Useful for anything from firing up a grill to carmelizing a crème brulée, a blowtorch can also be a handy tool in the artist’s studio. If you work in metals, you’re likely familiar with the pleasures of a blowtorch that lights on command and is easy to manipulate. But there are myriad other uses for these contraptions. Resin artists, for instance, might consider replacing their hair dryers or heat guns with a handheld, low-powered torch. Shop with confidence for a propane-, butane-, or even oxyacetylene-powered torch with the help of our guide, below.
1. Mr. Torch Bluefire Torch
This midsize torch head offers enough power to heat up materials for most soldering, welding, and brazing jobs. Attach a propane cylinder (not included) to fuel it, and will still be light and compact enough to use with one hand. The brass head releases a cyclone flame—a rotating fire that wraps around material to distribute heat evenly—with an adjustable size. While some torches can be finicky, failing to work upside down or light on the first try, this one is reliable and consistent in performance.
2. ArtResin Artist’s Studio Torch
If you don’t need a torch that’s super powerful, choose a smaller, butane-fueled model. Our favorite is this one, designed for use with epoxy resin art, although you can certainly use it for many other crafts. The lightweight tool emits a consistent and adjustable flame that will stay lit for about an hour on a full tank, and it features a handy switch that enables continuous burning without having to push a button. It makes quick work of unwanted bubbles in resin, and you can also use it to achieve beautiful cell effects.
3. Sondiko Torch
If you like the sound of ArtResin’s product but balk at the price, this is a similar option that’s more budget friendly. It can reach nearly the same temperature as ArtResin’s torch and is well suited for studio work like resin art and paint pours. It’s also comfortable to hold and features an adjustment for the flame size. However, it holds less butane, so we’d recommend it for artists who don’t expect to pick up their torch every day.
4. Forney Tote-a-Torch
If a more powerful torch is what you seek, this oxygen-acetylene welding kit might be the ticket. The combo of fuels produces an extremely hot flame to handle heavy-duty welding, cutting, and heating. Included in this kit is a 12½-foot hose, a range of nozzles for different jobs, and a lightweight tote to hold and transport the gas cylinders and accessories. The torch operates smoothly, doesn’t leak, and holds consistent pressure and flow.
5. Bernzomatic Multi-Use Torch Kit
This propane torch is similar to our top pick in terms of power and feel. It’s larger than a handheld torch but still comfortable to handle for long periods of time—you can thank the ergonomic grip for that. Like many torches, it has an easy-access knob to adjust the width of the flame. But its key feature is its head, a steel burn tube with a small diameter that improves access and directs better heat to tighter spots. Since the tube is also long, it will keep you slightly farther from the exposed flame for extra safety.