Micro butane torches for jewelry

February 27, 2012

It is great to have choices – but sometimes comparison shopping is such a chore! We recently added two new Blazer brand micro-torches. While our selection of three butane torches isn’t exactly overwhelming, it still raises questions. Why choose one over the other two? They all look about the same … and in many ways, they are the same:

  • No appreciable differences in height, width or diameter.
  • All three use triple refined butane (buy it locally due to shipping restrictions).
  • All three include a plastic stand for hands-free operation.
  • All three have flame adjustment options.
Micro butane torches are only about 6″ tall but easily reach flame temps of 2400 F. All three of these torches can handle small soldering, fusing and enameling jobs.

However, in several important ways, these three little torches do differ. The most obvious way is in price: the Blazer costs over twice as much as our original little torch. In fact, you can buy an entire mini torch kit, which includes a torch, soldering blocks, a tripod with mesh, tweezers and soldering pick, for less than the Blazer torch. Yet …

Micro torches are easy and safe to use – just use common sense. Never point the flame at yourself and keep combustibles out of the way. The heat is very concentrated and easy to control.

The Blazer is by far the easiest micro torch to use! It is a professional model torch, not designed for home use. It doesn’t have a child safety lock, so if you have any concerns about unauthorized use of your tools, this might not be the best choice (I hope it goes without saying you should keep any torch out of the reach of children). However, if you hate fumbling around with levers and buttons, then you will *love* the black Blazer torch. It has a really high quality ignition system. I won’t go into boring details on that. Just know that, while trying to do a fair comparison of the three torch options, I kept instinctively reaching for the Blazer because it was just more fun to use. Good design works! Plus, its burn time is about double that of the entry-level micro torch. Refilling butane is the least fun part of using a micro torch, so that detail counts for a lot in my opinion!

I really wanted to like the Stingray model the best – it is my favorite color after all! – but the safety lock and flame control just weren’t my favorite. So if budget is the biggest factor, the our original micro torch is still a great deal. It gets the job done. But if you can afford to splurge a bit, the Blazer torch is a tool worth owning. And if you truly want middle of the road performance and price – with the prettiest color! – then the Stingray fits the bill.

Here’s the stats in handy bullet form, with torches listed from Highest/Greatest to Lowest in each category:

  • Burn time: Blazer, Stingray, Basic
  • Price: Blazer, Stingray, Basic
  • Ease of use: Blazer, Stingray, Basic
  • Safety lock: Basic, Stingray, Blazer

Whether you want to fire small Art Clay silver pieces, torch enamel, solder metals or fuse fine silver, a micro torch is a great introduction to using heat! Here’s a little tutorial on making ball-end head pins to get you started. ~ Cindy

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  • Shai March 6, 2012 at 8:38 am

    You need to have a kit for all the levels of torches like you do for your basic. I do prefer the top of the line but for simplicity’s sake I am more apt to get the kit.

    • Cindy March 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      I agree Shai! I have put in the request – hopefully we will have them in our online store soon!

  • Stephen June 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I am looking at the Blazer torches and would like to know which model is appropriate for ease of fine soldering and refil? What are the prices for thse models and do you ship to England, United Kingom. I look forward to our reply.

    • Cindy June 25, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Hi Stephen! Refilling is the same on both Blazers – very easy. Unless you are only doing very tiny work, I recommend the black $65 model. The blue $45 model was designed more with electronics in mind, so it is difficult to heat your piece with it. And yes, we ship to the UK! The torch ships empty – buy your butane locally. Thanks!

  • Dwayne July 2, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Hi, I’m just getting started in some jewelry making. Right now I will most likely use a mini torch for split rings, making chain links etc. Will the mini (original) torch be suffice until I move forward to bigger and better designs? Thank you!

    • Polly July 4, 2013 at 6:07 am

      Hi Dwayne,
      The mini torches work great for jump rings and chain links, and I even made a sterling ring with an 8 or 10mm cab, using the micro torch. Check out our 2-part article on copper soldering for some tips on making chain links (with beads soldered directly on the links): http://www.rings-things.com/blog/2013/02/20/i-love-copper-solder

  • peter July 31, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Which do you recommend for better than middle of the road? I am trying to decide between the 2001 and the Stingray. Reading the product descriptions the Stingray looks to have more precise flame control however, you did not find this to be true?

  • peter July 31, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Which blazer is top of the road? The Stingray product description makes it seem as though it has the more precise flame adjustments however, this commentary makes it seem as though the original Blazer is the way to go??

    • Polly July 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Peter,
      For ease of use (how many buttons to hold, and which directions to click them), we all like the Blazer the best. But the Blazer Stringray is nice too. They both are equally adjustable; one is a knob, the other is shaped more like a lever.
      When I am demo’ing these torches, and I let people pick them up and practice lighting them, I find more guys go for the Stingray saying they like how it feels in their hand, and more women for the Blazer. It may be that the levers and buttons on each tool are more comfortable for different hand sizes / reach lengths.