Your Own Mini Flame Thrower!
In my never-ending search for a better weeding solution, I was anxious to try out the Sievert Gardener Weed Torch from A.M. Leonard. I was looking for a lighter weight, more convenient, option for flaming my weeds regularly rather than having to haul out the larger Weed Dragon weed torch that I reviewed last month and have been happily using for several years for larger weeding needs. For smaller, spot weeding needs, as well as along driveways, pavers, and gravel paths, I hoped that this smaller flamer would be just what I was looking for.
Getting it Set Up
I received the weed torch with a single instruction sheet enclosed. It was quite brief, yet the assembly and use was so simple that the instructions were adequate. All you need to do is attach the propane cartridge to the valve. And presto, you’re ready to flame.
The propane cylinder isn’t included. I purchased a standard Coleman 16 oz. cylinder from a camping retailer. The cost of the cylinder is approximately $4.
Features of the Sievert Gardener Weed Torch
- Piezo ignition that ignites the flame at touch of a button
- A regulator valve/control knob to control the flame
- Burns propane or a mixture of propane and butane. You can find this in 14 or 16.2oz. disposable cylinders
- Length 30.3 inches
- Weight 1.65 lbs (without the gas canister attached)
- Fuel consumption of 10.3oz. per hour at 15,000 BTU’s (meaning that you can flame for a little over one hour on a single gas canister)
- Manufacturer supplies a 90-day warranty
Installing the Propane Cylinder
First, you want to make sure the control knob is closed all the way (turn it clockwise) and that the rubber washer inside the end of the torch valve is in place and not damaged. I held the cylinder upright as the instructions suggested and aligned the valve of the weed torch to it. This is a little awkward but can be done with one person. You need to get it lined up just right so the threads screw on correctly. Rotate the cylinder until it is snug, but don’t over tighten it. That’s all there is to it!
One of the nicest features on the Sievert Gardener Weed Torch is the piezo* ignition button. No flint strikers needed. This makes lighting a snap. Just turn the control knob up by your propane cylinder about ½ way open (counter clockwise), push the red piezo button that’s found about half way down the wand, and the flame ignites instantly. To control the flame size, just open or close the control knob.
*If you wondered what “piezo” means as I did, Wikipedia says it’s used as a prefix meaning “squeeze or press”. Fair enough. So, you PRESS the little red button and you get ignition.
Weed Control Through Burning
You simply wave the wand a few inches over the weeds until they wilt. There is no need to char them but rather just “cook” them until they wilt. Over the next day or two you’ll see them wither away. Be patient – some weeds take longer to brown up and die than others. But if you’ve cooked the leaves, rest assured that the plant will die.
Safety Precautions Are a Must
As with any open flame, you must use caution to keep children and pets away. The manufacturer recommends that you not store the weed torch with the canister attached. It should be stored in a safe place like a shed or garage where the temperature doesn’t get over 120 degrees F.
- Keep a garden hose handy when flaming mulch areas or dry grasses.
- Use it outdoors only (this isn’t a good tool for lighting your charcoal BBQ or indoor fire!).
- When the burner is hot, be careful when putting it down on a surface that could be damaged or is flammable.
Advantages of the Sievert Gardener Weed Torch
- Light weight, even with a full propane cylinder attached.
- Comfortable curved handle with a nice black rubber grip.
- Excellent ignition feature described above.
- High quality construction.
- A chemical-free mode of controlling unwanted weeds.
Disadvantages of the Sievert Gardener Weed Torch
The biggest disadvantage for me is that the weed torch uses only disposable propane canisters. It feels entirely too wasteful to use these metal containers for only about an hour and a half, and then throw them into the trash, ending up in a landfill.
Sievert sells a conversion hose that allows you to attach it to a refillable canister, but the smallest one I could find was a 1 gallon option for over $50, and that eliminates the lightweight convenience of this tool. More research uncovered some third-party adapters for refilling the disposable one pound cylinders. This is something I will look into carefully, but I can’t recommend this yet since more research is needed to ensure they are safe. [Editor’s Note: We’ll keep you posted on what we find so stay tuned for more details later.]
One other minor disadvantage is that the little propane cylinders get cold when pressure is released and sometimes the flame goes out unexpectedly. Shutting it off for a couple of minutes restores the pressure and you can re-push the red ignition and continue flaming.
Sievert’s website isn’t the most helpful. It actually provides no information at all. The company specializes in heating tools and is headquartered in Sweden. But my garden torch came directly from A.M. Leonard and their website has a few more details listed before you order.
In A.M. Leonard’s online FAQ they suggest that if you have any problems with your torch, you can call Sievert directly and ask for Mark in the Parts and Service Department. Phone: (815) 639-1319 Toll Free: (877) 639-1319 Fax: (815) 639-1320
Where to Buy
The Sievert Mini Torch is available from A.M. Leonard for $82 plus shipping.
Amazon seems to carry the same torch but under a different name: Primus Gardener Weed Torch for $82 plus shipping.
Overall I want to give the Sievert Mini Torch 5 shovels for excellent workmanship and quality. But due to the disposable cartridge issue, I can only give it 3 shovels. If I find a safe solution to refilling them, then I’ll revise this.
And now over to you – Which organic weed control methods have you used? Have you tried flaming? Let us know in the comments below.