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Reviews For: Chicago Electric 41169 Butane Pencil Torch

Category: Tools & Test Equipment for the amateur radio work bench

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Review Summary For : Chicago Electric 41169 Butane Pencil Torch
Reviews: 1MSRP: 9.99
Pencil type butane soldering iron or small torch. This update to a decade old design includes multiple soldering tips and a custom slip-on solder tip holder for the new oval shaped ceramic air/fuel mixing port. This model includes an auto-spark starter.
Product is in production
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former_W4CHL Rating: 2014-06-18
OK for light use, amazing older model lasted a decade! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
There are many tools at Harbor Freight Tools that are, um, not so great. But there are some surprising gems at HFT and this Pencil Torch is one of them. I had the previous generation pencil torch for over a decade and finally had problems that I attribute to the fuel, not the torch (see below).

This replacement exceeded my admittedly low expectations given the price!

This newer design (saw it first in 2012) includes both an integrated starter (good) and a tip holder that covers the ceramic fuel/air mixer which puts the solder tip a long way from the handle (not so good).

Extra tips are included which is great, since I have never found a source for extra solder tips for any of the low cost butane torches other than buying another torch.

This newer model shares the basic butane pencil torch cartridge with the older design. Take care not to overfill and use filtered butane. As with my review of the Mag-Torch MT780, using good quality butane fuel makes all the difference with these torches. Also, fill them conservatively as the seals can be easily broken by over-filling. A few seconds of recharge is enough in these pencil torches.