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Butane Torches

I got tired of my heat gun shutting off on high temperature just as I needed it to release a piece from my resin bowl. I bought a Blazer GT8000 butane torch to take the place of the heat gun. It works very well for this purpose an is also very portable. I didn’t realize until recently that it does a great job of annealing and soldering jump rings and other smaller pieces. The fact that it doesn’t have a hose makes it very portable for lots of tasks that don’t happen right at your bench. If I have ever disparaged these torches in the past, I apologize…Rob

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That’s actually the largest of the three butane torches I do the vast majority of my work with. I really like them- especially when I was first starting, the fact that my torches were little more than big lighters made the whole idea less intimidating. Plus they’re safe and practical working in a small rented apartment like I do.

I have exclusively used butane torches for years, primarily because I was renting and my studio was in a spare bedroom. If my landlord had ever discovered a tank of gas in my apartment I’m sure I would have been in some trouble. Now that I own my house, my studio is still in a spare bedroom and having a big tank of gas in here does not feel safe. Occasionally I wish I had more fire power for something larger but in reality I mostly work small and the butane torches are not only cost effective but also safe for home studio use. I have bigger ones and smaller ones for a variety of flame. It’s also easy to hold two for a bit larger project. My current favorite is the BluSky torch, which offers as big of a flame as the Blazer Big Shot but retails at only $25. I also have a favorite butane, which I buy by the case: Colibri Premium Butane. The torches don’t last forever—you have to replace eventually and some last longer than others, but they are cheap. So though for years I wished I had a workspace where I would feel comfortable getting a “big girl” torch, I’ve decided these are just the right size for me.

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