This weed torch is my favorite garden tool

Disclosure: BernzOMatic provided me with a lawn and garden torch for review. This post contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy.

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As a blogger, I often receive pitches from a variety of brands to review different products. I don’t participate in every campaign pitched to me — not everything that lands in my inbox fits the theme of my blog, and I also take into consideration whether or not something I review would be of interest to my readers too. However, when the public relations team at BernzOmatic asked if I would be interested in reviewing a propane lawn and garden torch, I couldn’t respond with a “YES” quickly enough.

bernztorch

Every year, our family plants a vegetable garden, and every year, despite my best intentions, there comes a point in time when the garden becomes more than a little overrun with weeds. While I love to garden, I do not enjoy weeding at all. (Does anyone? Be honest. No. You do not.)

The BernzOMatic Self-Igniting Lawn and Garden Torch combines two things that appeal to me immensely:

  1. Not having to pull weeds.
  2. Playing with fire.

You have no idea how enjoyable it is to wave this torch flamethrower! in the direction of a weed. A tiny puff of steam hisses out of the plant, and its leaves immediately wilt. 

gardenweeds

Using this torch to obliterate weeds is deeply satisfying.  It’s turned my once-hated task of weeding into a pleasant fire-walk through our vegetable garden. I actually look forward to weeding our garden now, because fire-enabled weeding is ridiculously fun. 

Merely touching a small weed with the torch’s 20,000 BTU flame is enough to kill it. The intense heat immediately boils the water inside the plant’s cells, which means that it doesn’t take long at all to walk up and down the rows of my garden, magical fire wand in hand, sizzling all the weeds in my path. 

deadweed

Benefits: No need to use chemical weed-prevention products in your garden, especially if you’re growing food. This helps keep our garden all-organic. This weed torch takes either the traditional tall or shorter, 14.1-ounce camping-style propane tanks that you can pick up on sale for around $1.50-$2 each. With the regulator fully open, you’ll get a 4″ flame and a full hour of weed annihilation. Turn that down to a more reasonable level, and you’ll get even more mileage out of that little tank, but either way, it’s pretty economical to use. It’s about 3′ long, which means you don’t have to stoop over to fry unwanted plants.

Caveats: It’s a torch, and my earlier “flamethrower” description isn’t far from the truth. Your new fire-enabled gardening companion will ignite any dry or dead organic material in its path, and if you use it to burn weeds in blacktop driveway cracks, you’ll want to keep the torch moving or you’ll melt the blacktop too. Obviously, you don’t want to use this torch when it’s windy outside for multiple reasons: You don’t want to catch surrounding things on fire (vinyl siding, landscape timbers, mulch, grass clippings) and it’s also difficult to keep the torch lit and to control the flame when it’s windy. You also don’t want to get too close to any of the plants you wish to keep, as it’s just as easy to sizzle them. 

zappedweeds

This BernzOMatic torch is most effective on small weeds. If a weed gets large, it not only takes longer to fry all of its leaves with the torch, but torching the top doesn’t necessarily kill an established root system. Small weeds turn bright green when hit with the torch, then shrivel up and die within minutes. I’ve successfully killed dandelions with this torch by standing in one place and continually scorching the center of the plant until it turns black. 

I have flirted with the idea of a weed torch before. Years ago, I attempted to use my small BernzOMatic upright torch (the kind you use for sweating plumbing pipes) to burn weeds. Those torches don’t work well when the propane tank is inverted, and their small size also requires you to kneel down until you’re mere inches from the weed. Trust me — this method simply didn’t work well at all.

improvementstorch

Then, a few years ago, I purchased this Improvements garden torch (shown above) that I thought would be the solution to my garden weed issues. Unfortunately, despite its $40 price tag, I found this torch’s performance disappointing at best. I ordered it online, and when it arrived, my first impression was that it was cheaply made. It never seemed to mix the air and propane well and had trouble staying lit. It also has a metal cage around the torch, which I think was designed to prevent you from touching other plants with it, but I found cumbersome to use. This Improvements torch also is not self-igniting, so every time it would go out, I’d have to manually re-light it. I gave up using it a few years ago and resigned myself to weeding the garden again.

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My old Improvements torch is still hanging in my garage, but it will soon be on its way to the Goodwill donation bin because it’s been replaced by something far more effective. I like the design of this BernzOMatic torch better too — it’s about the size of a walking cane, but its curved, padded foam handle is comfortable to hold and is also well-balanced weight-wise when the propane tank is attached. The self-igniting button is located midway down the handle, and it’s convenient to just press the button and watch the flame spring to life. 

I’ve been using my new BernzOMatic torch once a week since we planted our garden, and that’s really all my garden needs to stay weed-free. Over the course of a week, more tiny weeds do spring up, but wiping them out each weekend is my new favorite “chore!”

