At this time of the year, a propane torch can be really handy -- thawing frozen pipes, removing ice and snow from steps and driveways, and kick-starting a barbecue grill into life for a Winter cookout. (Summertime uses: scorching noxious weeds, loosening stuck nuts on bolts -- my auto mechanic friend calls his torch the "blue wrench" -- soldering and brazing copper pipes and, of course, for starting outdoor grills and backyard campfires). Lots of uses.
You don't have to have a top-of-the-line propane torch kit to accomplish most of the necessary tasks about your home; this basic Bernzomatic Propane Torch Kit will easily take care of most of your projects. It is fitted out with the burner head, a spark igniter and flints, flame spreader and, necessarily, a propane tank good for many hours of service. Solder stuff, heat, thaw; all the items on your list.
Northern Tool features this Propane Tank Kit that is rated at a powerful 500,000 BTU of heat. It connects to your propane tank via a 6' hose, which has an inline safety shutoff. Suitable jobs for this high output torch -- thawing water lines, melting snow and ice, removing floor tiles, and the like. And, of course, lighting off outdoor grills.
If you don't need a full-sized propane torch, a "pencil" or "desktop" torch may be an acceptable alternative. This Weller Miniature Magna-Lite Torch is butane-powered. It features -- aside from its convenient small size -- a piezo-electronic ignition, adjustable flame length, an hour's worth of burn time on a cylinder, and a flame temperature of more than 2400 degrees. This torch will solder and braze metals, loosen frozen or rusted nuts, and thaw small amounts of ice and snow. It has a CPSC-approved child safety interlock for your peace of mind.
Propane torches -- for when you need convenient heat in a hurry.
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