never given a thought to the number of times I've used it. I bought it a little over four years ago. So, if I smoked a pipe 350 days a year, an average of 3 times a day for 4 years, that's over 4 thousand lights. Correct? I won't go any farther without mentioning a "pillar of strength" the legendary Zippo! Tons of pictures of our fighting men in World War II were taken and in many of those black and white pictures the Zippo lighter was prominently displayed. History has recorded, on numerous occasions, the handing down of a venerated Zippo to the next generation. My point is, I don't think I've ever had anything that took 4 thousand hits without needing repair or just giving out. If I were to give advice to a beginning pipe smoker it would be, "Spend the money for a good pipe lighter. Don't look at it as an expense but an investment. Hang on to it. When you're done, pass it on to the next generation". When you've done that, it isn't "just" a lighter anymore. It becomes part of history. OBD.