Antique Blow Torch: Identification & Value Guide (With Types)

If you’re an antique tool freak, you might know about old blow torches! Yes, those sharp, brazing burners that blacksmiths have! But that’s not the only interesting part! These tools also have some rare tips and valves. So, many people appraise them for good money.

Do you want to know how?

Today, let’s assess your old blow torch’s value using some simple steps. We’ll check its type and age and dive into different factors and some easy-to-refer tables for easy identification!

Key Takeaways

  • Pick blow torches with liquid fuel tanks, wick burners, manual triggers, and pumps for an old and antique make. You can also age it by checking the stamps or patents.
  • Antique blow torches with brass or cast iron walls are the most precious! But you can also look for rose-gold or brushed finishes for a vintage touch.
  • Different maker’s marks, etched logos, and design styles will help you trace your blow torch’s brand.
  • Clean your antique blow torch with vinegar and remove all the clogs and rust to hike the price.

What Does an Authentic Blow Torch Look Like?

Antique cast iron blow torch from the early 1900s

Every blow torch with aged brass walls and metal valves is not antique! So, first, check if your blow torch has manual pumps and gas canisters. Also, see if it has lever-type caps and safety valves to check if they are handmade!

Once done, inspect the features below for more value:

  • Brass, Copper, or Metal fuel tanks with pressed filler caps and safety valves
  • Solid wick burners with manual flame adjusters, stems, and cups
  • Branding iron or paint scraper blade for soldering or brazing
  • Soldering iron holder or plumber’s furnace attached to the sides
  • Thin metal wire or heated needle at the top
  • Exotic wood – Oak or Mahogany handles with metal triggers and canisters

When Did Antique Blowtorches Evolve & How?

As per records, Mark Sievert got the first blow torch patent in the 1890s. But it’s not like there were no blow torches before that. In fact, it was in the 1700s that Marquardt invented a brazing lamp with oil wicks and tubes. It’s just that it was mouth-blown and less effective.

Then came the first semi-automatic blow torch, the Nyberg, in the 1850s. It had foreign Swedish technology with superior coal pans and brass cans. But it had a wide flame, and people couldn’t use it. So, its use went down.

In the next few years, people added more parts and tweaked the Nyberg model a bit. For example, they used small propane canisters, brass triggers, and pump caps to reduce manual work.

The next 1900s were all electric! Like, people could afford batteries and chargers now. So, makers used electric levers and heat guns for more control. But this process got factory-made. Thus, these new models are common and cost less than $20.

4 Antique Blow Torch Types & Their Base Values

Just like other antiques, an antique blow torch’s design changed with fuel, flame, and use. All these innovations translated into four types as follows:

1. Antique Gasoline Blowtorch

Vintage Gasoline Blow torches with gas cannisters and pumps

Just as the name suggests, gasoline torch lamps come with gas canisters, fillers, and safety valves. So, you’ll see flared bases, thin brass or steel walls, and pumps for the gas. Besides, they also allow you to adjust the flame and flow. Generally, they cost about $10 – 80.

2. Old Kerosene Blow Torch

Old Kerosene Blow torch worth $15 - 40

If your blow torch has round brass walls and pumps, it could be an old kerosene blow torch worth $15 – 40. Such torches have pointed burners, frame nozzles, and wood handles. Plus, you’ll also find leftover kerosene and some oxidation marks for a lovely vintage feel!

3. Alcohol Blow Torch

Alcohol blow torches are just like make-shift kerosene torches with short wicks and heat outputs. You can spot them by their brass bodies, pressure pumps, and curved caps. Other than that, you’ll get precise flames and double walls! So, you can charge $20 – 75 for one!

4. Soldering Torches

Antique Black Soldering Torches from the 1800s

If your old blow torch has small, holed nozzles, 12 -15 cm canisters, and tanks, it will most likely be a soldering torch. Such torches are handmade and circular, and you can expect $20 – 110 for one. But if you see any brand mark or logo, you can even hike the cost to $150!

6 Factors to Identify & Value an Antique Blow Torch

Base price and all is okay! But now let’s see what factors affect an old blow torch’s final resale value in this price guide!

1. Antique Blow Torch Age & Patents

Antique Brazing Blow torch worth $50

As we saw, makers coined the term ‘blow torch’ in the 1890s. Yes, there were similar models before that, but they are more popular as ‘brazing or soldering torches.’ And those might not be as multifunctional as a blow torch.

You can find usable, high-flame torches from the 1900s. But if your blow torch already has some fancy features like pumps and safety valves, it might not be that antique!

But how do you know which blow torch is from which period? Well, check the clues below:

The 1890s Blow Torches

These torches are a mix of old soldering and modern brazing lamps. So, you’ll see a fusion of elements like fuel tanks, high jet nozzles, and valves. Also, you’ll find aged brass antique blow torches with piston hand pumps and metal hoses. Overall, they cost about $50 – 130 for one.

The Early 1920s Blow Torches

You can easily spot these blow torches with their efficient and safer designs, refillable tanks, and pressure pumps. Besides, there won’t be any hand pumps or widespread flames with these. You can also expect oxidized finishes that will raise the cost up to $40.

The 1950s Blow Torches

If your blow torch has propane or butane gas tanks with electric heat guns and triggers, it’s a new 1950s blow torch. Such blow torches have flared bases, cannon engravings, and reservoirs. Here, the local models cost $10 – 40, but branded ones can go up to $70 too!

