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Gas for little torch

Hi everyone - I am currently using a prest-o-lite torch with
acetelyne/air, and have been for 2 and a half years. Fabrication is
the type of work I do. I am wanting to move on to a little torch so
that I do smaller work with less stress. I have heard many good
things about this torch. After looking in the Rio grande catalog, I
have a couple of questions:

  • Should I use propane/oxygen or acetelyne/oxygen and why?

  • I’ve heard that propane has a “cleaner” flame. What does this

Any feedback on this would be of great help. Your posts are always
very informative. Thanks for being so willing to share your
knowledge. Sarah Philbeck

Hello Ron! I have used a little torch for… 2 months and have
switched to prest-o-lite, which I prefer. I’m in creating jewelry
exclusively. I bought an acetylen / oxygen little torch kit and the
reason you have been told that propane is cleaner than acetylen is
that when you light up the gas (acet.), black soot comes out of the
flame, so you have to be very quick dosing on the oxygen or else it
will snow in your workshop (it happened to me many many times). If
you have a ventilation system (something I didn’t at that time), you
will be able to get rid of the soot very easily, so it won’t snow…
Once oxygen is mixed with the acetylen, the flame becomes as clean
as the acet./air combination. Acetylen and oxygen produce a very hot
flame, hotter than the propane / oxygen combo, but it seems the
latter is hot enough to melt platinum (as told in one of today’s

I still have my little torch kit with both regulators that I could
sell you if you want. I won’t be using it anymore since I can
produce everything I want with prest-o-lite. I’d make a good
price… Write me back if you need more info on my email address.

Have a nice day!
Benoit Hamel

Dear Sarah, I went to propane when I started platinum working. The
carbon in the acetylene can contaminate platinum so if that is in
your future go with propane. I also like the propane because it is in
general more available and does not produce “carbon rain”. I
occasionally miss the intensity of the oxy/acetylene but very seldom.
Sam Patania, Tucson

Ron I have been using the little torch for years (about 20) with
acetylene and oxy. My preference. When I started working with
Platinum I just added a propane tank with a regulator. Now I use
both. I still prefer oxy acetylene but like the option and the cost
to add a propane tank with the regulator is minimal. Frank Goss