Kim - I assume you are talking about those little black refillable
units, I think they’re called Blazers or something. I got one, and
later another, when I was just starting out and setting up my own
make-shift studio in the living room, by the window. I also work
mostly in silver. They’re cheap, easy to use, take up practically no
space, and I was a bit afraid of having larger oxygen and propane
tanks in my apartment.
They’re great for little things like jump rings and bezels, but
larger pieces are challenging. On pendants I was using one torch in
each hand and building little kilns out of bits of charcoal blocks
just to maintain enough heat to get the solder to flow. Once a piece
gets hot enough, though, it can quickly become too hot and you run
risk of ruining previously soldered joints or melting part or all of
your piece. I’ve had great success, but I’ve also been extremely
So it depends on what you’ll be making. Chains and earrings are no
problem, pendants can be quite challenging, and solid cuff bracelets
would be impossible. If you’re making larger items maybe you should
consider a disposable propane tank from the hardware store.
One last note - the little butane torches are also fantastic for
making that perfect caramelized crust on creme brulee.