Natural gas and oxygen

I just purchased a G-tech natural gas booster. Do I have to use oxygen with it to get a hot flame for fabrication?
Is compressed air an option?


Hello Jan,

This is Ed at G-TEC and the answer depends on the torch you have. Smith Little Torch, Meco Midget, Hoke, Swiss Torch all are meant to be used with oxygen but torches like the National or High Heat torches are designed to work with compressed air.

Either way with high pressure natural gas you will get much better performance from your torch.

Thanks for being a G-TEC customer!

Ed Howard
G-TEC Natural Gas Systems

What type of torch do you have?
A prestolite type torch uses ambient air,
if the torch has two lines, one fuel, one oxygen,
yes you need oxygen.
You can get a medical oxygen concentrator
that will work, or a tank of compressed air.
I have no experience and do not know
of anyone using a compressor.

Look at glass working torches that use air. Carlisle Machine has several. I have tried my Meco on street pressure NG and O2 as well as compressed air. The results weren’t satisfactory. I suspect that the same will be true for the Little Torch and Hoke. Talk to Paige Tools, they may have some ideas…Rob

I’ve used natural gas for fabrication and casting for decades. The pressure is the key. Here in Northern IL, the pressure is very good. If you want higher heat people switch from natural gas to acetylene in this area. WHat you will need is a check valve. It is all part of the safety issues we all deal with.

A few comments hopefully helpful or of interest re: several of the products mentioned.

The Meco Midget preforms O.K. on ‘residential’ natural gas pressure using Paige Tools Tips. The Little Torch does not. It needs a ‘little’ more pressure. A NG Booster, like the G-TEC, enables Torches to produce physically larger flames with higher BTU output. Another option for greater heat output, without a pressure booster, is using propane… also a clean fuel gas easy to work with.

Residential NG delivery pressure is commonly expressed in water column inches. About 7 water column inches is typical of the delivery pressure to residential customers. Equal to around ¼ PSI. Very low pressure! The Hoke Torch runs ‘O.K.’ on that pressure but its small flames, using ‘stock’ Hoke Tips, make it better for gold working than for silver. As mentioned the Meco with Paige Tips can also operate at that low pressure butt the Little Torch needs somewhat higher pressure. Changing to Paige Tips with either NG or Propane and the Meco, Little Torch & Hoke ‘really’ preform!

Compressed ‘air’ is not an option with these Torches because of their internal designs, made to work ‘only’ with oxygen and ones choice of fuel gas. Tip design is equally important for the best flame control and highest BTU output. Using a multi-port Tip allows NG & propane flames to burn correctly. With adequate gas pressure these Torches are ideal for jewelry making fabrication, general soldering and annealing needs.

Each Torch has it’s advocates and benefits. The same goes for fuel gas choices. Whichever combination you choose (Torch + fuel gas) be sure to match the Tip design to the fuel gas. Your Torch work will be easier, flame heat (BTU output) greater and flame control much smoother.


Hi Ed,

I finally got my torch working well. The flame only became yellow after
using it for a while.

Thanks for your help.


I set up my torch with oxygen and with a little help from Ed at G-tech, I’m getting comfortable with it.

Thanks for your clarification.


I got a set of Paige torch tips for my
girlfriends Meco torch and it has been a
game changer.
I have decades of experience soldering, she
has a few years.
I tried to explain what the flame should
be like, the tips she had for her Meco were not
producing the right flame and she was having
trouble, she did not understand, and I have
used a Smith little torch for decades with
propane and a compressed oxygen tank.
Apparently when someone gets
used to what they learned with in school, the
fact that she was struggling was not enough
for her to make any change.
When I put the Paige tip on her torch, I did
not say anything, she had better control
and much better success.
She uses propane and an oxygen

Glad to hear that you are up and running! As I said we purge our Torch Boosters with nitrogen before shipping so it takes a little time to work that through the system before you get a steady flow of natural gas.

Thank you for purchasing a G-TEC Torch Booster!

Ed Howard
G-TEC Natural Gas Systems
Office 1-800-451-8294
Cell 716-490-1766