I am lucky in that my generation got to see the older, frustrating torches and then the new ones like this BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch that makes life way easier!
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BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch

Compact, inexpensive thermal power for home-based and small shop needs

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted – 9-1-2011

The BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch (TS4000T) in this review serves many purposes in the home-based or small shop. DIY’ers love this type of heat generating tool for tough soldering jobs but when you need to “heat and beat” metal and the expense of an oxy acetylene outfit is somewhere over the fiscal horizon, the BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch has saved many a day – and even more budgets.

Technological Time Machine

If you are familiar with the old propane-based torches that you started with the temperamental scratch n’ spark hand powered igniters there is a brave new world thanks to folks like BernzOmatic. No more sparkies or touchy manually adjusted gas manifolds that seemed to work only when it wanted to.

The BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch has a red dial on the cast aluminum body that arms or disarms the torch. Push that same red button and the fuel flows and an electrical igniter just before the nozzle sparks to ignite the fuel air mixture. As long as the red button is depressed the torch stays lit. A lock on button is also provided and located just above the red dial to free up your fingers for the long jobs. With all of the controls arranged on the body using the BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch with one hand is very simple.

The red dial (left) turns the torch on and off but also ignites it when you depress that same dial. the button above the red dial is the "lock on" button. This wire (right) that is in the tube just before the nozzle makes the spark that lights the gas. Very simple, very effective.
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The screw on tip has internal, angled vanes that swirl the flame to insure more efficient burning of the fuel air mixture which in turn generates surprisingly high temperatures in the 3600-degree range. In days gone by this type of torch would use a variety of different tips but this new generation tip design seems capable of a much wider range of uses. I like that because frankly, when I opened the package some of the old tips styles went right into the junk drawer where I put many things that just did not work well. The BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch has overcome that attempt at screw-on versatility with a single, well-designed tip that is effective for all of the jobs on which I use this torch.

Getting Gassed

Most torches in this class are capable of using more than one type of fuel. The BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch shown here comes without a gas cylinder but other kits include a 5.25-oz cylinder of Fat Boy Max Power Propylene fuel. This fuel is good for medium to heavy soldering like joining copper pipes as well as some brazing because of its flame temperature (in air) of 3600-F. There are other gases and blends for compatible torches that can give you a wider range of capabilities.

One of the really nice things about this type of torch design is that when not in use you simply unscrew the fuel cylinder from the torch. That makes it easier to store this tool properly as well as reduce the chances of young and/or curious hands from lighting something up that you had no intentions of burning. Of course that also means that you can change gases when that is appropriate.

Incidentally you will notice that in many stores the extra cylinders on the shelves are manufactured by Worthington Cylinders. That is no accident because in 2011, the BernzOmatic company was acquired by Worthington Cylinders. Who better to make extra cylinders for the BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch?

In the Shop

Though tough to see here (left) the four "vanes" inside the tip swirl the gas and air to produce a more efficient, hotter flame. The one torch handle assembly can screw onto different gas types and cylinder sizes to make it even more versatile. Each torch comes with a list of the gases it can be used with.
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As long ago as I can remember my father had a propane torch, one of the predecessors of the BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch shown here. And like many back then he fought with the sparky and adjusting the flame so that it would stay lit when the torch and cylinder were tilted much at all to get at the work. Years ago I owned a torch very similar to the one my father had and disliked it just as much as he did. Today I have the BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch and my light-duty torch world could not be better.

The built-in igniter and gas mixing systems could not be easier to use except for someone else using them for me. Just turn the red button to ON and then squeeze it to fire the igniter in the tube just before the tip. I do have to squeeze that button twice in rare instances to get it lit but after using the old versions I will not be complaining!

Somewhere between the modern gases and the equally modern ways of mixing them with air and presenting an optimal flame the BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch works tons better than any handheld torch that I have used. Obviously it does not have the capability of a full-on oxy acetylene outfit but I can make steel red hot and easy to manipulate. For most home or small shop folks that and easy soldering of pipes is about all we need. I also have been able to easily heat up stubborn fasteners to get them free. A little heat can be a wonderful thing sometimes!

Conclusions

Video Tour

The BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch is a very handy tool for the home-based workshop, a feisty DIY’er or even many contractors. Being able to take this kind of instant heat to the job is exceptionally handy and way cheaper than full-sized acetylene tank systems which are often overkill anyway.

The BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch has a street price of around $38.95 (9-1-2011) with gas cylinders being extra. There are kits that combine the BernzOmatic TS4000 Trigger-Start Torch with various gas cylinders, at a higher cost. I like the idea of getting the cylinders separately so that I can get the right gas and cylinder size for my needs. All of the gas cylinders I have seen in the Charlotte, NC area were priced under $9 (as of 9-1-2011) so that versatility is not expensive either.

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