Many people bunch butane torches in with common disposable cigarette lighters. But they are not the same thing. The butane torch is not a mere convenience, it’s a bona fide tool that is used in medical laboratories, Michelin-rated restaurants and by jewelry makers and artists the world over. Like any tool, there are certain safety considerations that come into play when using a butane torch, as well as ways you should and should not handle it, and right and wrong ways to refill and maintain it. Below, we’re going to provide some basic tips related to all these issues.
Butane Torch Safety Tips
A butane torch is not a toy or a mere cigarette lighter. Improper or unsafe use could lead to serious injury. Here are some basic safety tips that owners of butane torches should adhere to.
- Whether you’re a dabber or a research scientist you shouldn’t wear clothes made of highly flammable synthetic fabrics when using a butane torch.
- Always make sure that the area where you’re using the butane torch is properly ventilated.
- If you are using butane torches at home or work you should make sure there is a working fire extinguisher at the ready in case of an accident.
- Always use refined butane such as Puretane or Whip-it! in your butane torch as this will ensure the torch does not become clogged with impurities, which could impede performance and create safety issues.
- If you have young children make sure any butane torch you bring into the house has a safety lock on it and that you engage that lock whenever you are not using the torch.
- Jewelers, artists and lab workers should always wear protective eye gear when using a butane torch.
- Never use more flame than you need. We would recommend getting a butane torch with an adjustable flame so you can ratchet it up or down as needed.
The Right Way to Refill Your Butane Torch
The first thing you need to do before refilling your butane torch is to purge it of old butane. To do this turn the torch upside down with the head on a table top. Insert a screwdriver into the gas port and press. When you do this you should hear a hissing sound as the old gas leaves the torch. Keep holding the screwdriver in place until the hissing stops. Once you’ve purged the torch of old butane you can refill it. To do that:
- Make certain that the gas flow is turned off.
- Turn the torch upside down again. On the button, you will see a refill port (yes, the same port you just used to purge the old gas).
- Uncap the canister of butane, flip it upside down and insert the nozzle into the refill port.
- Push the nozzle down into the port and hold it, applying even pressure while the gas moves from the canister into the torch.
- It shouldn’t take more than 10-15 seconds to refill the torch, so don’t hold it for too long.
- Once full, flip the torch back over and stand it up on the tabletop, then recap the canister and store it away properly.
- Finally, wait a few minutes before using the refilled torch.
The butane torch is not a toy and not a cigarette lighter. It’s a tool with myriad applications and like the rest of your tools, it needs to be respected and treated properly. Always use refined butane like Puretane, Ignitus, Whip-it! or Newport butane and make sure to internalize the above tips. That way you’ll ensure the safe and effective operation of your butane torch.