Did you know that there's a "non-disposable" hand warmer in the world?

I have been using such a warmer since last September when I happened to learn of its existence. 
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Now it's April and it's getting warmer day by day. It is, however, still very cold like winter for someone like me who is susceptible to cold. So I would like to introduce this warmer especially to those who are sensitive to cold.

What's a reusable warmer?

The "non-disposable warmer" is actually called a hand warmer. It burns a kind of volatile oil, benzine, and generates heat. The heat comes from combustion caused by a catalytic reaction as opposed to oxidation of a disposable hand warmer. So it is much warmer than the disposable hand warmer. 

You can get two reusable hand warmers in Japan; one is Peacock Pocket Warmer sold by Hakukin.

ハクキンカイロ ハクキンウォーマー ミニ 1個入 【保温約18時間】

(2016/3/29 17:21時点)

And the other is Zippo's Re-usable Hand Warmer.

ZIPPO カイロ ハンディウォーマー オイル充填式 シルバー

(2016/3/29 17:23時点)

I got a "Peacock Pocket Warmer Mini" based on the size, looks and availability to its fuel.

Hakukin Official Website (in English)

The disposable hand warmer is pretty useful because it's ready just when you tear the bag open. However, you'll have to throw it away when it's done. Besides, I can't use it for a short-time outing because it's wasteful.  

Meanwhile, the Peacock won't create any trash. You can also use as little or as much benzine as you want, depending on how long you wish to use it, making it more efficient and less wasteful.

How to use

Fuel is, as I said earlier, benzine.

Some people may be okay with the smell of benzine, but I'm not. If I smell it when I'm a bit under the weather, I will get a headache. So I always pour the fuel in the warmer in the bathroom with sufficient ventilation.
The fuel is regular benzine which is from the same brand.

ハクキンベンジン カイロ用

(2016/3/29 17:24時点)

HakukinWarmerMini160321HowToUse2Photo by Pamagami
I took off the cap and the burner....
HakukinWarmerMini160321HowToUse3Photo by Pamagami
I put on the filling cup and poured the fuel up to the line in the picture (a half cup). That's six-hour's worth of fuel. 

If I spill some fuel, I wipe it up with tissue and put it in a plastic bag, and then throw it away. 
HakukinWarmerMini160321HowToUse4Photo by Pamagami
I removed the filling cup and put the burner back on. I then lit the burner by pointing a lighter downwards, making sure the lighter was pointing downward so as not to spill any ash. It takes only a second or two.
HakukinWarmerMini160321HowToUse5Photo by Pamagami
If you blow a puff of air on the burner, it'll light up like this. But it could damage the burner if you do that more than once. 
HakukinWarmer160320HowToUse5ArrowPhoto by Pamagami
The best way to make sure that it is lit is to set the cap over the burner. If you see vapor clouding up the cap, your warmer is ready to use.

In less than five minutes, it'll get so hot that you can no longer touch it without a cover. 

How to extinguish: using up the fuel is the easiest and safest way. 

But if you do have to put it out, you can smother it by putting it in a plastic bag, and sealing it. (Eliminating oxigen.) You need to refuel when you use it again because benzine vaporizes quickly. 

Things that you need to know

The burner comes off easily. I have dropped the warmer on the floor in the bathroom a couple of times, and I almost lost the flame. I quickly put the burner back on (within 30 seconds) and was able to save the flame and continued using it. 

Pros and cons

・It's much warmer than a disposable warmer. You'll get burnt if you touch it bare-handed.

・Hit the ground warming. It is fully warmed up in less than five minutes, whereas the disposable warmer needs 15-20 minutes in general before it gets warm enough. 

・You can control how long it stays warm. Once you get used to it, you'll know exactly how much fuel you will need. It is useful especially for quick errands.

・The smell. It may not be a problem for those who are not sensitive to smells, but it is to me. It smells a little like an oil-based marker when it is in use. 

・Vulnerable to shocks. It won't be any trouble if your disposable warmer slipped out of your pocket, but that's not the case for the benzine warmer. The burner comes off easily when you drop it. 

・Some people might like it, but it's a hassle to get it ready at times. Especially when I spill some benzine and have to clean it up.   

・You will have a problem if it goes out. There wouldn't be any problem if you had a lighter with you, but that's a pain for me. 


In spite of being very sensitive to cold, I'm a motorbike rider. I used to get sick after a bike ride in early spring, not to mention in the winter.  

Since I started using this warmer, however, I have been enjoying riding my motorbike much more than before. I never knew it was so fun to ride a motorbike in early, cold spring!

If you are sensitive to cold and also a motorcyclist, I would definitely recommend this warmer to you. Let's have a fun, comfortable motorbike ride.