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View Poll Results: Which is the best oxyacetylene setup?
Craftsman 1 4.35%
Victor 15 65.22%
Harris 2 8.70%
Other 5 21.74%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-13-2010, 11:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best Cutting torch and regulator setup?

I need to get an oxyacytelene cutting torch and regulator setup. I'm looking for the best quality set. I have been using a craftsman and it seems to work fine. What are you using and how do you like it? pros/cons? Suggestions?
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Crafstman used to be made by Harris and most parts interchanged. Not sure if that's still the case.

If it's a work torch - Victor Journeyman (withstands abuse, tips are inexpensive, considered "industry standard" among torches)
If it's my personal torch - Smith (higher quality than Victor, more precise cutting, greater selection of special-purpose tips)
Harris falls somewhere between the two.

You may want to consider a dedicated cutting torch vs. a torch handle with cutting attachment. Smith puts the oxygen knob on their cutting attachment right where I put my left hand when working and I tend to accidentally bump it on a frequent basis. If it's a torch handle w/cutting attachment rig I prefer to have the O2 knob side mounted where it's more out of the way (Victor). On a true cutting torch there's only two knobs, so that pesky third knob in front of the handle isn't an issue. Smith is top notch quality, but you pay for it.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Some people will probably bitch and moan, but I've had great luck with Harbor Freights cutting torch. The big $50 or so one, not the one that is a set with brazing tips.

Now I've also had good luck brazing with their set that includes brazing tips, but not so much luck with the cutting head.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the Victor Journyman. Havent used a smith yet. But I like Victor better than Harris.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here at the Iowa DOT we use Smiths. Good quality and stand up to idiots pretty well.
I have a smiths, a victor and an OLD Harris. I like the Smiths best.
As Bumpy Dodge said, seems more precise and more options on tips.
I would stick with a smiths, victor, or harris, due to parts availibility, you have no idea who will make a crapsman torch next week, or who made it last week.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have had a bunch of different brands over the Years .

I just bought whatever the local distributor carried back in the olden days before the big chain distributors. It was nice to be able to get extra tips most anytime.

If I was called out for some emergency it was not uncommon to get the owner out of bed to grab a bunch of extra goodies heading out to a job.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've always used Victor. good, consistant and clean cutting. Had a set for about ten years now, use once a week in the shop at work for odds and ends, never for production or construction, just mostly using fire when a cut off wheel would suffice.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The Craftsman torch is a Harris.

I used to really like Victors but they moved production overseas so I wouldn't buy a new one unless forced.

I like how Smith Torches are set up and the next new torch I buy is going to be a Smith.

Harris makes pretty reasonable torches as well especially the heavy duty cutting torches for scrapping.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention that I've also got a big ol' victor and that thing is awesome, but on the other hand I've also gotten a little victor set with brazing tips and the cutting head for that little torch was pure shit.

So... if you're going to be doing lots of heavy cutting/scrapping type stuff then get a dedicated large torch for it, cause the others won't cut it (pun intended!)
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Been doing a lot of scrapping/iron work the past couple weeks and been using my harbor freight torch a lot. This thing is one bad mofo! I love it! Apparently its a knock off of a Harris torch. Picked up a propane tip for it and its like a hot knife through butter.

I like it even more than our big old victor.

http://www.harborfreight.com/18-inch...rch-96290.html
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Smith would be my choice..I have victor on the welding truck as well..Over time and abuse (we fix boilers) the victor stuff fails way more often than the stuff from smith..

When we replace firetubes they are sealed to the tube sheet with a flare(called roll by the boiler industry). We have to cut off the flare end and slice down the tube in order to get it out if the expander wont work..The smith equipment works like a charm..The 00 tip cuts like a saw blade and we haven't hit a tube sheet in over a year with it.We constantly have to drop the torch on the floor due to lack of space and it looks brand new except for some of the finish scratched off.Drop a victor and its dented and soon will start to act up.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Does anybody have an opinion about "UNI-weld" or "Weld It" regulators? I have a Craftsman set and another that says Uni-weld and Weld-it on the regulators. I couldn't find anything on the torch handle. The regulators are heavy and made in USA and the guages are larger than my craftsmans. So which one is a better set-up? Thanks.

Craftsman:



Others:

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Old 08-14-2010, 12:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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BigJ:
I've been using what looks to be an identical Craftsman set-up for the past 30 years. I've had one regulator rebuilt twice and the other once in that time-frame.

