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A super-hot instant flame can help you out on tons of jobs, like cutting braided cable or carefully applying heat-shrink tubing.  On Harbor Freight’s site I came across this $7 micro torch which seems comparable to its “mainstream” counterparts — it’s self-starting and refillable, with a 35-minute run-time. But how does it really stack up? Is it a piece of junk, or do some of you actually work with one regularly and reliably?

I’m guessing that in comparison to other torches this thing probably flops, but I want to hear from you:  Hot or Not?  Let us know in comments.

Micro Torch [Harbor Freight]
Street Pricing [Google]

 

23 Responses to Hot or Not? Harbor Freight Micro Torch

  1. Thomas says:

    Used a charcoal lighter w/ a torch tip for doing soldering on my car the other day. Worked better than my soldering iron. Got it to do the heat shrink n’ said you know I bet this would solder. Was made by diamond. Don’t remember what it cost.

  2. Ed Mahaffey says:

    I’ve had one for a couple of years – still works fine. I use it for electrical soldering and shrinking tubing. No complaints at all.

  3. Mike P. says:

    The seal in mine has deteriorated — won’t hold gas overnight.

  4. beano_t says:

    I also have had mine for years, and I still use it… works good.

  5. KMR says:

    Does not seem to get anywhere near as hot as advertised…

  6. Old Donn says:

    Had a part time job in a self-storage yard a while back. One of these is the quickest, easiest way to de-ice frozen padlocks. That might not be exactly the kind of use you were talking about, but for my particular application? HOT.

  7. Bitt Faulk says:

    This looks an awful lot like the torches they sell at cooking stores as creme brulee torches. That said, this is cheaper. But what’s wrong with a regular old BernzOmatic?

  8. lee says:

    Works great as a torch lighter for cigars. At 1/10th the cost.

  9. ToolGuyd says:

    Question to self: Would I ever trust a Harbor Freight tool to supply butane to a flame, or to reliably contain the fuel when idle? Nope!

    While I’ve had problems with Bernzomatic micro-torches before, they’re pretty reliable. I don’t want to be anywhere near one of these HF jobs if/when they fail.

    Micro-torches: hot
    HF micro-torch: NOT

  10. Kurt says:

    I have had a couple of these. The reason I like them is the lack of safety interlocks – you need to be a three handed monkey to light most of these nowadays. I had one for years that I bought from Micromark, and it was great – flip the lever, light it and go. When it died I tried to replace it, and hated the one they sent – so childproof even I couldn’t use it easily.

    That HF unit worked for a few months, than began a rather disconcerting habit of shooting out a foot long stream of fiery liquid when lit. It’s replacement has been working fine for about a year, and at the price, I don’t mind treating them as quasi-disposables -worth it for the convenience. I have a section of my workbench set up for soldering, complete with firebrick background, so the occasional flamethrower effect is more alarming than dangerous.

  11. DISCO-STU says:

    I bought one and it broke only two years after buying it. I rarely used it and the trigger mechanism blew apart and then the gas slowly leaked out of the nozzle.

  12. Fabian says:

    I have one, got it for 5 bucks from HF.. works fine..

    F.

  13. diluded000 says:

    Mine won’t hold butane more than an hour. I just give it a squirt every time before I use it. Got ’bout what I paid for.

  14. John says:

    Until they make one of these that can cut through a bulkhead door so I can escape the man-eating aliens, I’ll pass.

  15. Andrew says:

    – Hot –
    Got mine for about $5 too. Works great.

  16. Joey says:

    Got one for $5 a few years back, works great. I use it quite often, and have only had to refill it twice. Definitely one of my better bang-for-the-buck purchases from HF.

  17. MKram says:

    Works OK, had to fiddle with the air intake (black knurled ring in the photo) to get it to light and stay lit. Took a dab of white paint and made a line across that knob and the flat part on top when I finally got it adjusted properly so I wouldn’t have to waste 5 minutes trying to get it going again after a refill.

  18. Mike says:

    Not so hot! I got mine for $5 and it worked O.K. ONCE. The replacement works fine for what I use it for, I guess. But for $5 buck- what can you expect. I treat a lot of HF tools as ‘starter’ sets. It’s a good way to try one for a low cost and they’ll typically last long enough for me to decide if I want to spend the money on a real one.

  19. TC says:

    Buddy of mine had one and his worked great for awhile and mine leaked out the gas after the second time using it….get what you pay for

  20. I love mine. I broke the electric start on the first one but I still keep it around because it works fine if I light it with another lighter.

    I use it mostly for candles, it works great to get down in deep.

    Definitely worth the money, I originally bought the pencil style one from HF but it broke; this style is much more solid.

    Everyone should have at least one!

  21. Michael says:

    Ours is 15 years of age, and it leaks. Nearly burned my eye lashes and head hair off. Not recomended at all. The thing ignited a fireball on my hand while I was torching something. If you read this, throw it away, get the receipt, whatever! Get rid of it.

  22. Rhonda says:

    I got mine almost 3 months ago & ever since I got it, it won’t keep a steady flame. I’ve been told this is a common problem with these. I get the flame adjusted to where I want it & by the time I pick up my work, the flame is barely going & as soon as I touch the fuel adjustment knob, the hiss of gas stops & the flame goes out. As soon as you take your hand off the knob, you hear the gas hissing again but of course the flame is out by now. It doesn’t matter how careful or how gently you try to turn up the flame when it drops down, it goes out every time. VERY FRUSTRATING!! I’m usually fine with Harbor Freight Tools but buy a better tool than this one.

  23. Lucas Hinch says:

    Works as advertised. No complaints.. gets incredibly hot. Purchased September 2016.. for my needs it’s more than suitable.

    Definitely HOT…

    PS. if you read and follow the instructions it will work.

    Best regards
    LH

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