Ease Of Use
A must for any outdoors tool kit.
Summary : The Bernzomatic ST500 is a lightweight, easy to use hand torch
There’s something to be said about always having the right equipment along for a trip. Hiking boots can make or break a hike – forget your sunglasses…you’re going to be uncomfortably squinting on your kayak trip. Not having the tools to efficiently start a fire, and you’ve got yourself in a pickle.
A while back, I began carrying a Bernzomatic ST500 Micro Torch along with me in my camping kit, and just like my pocket knife – I find myself using it on nearly every trip out. Similar to a multi-tool, the Bernzomatic ST500 isn’t just a “torch”, but rather a powerful 3-in-1 fire and heat tool that comes in handy almost anytime and anywhere.
I’d like to break down each of the 3 core features of the torch, and let you know how I’ve been using them.
At the core of the Bernzomatic ST500 is a micro torch tip. Honestly, the name “micro” doesn’t do it justice. The powerful butane flame provides pinpointed direct flame, exactly where it’s needed. The ST500 has become a go-to fire starter for me, due to its compact size and reliable flame output. It burns at 2300º F, so getting a fire up and running is as easy as flipping a switch.
Traditionally, people would use a hot blower tip on a torch to shrink casings and tubing while working on repair projects. Me? I’m looking forward to having a lock defroster in my bag during the bitter Minnesota winters. Because of the attachment, there isn’t a direct exposed flame. Blowing 1200º F of hot air into an iced-over lock will do the trick much quicker than a pocket hand warmer ever could.
I have to admit, I haven’t used the soldering iron for any proper soldering. However, I have found the heated tip useful when melting the ends of frayed rope – and putting some heat (630º F) where a hot direct surface is needed. A really well thought out feature is the continuous switch, which allows butane to continue to be fed to the torch, even when the trigger isn’t engaged by your hand.
Overall, this has a become a go-to tool in my pack. If you’re a gadget guy/gal – this is a must.