It’s important to have equipment fit to scale. Whether you’re soldering small pieces of silver, or you’re inside a smaller workspace, you always want the right tool for the job. It ends up reflected in the quality of your work, the efficiency with which you complete a task, and in your personal safety. And the right tool isn’t always your biggest, baddest torch.
Blazer GT8000 Big Shot
Shakespeare once wrote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” I can think of no better description for the Blazer GT8000 Big Shot. From its physical construction, to its performance, to its capacity, the GT8000 often exceeds expectations instead of simply meeting them.
As one of the most popular torches for welding on a smaller scale, much of the admiration it’s acquired seems to be due to the sheer number of details it manages to get right.
Streamlined would be another good description of the Big Shot. It ignites with a piezoelectric ignition system, so there’s no need to carry external ignition. And that’s far more predictable and reliable than dealing with matches, or relying on external components.
With respect to ease of use, the GT8000 is one of the simplest torches you may ever lay your hands on. Turn the fuel dial counterclockwise and you’ll hear the hiss of butane. Press in the rectangular ignition switch, and you’ll feel tactile feedback against your finger as the torch ignites. In other words, flip on the fuel, pull back the trigger, out comes the flame. Pretty simple.
The fuel dial is also where details start to matter. The dial provides firm responsive motion against your fingers, helping you adjust it with greater precision. Turning the dual, flame reaches between 1.25” and 5”, which is roughly a full inch longer than the bulk of comparable torches. Taken to its highest setting, the Big Shot is capable of heating to 2,500 °F.
Nobody likes wasting their butane. And the Big Shot is rather excellent at making efficient use of fuel, all without performance compromises. Even as your butane runs slow, the flame doesn’t begin to sputter, it continues to burn consistently until your fuel has been totally exhausted.
As one might expect, the Big Shot is refilled with butane canisters. One downside worth pointing out is that the GT8000 can only be refilled with butane cans from Blazer. But there’s a good reason why.
Blazer crafted a unique relationship between their butane cans and the GT8000 to include a gas inlet valve. This ensures you never need adapters to refill your torch, and makes it far easier to get butane inside with minimal waste.
One more thing you’ll notice while filling up is the 35-gram capacity for butane. Far more than similarly sized torches, it actually takes nearly 20 seconds to finish filling the GT8000. With the fuel dial cranked to its maximum setting, this torch burns about one gram per minute, providing about 35-minutes in total.
Who Should Choose the GT8000?
When a tool falls short of expectations, it’s not long before it gains a reputation for those faults. Bad tools become easy to spot because their reviews are really what get torched. Which is why it’s consistency that really makes the GT8000 exceptional.
Just about the only thing about its design worth nitpicking is that two hands are required to ignite the torch. The piezoelectric ignition system is convenient and reliable. The entire system is economical with butane. It even burns a bit quieter than similar equipment. Those are the kind of luxuries that become a necessity after you’re used to having them.
Because it feels good to have the right tool for the job. And for many smaller scale jobs, the Blazer GT8000 Big Shot Butane Torch will be the right tool. Whether you work exclusively on a smaller scale, or you’re just trying to find another burning buddy to expand your toolkit, it’s a versatile instrument almost any welder should be able to put to work sooner or later.