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I have a modified bitumen roof and I would like to go independent making patches for things like vents and other fixes. So far I have hired people to come and torch down material like this but I don't want to bring guys for just small jobs.

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I need help selecting a torch. I will not be doing heavy duty jobs, only small patches, a few square feet at a time. I noticed that the Roof Center and Amazon sell $190 torches like this.

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But also you can also buy a cheaper version, which is advertised for "weeding". They look similar and comparable BTUs.

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I was wondering if the cheaper torch will do fine for what I need and if they can be mounted on a small camping propane tank, not a big one for grilling. In fact, my ideal torch would not need a hose at all and would just be directly mounted on top of a camping propane tank.

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    Perhaps you should rephrase the question, from a shopping question, to what is the proper method/tools for patching torch down roofing or it may get closed. – Alaska Man Jan 21 at 21:52
  • No, I am asking for a difference between two tools – amphibient Jan 21 at 21:56
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    I do not see that you are asking that. If your question is, "a difference between two tools", Then perhaps you should actually put "What are the differences in these two tools". In the question. – Alaska Man Jan 21 at 22:25
  • @AlaskaMan I actually did, minus "what are", which is implied – amphibient Jan 21 at 22:26
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    I am asking because the Implication was not perceived by me. Perhaps stating it out right would help us to answer in an empirical manner. It wont hurt, you can do it. It will take about as much time as you have spent insisting it was implied. – Alaska Man Jan 21 at 22:30
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The weed burner that I have is more of a cross of the 2 torches and yes my weed burner will work but not as well as the roofing torch.

What are the differences the roofing torch is highly focused compared to the weed burner, the focused heat is helpful at not overheating the edges and starting fires where the weed burner can create the heat but tends to flame more (I hope that makes sense)

Other minor things like the cradle to keep the flame pointed up (yes you could make one) but the focused torch can be a help as I have used it not pointing down but horizontal to help put a fire out it sounds funny and it takes some practice but I don’t think you can do that with a weed burner.

(But for small jobs I would and have used my burner)

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  • If the flame needs to be focused, why not just use a soldering torch for copper pipe? – amphibient Jan 22 at 3:41
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    @amphibient, what I am calling focused is is +300,000 btu in a tighter pattern like a torch, the 1/2” torch will not heat a large enough area when doing hot mop and patches /rolled roofing heating a large area helps to get an even seal. It would be like trying to sweep your driveway with a tooth brush vs a push broom, sure you could do it but the job would take much longer and probably not be as good, maybe a tooth brush is two extreme possibly a paint brush. One thing I did not mention the 20lb propane tanks tend to freeze up much faster compared to the 33lb tanks so get bigger burn longer. – Ed Beal Jan 22 at 14:07
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The expensive version looks like it has a hose than can can be connected to a small propane tank, or using the brass filter bottle(?) adaptor connected to a large tank it's possible that the handle can also connect diretly to a primus-style tank if you remove that brass adaptor.

the cheap one come with a hose that connects only to a POL style propane tank it may be possible to get a replacement hose or adaptor to connect other styles of tank.

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  • I believe what you are calling an adapter is the pressure regulator that goes directly to the propane tank. – Ed Beal Jan 22 at 13:58

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