Coiled Nichrome Wire Electric Weeder

In the market-farming community there is a tool called the Flame Weeder. There are a few itterations of it already out there by Farmers Friend LLC.

I’ve been waiting on an electric version. I feel as though FarmBot could be the inspiration for others.

How it works (in theory):
Round metal base with ceramic interior. Coiled nicrome wire circling the interior of the ceramic head. (it would basically look like a door knob) The nichrome wire has a 1400C melting point.
The theory is that the coils get so hot, that when they slowly pass over the thread-stage weeds, the plant cell walls burst from the water boiling and they die in a few minutes.
It is an alternative to using petroleum based weeders and it would be some kickass inspiration for countless innovators.


Hello EveryDay Oregonian,

Is there a fire risk?


Is this the weeding tool that you are talking about?


That is exactly the tool I am thinking about!
The fire hazard part, I’m unsure of. I figure if it is in a cermic case that it would minimize any damage to the machine as reduce any fire hazard. Kind of like an electric kiln. I figure you could also do something more like this weeder (Neversink hooded flame weeder) as well. Where there is a ceramic layer on the inside of the hood, and the coils go from side to side. If you had rows of coils and one got damaged, you could just swap it out instead of changing the entire assembly.
I’m not an extreme engineer, barely have time or skills in that area, but I can post a napkin drawing x)


We are working on other weeding tools that will be much safer and have no chance of fire risk.


Although this is just a mock up of a laser tool, some day we would like to potentially introduce a laser weeder. We just need to work on mitigating the fire and safety risk.


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That is amazing! I hope that day comes soon enough. Is there any real thought into it or is that far into the future? Are y’all considering a stirrup hoe kind of attachment to be the more passive/ no fire risk weeding tool? I know Never Sink Farms has the mutineer that has interchangable heads and it is more of a passive weeder-cultivator with no sharp edges. I’m sure this is more applicable to the Genesis v1.5 and not the express models, but it would be cool to see regardless.
Thanks for the link. Stoked for FBs future and hope July sales were great!

hmmn a laser could be a litte power consuming…but have you considered it to do it with water…like a flowwaterjet?

There are some nice cheap materials that can resist very high temperatures and are easy to work with. For instance, you can use some fireproof blankets which are very cheap and you can form them into any shape you need.
In my opinion the system you want to build is easy to do, just purchase some nichrome wire and a solid state relay to control it. You can even add temperature sensors if you feel the need to limit the heat output or just to make sure you reached the minimum temperature you needed to burn the weeds.

If you really fear about fire risk, which you probably should, then it seems possible to me that you add a water sprayer to this contraption, just heat up the weed until it burns and then move the gantry a little bit to spray water on the spot you heated before.

Forget about lasers and stuff like that, they need to be focused precisely in order to burn stuff, which will be very hard to do because weeds have an irregular shape on all axis. Unless maybe if they are really high powered, in whic case they cause some other safety issues in addition to the fire risk (how do you make sure the beam will never end up into someone’s eye, it could be reflected by water droplets, small reflective garbage on the floor and whatnot).

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