I got it for my 18th birthday, used the shit out of it for five years, let it sit in the garage, pulled it out, had it rebuilt, used it in an environmental testing lab on an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, put it away for ten years, pulled it out and have been using it almost daily for the past nine years in my shop.

That sounds like a pretty good investment my father made in me 30 years ago
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have a 20 year old set of Victor Journeyman that have never let me down.

I had a set of victors they sold at SAMs back in 84 for ten years till they were stolen.

Check pawn shops for a good set .
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I've got a set of Victors. The body of mine cracked while threading the O2 hose into it (brand new, straight outta the package too). Been using it as is...but she leaks a lot of O2 anytime the valve is open...

I've been looking to upgrade anyways...something bigger, as mine is the "medium" size....
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have an old Harris model 62 cutting torch and it will cut 12" thick steel. Never a problem with it.

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Old 08-15-2010, 03:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7.62FMJ View Post
I've got a set of Victors. The body of mine cracked while threading the O2 hose into it (brand new, straight outta the package too). Been using it as is...but she leaks a lot of O2 anytime the valve is open...

I've been looking to upgrade anyways...something bigger, as mine is the "medium" size....
Sounds really safe.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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One thing that crossed my feeble mind, I used a Smith's Aviators torch set. WOW! that thing was compact, but could cut some thick stuff!
NO idea how much they cost, but if you don't have much room and need something that'll cut thru thicker than 2" stuff, maybe look at that.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:23 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PTSchram View Post
BigJ:
I've been using what looks to be an identical Craftsman set-up for the past 30 years. I've had one regulator rebuilt twice and the other once in that time-frame.
I got it for my 18th birthday, used the shit out of it for five years, let it sit in the garage, pulled it out, had it rebuilt, used it in an environmental testing lab on an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, put it away for ten years, pulled it out and have been using it almost daily for the past nine years in my shop.

That sounds like a pretty good investment my father made in me 30 years ago :flipoff2
I have no idea what an atomic absorption spectrophotometer is, but thanks for the input. I think I'll hold onto the Craftsman set and sell the other set.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:10 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGJMCCONNELL View Post
I have no idea what an atomic absorption spectrophotometer is, but thanks for the input. I think I'll hold onto the Craftsman set and sell the other set.
Uni Weld is a family owned American company in operation since 1949. Great stuff

Weldit is the brand name Lincoln Electric sells . Not sure who manufactures it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:36 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BIGJMCCONNELL View Post
I have no idea what an atomic absorption spectrophotometer is, but thanks for the input. I think I'll hold onto the Craftsman set and sell the other set.
It is an instrument that has an air/acetylene flame for most applications. A solution of dissolved metals is aspirated into the flame, a light with a frequency specific to the metal being analyzed for is shined through the flame and the amount of light absorbed by the metals in the flame is proportional to the metal present in the solution being aspirated into the flame.

My acetylene regulator has see use for more than just a cutting torch
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:56 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Thanks CJHeap. The Weld it regulator said Pittsburgh PA on it and the Uni Weld was somewhere, USA as well (can't remember where)

PTSchram: I get it now, thanks for the description!

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Old 08-16-2010, 09:39 AM   #23 (permalink)
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If your curiosity is sufficient, here's a picture of the instrument I had. Man, what a workhorse!

http://www.speciation.net/Appl/Techn...que.html?id=11
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PTSchram View Post
If your curiosity is sufficient, here's a picture of the instrument I had. Man, what a workhorse!

http://www.speciation.net/Appl/Techn...que.html?id=11
I used to use one of those for analyzing water samples from an East Texas oilfield runoff basin.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:27 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGJMCCONNELL View Post
Does anybody have an opinion about "UNI-weld" or "Weld It" regulators? I have a Craftsman set and another that says Uni-weld and Weld-it on the regulators. I couldn't find anything on the torch handle. The regulators are heavy and made in USA and the guages are larger than my craftsmans. So which one is a better set-up? Thanks.

I have a few Uni-weld torches and a regulator set. They are small but work very well. I like them for getting into tight places, or working on small stuff. They are hard to find parts for other than going back to the Mfg. CJHeep is right it is a small family owned company, IIRC they are in FL.
I also have some Airco medium sized torches that have served me well. Airco merged with Concoa some time ago.

My large torches are Harris, they are propylene/oxy I like the Harris units a lot. Personally any of the big name companies have been around for a while for a good reason, they make good products.
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