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Cylinders blaze new trail at retail

About two months after announcing a plan to bring its hand torch cylinders direct to retail and wholesale channels, Worthington Cylinders has signed deals with 10 North American retailers and co-ops, including several of the home channel’s biggest names.

United States retail outlets slated to carry the product include Blain’s Farm & Fleet, Do It Best, Lowe’s, Menards, Mills Fleet Farm, Sears, True Value and Wal-Mart. In Canada, the line will be carried by Canac-Marquis Grenier and Home Hardware.

The Worthington Cylinders-branded line of hand torch cylinders contain MAPP gas, propane, oxygen, or propylene, and offer compatibility with commonly used hand torches around the world. The hand torch cylinders are typically used by plumbing and refrigeration repair professionals and DIY specialists.

For more than 43 years, Worthington’s Chilton, Wis., facility has manufactured hand torch cylinders, which will now be branded with the Worthington Cylinders label. Recently, the cylinders have been sold under the Bernzomatic brand name, through a contract-manufacturer arrangement. The decision to introduce a direct-from-manufacturer brand was “a natural progression” for the company, according to Dusty McClintock, vp-sales for Worthington Cylinders. Worthington has offered other cylinder products direct to retail for more than two decades.

In the hand torch category, there’s no substitute for safety and experience, according to McClintock. “The key to making a pressure vessel—is safety,” he said. “We are carrying hazardous material, flammable material and under pressure, stored indoors. Good quality safe manufacturing is very important.”

This specialized product category of hand torches has seen a spurt of growth in the last six or seven years. “I’ll attribute that to the infatuation with home improvement,” he said. “These torches are making their way into the hands of the consumers.”

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