best-weed-burners

4 Best Weed Burners (2021 Review)

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Weed burners are handy tools. Firstly, they’re an environmentally friendly way to kill weeds because no chemicals are required, and secondly they’re incredibly easy to use. Weed burners are great if you find it hard to kneel down, or if you’re simply fed up of using a knife to remove invasive driveway weeds.

Weed burners can be used for a number of tasks. Not only can you easily de-weed but you can light your BBQ, de-ice your pathways, and disinfect.

Despite the name, weeds are not burned away but are super-heated so their cells swell and explode. This means they gradually disappear over a week or two rather than vanishing in a puff of smoke.

How I tested

I tested the following weed burners on dandelion and oxalis plants, both in brick paving and on grass.

Oxalis and dandelion are a pain because they have deep fibrous roots. I’ve been pulling these up for at least 6 years and they always grow back. They’ll be a real test for the burners. I also used the burners on moss, grass and some invasive herb-robert.

To show the results, I took a photo of the burnt weed immediately after burning and another photo after one week to see if it was actually dead.  

What is the Best Electric Weed Burner?

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Comparing The Best Electric Weed Burners

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  • Best For
  • Max. Temperature
  • Weight
  • Cable Length
  • No. of Heat Settings
  • No. of Nozzles
  • Extendable Handle
  • Cost
  • Our score
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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Electric Weed Burners

Green Habitats WeedburnerGreen Habitats Weedburner

Best weed burner overall

Design
Ease of Use
Effectiveness
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
4.7
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Green Habitats Weedburner Review

Tested by:

Specifications

  • Max. Temperature: 1300°C
  • Weight: 0.47 kg
  • Cable Length: n/a
  • No. of Heat Settings: 1
  • No. of Nozzles: 1
  • Extendable Handle: No

The Green Habitats Weed Burner is a gas propane weed burner and it’s capable of getting extremely hot. Right away I can tell it’s easy to hold and manoeuvre, so I have high hopes for this one straight off the bat.

Design

Green-Habitats-Weedburner

The design is simple and classic. A shiny silver body with a matt black handle indicates this is a simple but hardworking piece of kit. First impressions: I like the uncomplicated simplicity of it. Almost straight away you can see how it works, plus it’s exceptionally light.

It comes ready to use in one piece so there’s no putting it together which is a major plus. It also it has a top of the range piezo ignitor which is a reassuring touch and means it’s easy to start.

In terms of weight, it’s lighter than the Parklands, Tooltronix and URBN GARDEN electric weed burners, so I’d recommend it if you struggle with heavy garden tools. At a guess, I’d say it’s about a quarter of the standard weight of an electric weed burner, even with the gas cannister in place.

The gas canister has a bayonet fitting and it clips into place, you twist the knob to allow gas into the pipe, and press the ignition straight away. Flames fly from the end which is different to electric burners that don’t show any sign of heat.

When fired up, this gas burner runs extremely hot: it has an almost unbelievable output of 1300°C which is more than double the heat of electric weed burners.

Design Score: 5/5

 

Ease of Use

Green-Habitats-Weedburner-in-action

A stumbling block straight out the gates: I found it tricky to clip in the cannister. However, I quickly worked out the ‘knack’, and my tip is to press harder than you think whilst gently twisting at the same time.

Increasing the gas output (and therefore intensifying the heat) is easy to do, simply by twisting a knob near the handle. Heat level builds from small-but-hot red flames, up to furious blue blasts.

The handle is ergonomically shaped, and the weed burner is 100% cordless so you can walk around with no trailing cables or power supply. I always find this to be a great characteristic to look out for because when tools are more straight forward to use, I’m more likely to go to the trouble of getting them out of the shed in the first place.

The instructions say you should hold the tip of the flame 15 cm above the weed. There were no problems with this; the flame has a long reach and it was easy to see how close to the weed I was holding it. Plus, due to its light weight, it’s easy to hold.

Ease of Use Score: 4.5/5

 

Effectiveness

Green-Habitats-Weedburner-straight-after

The picture above shows the condition of the weed immediately using the weed burner.

