View Full Version : Smiths LittleTorch

08-18-2008, 03:32 AM
I am looking to do some brazing on some models and i am thinking about buying a smiths Little Torch but i have some questions.

first off is it worth the money

second how long of a runtime do you get on the disposiable tanks?

third are there any better setups out there?

Thanks Mike

08-18-2008, 10:42 AM
first off is it worth the money

I have a the Little Torch but don't use it much. Most of the things I do require more heat in a larger area. Is it worth the money? If you really need very precise heat in a small spot, it is probably invaluable. Like any tool, it depends on how well it helps you get on with the job at hand.

second how long of a runtime do you get on the disposiable tanks?

I have the Smith's Little Torch hooked up to the same Ox/Ace tanks that I use with my big torch so can't comment.

third are there any better setups out there?

Again it depends on what you are doing. Do you need to braze or would silver solder do as well? Would welding be better? How 'bout either mechanical fasteners or adhesives? Depending on the mass of material you are brazing, an alternative might be to put the parts into a high temp oven to get everything to the right temperature, pull them out, and dab on some brazing rod. Another alternative might be resistance heating. Halfway between resistance soldering and a spot welder.

If you can provide a little more information about what you are working with and what you want to accomplish, you might get some better answers. :)

Dr. Spiff

08-18-2008, 02:43 PM
but I never figured out exactly what that might be. It doesn't put out enough heat for soldering silver (an air-acetylene plumber's torch works better), but it's too hot for soldering gold (a Meco oxy-propane torch is better for that). Maybe it's suitable for really small brazing projects, but the smaller tips are really hard to light, and the thing gets too hot to hold pretty fast. I also wasn't thrilled with the way the valves wanted to loosen and fall out. I ended up giving mine away to a friend who thought she might be able to use it for making jewelry.

I'd put the money into a full-sized oxy-acetylene rig if I were you. Victor puts out a nice starter set for a pretty reasonable price; it will do a lot more than the Little Torch ever could, including brazing, welding, and cutting of large things as well as small ones.

Andrew Werby

08-18-2008, 02:58 PM
to give you guys a idea of what i am brazing.

also i own a full size torch but i am looking for something smaller easier to handel. i think if i had a setup like the benzomatic (with just the propane bottle) with a hose it would do what i need. i have the one that attachs to the bottle but you can rotate upside down and so on (oh and they are big and bulky)

thanks for th suggestion

08-18-2008, 04:21 PM
That's a pretty cool model. Did you heat all those joints with your propane torch? It looks like you're using solder, not brass. That's a lot easier to melt. A Bernzomatic wouldn't work for brass brazing. But brass is usually used to put steel parts together; solder is a better choice for assembling brass.

If you've already got an oxy-acetylene setup, see if you can find a smaller tip. If that's too hot for what you're doing, try getting an air-acetylene handpiece (Presolite, Goss) and assorted tips - it leaves the Bernzomatic in the dust, with or without the hose.

Andrew Werby

08-18-2008, 04:26 PM
thats not mine that is one that someone else built and i used as a example.

thanks for the advise i will look into air-acetylene handpiece


08-18-2008, 04:34 PM
you are talking about something like this right?


and all i would need is a tank of acetylene? and what is a B Acetylene Regulator is that the normal fitting on a acetylene tank? and what is the run time like?

thanks mike

08-18-2008, 08:18 PM
Hi Hellbringer, I used to do a lot of small silver soldering and brazing jobs for the aircraft industry in the 70's and we used a small oxy accetylene torch, can't think of the model number but it was about 8" long from tip to hose entry, very easy to handle.

Using oxy acetylene enables you to get a really hot flame and still go down to a needle point to silver solder or braze things like a spectacle frame etc.

The only drawback is the gas bottles which have to be rented, in OZ anyway, don't know about USA.

This stopped me from investing in an oxy/acc set up, and I went as far as a Sievert Propane torch running from the BBQ gas bottle which covered most of my DIY at home projects.

There is a jewellers torch set-up on the market called a Krohn Hyrox torch.

This, as it's name suggests, runs on hydrogen and oxygen and is obtained by the electrolysis of water which produces the two gasses in the ratio of 2 parts of hydrogen to 1 part of oxygen.

The running cost is just cents after the initial outlay because it is plugged into the 110/240 volt mains outlet to make the gas.

I couldn't find the cost of a new item but I was outbid on Ebay a year ago at US$350, which was a bargain buy in my estimation.

If you understand the principle of electrolysis you could even build your own hydrox gas generator set up, and only have to buy a torch tip as it's pretty hard to make decent torch tips at home.

08-20-2008, 02:00 AM
I’ve been using 2 of these torches, one at work and I own one, both of which work great. Be it welding light gauge metal parts, sheet metal, brazing, silver soldering and some jewelry work. I have not experienced any of the problems noted above.. Maybe I’ve been lucky. The size is very nice to work with over a full size torch, which after using the small torch you come to appreciate it’s size. Less hand fatigue.

For me it has worked flawlessly. If you already have an acetylene set up it will only cost you the torch, comes with 5 tips for VERY accurate heat placement. There may be better options but I think you would do very well to get one given the experience I have had. As for tank life it will use less fuel then a full size torch hands down.!

I purchased one at Rio Grande a few years back for around $110. I already had the tanks and regulators.

Good luck in your decision.

John Odom
08-22-2008, 05:06 PM
I have one and I love it! BUT it is only for very small stuff. I have a regular PUROX 202 outfit and big tanks for most work. I use the Little torch on an "MC" acetylene and a "B" oxygen tank set, which are customer owned in the US. It uses very little fuel, but is good only for very small work. I weld #40 platinum wires under a microscope with mine!

John Odom
08-22-2008, 05:09 PM
Drspiff: What is commonly called "silver soldering" may be brazing depending on the melting point of the filler material. I use a silver brazing material with a 1300F melting point.

08-23-2008, 12:38 AM
Not to discourage you or anything but have a look at these the Meco Midget Torches, they are supposed to be very good torches: http://tinmantech.chainreactionweb.com/html/meco_midget_torch.php

John Odom
08-23-2008, 04:19 PM
I have one of those too. I don't use it, it was my Father-in-Law's and I just keep it put away. He did marvelous things with it, and was my inspiration.

08-24-2008, 11:33 AM
I had and used several Little Torches over the years, they're good for very small stuff, but thats about it. I found I used the biggest of it's tips exclusively, the smaller ones were just too small for much of anything.

Used it for silver soldering (brazing) gold, silver and bronze and low temp pewter work. They are light and small so are good for extensive production work, I never found them to get too hot. They can be tricky to light, but you get the hang of it pretty quick. If you find the knobs turn too easily and become inadvertently maladjusted, you can tighten them up via nut underneath so they won't spin if you brush against something. Ox and Propane using large bottles, never used the disposables.

For a model like you pictured, you'd still want a larger torch for the bigger components.

I think a Midget is a better choice though, the tip sizes would give you a wider range to work with and would probably be all you need.