The XM42 is the result of personal ambition and a lot of helping hands in the form of an Indiegogo campaign. It’s the world’s first commercially-produced flamethrower by Ion Productions, and it’s available and for sale now to the general public.
And before you think this is a firebug’s dream come true — which it is, we’re not even going to try to argue otherwise — it’s also a serious tool. While the first thing that comes to mind is that this is a slightly grown-up version of shooting matchsticks out of BB guns the XM42 was an instant hit with farmers looking for a cheap and efficient way to clear land and for firefighters to use for controlled burns.
As a result the crowdfunding effort pretty effortlessly drummed up the support needed to put the idea into real production. They raised $50,000 in the first day of the project, more than the $40,000 goal, eventually taking in over $157,000 in pre-orders and pledges.
“Although I knew the XM42 was a cool concept, I had no idea it would cause a firestorm of interest and orders right off the bat,” said Chris Byars, XM42 project leader. “I’m proud of how far my design has come from its early days, and am eager to start sharing the XM42 with everyone.”
With early feedback from the initial users the XM42 has already seen a host of design tweaks and improvements including a larger fuel tank for 38 seconds of burn time, a deflector plate at the nozzle and a sexy push-button ignition system.
But probably the best news is that the XM42 is now available and on-sale to everybody, not just people who backed the project during the crowdfunding term. They’re a little more expensive — there are perks for pledging, after all — but at $899 they’re still plenty affordable for people that need them. And as far as toys go, well, there are plenty of even more pricey options that don’t light up the night half as well.
The Ion Productions team has even put together some accessories to enhance your flamethrowing experience. They’ve added an XM42 carrying case and spare battery packs to their online store along with their Ion tees for people who like to wear their pride. Which you should, these things really are awesome.