Whether it’s a sparky connecting LED strips and cables or a plumber needing to do a couple of copper-pipe connections but not wanting to pull out the heavy equipment, a blowtorch set up needs to produce the heat and give the control needed to do a job properly.
The team at Tradeflame has created a very impressive system with the Ultima Blow Torch, along with interchangeable tips and a 1.4m extension TF/Ultra Hose Torch (sold separately).
The Tradeflame (TF) Ultima Blow Torch provides everything needed to rip into a pile of tasks onsite – like brazing, soft soldering, heat shrinking, heating or dismantling work.
Let’s face it, a powerful torch is important, but it’s not always the ideal way to go, and interchangeable tips – from the super cyclone tip with increased tip diameter for larger jobs, to the pinpoint tip for smaller jobs or where more precision is required – give the control and contribute to the overall usability of the torch.
Another cool feature of the Ultima Blow Torch is the full-flame function. Even when the torch is inverted, the full-flame function allows use in the trickiest and most awkward locations, and getting a blow torch started has never been easier. A simple ¼ twist of the flame control and a click of the piezo ignition switch has the torch up and running instantly every time. Combined with the auto stop/start, high-performance piezo ignition trigger, which prevents gas wastage, and the adjustable flame-control knob with the optimised trigger lock, the system couldn’t be more straightforward or efficient to use.
Test 1: Simple Set-Up
A simple set-up needs to be precisely that: super simple and quick.
The Tradeflame time to fire up was about 30 seconds. The black cap screwed off the yellow TF/Ultra gas bottle and the blow torch screwed straight onto the gas-bottle thread in seconds. A twist of the flame-control knob, a one-handed click of the piezo trigger, and I was brazing or heating jobs in seconds with minimal wasted gas.
Test 2: Finesse And Brute Power
It was time to see how the TF Ultima performed in various situations.
To start with I opted for some significant blow-torch power and, with the cyclone head, super-heated some metal pipe about 30mm in diameter. You could see the cyclone burner wrapping the flame around the pipe. With the heat and flame dialled right up, the metal pipe was glowing within 10 seconds, and there was no doubting the quality of the blow torch. It fitted exceptionally well into the hand and the optimised trigger lock was a great inclusion.
Next it was time to test out the pinpoint burner on some more-detailed soft soldering with a length of copper pipe. For this test, after swapping out the cyclone to the pinpoint, I applied a much more refined heat to the copper pipe on the front edge, letting the heat wrap around to the back of the pipe, where I applied a tidy solder with great results.
Both the power and refined options and setting worked very well.
Test 3: Freedom Of Movement
On some occasions, in tight environments or awkward positions, fixing the blow torch to the head of the gas cylinder may simply not be possible. This is the perfect time to reach for the TF Ultima Hose Torch. The 1.4m hose and slender body provided maximum accessibility and mobility while still providing a powerful and efficient torch system.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
There was no ugly with the TF Ultima kit. It produced beautiful smaller solders when needed and had the intensity and power required on larger pieces. The high-performance piezo ignition didn’t miss a beat and, in general, made for very reliable and easy use. The adjustable control knob and comfortable grip handle combined for an enjoyable experience; and I have to say, after using the Tradeflame Ultima System for the first time, I was impressed with the reliability of the system and reasonably priced replacement bottles.