I currently am using an air acetylene prest-o-lite torch but would
like to add a propane/oxygen torch to my toolbox. Can any of you
offer insight into any differences between the Smith Little Torch
and the Gentec Small Torch? Are the differences only the color and
the cost or is there something more substantial that I am missing?
Scott, the gentec torch is pretty much a copy of the smith. But at
least in my experience, the manufacturing quality of the gentec is
not as consistant. Many of them will be just fine, while others may
not be as precisely made.
Differences may be subtle if you don't have the other brand to
compare with, but things like the smooth operation and precision of
the valves may vary more with the Gentec.
I've found much the same with a number of other copies of well known
torches. The U.S. made Hoke torches, for example, are usually well
made good torches, and have a long history of being used by many
commercial jewelers. But you can also get an almost identical looking
Chinese made copy that frankly, is often a piece of junk. Nothing
quite so annoying as a torch with sloppy bad valves that don't hold a
setting, or leak, or otherwise don't work well.... I don't think the
Gentec are quite as bad as those chinese made Hoke copies have
sometimes been, but for my money, I'd go with the Smith, if only
because having used many of them over the last thirty five years,
never had one that wasn't a good tool, at least not until I pretty
much wore it out (which you CAN do with those delicate needle