Three best weed torches
If you are looking for a way to tackle weeds without breaking your back or resorting to chemical treatments, a weed torch may be a useful tool. Weed torches produce a very hot flame fueled by a propane gas tank. When you place the flame over the top of the weed, it quickly dehydrates and kills it. The devices are nothing new, but sales are growing because they can take care of a weed problem without the use of herbicides. Our quick guide has everything you need to consider before you buy, and we've also included our picks for the best weed torches on the market. Our favorite model has the power and range to take down plenty of weeds, no matter the landscape.
Considerations when choosing weed torches
There are two types of weed torches available: lightweight and heavy-duty.
Lightweight weed torches
Lightweight weed torches use a small container of propane gas. The canister screws onto the torch. These torches are easy to handle. However, if you have a big weed problem or a large area to cover, the gas canister will not last very long.
Heavy-duty weed torches
Heavy-duty weed torches are used by landscaping companies, but they can also be useful in a home setting. If you have rocky landscaping or a large garden where you need to pick weeds carefully to keep plants healthy, a heavy-duty torch can do a good job. That said, they are harder to handle than lightweight models, and you could be hauling around up to 20 extra pounds while you work.
When comparing weed torches, there are several features to consider.
Power is measured in BTUs. The higher the BTU rating, the quicker the weed torch will get to maximum heat.
Hose length is important if you choose a heavy-duty weed torch. It determines how much mobility you will have before needing to move the tank.
Bell size is the size of the tip of the weed torch. It determines how large a flame the torch produces.
Variable flame control
A weed torch with variable flame control allows you to make the flame larger or smaller as needed.
Push-button ignition gives you more safety and ease when lighting the torch. Regulators limit the amount of gas that goes to the flame, which prevents the flame from getting out of control if you accidentally open the gas tank too much.
Inexpensive weed torches are available for about $25. These models are not likely to be as safe as more expensive models, though. The least expensive models are more likely to fail because of poor construction.
For $40 to $90, you can find a good-quality weed torch, either a handheld lightweight model or a heavy-duty unit that attaches directly to a propane tank. The more expensive models have more features, like a dolly to help you tote the propane tank or a backpack for carrying an extra tank.
Other important details
When using a weed torch, always keep safety in mind. You are dealing with very hot flames. The end of the torch could stay hot for awhile after the flame is extinguished. Keep a fire extinguisher or water handy to keep flames from burning out of control.
Weed torches are illegal in some places. Check regulations in your area before you buy.
Q. Can a weed torch help with poison ivy?
A. It's not a smart idea to tackle poisonous weeds with a weed torch. Burning these weeds can release the toxins into the air, which you then breathe in.
Q. Do I need to reduce the weed to ash or simply brown it to destroy it?
A. With a weed torch, it is not necessary to completely burn a weed to ash to eliminate it. However, if you have perennial plants with deep root systems, you may have to treat the weeds more than once.
Q. How should I use a weed torch in my garden?
A. You can use a weed torch to kill weeds between the rows of a vegetable garden. In order to protect very small plants, try using a garden hoe as a protective barrier between the flame and the plants.
Weed torches we recommend
Best of the best: Red Dragon Weed Dragon
Our take: This weed torch is a good weight and ideal for weeding larger areas.
What we like: It has a 10-foot-long hose. It's easy to hook up to your grill's propane tank. Much easier than picking weeds by hand, especially in rocky landscaping.
What we dislike: You have to drag the propane tank with you or buy the model that comes with a tank dolly.
Best bang for your buck: Red Dragon Mini Weed Dragon
Our take: This small version of the brand's Weed Dragon works great for small gardens.
What we like: Small and easy to handle. Lightweight. It is very efficient and inexpensive to run.
What we dislike: At a max of 25,000 BTU, it has nowhere near the power of the full-size weed torch. Tedious to use on large areas.
Our take: This weed torch produces enough heat to have several purposes around your home.
What we like: If you need a torch for a farm or industrial application, this is your best bet. It throws off 500,000 BTU and has a large hot flame to take care of larger projects.
What we dislike: The full heat capacity is sometimes hard to actually get out of the torch.
Karen Roth Ridder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.