Flamethrower Gets Update, Retains Some Sketchiness

Part of what makes flamethrowers fun is their inherent danger. This is what makes a lot of things fun, though, from snowboarding to skydiving to motorcycle riding. As with all of these sensible hobbies, though, it’s important to take as much unnecessary risk out of the activity as possible to make sure you’re around as long as possible to enjoy your chosen activity. With that in mind, [Stephen] decided to make some improvements on his classic wrist-mounted flamethrower.

To start, he ditched the heavy lead-acid battery that powered the contraption in favor of a smaller 5 V battery. In fact, the entire build is much more compact and efficient. He was also able to use the same battery to run a tiny taser that acts as an ignition source for the flamethrower’s fuel. The fuel itself is butane, and the modified flamethrower is able to launch flames much further than the original due to improvements in the fuel delivery system. These improvements also include “Finding a way to prevent butane droplets from lighting and landing on [his] hand” which seems like a necessary feature as well.

The entire build now is very well refined and professional-looking, which is also a major improvement from the first version. It’s also worth watching the video after the break as well, which includes a minor run-in with the New York City fire marshal. And, it still retains some of the danger and all of the fun of the original builds which is something we always like to see.


16 thoughts on “Flamethrower Gets Update, Retains Some Sketchiness

  1. “Part of what makes flamethrowers fun is their inherent danger.”

    hmmm does the FUN lie is surviving your first experiment?
    Or does the FUN lie in making no causalities during your public demonstrations?
    Perhaps the FUN lies is keeping your parent awake at night (and if the do sleep that they have nightmares of their son going up in flames caused by his own contraptions)?
    I guess the fun lies in making something that other people don’t seem to make.

    Strangely, even though the comments on the previous article regarding this project, hackaday doesn’t seem to care. Again they gloriously post a project about a potential death traps or illegal fire arm (pun not intended, but if you like it you may smile).

    Hackaday, PLEASE STOP gloryfying these kind of silly and very dangerous projects. Saying “don’t do this at home”, doesn’t make it right, does it? Because we all know that there are many kids around who don’t see the danger and mimic this project (even though we all told them no to do this) but some of them will have less luck the the guy from this article.

    We all know Collin Furze who does projects with fire… some are posted on hackaday. But not everything he does goes well… or does it. I have mixed feelings about him posting a youtube video showing his injuries after a silly/stupid accident. Mixed because I didn’t want him to get hurt, but seeing him hurt on a video does show the potential danger of his projects, which does have some educational value.
    Things can go wrong easily… so think about this when strapping a gas bottle to your arm.


    1. “does the FUN lie is surviving your first experiment?”

      My understanding of burning is that after a certain amount of it survival might NOT be preferable. Just think about that for a moment.

      To put it another way, a thing is scary when there is a danger that you might die. But when it gets so bad that the fact that you might live is the problem, that’s just F’ing Terrifying!

      Don’t play with fire.

    2. Are you a European or do you live in one of those nanny states in the northern US? Some people like dangerous projects and they are quite entertaining. People are responsible for their own actions. I won’t censor myself or cease activities I enjoy in the name of censoring things for your over-impressionable children. My 12 year old daughter is not impressionable enough to build a dodgy flamethrower and mount it on her little robot.

      If you are that worried about your kids trying this, then I question your parenting skills. Liberty is not a hard concept to understand. Quit relying on others to help you shelter children and start explaining things instead of hiding them.

      The people doing these things know the risks. If you want your kids to live in a protective bubble and start adulthood completely naive, feel free. If your kids seeing things like this scares you that much, keep them off the internet. I promise they will find much, much, much worse.

      1. “one of those nanny states in the northern US” I think you got your ignorant person regional rhetoric turned around there. you’re supposed to blame california for all your problems.

    3. Jan, I feel bad for your kids. Also I don’t recall needing a background check last time I bought a torch at the hardware store. You should probably go and complain to someone about that too. Now that I think about it, the guy at the hardware store helped me and my friends buy the stuff for a spud gun when we were minors too. Then my father helped us cut and glue it properly when he found out what we were building. I can’t wait for my kids to get older.

    1. YES. Grinds my gears when someone calls these blowtorches “flamethrowers”. Flamethrowers do just that, they literally throw flames to a remote area. MUCH more sketchy than a blowtorch, but still pretty easy to make.

  2. To paraphrase an expression: It’s all fun and games until… IT BLOWS UP!

    I still vividly remember testing my first batch of black powder (I got the formula from the encyclopedia) that used home-made charcoal that I cooked in the oven (“Who did that to my oven?” … I dunno.) My first batch was in an empty paper oat meal container. The test area was the 2nd floor bathroom. I was 10. A spark jumped from my test sample into the container. It worked so well that it left quite a burn on the hallway’s oak floor (I moved it there in a panic), and that burn then became “Another mystery”. BTW: I never did test the powder in a rocket — too many distractions and other stuff to try.

    An no, I did not have my parents’ permission, nor their supervision. I was just a kid, like any kid.

    1. It’s important to appreciate the difference between setting the house on fire, and burning it to the ground.
      Interestingly enough the explanation the the two different outcomes is exactly the same,

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