This gas weed burner fired out immediate, blazing heat which completely burned away nearly all of the oxalis, dandelions, weeds and moss I applied it to, even when holding it above 15 cm.

My husband couldn’t help himself and came outside to try and lend a hand/take over (this is unheard of and certainly didn’t occur when I was testing the electric weed burners). As you’ll see, he even volunteered to feature in the photos!

I sensed he was experiencing that same sort of caveman/fire-loving connection that often draws men to a BBQ. In fact, about 30 seconds into burning the weeds he shouted ‘Hey! I can use this to light the BBQ!’ so my suspicions were correct.

I wasn’t going to complain because he torched all the weeds in the driveway, the weedy shale-covered herb border and quite a lot of dandelions in the grass.

Most weed burners work by causing damage to the internal cells of the plant, and the results normally take a while to show, but this Green Habitats Weedburner crisped the weeds almost instantly. Standard electric weed burners such as the Parklands or the Tooltronix models don’t show so much damage off the bat.

On the downside, it left scorch marks in the surrounding grass. However, on further examination of the instruction leaflet, I can see that it’s ‘not suitable for use in flower beds or on lawns.’ Oops – at least we now know why!

One Week Later

Green-Habitats-Weedburner-one-week-later

You can see that the weeds have vanished with no sign of regrowth.

The weeds certainly seemed to respond well to this weed burner. They completely died off and left no visible traces of life, so I don’t think they’ll be coming back either.

Effectiveness Score: 5/5

 

Safety

Propane gas worries me a little and I don’t like using it, but that’s just a personal preference of mine.

If stored correctly, away from heat, and used sensibly, there’s no reason that this weed burner isn’t safe to use. I like the lack of cables so there’s no possible tripping hazard; naturally, when you’re carrying something roasting hot, tripping over is especially dangerous.

Another positive in terms of safety is its weight. It’s so light weight that you don’t have to support the burning end with your other hand. Hands can be kept well away from the heat source which is great.

One slight downside is that some residual gas always seems to remain in the pipe after you’ve removed the butane cannister, so be sure to burn that off and let it all cool down before storing.

Safety Score: 4.5/5

 

Value for Money

It’s a cheap purchase outright. However, you will have to replace the cannisters so the costs are ongoing.

Al in all though it’s worth the money. It blasts out some extreme heat and you can use it to light the BBQ or melt frost as well.

Value for Money Score: 4.5/5

 

Overall

This is a powerful gas weed burner that crisps your weeds and kills them over the course of a few days. The lack of cables is appealing, and it’s light weight so people with limited mobility can use it.

As mentioned, I think it offers good value for money as well, given that it’s so powerful, and all things considered I think it’s one of the best weed burners overall. The only real downside is that it will scorch the surrounding grass when used on a lawn.

Overall Score: 4.7/5

Pros

  • Extremely light weight weed burner so easy to manoeuvre and hold for extended periods of time
  • No cables so does not create a tripping hazard when carrying the weed burner
  • Hotter than electric weed burners and scorches the weed in front of your eyes instead of only damaging the cells
  • Seems to get rid of all traces of weeds which means they won't be able to grow back
  • Light enough to hold with one hand which means no hands have to be positioned anywhere near the burner end

Cons

  • Grass and surrounding area get scorched if treating weeds on lawn
  • The gas cannister can be difficult to attach, and you may need more force than you realise to attach it to the weed burner
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ToolTronix Electric Weed BurnerToolTronix Electric Weed Burner

Best electric weed burner

Design
Ease of Use
Effectiveness
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
3.7
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ToolTronix Electric Weed Burner Review

Tested by:

Specifications

  • Max. Temperature: 600°C
  • Weight: 1.24 kg
  • Cable Length: 1.6 m
  • No. of Heat Settings: 2
  • No. of Nozzles: 1
  • Extendable Handle: Yes

The ToolTronix Electric Weed Burner is slightly smaller and lighter than other models. It’s a good-looking piece of kit, especially if you like Kawasaki green, and pretty powerful to boot. Here’s how it fared when I put it to the test:

Design

ToolTronix-Electric-Weed-Burner

The Tooltronix electric weeder burner comes nicely presented and leaves a positive first impression. It looks good, using a pallet of light green, black and silver.

