June 5, 2015

BernzOmatic Trigger Start Plumber Kit

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If you've never soldered copper pipe, you should give it a try. It's really easy and when you're done, you feel like you've accomplished something cool (at least I do). The most important part is having all the right ingredients on hand, and that's what BernzOmatic's new Trigger Start Plumbing Torch Kit does. It's a one-stop purchase that includes a torch (with a trigger-start), an acid brush, some flux, and a small roll of solder, basically everything you need to get going. BernzOmatic was nice enough to get one in my hands so I could check it out.

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The kit costs $30 at Lowes. If you were to get the pieces separately, you'd get the torch ($17), a bottle of propane ($4), a five pack of acid brushes ($2), flux ($4), and the solder ($11), totaling $38.

So for someone doing a job or two, this could be a good kit for two reasons; first, you make one purchase and you know you have everything you need, and secondly, it all comes at a decent price. But how's the quality, you ask?

As far as I can tell, it's good. The torch is a simple, intuitive set-up. you dial up the amount of gas and a trigger start ignites it. It worked every time I tried it, which isn't something I can say for the older torches I have kicking around. The acid brush is standard issue, and the solder is lead-free, which is what is used these days. The flux was a little strange though. I've never used water-soluble flux it's white and has the consistency of hand cream. I'm used to the paste-style flux with the thick vaseline look.

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In using the kit, I soldered together a hose bib assembly for my shed and did a bunch of random solders in the shop. After spending a couple hours with the gear, I honestly don't see anything wrong with it. In fact, it worked great.

The only thing that I would add to the kit would be a small piece of grid sandpaper. Every plumber I've ever watched gives the joint a little scuff before soldering. It's a little strange that it's not in the kit, but my guess is that if you're interested in purchasing a home solder kit, you're likely the type of person with a few scraps of sandpaper kicking around.

So it's a solid kit, especially for the beginner. It has everything you need and by going with the group purchase, you get to save a few bucks. That's not bad at all.

$30 at Lowes

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at June 5, 2015 6:20 AM
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