The 8 Best Torpedo Heaters
This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in April of 2020. Torpedo heaters are great for warming large spaces or even outdoor events due to their ability to produce a directional blast of heat and cycle air quickly. Though they are effective, they should only be used in very well ventilated areas. Even if the space is only partially enclosed, such as a garage with the door partially open, a carbon monoxide detector must be used to ensure safe operation. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 16, 2020:
The two major types of torpedo heaters are those that use kerosene and those that use propane. While both are effective, their operation is considerably different, and both have their own pros and cons.
Kerosene models are more self contained since they use an integrated fuel tank rather than a separate propane tank. This may be preferable for cases where the heater is frequently moved, but refueling these models can be a slightly messy process, and kerosene is often more difficult to find. Most kerosene models can also run on diesel, which increases the chances that you can find a convenient place to buy fuel, but it should be noted that generally all of the fuels that run in kerosene torpedo heaters produce a stronger odor than propane based models.
For some, the ease of finding propane close by might make up for the increased difficulty of having to hook up, store, and transport a separate tank. It should be noted that some propane models that output a higher amount of BTUs may require tanks larger than the standard 20-pound units found at most gas stations and grocery stores, so be sure to check which kind of tank your selection requires if you're buying it simply for the convenience factor. Both types of torpedo heaters are required to be plugged in because of their fans and electric ignition systems, and unfortunately it is not easy to say definitively which kind is cheaper to run since fuel prices vary widely depending on location. Before deciding which to get it may be worthwhile to find out the prices of propane and kerosene in your area, as well as how easy each one is to get ahold of.
Models like the Dyna-Glo Forced Air Heater and Mr. Heater Contractor are great for outdoor work because of their strength and the inclusion of wheels that make them easy to adjust and transport during operation. For instance, if a group of workers are building a house and it's still in the framing phase, these heaters will put out strong enough rays of heat to keep them adequately warm as long as it is aimed in their general direction. These models are also great for outdoor sporting events since they can be quickly rolled onto the field and just as easily rolled back to storage after the event is over.
Models like the Mr. Heater F271390, DeWalt DXH75KT, Dyna-Glo Kerosene Heater, and Mr. Heater F271390 are still adequate for keeping a couple people warm during outdoor work, but these models are also commonly used to heat spaces like workshops or garages. While they may find frequent use in this capacity and are an effective solution for heating such spaces very quickly, one must consider safety before using them this way. Always follow all manufacturer recommendations, never use them in a space that is not well ventilated, and even in a ventilated space do not operate these devices without also installing a carbon monoxide monitor to ensure your own safety.
If you come to find a torpedo heater is not the best choice for your situation, we also have articles on the best space heaters, wall mounted models, and those that run on natural gas.