It measures 97 x 9 x 8 cm which makes it slightly shorter than the Parklands and URBN GARDEN electric weed burners, but longer than the Green Habitats gas burner.

It has one nozzle only, which is cone shaped, and designed to fit over and cover weeds.

Other applications aside from weed burning listed in the instructions include paint removal, soldering terminals, drying adhesives, defrosting icy steps and disinfection. These would all be done with the same nozzle.

It has a maximum output of 2000 watts, and there are two temperature settings of 50°C and 600°C degrees. This means this TooltTronix weed burner is slightly cooler than the Urban Garden and Parklands burners by 50°C.

There are a couple of downsides to this weed burner’s design as well: the cable measures 160 cm which is way too short. Plus, the kickstand (which keeps the hot end from touching the ground during cool down) feels flimsy. I don’t think it’ll be long before that breaks off.

Some of the connections feel loose which means this doesn’t feel like a quality machine. The handle is also an odd shape and not completely comfortable; I had to hold it awkwardly when using the burner which didn’t feel 100% safe. Also, when my hands got sweaty, the handle felt slippery. However, it is still light enough to use with one hand, without needing another hand to steady it.

Design Score: 3.5/5

 

Ease of Use

ToolTronix-Electric-Weed-Burner-in-use

It’s easy to fit together, coming in just three separate parts. There’s the main unit, the extension pole and the nozzle.

All you need to do is clip on the handle, fit the nozzle and you’re good to go. To take it apart again, it’s simple to press the black button to release the locks.

After it had cooled down the handle and nozzle came off easily. Tooltronix was the simplest burner to take apart for storage.

When it comes to burning weeds, the process is very straight forward. There’s a button to select the temperature, and after pressing you simply hover the burner 5 cm above the offending weed for 5 seconds.

As mentioned, it’s lightweight enough to use with one hand, so I could use my other hand to keep the cable away. Also, I noted that it was fairly quiet; you could definitely use this for some early-morning weed toasting and not offend the neighbours.

Ease of Use Score: 4/5

 

Effectiveness

ToolTronix-Electric-Weed-Burner-straight-after

The picture above shows the condition of the weed immediately after using the electric weed burner.

It takes 45 seconds to heat up, so it’s not instantaneous, but when it was hot enough I found that it wilted the weeds and didn’t scorch my brickwork or grass which was a very welcome outcome.

One Week Later

ToolTronix-Electric-Weed-Burner-one-week-later

You can see that the weeds are still there but they look damaged.

The ToolTronix electric weed burner clearly affected the health of the weeds, but didn’t get rid of them completely. I feel that at least one more round of burning would be required to fully get rid of them.

Effectiveness Score: 3.5/5

 

Safety

The power cord is naturally a minor concern as it is a tripping hazard. Plus, I am totally confused by the ‘cable safety hook’ which is a plastic hook on the handle that you’re supposed to wrap the cord into. I can’t understand how to do it, and the instructions don’t mention it either.

Other than the confusing hook, there’s just a small clip for the cable on the extension pole which moves up and down. Overall, I feel there should be more to keep the cable safe – it wouldn’t be difficult to burn through by accident.

You have to run the Tooltronix on the 50°C setting for a minute to cool it off.

Once I turned off the power, the hot end was cool within about 5 minutes; however, it took over an hour for the heat to dissipate enough for me to feel it was safe for storage. There’s no indication that the burner is cool enough to touch (although most burners don’t have a way to show this).

This might be an issue if you have pets or children who might touch it, as it has to be left out to cool. I’ll confess that I stupidly touched the hot end after a few minutes to see how fast it cooled down; it blistered my finger so I can confirm that it remains very hot for some time. When the instructions say ‘don’t touch the hot parts’, they really mean it.

