Elon Musk's 'not a real flamethrower' pitted against the real deal in crazy test footage

Elon Musk's 'not a real flamethrower' pitted against the real deal in crazy test footage

Elon Musk is just your everyday tech billionaire, smoking weed on Joe Rogan's podcastlaunching a car into space on a rocket, and plotting how to create a vast network of transportation tunnels underneath Los Angeles. Hopefully he gets started on that soon, because traffic in this city is horrible. And hopefully he doesn't smoke too much weed before he designs it, or the tunnels might just go around in circles.

You might remember that last January Musk made $5 million from a joke. The Tesla CEO pledged that if sold 50,000 baseball caps at $20 each, he would start selling flamethrowers. After meeting this goal, he followed through on his promise. Musk's company, The Boring Company, developed the devices and sold 20,000 "flamethrowers" in five days. If a zombie apocalypse happens, 20,000 people are ready.

But apparently, Musk's "flamethrowers" are not actually flamethrowers. Military-grade flamethrowers project flames thirty feet, while The Boring Company's device projects flames ten feet. It's basically a glorified Zippo lighter or cooler-looking propane torch. In fact, Musk ran into a problem with nomenclature. "Some customs agencies are saying they won't allow shipment of anything called a 'Flamethrower," the SpaceX CEO tweeted. "To solve this, we are renaming it 'Not a Flamethrower.'"

But how exactly does the Not-A-Flamethrower compare with a real flamethrower? The guys from DriveTanks.com, who are definitely prepared for the zombie apocalypse, decided to pit the badass devices against each other. Actually, they picked three for a field test: An M9 Vietnam-era flamethrower, an XM42 flamethrower, with adorable shark stickers, and The Boring Company's sleek Not-A-Flamethrower.

They posted their test footage on YouTube, and it's pretty crazy. Well, the first two minutes aren't pretty crazy. They just enthusiastically unbox the Not-A-Flamethrower. It turns out unboxing flamethrowers is just as boring as unboxing Funko Pops. But once they go outside, armed with their weapons, the fun starts.

The DriveThanks guy begins by aiming the Not-A-Flamethrower at his ex-wife's car. Just kidding. He aims it at a pile of trees or something. As expected, the flame doesn't reach that far. He has to walk over to the pile of branches to ignite it. Next they test the XM42 flamethrower, which has a pretty impressive reach. But nothing beats the military-grade M9, which is insanely powerful. It's one thing to describe the flames, and another to see them in action.

Here's a view of all three devices from a drone camera, to give a better idea how they compare.

So, it looks like Elon Musk got the name right. The Not-A-Flame Thrower isn't as badass as real flamethrowers, but it's still pretty cool. Maybe if The Boring Company sells the devices again, I'll pick one up. If I get stuck in traffic in LA, I bet other drivers would let me pass them if I threatened with a flamethrower.