Hand held 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 temperatures.
BernzOmatic Quickfire Torch Features
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 later.
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 BernzOmatic Quickfire 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.
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 Quickfire torch 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
The first 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 19 seconds.
- Quickfire Hand Torch heat up time average was 12 seconds.
By doing 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 piping.
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.
The BernzOmatic Quickfire 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.