Blow Torches

Browse the range of blowtorches in the Cromwell range of gas welding products. With big name brands like Sievert and Rothenberger, you'll be bound to find the right tooling at the right price.

What are blowtorches?

Blowtorches actually date back to ancient times and were a tool commonly used by gold and silversmiths and began like as a wick oil lamp with a mouthpiece to blow the flame and heat up the material being used, hence their moniker. Modern incarnation of blowtorches use a hose supplied gas feed to power the flame (although technically the term blowtorch is used to describe smaller liquid fuel torches and not gas torches).

Why blowtorches?

Blow torches are a common tool in gas welding, used to either cut through or fuse metal together. They are mostly used by welders although plumbers use them sometimes to solder pipes. Smaller scale blowtorches have also made an appearance in the culinary industry, used by chefs with certain recipes to caramelise the surface of dishes like crème brule.

Types of blowtorches

Standard - These blowtorches are used primarily for soft soldering, light brazing, and moulding plastic pipes. They can also be used in food preparation for caramelising dishes. They are the most common and smallest type of blowtorch.

Gardening - These types of blowtorches are primarily used to clear gardens of small groups of rouge vegetation predominantly weeds. They feature a long nozzle with a curved handle to keep the flame angled down at the ground for user safety. They should only be used when the ground and the surrounding environment is moist to prevent fire.

Swivel - These are used for similar tasks as a standard blowtorch; however, they have the ability to turn 360 degrees, which allows the user to direct the flame in the desired position. This can be particularly useful for plumbers who might need to solder pipes in tough to reach spots like underneath sinks etc.

Heavy duty - As the name suggests these are used in applications such as brazing where the temperatures needed are high. As a result these types of blowtorches reach the highest possible temperatures, making them useful for applications such as pipe bending, welding aluminium and hard soldering. They are the only type of torch that can be used in conjunction with a propane methyl acetylene propadiene gas canister.

Considerations when choosing a blowtorch

The gas canister - Different types of gas canisters are available for all of the most common types of blowtorch. However some such as mixed gas and propane and methyl acetylene propadiene are only suitable for use with heavy duty blowtorches as they produce a flame that can reach upwards of 2100°C.

Other types of gas canisters such as butane, propane and butane/propane mixed are suitable for all blowtorches and can be used for lighter applications that require less heat.

Blowtorch jargon buster

• Burner - The business end of the blowtorch where the flame is emitted.

• Flame control - This controls the size (and intensity) of the flame via the gas flow to the burner. Soft yellow flames are cooler whilst blue flames burn much hotter.

• Piezo ignition - This enables the blowtorch to be lit without the use of an external flame. They typically come in trigger or button form and, when pressed causes a hammer to hit a piezo-electric crystal, generating a spark igniting the gas.

• Coupling - Couplings allow the gas canister to be securely attached to the torch. They come in two types EN417 or a CGA 600, with the former being the European standard and the latter it's American counterpart. The European standard coupling is a 7/16″ threaded valve, allowing it to screw onto the gas cartridge. The American standard features a 1" threaded valve, which can be converted to fit a European standard sized canister via the use of a thread converter.

• Lock - This keeps the flame burning without having to press down on the trigger for long periods of time.

• Handle - The end of the blowtorch that the user holds to direct the flame. In some models the canister is the point of grip for the user.

• Fuel tank - Some types of torches feature a refillable fuel tank instead of a replaceable canister. This is refilled using a refilling container which attaches to the tank filling valve until it is full.

• EN417 - The European standard for couplings in blowtorches.

What does the European standard for couplings EN417 mean?

*Lets break it down... *

• EN - This is the European standard

• 417 - The number of the legislation


Are blowtorches safe?

Blowtorches can be dangerous when used, even to trained professionals, after all they deal with excessive amounts of heat and gas which can cause serious injury if an accident occurs.

To counter this it is high recommended that the user takes precautions, including using the correct PPE at all times when operating a blowtorch, this includes but is not limited to, a full face covering (approved for welding) with tinted lenses (due to the intense brightness of the flame). Flame retardant gloves and clothing, with safety footwear.

Whilst working be mindful of surroundings and take care to ensure there are no objects nearby that could be a potential source of ignition. Do not use the blowtorch is ANY of the components are damaged, including tanks and canisters as this could result in a catastrophic injury or even a fatality.

How long do blow torches last?

This will depend on the type of torch, the type of fuel being used and the size of the fuel tank or canister. Using a standard torch as an example, it's estimated roughly that a single canister will last around 30mins at full burning capacity. Although some industrial torches can last up to 5 hours.