We love a handheld butane torch at NJS. They are easy and light to use, safe, affordable, easy to get hold of and suitable for a home workshop. You don't need to adjust your home insurance to have one in the house.
They have their limitations but they are great for beginners and I find I often reach for mine over my bigger torches when I'm making smaller items.
One question we had had from you guys is how to fill them. In the classes the class tutor always fills the torches, and for safety's sake they do it far away from the soldering area. But what are they doing?
Make sure your torch is turned off and the flame valve is closed.
Turn the torch upside down and look on the bottom of your torch. You'll see a small brass valve. This is where the gas goes in.
Give the butane canister a shake and turn it upside down, fit the nozzle of the canister into the valve on the torch and push down hard. This opens the valves and allows the gas to flow down from the canister into your torch. You should hear a nice smooth hissing sound. You might even feel the barrel of your torch beginning to get cold.
When the sounds changes and starts to splutter and you see liquid gas gathering on the torch the tank is full.
Put the torch down and leave it for 2 - 3 mins for any excess gas to evaporate before you light it.
Set up your soldering station and away you go.
> Be Safe
Make sure you fill your torch away from any ignition sources or open flames and make sure you have lots of ventilation so you aren't going to breathe in any escaping butane. Store your torch and spare gas canisters away from direct heart sources and sunlight, preferably in a locked cupboard and always follow the safety instructions that come with your torch and on the butane canister.
We love to see what you are soldering so send us some pics of your soldering set up and successes. xx