In the Studio: Iwatani Torch Burner Professional

Yes, I am a tool junkie. Can’t help it. Good tools just make life easier, unique and unusual tools make it exciting. Tools that you have been lusting over for a year are precious.

New to my studio is the Iwatani Torch Burner Professional, $34.00 plus shipping at the time of my purchase. I know, this is not new to many of you, nor is it huge, but it is a step up for me from my 10-year-old 5″ tall crème brûlée torch.  I will gradually make my way to the “Rambo” sized propane canister with wearable holster and torch on a flexible hose, but for now, baby steps.

As described on the Amazon.com site, it has the following features:

  • “Built-in pistol type piezo ignition

    Iwatani Torch Burner Professional

    Iwatani Torch Burner Professional

  • Use with Iwatani Cassette Gas
  • Easy to use Push’n Twist gas cylinder attachment
  • Built-in Flame Size adjustment
  • Air regulating knob”
The pistol ignition is as easy as advertised. The flame size adjustment and air regulating system is also as easy as described.  Just gently turn the gray knob on the back to start the fuel flow (you will hear it fizz a bit), and squeeze the trigger. Instant flame! The gray ring around the front metal barrel adjusts the flame from a very small and soft glow to a billowing flame. Between the fuel flow and the flame control you can adjust the amount of heat and surface area affected by the flame quickly. To turn the flame off, rotate the gray knob on the back until the fuel is no longer flowing, and the flame dies out.
The Iwatani Cassette Gas cylinder is recommended for this torch  (as shown in the picture). It has a special coupling ring, that has a 1/4th” notch that allows the torch to mount to the canister. Many canisters do not have this notched ring, so be careful when you make your purchase.]
GasOne Butane Fuel Canister

GasOne Butane Fuel Canister

Instead of the Iwatani Cassette Gas cylinder, I purchased the GasOne Butane Fuel Canister, 12 pack for $19.00. It has the notched ring, and was less expensive than the recommended brand. The torch fits perfectly. Now that I have the set, I can cheerfully work on larger encaustic pieces, and the electricity in my home studio, or class room at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, doesn’t set off a circuit breaker when a hot plate cycles on or more than one student turns on a heat gun! The product features are described as this:
  • Net Weight: 8oz (227g) per cartridge
  • Height: 7.25″ Diameter: 2.6″
  • Cartridge has a Notched Collar providing easier alignment in portable gas burners!
  • UL Listed (1st available UL Recognized Safety Container for butane fuel)
For those that are not ready for a big torch, and want to get started with something bigger than the tiny standard kitchen torch, this is a nice size. It fits in your hand and is not too heavy. It is good in the studio on medium-sized work, and great in a class room. It is easy to transport, and is not too scary for  beginning encaustic students. The main negative is that you do have to keep buying the fuel canisters.
What am I coveting now? Well, for fine work I’m now thinking about the Blazer PT 4000 Pen Torch
What torches and fuel are you using? Leave a comment.
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