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different types of torches

Types of Torches

Torches are often overlooked when building your ideal toolbox, and when you do consider getting one, you only think about getting one standard LED torch. Here are a few types of torches that you probably didn’t know existed, and you didn’t know you needed.

  • Incandescent bulbs: These torches have been around the longest and are often the cheapest. The lamp produced is usually bright, but this type of light wastes energy by producing heat. Batteries and bulbs don’t last a very long time with this type of torch
  • LED lights: Light-emitting diodes are a type of semiconductor. LED torches have a long life because they use little energy. LED torches have no glass or fiber, making them durable. Both the batteries and the bulbs in LED lamps have a much longer life than incandescent bulb torches, but this may make them more expensive.
  • HID: High Intensity Discharge bulbs have an electric current which passes through an arranged ball of ionized gas. HID torches aren’t as common as other torches, they are bulky and often expensive. They do however produce a very bright light with a long-lasting bulb.
  • Xenon, Halogen and Krypton bulbs: Some incandescent bulbs are filled with a pressurized gas, which helps extend the life of the fiber inside, so the bulb burns brighter without running the batteries faster. Currently, these are the brightest torches available, although they are not as rugged or long-lasting as LED torches.
  • Shake torches: You may have heard about Faraday torches, which are named after Michael Faraday, the man who discovered the electromagnetic principle. By shaking the magnets inside the torch for about a minute, you’ll get several hours of LED light. The light isn’t very bright, but having no batteries to use this torch means that it will always be ready for usage, making them perfect for an emergency. When using these torches, be careful! The magnets used are quite powerful and can damage computers, credit card strips and pacemakers.
  • Headlamps: Being hands-free, headlamps are a popular addition to torches, especially for hikers and cyclists. Like most torches, headlamps are available with different types of bulbs. Many headlamps are adjustable to various levels of brightness and to different angles, making them perfect for all sorts of activities that require free hands.
  • Lanterns: For an ambient glow while camping or during a power outage, a lantern can be a great alternative to a regular hand torch.

Now that you know all about the different types of torches, you can get a torch that suits you from Just Batteries today!

Types of Torches Torches are often overlooked when building your ideal toolbox, and when you do consider getting one, you only think about getting one standard LED torch. Here are a few types of

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Discover the difference between propane vs. propylene gas torches for homebuilders, remodelers and plumbers

There are three primary fuel options for torches used to solder or braze metal: propane, propylene, and acetylene.

Acetylene is expensive, burns extremely hot, and is available only in large, refillable tanks. It’s best suited for professional plumbers and those who solder and braze thousands of joints a year.

For homebuilders and remodelers who are in only occasional need of a torch, propane- or propylene-fueled units might be a better option.

Propane

With a flame temperature in air of roughly 3450°F, propane burns cooler than propylene. This can be a weakness or a strength, depending on the experience of the person using the torch.

Pros
• Inexpensive
• Less likely to overheat a joint or ignite surrounding materials
• Suitable for soldering pipe 1/8 in. to 1 in. in dia., making it an economical option for basic plumbing jobs
• Considered a forgiving torch for less skilled tradesmen and apprentices

Cons
• Takes longer to get metal hot enough to melt solder
• Does not burn hot enough to braze, which creates much stronger connections
• Can’t be used to solder large pipe and fittings
• Might not be possible to solder pipe that still contains some water, which steals heat

Cost
$3 per 16.92-oz. cylinder

Propylene

Manufacturers that once supplied MAPP gas, which has been discontinued, are now pushing propylene fuel. It has many of the same attributes as MAPP gas, including a higher price tag. However, that cost buys you greater performance.

Pros
• Has a flame temperature in air of roughly 3600°F, so it can be used to braze metal
• Burns hot enough to overcome the thermal effects of small amounts of water in plumbing lines, making it great for remodeling tasks
• Heats pipe and fittings 20% to 24% faster than propane, decreasing overall labor time
• Suitable for soldering or brazing pipe 1/8 in. to 3 in. in dia.

Cons
• Expensive
• Less forgiving than propane in terms of safety and technique

Cost
$9 per 16.92-oz. cylinder

Photo: Rodney Diaz

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In this article, discover the difference between propane vs. propylene gas torches for homebuilders, remodelers and plumbers.