Elon Musk sells flamethrowers. At least, he used to. The Boring Company flamethrower (technically "not a flamethrower") was a hit when it launched in 2018. Musk sold 20,000 units to the general public before ending the project for good.
If you're really determined to buy a Boring Company flamethrower you can find one on eBay for $4,150. Otherwise, there's always hope Musk will bring back his not-a-flamethrower the next time he needs some publicity for his tunnel-digging endeavor.
Is the Boring Company flamethrower safe?
At a live-streamed presentation held at the Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles last month, Musk announced that the flamethrower would start shipping to customers soon. The company faced issues with sending such a device through the post, so hosted an event to bypass such restrictions:
However, the device has been criticized as a dangerous gimmick. Because the device does not produce a flame larger than 10 feet, it’s technically legal to own without any sort of license. California assemblyman Miguel Santiago, a Democrat representing Los Angeles, introduced bill AB1949 to close this flaw and limit the device’s sale. The Firearms Policy Coalition, a gun rights advocacy group, dismissed the bill for criminalizing nonviolent behavior. The San Francisco Chronicle notes the bill is now held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where bills that are likely to lose votes have been sent before to die.
It’s also unclear exactly why Musk is selling a flamethrower, obscure pop culture references aside. The devices represent a tiny fraction of the company’s funds, with $112.5 million coming from a more traditional round, and the idea of firing flames several feet long thanks to a legal technicality doesn’t exactly reassure people that the device is a safe and smart offering.
How does the Boring Company flamethrower work?
The device acts similar to a giant bunsen burner. A propane tank of around 14 ounces connects to the rest of the device. Users open the valve of the tank, flick the ignition switch to light the pilot flame, then pull the trigger to send the flames flying.
How to buy the Boring Company’s Not-a-Flamethrower
The Boring Company has sold out of “not-a-flamethrowers.” The initial batch was limited to just 20,000, raising around $10 million for the firm. You could try your luck on eBay or Craiglist, but you'll be paying a lot more than the original $500 price tag.