My last tip: Burn weeds at sundown when you can fully appreciate the gorgeous blue flame shooting out of the end of this torch. 

You can purchase the BernzOMatic Lawn and Garden Torch for under $50 at these stores. Price varies on Amazon.

Disclosure: BernzOMatic provided me with a lawn and garden torch for review. This post contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy.

Comments

  1. SSMark1 says

    If you buy at Lowes, get the gift cards at Jewel for your purchase.
    Jewel is selling the Lowes $50 gift cards at 20% off = $40.00

    -Mark

    • says

      Ooh, that’s a good point – get it cheaper!

      I realize it’s not exactly a cheap tool, but it works so well that I would totally have bought this thing on my own if it had existed when I bought my previous, inferior torch for the same price. Read all of the positive Amazon reviews of it too — It does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It burns things. :)

  2. Fran DeRosier says

    Thanks for posting this! It will make a perfect Father’s Day gift for my husband :-) Now for a gardening question for you since I see you have squash plants…..any good tips on how to get rid of Squash Bugs and Cucumber Beetles? Since they climb all over the squash plants, this tool won’t work on them as well as it does the weeds. TIA!

    • says

      Fran, I use Hot Pepper Wax – it’s made from capsaicin (hot peppers) and works pretty well. I try to use non-chemical garden solutions, and you have to spray it every 7-10 days. I haven’t seen any yet, but we got a bit of a late start to our garden, so my plants aren’t super large yet either…

      • Fran says

        This is perfect because we are all organic, and won’t use chemicals either. We have plots at the Community Garden, and lost a full 20 x 20 plot full of various squash to squash bugs and cucumber beetles last year. I will try this, thanks!

  3. Frances Kinross says

    This would be a great fathers day gift! I have it in my amazon basket. Do you know if you can use the normal canisters or do you have to be the ones specific for this?

    • says

      You can use the normal canisters, either the tall ones or the shorter ones I am using in the photos — I just used one of the canisters I had in the garage from our camp stove.

      • Frances Kinross says

        Good to know! Thank you for the great idea on a perfect Fathers Day gift for me…ahem Dad lol

  4. susieqs2 says

    May I ask where did you get your coil stakes from. I have seen the regular green straight stakes from. I would like to get from the curly ones for beans.
    Thanks in advanced

    • says

      I bought the spiral garden stakes (at least ten years ago!) at Platt Hill Nursery, corner of Randall & Huntley Rd. in Carpentersville. I don’t know if they still have them, but they are great for pole beans. At our old house, our garden backed up to a chain-link fence, and I always planted the beans there so they could climb. It’s so much easier to pick them when they’re vertical :) Then we moved here, and I was looking for a different solution so the beans could climb wherever I planted them. The ones I have are 6′ tall.

      I did a quick search – Ace Hardware has 4′ stakes for $8.49 each:
      http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=71143506&KPID=22175412&pla=pla_22175412

      Amazon has 5′ and 6′ stakes too:
      http://amzn.to/1W5mvln

      • susieqs2 says

        Thanks I’m going to look into it and get some. I remember when growing up my parents used to grow beans and pickles along the cage wire fence between us and the neighbors. Me and my siblings used to have fun picking the vegetables. I now grow vegetables but I don’t have a fence and we grew some beans this year and I’m looking for ways to make it grow like yours did.

        Thanks again for this post. My kids have really enjoyed planting this year and love seeing how the plants grow.

        • says

          You’re welcome! Our garden is a family project too. The kids pick what we’re going to grow and plant it themselves each year. Aside from ordering the soybean seeds, which I did, the three kids went shopping on their own and gave me all the seeds for Mother’s Day. They were so proud that this was the first year they got all the planting supplies themselves! :)

  5. Rhonda says

    I checked on Amazon and although they’re selling it, the description says it was discontinued by the manufacturer. Any idea why they discontinued it?

    • says

      I have no idea – I find it hard to believe it was discontinued when the brand is soliciting bloggers to review the product..! That doesn’t make sense at all.

      Lowe’s sells them too, as does Sears. Perhaps it is just an error in Amazon’s description?

  6. Tirumal R Jallepalli says

    HI JILL, YOU SAY THE WEED SHOULD BE SMALL FOR THE WEED TORCH. CAN YOU GIVE ME AN IDEA OF HOW SMSLL/BIG THE WEED CAN BR. THANKS.

    • says

      I’d say under 4″ in height. You can certainly burn larger weeds, but if a weed is taller than that, the root system will be established enough for the weed to come back. When the weeds are smaller, burning them off at the ground level works better, because the root system is too small for the weed to continue sending up leaves once everything above the ground has been seared off.

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