In terms of maintenance, the instructions indicate that you must keep the ventilation holes clean so it doesn’t overheat. Once the burner was completely cool it was easy to rub them over with a cloth.

I did also notice that there was quite lot of dark discolouration in the nozzle end after I’d used it.

In general, in regards to safety, I’d like to have seen more cable clearance and more clips for safety.

Safety Score: 3.5/5

 

Value for Money

It’s about the same price as other models that run hotter and have more nozzles. However, this was easy to use and more lightweight.

With this in mind, I’d still say it’s a little overpriced for what you get. There are options that offer better value, although the lightness may appeal to some people.

Value for Money Score: 4/5

 

Overall

This is a pretty effective electric weed burner that’s very lightweight. Electric versions tend to be a bit heavier, so this is one of the best electric weed burners if you want a model that isn’t too heavy.

It’s simple to use and hot enough to wilt the weeds, but you will likely need to use it more than once on the same weed to kill it off.

As mentioned, the handle ergonomics aren’t great and there are some components which feel a little low in quality.

I’d also like more cable length, which is something that is offered by the Parkland and Urban Garden electric weed burners. Plus, it would be good to see more safety clips for the cable.

Overall Score: 3.7/5

Pros

  • Does not scorch patio or paving
  • Light weight and can be held with just one hand making it easy to hover over and kill weeds
  • Easy to fit together and take apart for storage with just three separate parts
  • Quiet to run weed burner; won't disturb the neighbours if used in the morning or evening

Cons

  • Short power cable of 160 cm will often need to be used with an extension
  • Takes over an hour to cool down sufficiently for safe storage
  • Extremely hot even when cooling down so needs to be kept away from pets and young children
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URBN GARDEN 3-in-1 Electric Weed BurnerURBN GARDEN 3-in-1 Electric Weed Burner

Best nozzle attachments

Design
Ease of Use
Effectiveness
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
3.6
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URBN GARDEN 3-in-1 Electric Weed Burner Review

Tested by:

Specifications

  • Max. Temperature: 650°C
  • Weight: 1.6 kg
  • Cable Length: 3 m
  • No. of Heat Settings: 2
  • No. of Nozzles: 2
  • Extendable Handle: Yes

The URBN GARDEN 3-in-1 Electric Weed Burner is marketed as a multi-functioning tool and comes with an array of nozzle heads which certainly seem impressive. Let’s see how it got on with a task of basic weed killing:

Design

Urban-Garden-3-in-1-Electric-Weed-Burner

The red-and-black design of this weed burner gives it an appearance that means business. It looks good in the box and I sense that a lot of people will feel good about this design.

Marketed as a 3-in-1 multifunction electric weed burner, this tool has an output of 2000 watts and can be used as a weed burner, heat gun, and BBQ lighter amongst other things. There are several nozzles included to facilitated these different jobs:

  • A spade-shaped nozzle
  • A reducer nozzle
  • A grill-lighter nozzle
  • A flat nozzle
  • A weed burner nozzle

The instruction book does not say what the spade-shaped and flat nozzles are for, but there’s a picture of the flat nozzle being used to strip paint. A more detailed description of how to use each nozzle would be beneficial, as it’s left slightly to guesswork.

There are two heat settings of 80°C and 650°C making it hotter than the Parklands and Tooltronix weed burner but still nowhere near as hot as the gas weed burner and a switch flips between the two settings.

Finally, there is a 5 metre power cable included which is a much more reasonable length than the burners which have a cable of under 2 metres.

Design Score: 4/5

 

Ease of Use

Urban-Garden-3-in-1-Electric-Weed-Burner-in-use

Fitting this electric weed burner together is simple. The extension pole clips into the handle and then into burning mechanism. It clips and fits well, but if you have arthritis or weak hands you may need some help here as it’s quite stiff.

Once the temperature is selected, it just needs to warm up. The noise it makes is about the same as a hairdryer.

It’s also easy to change from electric weed burner to heat gun. You just have to remove the pole and twist the body head (it only goes in one direction so you can’t it get it wrong). Then you can attach whichever nozzle you want to use.

The overall design of this electric weed burner is ergonomically considered, and the handle is easy to hold; however, it is on the heavy side (possibly due to its extra heat gun function).

You’ll need plenty of wrist strength to hover this in place. I needed to support the extension pole with my other hand.

Ease of Use Score: 3.5/5

 

Effectiveness

Urban-Garden-3-in-1-Electric-Weed-Burner-straight-after

The picture above shows the condition of the weed immediately after using the electric weed burner.

It takes 45 seconds to heat up which is similar to other electric burners, and you hold the nozzle over the weed for up to 10 seconds. This is longer than the Tooltronix and Parklands recommended burn time.

Whilst you can hold it in place for a longer time, the instruction leaflet admits that killing leafy weeds may take several “burnings” at 1- 2 week intervals. I appreciate this honesty as I think it’s the same for many electric burners, they just don’t tell you.

After the first burning, the weeds looked wilted and the results were similar to other electric burner efforts. The driveway bricks were unscathed but the surrounding grass on the lawn was scorched.

One Week Later

Urban-Garden-3-in-1-Electric-Weed-Burner-one-week-later

The weeds are still there and green near the roots.

Whilst this electric weed burner clearly damaged the weed on its first use, it didn’t kill it off completely. The roots still seem to be living, as they’re still quite green, so at least another burn will be required to get rid of them.

We also used this to light the charcoal in a disposable BBQ and it did the job quickly – it was quite a lot easier than using matches or a lighter.

Effectiveness Score: 3.5/5

 

Safety

There’s plenty of casing around the machine which makes it feel good quality and relatively safe. However, it is heavier than other models and you do have to use both hands to steady it above weeds for even a short time. Therefore it can get tiring.

As with the other electric weed burners, there’s no emergency shut off; if you trip on the cable you could get a nasty burn so you need to be careful.

The cable is long which helps keep things safe as you can move freely. I did still need an extension to use it around the garden though.

There is also a cable safety clip in the handle, but it doesn’t stay in place very well. As a result I was often in fear of burning through the cable because both my hands where busy holding the machine.

The kick stand is sturdy enough to hold the burner safely as it cools down, but there’s no indication of when the burner is cool enough to touch. It also needs to be kept away from children and animals during use and cool down.

Keeping it in good working order is easy enough, just requiring a simple clean up with a soft cloth to unblock the ventilation holes.

Safety Score: 3/5

 

Value for Money

This electric weed burner offers a fair amount for your money.

It has lots of burning nozzles included (even though it doesn’t say what to do with them…), and reaches a higher temperature than other electronic versions.

This means that it can be used for a lot of different purposes (although further research may be required to work out exactly how), and it’s quite effective at burning those weeds. As a result, you get quite a lot of bang for your buck.

Value for Money Score: 4/5

 

Overall

This is one of the best electric weed burners for nozzle attachments; it offers a lot of versatility and can be put to use in several different ways. It also has the highest heat output of the electric weed burners that I tested, so it’s a good machine to consider if you don’t like gas burners.

It’s fiddlier to put together than others, and it’s not very light either. However, if you have the patience and wrist strength, it’s worth it for the power and adaptability that it brings to the garden.

Overall Score: 3.6/5

Pros

  • Different nozzle heads mean it can be used for lighting BBQs, melting ice and stripping paint as well as burning weeds
  • Can reach a hotter temperature than most electric weed burners making it a good choice for gardeners who want power but don't want to use a gas burner
  • 5 metre power cable offers more movement and can be kept out of the way easier than shorter cables
  • Handle is ergonomically designed which makes it comfortable to hold, without slipping, for prolonged periods
  • Won't scorch the patio or driveway

Cons

  • Requires two hands to support it which means no hands are free to keep the power cable out of the way
  • At least two 'burnings' will be required to kill weeds
  • Scorches surrounding grass when used on the lawn
  • Cable clip moves and does not work well to keep power cable out of the way
  • Can get heavy to hold which can be tiring as it needs to be hovered for 10 seconds at a time to kill weeds
BUY HERE →

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Parkland Electric Weed BurnerParkland Electric Weed Burner

Best ergonomic weed burner

Design
Ease of Use
Effectiveness
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
3.5
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Parkland Electric Weed Burner Review

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Specifications

  • Max. Temperature: 600°C
  • Weight: 1.48 kg
  • Cable Length: 1.3 m
  • No. of Heat Settings: 2
  • No. of Nozzles: 2
  • Extendable Handle: Yes

The Parkland Electric Weed Burner is a popular buy. The instructions are simple and it looks well designed at first glance. This is how it performed in my garden:

Design

Parkland-Electric-Weed-Burner

Parklands electric weed burner looks professional and solid. It’s dark green, with silver-coloured accessories, and came well-presented in the box.

It has a weed-burning nozzle that stops surrounding plants getting scorched, as well as an 8-ventilation hole BBQ lighter. There’s also a 5 metre power cable, which is a reasonable length.

The maximum output is a powerful 2000 watts and there are two power settings: 60°C and 600°C. This makes it comparable with the ToolTronix weed burner but cooler than the URBN GARDEN 3-in-1.

Overall, it measures 101 cm long, 8 wide and 10 cm tall. It’s lightweight enough to hold for prolonged periods, the ergonomics are good, and the handle is easy to grip. I felt it was well balanced but I still needed two hands to keep it steady over a weed.  

It has a built-in kickstand which keeps the hot end away from the ground as it cools.

Good design. I like it so far.

Design Score: 4/5

 

Ease of Use

Parkland-Electric-Weed-Burner-in-use

It’s easy to assemble which is a good start. You simply slip the extension tube and the nozzle into place. The lock buttons work well and the whole unit feels sturdy with no wobbly components.

Once put together, the machine feels stable and of good quality. However, after I’d used it, I found that the nozzle wouldn’t come off. I’ve asked several people to try, and no-one can remove it. Maybe I was unlucky, but it means I can’t change to use the BBQ lighter nozzle which is a bit annoying. I guess I’ll have to resort to using a match to light my BBQ instead.

In terms of weight, this burner is light enough to hover easily above weeds although I did need a second hand to keep the extension pole steady. The handle is a long way from the burning end, so I had to concentrate to hold it in the required 5 cm hover position.

The cable is long, but I still had to use an extension. This was the same with all of the electric weed burners I tested, but at least a longer cable meant I wasn’t so tethered to the extension port.

Before putting this burner away it needs to be run on the cooler heat setting for a minute, then let to cool on its kickstand. It took a good 20 minutes just until it was cool enough to touch, which is quite a long time.

Ease of Use Score: 3.5/5

 

Effectiveness

Parkland-Electric-Weed-Burner-straight-after

The picture above shows the condition of the weed immediately after using the electric weed burner.

It takes about a minute to heat up so I had to exercise some patience. However, when it was ready to go it did wilt the weeds effectively.

The manual says to hold it 5 cm over the weed for 5 seconds. I did this and didn’t see much effect, so I kept it there for another 10 seconds. This wilted the weeds and it didn’t burn my brickwork but it did scorch the grass.

One Week Later

Parkland-Electric-Weed-Burner-one-week-later

The weeds are still green near the roots, but they are smaller and don’t look very healthy.

As you can see, the weeds certainly don’t look very happy after their encounter with the Parkland burner; however, they’re not completely gone either. Looking at them now, I reckon that another blast would probably see them off.

Effectiveness Score: 2.5/5

 

Safety

This machine has clips along its length to stop the cable from touching the hot bits. I view this as a definite improvement on the design of the ToolTronix and URBN GARDEN electric weed burners. I think it’s important to have these clips as they stop you from accidently burning through the cable.

As mentioned, using the extension cable is a tripping hazard, but at least the 5 metre cable gives you a bit more scope. There’s also no emergency shut off (which is the same with most electric weed burners). The machine is shut down only with a manual button and it stays extremely hot for ages.

There’s no indication the burner is cool enough to touch, but this is standard – it’s best to leave it for over an hour.

The ventilation holes in the weed burning nozzle and the BBQ lighter nozzle should be cleaned regularly (when it’s cool!) to prevent dirt built up and a meltdown of the device. The nozzles were easy to clean with a soft cloth.

Safety Score: 4/5

 

Value for Money

This is good value although I’m disappointed that I can’t benefit from the dual functionality of this machine. With the nozzle stuck on the end it’s now just an electric weed burner not a BBQ lighter.

Even so, it’s well balanced and ergonomically designed, and I think the safety clips for the cable increase its value further.

Value for Money Score: 3.5/5

 

Overall

This is definitely a good piece of kit that wilts weeds. After a couple of goes with it I think most weeds will be gone and won’t come back. It’s the best electric weed burner I tested in terms of balance and ergonomics. I found it easy to control even though two hands were required.

The long power cable is good as well, but the burner was let down by the weed-burning nozzle welding itself to the pole.

This might have been just an unlucky experience for me, but naturally I was left a little  disappointed. Aside from this, it worked well and felt sturdy.

Overall Score: 3.5/5

Pros

  • Lightweight and well balanced weed burner so it doesn't feel unwieldy even with its extended length
  • 5 metre cable is a reasonable length even though an extension may still be required
  • Directive cone makes targeting specific weeds very easy
  • Unlikely to scorch brickwork
  • Safety has been considered as clips along the handle keep the cable away from the hot end

Cons

  • Takes a long time to cool down sufficiently to store safely; after 20 minutes it may only just be cool to the touch
  • Will require at least two attempts to kill weeds
  • May need to be held over weeds for longer than suggested to see an effect
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Things to Know Before Buying a Weed Burner

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Weeds can be stubborn and prove a nuisance for gardeners. Even if your garden is mostly patio, weeds can still rear their ugly heads between the slabs and ruin its neat appearance.

Weed burners offer a great way to stop weeds in their tracks. Producing a large amount of heat in a concentrated area, they can be held directly over the offending weeds, burning them and killing them off. They are designed to cause the cells inside weeds to explode, so even when the damage isn’t immediately visible, the treated weed will die over time.

Most weed burners have a maximum temperature of around 650°C, although some burn hotter, so they can bring some serious heat to the battle of the weeds!

The following information will help you decide whether a weed burner is right for you, and which style of weed burner to look out for:

The Benefits of Using a Weed Burner

  • They eliminate the necessity to use chemical weed killers. This is great for a number of reasons. Chemical products aren’t good for the environment and they can also affect more than just weeds. They may damage other plants or kill wildlife. What’s more, they can prove hazardous for pets, so you have to be really careful when using them.
  • They make it easier to ‘spot attack’ a particular weed. Whilst other weed-killing methods are more generalised, applied as a spray or granule, you are in full control when using a weed burner. Only the area covered by the nozzle will be affected by heat.
  • They’re lightweight and less effort than other weed-removal methods. Picking weeds out by hand can be time consuming and painful on the knees. Similarly, mixing herbicides can take a while as they need to be prepared properly. By contrast, a weed burner can be used whilst standing and takes very little time to heat up.
  • Weed killers can come in handy for other tasks too, such as thawing ice, stripping paint, and lighting the BBQ. As a result, they’re not only useful to have around in the spring and summer, but during winter too.

Weed Burner Type

There are two main styles when it comes to weed burners: gas-powered burners and mains-powered burners. Naturally, there are pros and cons to each type.

Gas-Powered Weed Burners

These weed burners can reach extremely high temperatures – often over 1000°C. As a result, they are extremely effective at quickly killing off weeds.

Most of the time they will kill a weed in just one session, damaging its roots sufficiently so that it won’t grow back.

They are also cordless, making them easy to carry around without any restrictions. This means that there is also no tripping hazard as there would be with a mains-powered burner, and no chance of accidentally burning through a cable.

However, there are also some negatives to gas-powered weed burners. They tend to be heavier than mains-powered models, and you need to make sure that you have a way to safely store the gas canisters.

Due to the fact that they work with a visible flame, they are also more likely to scorch hard surfaces such as patios and driveways. Burning fuel also causes fumes and releases greenhouse gases, making gas-powered burners less environmentally friendly than their mains-powered counterparts.

Mains-Powered Weed Burners

These electric weed burners don’t use an open flame which can make them feel safer than using a gas-powered machine. They do still get extremely hot, often reaching temperatures of 600°C or more, so need to be used with care.

Some electric weed burners are very light and can be used with one hand, this makes them easy to manoeuvre and control (and also means that the spare hand can be used to keep the power cable out of the way).

They’re a more environmentally friendly option compared to gas weed burners; however, because don’t get as hot it can take more applications to fully kill off weeds. Electric weed burners may need to be used several times, several weeks apart, to get rid of weeds completely.

The main drawback of an electric weed burner is being restricted by the power cable. Some models have cables that are less than 2 metres long, so you almost always have to pull an extension around with you. It’s also possible to find burners with longer cables, commonly around 5 metres, but an extension cable might still be needed.

Temperature Range

Some of the best weed burners will have two temperature options, offering a low and high temperature. This is more common with electric weed burners than gas-powered ones.

It’s good to have the choice because the low temperature setting is useful for other tasks, such as lighting the BBQ in summer or melting ice in the winter.

The high temperature setting is the one used to really do damage against weeds. The higher the temperature of your weed burner, the more effective it will be.

One thing to bear in mind, of course, is to be really careful when using a weed burner; these are some serious temperatures we’re talking about.

Make sure to leave it somewhere secure after use – not lying around where the kids might find it – and let it cool down completely before storing.

Unit Adjustability

As well as variable temperature settings, electric weed burners can be adjustable in other ways.

Nozzles

Whilst some units only come with one nozzle attachment – usually a cone shaped nozzle for targeting a small area – others can come with various options included.

Depending on what you’re hoping the use the weed burner for, you may want more attachments. For example, thinner nozzles can be used to targeting and isolate specific weeds, potentially causing less damage to surrounding grass.

If a weed burner has several nozzles, it will likely be more suitable for more completing a variety of tasks. For example, flat nozzles can allow weed burners to be used to strip paint (if recommended by the instructions).

Extendable Handles

An extendable handle can be beneficial for two reasons. One, you can adjust the length of the unit to suit your height, improving the comfort of your experience. Two, you can make the unit smaller when it comes to tidying it away, making it easier to store.

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Weed Burner FAQs

Will an electric weed burner work on weeds between paving?

An electric weed burner works really well in small areas like cracks in paving/on the drive etc. Use the smallest nozzle attachment, if it came with a few options, to get as close as possible to the root of the weed.

What does a weed burner actually do?

A weed burner is designed to heat the weed’s cells, damaging them and causing them to burst. When the cells in the stem are destroyed, the stem is not able to carry nutrients to the rest of the plant. This is what ultimately kills the weed.

How can I tell when I’ve used enough heat on a weed with an electric weed burner?

You’ll know that a weed has been burnt enough when its leaves turn from glossy to matte. This means that the internal structure of the weed has been damaged, and it will then die off.

Generally, all weed burners come with instructions about how long you need to hold the burner over the weed, and from what height. Following these instructions should be sufficient to damage the weed and eventually kill it off.

Are electric weed burners safe?

Most weed burners are designed to be easy and safe to use, but they should still be used with care.

These tools get extremely hot and often take over an hour to cool down. It’s important to read the instruction manual fully before use, and follow any advice carefully.

If you have an electric weed burner, it’s likely that you will need to run it on a lower heat setting after use, before turning it off completely.

Don’t be tempted to ‘check’ how cool your weed burner is for at least an hour after use. And make sure to leave it out of reach of children and pets at all times.

If the grass is very dry, using a weed burner could cause it to set on fire, so be careful about where and when you use it.

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