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Gentec vs Smith Torch


#1

All,

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?

Thanks,
Scott


#2
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,
I’ve
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
valves).

Peter Rowe


#3

Possibly, the Gentech is a indifferently made piece of Chinese mass
production that is produced solely to reach the bottom dollar price
point and the Smith is a precision tool made with exacting quality
standards and controls. If you feel comfortable running flammable,
potentially explosive gases through an item with questionable
quality control to save a few bucks go right ahead. I am not above
buying Chinese tools and I don’t have an ax to grind with the
Chinese. Actually I am in awe of their past cultural achievements.
But their current manufacturing processes control and quality are so
wildly variable that I will not buy any precision tools from them. A
cheap hammer, a tool that I need for a one time job or one that will
be horribly abused maybe, but where safety, precision or reliability
is important, no way will I buy Chinese.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#4

Dear Scott,

I have used the Smith little torch (propane/oxygen) for 15 years with
the #7 tip. It is very versatile and I would highly recommend it. The
benefit to the Smith is with the small disposable tanks. They make it
a very portable torch that can be used and stored, if properly shut
down after use, indoors. (Like in a high-rise condo studio, without
breaking fire codes in the states of Washington and Wisconsin.)

But, I have also reviewed the Gentec for the magazine in the March
2005 issue. The benefit to Gentec is the longer hoses (4ft. more
length) and a much better design on the regulators if you are using
larger tanks. The nozzle attaches to the tank off the back of the
regulator rather than off the side, making it far easier to install
without banging your knuckles on the gauges. The regulator are also
more clearly marked for ease of use. The hand piece on the Gentec is
longer with a bit more weight to it, which some people might like and
others might not. The tips are the same and the performance is
virtually the same.

The Gentec hand piece and hoses could be hooked up to disposable
tanks as well but you’d might have to buy the Smith single valve
regulators since I have not seen Gentec single valve regulators.

Hope this helps!

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#5

Nanz,

Gentec has a single valve regulator for disposable tanks which I use
with propane/O2. I got mine from Contenti.

Brian Corll
Brian Corll, Inc.
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055