One more shortcut to track your blow torch’s age is by the stamped patent numbers. So, just note the number from your torch and check it from our table below:

YearAgePatent NumberEstimated Valuation
193984 yearsUS2270826A (Patent for liquid fuel blow torches with air pumps)$10 – 40
193093 yearsUS1966252A (Patent for Automatic Blow Torch)$11 – 20
1920103 yearsUS1330696A (Patent for Gas Blow Torch)$9 – 80, depending on the size

Pay attention to the number of valves on your blow torch. Usually, models with one or two leather-encased valves are older.

2. Vintage Blow Torch Materials

Vintage Blow Torch with Painted Iron walls

Most of the ancient blow torches had crude brass or cast iron walls. But, if you want to make money, you can even look for rose polish or chrome models. And if your old blow torch still has some signs of lacquer or brushed finishes, you can even hike its cost up to $300.

Here’s how much you can charge for each blow torch material:

Old Blow Torch MaterialsValue for Unbranded TorchValue for Branded Blow Torch
Brass or Yellowish Chrome$17 – 100, depending on the fuel$80 – 300
Carbide or Alloyed Cast Iron$10 – 25$20 – 40
Copper or Rose Polish Brass, Bronze$18 – 70$50 – 300
Alloyed Steel, Nickel, Aluminum$10 – 50$60 – 100

Look for antique blow torches with leather or rubber washers and brass or iron nozzles for an old make.

3. Old Blow Torch Heating Mechanism

Antique Blow torch with a manual pump and pressurizers

Old torch heating techniques like oil wicks and burners were certainly difficult to light. But since they are rare today, they fetch up to $350 for one, thanks to their manual blowers, oil stains, and aged oxidized marks.

Similarly, blow torches with manual pumps and pressurizers are also very old and precious. That’s because they have hand-operated levers and a low heat but precise flame. So, you can charge about $16 – 70 for one.

Self-pressurizing blow torches, on the other hand, are from the post-1920s era. So, you’ll see automatic valves, triggers, and burners with these. But these are quite common and don’t cost more than $70.

4. Vintage Blow Torch Brands

Branded blow torches from the 1900s

It’s not that you have to get old, hand-beaten pieces every time. Even new, branded blow torches have a good resale value. For instance, get Max Sievert or Clayton torches if you want thick, high-quality ones. But for low-heat, daily-use ones, you can trust Turner Brass!

Old Blow Torch BrandKey FeaturesEstimated Price (for pieces with NO Restoration)
Max SievertHigh-quality brass walls, pumps, and adjustable flame nozzles$50 – 120
Clayton & LambertStamped, soldering valves, fuel tanks, and precise flame nozzles$30 – 100
Otto Bernz CompanyBrass or Copper walls, Etched Logos, and Patented Burner Designs$9 – 50
Turner Brass WorksBrass Walls, Screwed Torch Designs, and Low heat flames$10 – 90

Analyze the torch’s wall finish carefully! Usually, torches with polished, satin, or hammered finishes are branded.

5. Old Blow Torch Styles

It’s true that an antique blow torch’s value changes with the brand and design. But rare, foreign-style blow torches fetch the most! For example, the French blow torches are heavy and carved, while the German ones are durable. So, they fetch up to $500! Crazy, isn’t it?

Below are some antique blow torch styles and their estimated costs:

Old Blow Torch StyleKey FeaturesAverage Value
AmericanLarge and heavy torches with side-mount burners and floral designs$20 – 140
British or EuropeanIntricate, Rococo motifs, flared bases, or chiseled, geometric walls$15 – 120
FrenchGeometric shapes and styles with seasoned walls and cannon engraving$30 – 70
GermanRed or Rust colored walls, top-mounted burners with double walls$12 – 100
SwedishSleek and modern brass antique blow torch with geometric motifs and shiny polishes$8 – 70

6. Vintage Blow Torch Condition

Old blow torches obviously have some time-worn defects like a greenish patina or oxidation marks. But, if they have major defects like clogged holes, broken triggers, or chips, they lose their value by 6 – 7%. So do clean all the clogs and keep your torch rust-free!

What Kind of Fuel Did Old Blow Torches Use?

Antique blow torches mostly worked on liquid – kerosene and alcohol fuel. But, some vintage models also had propane and butane gas canisters for easy ignition.

How Do You Clean an Antique Blow Torch?

Rub the blow torch with a suitable solvent like white spirit or acetone and brush it thoroughly. Now, prepare a 1:2 solution of vinegar and water, dip your brush in it, and scrub all the rust! Finally, rinse it with water, and your blow torch is ready to store!

What Do You Use to Lubricate an Antique Blow Torch?

You can lubricate an antique blow torch with any common vegetable oil, sewing machine, or linseed oil. Alternatively, you can even use dry silicone or WD-40 lubes if you want.

Antique blow torches are relatively easy to identify! All you need to do is see if they have those fuel tanks, valves, and hand pumps. If yes, dig in further and check their condition and brands to raise the value. Patent number stamps, logos, and styles will help you do this!

If you want to learn about more metal antique tools, such as antique shovels, antique padlocks, antique car jacks, and antique axes, my other detailed guides will help you!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *