Just What We Need: Your Very Own Flamethrower For $699

By Shane Dixon Kavanaugh
Vocativ (3/23/15)

The U.S. got pummeled by snow this winter, which meant hours of shoveling sidewalks and chipping ice off of driveways. Now, a company called Ion Productions says it has a much better solution: the first flamethrower for homeowners.

Ion, a video-game company, hopes to cash in on man’s eternal fascination with fire and guns— as well as lax laws across the U.S. Billed as “the world’s first commercially available handheld flamethrower,” the XM42 spews 25-foot columns of combustible fuel. It sells for $699, and can be topped off at any neighborhood gas station, according to Ion.

Flamethrowers were used by militaries during trench and jungle warfare last century — to do everything from busting bunkers to clearing brush. Ion hasn’t marketed its flamethrower as a weapon, focusing instead on a host of purported practical and domestic uses. Among them:

  • Clearing snow/ice
  • Eliminating weeds between pavement cracks
  • Controlled burns/ground-clearing of foliage/agricultural
  • Insect control
  • Pyrotechnic event displays
  • Bonfire starting
  • A fun device to enjoy with friends

“As of now, flamethrowers are a fun toy for responsible adults and are useful utility devices,” the product’s website says.

They also appear to be legal in 48 states. Only California and Maryland have laws that explicitly ban unlicensed flamethrowers, according to the company. Still, Ion recommends that would-be owners consult state and local regulations.

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