Praise for the Torchmate Lighter

After struggling with a class full of gas strikers that like only
right handed people (even though you use it in your left), flux
filled Lightening Bugs, I am all over the Torch Mate lighter. This is
a great invention. I have two with rounded profile which anyone can

This is a nice invention and I send a kudos to the person who
thought this one up.


Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio

Right on Karen. I got my Torch Mate lighter a few years ago when I
had a bad case of tendonites and could not use my striker. Best buy
I ever mad e. I have had it about 6 years, never had to change
batteries, and have had no problems. I do turn it off every day
after I have finished soldering… Add my kudos to the person who
thought it up.


I have had to replace a lot of batteries in the lighters.

NOT because the batteries wore out. Students took them out to run
their portable CD players. Now that Ipods and music phones are
replacing CD players our battery replacement has almost stopped. I
hid the torch lighters for a while and made everyone use flint

I love mine, too but I can only use it with my Smith Little Torch
and not with the propane torch I normally use…it just refuses to
light with the little spark from the Torchmate but is happy with the

Donna in VA

Time for an ethics course, directed at students pinching batteries.
If they can’t be faithful with this small thing, they won’t be moving
on to greater things.

Dan Woodard

Donna. Maybe your Torchmate lighter is not working correctly. I use
it to light the big annealing tip on my prestolite (air Acetylene)
torch when melting metal for casting and it lights instantly. But
perhaps acetylene requires less of a spark than propane.


Can’t imagine life without it-- just remember, if you light
acetylene first, you’ll buildup carbon on surfaces which will stop
the arc eventually-- if it stops sparking, try scraping off the
black soot in there before changing batteries (you’ll hardly ever
have to change them, they last a long time if ya keep that gunk
scraped off!)


But perhaps acetylene requires less of a spark than propane. 

It worked fine on acetylene as well as the Little Torch Oxy/Propane
but it just won’t light the propane torch I normally use (the one
from Frei). The spark is ine all the time and it won’t light up the
propane torch with any of the 3 tips. I’d much rather use it than
the sparker but I have no idea what the thing is with propane alone.

Donna in VA

Hi Donna,

The spark is ine all the time and it won't light up the propane
torch with any of the 3 tips. 

Perhaps the torch valve is opened to much & the gas is coming out at
too fast a rate to ignite. I’ve noticed this behavior with acetylene
& a prestolite torch. The way to avoid the problem is to just barely
crack the torch valve while igniting it. Once there’s a small flame,
the valve can be opened farther.


Why don’t you just buy a cigarette lighter or even a lighted candle,
works first time.


Why don't you just buy a cigarette lighter or even a lighted
candle, works first time. 

I suspect you are offering advice you haven’t actually tried!
Cigarette lighters run the hazard of explosion, or so we are always
warned. I tried the candle trick, some years back. Yes, it works the
first time-- then the heat from the now-lighted torch melts a chunk
of the candle before you can move it out of the way. Melted wax all
over, and a very long wick sticking out to make a bigger flame and
melt more wax. Not a viable solution.


When I first started studying metals and was introduced to the
torch, our instructor demonstrated what would happen if we tried to
light the torch with a candle. He worked over a pan of water to catch
the dripping wax, and immediately dropped the still flaming candle
into it. One demonstration was enough. He wisely did not demonstrate
using a cigarette lighter, but warned us that there was a possibility
of the cigarette lighter exploding We took his word for it.


You have made two very good points there Alma for which I thank
you, I guess that I live too dangerously.


Noel you are absolutely right about not using a candle if you are
lighting a large torch.

However the torch that I will be lighting from a candle is a pencil
size oxygen /propane one that has a working flame the size of a tooth
pick. I find that this torch is very hard to light with a spark gun.


FWIW I use a liquid filled glass candle from walmart with a half
gallon of ultra-pure no-odor, no-smoke liquid paraffin. Half gallon
bottle comes with a built in filler tip. Candle runs about 60 hours
on a fill, with probably 20 fills in a bottle. I got the tall
candle. As a bonus, it’s also pretty. Total cost about $10 total.


When I started out, using a Prestolite torch, I lighted with a
candle for years. It worked fine for me. Of course, you have to just
barely crack the gas open, or the flame blows out. That goes for just
about any lighting situation. Now I use a regular striker with my
Little Torch. I guess it takes practice, as I can see from the
difficulty that my apprentice has with it. But she’s getting better
with it every day!

If you ever have a problem lighting a torch, by any method, try
turning down the gas. That’s probably your problem.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA