Good torch to purchase for beginning silversmith

Hi All.

I have been working with silverclay, cold connections, beading and
wire wrapping for awhile now and am currently taking a
silversmithing level one class. I have been working with a handheld
butane torch, but feel it’s time to upgrade to something more
versatile to sue for soldering, annealing, etc. What kind of torch
would be suitable for a beginning silversmith, economical and safe
for a studio inside of my house?

Dawn Lawrence Floen
Sunshine INdustries

Dawn -

I personally like the Smith torch setup for acetylene. Goes on a "B"
tank (40 cubic ft), uses ambient air, so no oxygen tank. Prestolite
is another good manufacturer, though I’m not fond of their torch

You need the tank (it arrives empty), fittings specifically for that
tank, regulator, hose, torch handle and torch head. Rather than
buying the individual pieces, you can buy it as a kit. I find the
included torch head for the Smith is a size 00, way too small. I
commonly use a size 0 and a 3.

Spring for one of the electric spark units rather than the manual
torch lighter. It will make your life so much better. But it never
hurts to know how to use the manual one.

I used a setup like this for several years in my spare bedroom (aka
workshop) until I moved into a commercial storefront. Just use the
same safety procedures you would use in a workshop (ventilation,
tank mounted upright, torch safety) and you will fine at home.

Kelley Dragon

I have been using a presto Lite torch which is easy to find gases,
parts and tanks because plumbers often use this torch. They are very
safe and expandable.

Good Luck

actually nothing wrong with a butane torch for what you are doing.
but while theherd will say a smith little torch- do yourself a favour
and get a hoke with it’s set of metal tips and the adapter…it will
outpreform outlast and do as much as you’ll ever want to do with any
torch…if you want a fuel and room air torch a prestolite may be the
thing- if you want to go with the tiny torch users advice (as it will
be overwhelming as they are most common at schools etc) get a gentec
small torch- made better, cheaper and with interchangeable
tips (interchangeable with a smith)…rer

i’ll second/third on Hoke…been using the one i have since the late
80’s i reckon. light weight, versatile.

i blend ox/propane… suites my needs from soldering, reticulation,
some small casting.

can’t seem to find the other tips i got for it, but i did recently
get the micro flame adapter/tips, works really well for me.


I should say at the beginning I am not a jeweler but love
silversmithing as a hobby. I do my work inside the house(laundry
room) so I wanted to avoid a lot of hoses, regulators and oxygen
inside the house because of concerns with home owners insurance. I
limited my selection to propane tanks available at Home Depot. My
first torch was a Bernzomatic Mini Torch. This worked for most small
pieces. In order to get more versatility I went to an Otto Frei EZ
Torch with three different tips and have been happy so far. All of
these torches use the small propane tanks and don’t need oxygen or
any regulators.


I wanted to avoid a lot of hoses, regulators and oxygen inside the
house because of concerns with home owners insurance 

Checking with your home owner’s insurance is a good idea, but given
that oxygen is regularly used in homes for medical reasons, I can’t
imagine one that would quibble with that. Mine (Auto Owners) is fine
with the oxygen and the acetylene inside, but my propane tank has to
go outside each night. A bit of a pain, but workable. In some areas
it is acceptable to have the propane tank outside with it piped
inside, so that you turn it off each night and on again each day. I
was told that was not permitted in SC.

Your mileage apparently will vary widely!

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

Surprise surprise

Those little propane tanks from Home Depot DO have a crude regulator
built into the brass bit which screws onto the bottle.

Hoses are much nicer than swinging a pound of propane and tank
around the room. O2 is not flammable, that pile of oily rags in the
corner might be a problem with a major leak. Break the brass valve
off the tank and it is a rocket good for 1/2 mile or so, concrete
block walls will not slow it down.

If you want to solder you need lots of heat. Period, you need to
burn some gases which might scare some. But walking by the local
coffee shops I see a couple of welders trucks with more gas bottles
than I would use in a year.

The gasoline stored for the lawn mower and snow blower and boat have
more explosive potential. The 20 gal tank in the car used to pick up
all this nasty stuff makes everything else look nice and safe.

Knowledge is good, respect is required, but fear is not useful.

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

I started with this one:

I also got the the No.3 tip ‘just in case’ and it’s proved useful
for firing enamels and will come in very handy once I start
experimenting with casting. (It’ll melt stuff quickly!).

More than hot enough for my use (Silver & enamel).


Also check with your local Fire Marshal/ Fire dept inspectors