torches have been on the market for a long time and just when you would
think there is not much room to improve, the folks over at BernzOmatic have
come up with something completely new. With a profile and design that looks more like
a battery powered drill, the new BernzOmatic BZ9400QFK Quickfire Hand Torch is
trigger operated, super compact and packs in a 3600 deg F. flame. With the
gradual phase out of MAPP gas fuel for hand torches; this torch is designed to
use the new Max Power Propylene fuel which operates at about the same
Our test torch kit arrived in a clear plastic clamshell
package complete with the torch head and a fuel cylinder. The overall body of
the torch is entirely made of black plastic with gray rubber overmold on the
back of the handle for added grip. The only visible metal part is the silver
colored nozzle on the front. BernzOmatic claims that this nozzle produces a 30%
more efficient flame as compared to their very popular TS4000 MAPP gas torch
head because of its “Ultra Swirl” feature. We will take a closer look at this claim
Controls for the torch are easy and very straightforward. There is a
trigger that, when pulled, starts the flame and keeps the flame on as long as
it remains depressed. Just above and behind the trigger is a lock on button
that can easily be activated by your thumb once the trigger is pulled. On the
rear of the torch head is a flame adjustment knob. The knob is clearly marked
to show which way to turn it to either increase or decrease the size of the
flame. The included fuel cylinder is about 1/3 the size of most full size
cylinders of propane or MAPP gas fuels. This smaller cylinder is what helps make
this torch so compact and lightweight. One of the interesting features of the
Quickfire Hand Torch is that the cylinder does not use a threaded connection
but rather a 1/4 turn feature to hold it in place. The torch is designed in
such a way that it will only accept the new Max Power Propylene fuel cylinders.
The new Max Power Propylene fuel cylinders are also threaded so that you can
use them with virtually any hand torch that has a CGA600 connection.
BernzOmatic Quickfire Hand Torch Fuel Connection
New MAP-Pro cylinder
with 1/4 turn feature and threads
that is compatible
with CGA600 connections.
So for us
one of the first question we had to ask was why a new fuel? Maybe the best way
is to give a little history lesson on hand torch fuels. Propane for a hand torch fuel has been around
for a long time. Propane is made from refined crude petroleum and natural gas.
It is relatively inexpensive, but it is considered a slow heat source when it
comes to heavy duty soldering work since it has a lower flame temperature.
Propane is often the choice for the homeowner or do-it-yourselfer because it
works well for small projects, is readily available and is cheap. Flame
temperature in air is 3450 deg F.
The next hand torch fuel is
MethylAcetylene ProPadiene or MAPP gas for short. This gas is made from combining
liquefied petroleum and Methylacetylene-Propadine. MAPP gas produces a hotter
flame than propane which makes it a better choice for heating, brazing,
soldering and flame hardening applications. The biggest disadvantage of MAPP
gas is that it costs about double to triple what propane costs. MAPP gas is being
phased out in industry because one of the gasses in the mix, propadiene, is
becoming more valuable to the plastics industry than the metal working
industries. Flame temperature in air is 3650 deg. F.
So that brings us to the
new fuel that BernzOmatic is using called Max Power Propylene fuel or MAP-Pro
as it is sometimes called. This new fuel is a mixture of propane and propylene
gases. MAP-Pro has nearly the identical burning temperatures to MAPP gas and is
now widely available. Flame temperature in air is 3600 deg. F.
Testing and Use
thing we had to do was check the claim of a 30% faster soldering time due to
Quickfire Hand Torch having a “Ultra Swirl High Intensity Flame.” In the small
print, they compare this to their very popular TS4000 hand torch which I just
happen to have. What we did is simply took both torches and a stop watch to see
how long it took to heat up a piece of 1/2″ type L copper pipe from room
temperature to red hot. We did this test three times with each torch head
and averaged the times. While the scientific merit of this might be in
question, all we wanted to see was if in fact the new torch is faster.
TS4000 average heat up time was
Quickfire Hand Torch heat up
time average was 12 seconds.
some simple math we were able to see that we figured it took 37% less time with
the Quickfire verses the TS4000.
To test the
Quickfire Hand Torch out in the field, we gave it a go on a bathroom remodel
project. In this particular instance, we were working on remodeling a master
bathroom that originally had a toilet, bidet, and a single four-foot vanity all in a
row against a wall. We replaced the toilet, demolished the bidet and the single
vanity with the goal of installing one seven-foot long double vanity. Well,
since the plumbing supply for the old bidet was not in the proper place for the
new vanity sink, we had to reroute the supply piping. We took this opportunity
to solder up about 10 different fittings to reconfigure the water supply
Using this torch was a breeze; one of the simple and easy to use
features we really appreciated was the trigger quick start on and off feature.
We liked this because you only use just as much gas as required but as soon as you
are done soldering your joint you just release the trigger and the flame stops.
Another thing that we noticed was that the nozzle very quickly cools off seriously reducing the possibility of burns should you accidentally come
in contact with it after use. The flat base of the
cylinder made it very convenient to be able to stand the torch on end when we
were not using it.
BZ9400QFK Quickfire Hand Torch is definitely a great addition to the already extensive
line of hand held torches from BernzOmatic. While we were at first put off by
the all-plastic body, we quickly got used to it and realized that all the
lightweight materials make this torch a joy to use. For our Performance rating
we gave the torch an 9/10 because it was easy to use, produced a fast hot flame
and had excellent ergonomics. For our Value rating we gave the Quickfire Hand
Torch a 7/10 since it does cost more than other MAP-Pro torch heads that have
quick start triggers and flame adjustment knobs. The good news is that this kit
comes complete with one fuel cylinder.
In 1876, Otto Bernz founded the Otto Bernz Co. in
Newark, N.J. to sell plumbers’ tools, furnaces, and torches. The company was
renamed BernzOmatic in 1940, and has since been recognized as a highly
respected global brand, focusing on manufacturing and marketing best-in-class
hand held torches and accessories for professionals and consumers. BernzOmatic,
part of Newell Rubbermaid’s global portfolio of brands, is committed to
developing and manufacturing consumer driven product innovations for the
professional torch user.