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Prestolite vs Victor Turbotorch

Hi, All!

I am currently shopping for an acetylene-air torch. Had my eyes on
the prestolite in the Gesswein catalogue (4 tips included. When I
called one of the local welding suppliers for prices on prestolites
and B-tanks, one of the proprietors told me that I would be better
off getting a Victor Turbo Torch (with 2 tips), as the flame is
hotter than a standard acetylene-air torch. The price of the Victor
is nearly twice as high as the prestolite.

Do any of you have experience with the Victor Turbotorch? Is it
that much better than the Prestolite? Any advice you have to offer
is appreciated.

Phoenix, Arizona


A turbotorch does have a hotter flame but the flame comes out with
a greater force, I suspect that for small work it would have a
tendency to push small pieces around. It is the tool of choice for
many Plumbers to sweat pipes together.

Personally I think that it would not be very usable for jewelry
work (sterling?). You might try calling up some of the local
Plumbers and see if somebody has an old Prestolite torch they would
be happy to sell. PS. I do Air Coditioning work and work with
Plumbers and use a Turbotorch occasionally.

I am unfamiliar with the Victor Turbotorch, but I do have a Smith
acetyelene/air system which I really like. The flame is very even
and the range of tip assortment is greater than Prestolite. Smith
is available through Rio. Although they are the same Smith Company
that makes large welding torches, you might be able to contact them
directly through your welding supplier.

Spring in New England, warm and dry. Six Cardinals in my trees.

Karen Christians
Fly Fish Design
282 Lexington St.
Woburn, MA 01801


Current Artwork:

Control, not Heat, is what you want… The Turbo-torch is
designed for plumbers to be able to Sweat a pipe joint, say, in an
old wooden house,VERY quickly. Its, maybe, a little clumsy for
jewelry work. A smaller, more “aim-able” torch is preferred. The
Prest-O-Lite is the better of the two. I might recommend the
Smith Handi-Heat Propane torch in the Rio Grande catalogue.
(Keeping in mind the previous"threads" concerning storing a
propane in doors) The Propane is cheap and easy to find. The
acetylene “B” tank isn’t always easy to find. Just MHO, Eben Lenz


What are you going to use the torch on??? What metal, what sizes.
If you are not working gold or platinum, the temperature reached
by most torches is more than enough for silver work. If you have a
screeming hot but very tiny flame, you will find silver work very
difficult as the entire piece has to be heated and silver is a
great heat sink and you will not be able to get the work area hot
enough to get the solder to flow well. If the pieces are large, you
need to be able to apply A LOT of BTU’s so you will need a
relatively large torch flame. Even small silver work is difficlut
if you have a mini torch and a small tip as there just are not
enough BTU’s leaving the torch tip to heat the work properly. Gold
on the other hand works with a small very hot flame as one does not
have to heat the entire piece to solder it, just the work area.
Hope this helps.

Might suggest that you see if you can try different torchs at the
welding supply house. Try a local college and see if they have a
jewelry dept and ask if you could try some of their torches so you
can find what works best for what you are doing.


John and Cynthia/MidLife Crisis Enterprises
Maiden Metals/C. T. Designs/ Bloomin’ Wax Works. etc.

PO Bx 44, Philo
CA 95466
Ph 707-895-2635 FAX 707-895-9332

The playfulness of the Universe
is reflected in the dance of the stars!


Funny how things work out — I have an outfit which I think is
similar to the Victor you describe. Then I saw a heat and air man
working on a heat pump at the office yeswterday who had a plastic
caddy and torch with a big “Turbotorch” emblem on it. As those who
have replied to you have implied, the torch I’m familiar with is an
acetylene-oxygen torch. Mine came with a fairly small Victor
Firepower torch. There is a small tip available for this torch and
I got one but then changed to a Smith Little Torch which I hooked
to my Victor caddy and tanks. I think the small tip on the
Firepower might be workable for larger silver pieces. I didn’t use
mine much before I changed, and I’m not much of a silversmith, so
can;t give any expert advice. What I did end up doing was to get
two “Y” adapters for the lines and a rosebud tip for the Firepower.
Now I have a portable setup for the bench or for casting. Since
the Turbotorch was a $75 investment at the pawnshop, it was a
great deal. Only one I ever saw for sale in a pawnshop. Maybe not
such a good deal if you have to buy list at $500 or so. If I had
it to do over, I might have gotten the Hoke, which some on the list
have indicated you can make small tips for by soldering syringe
needles to the end of a tip — cheaper than little torch.

You might haunt the pawnshops for an acetylene-air outfit, I seem
to see more of those (sometimes torch only) for sale in the

Roy (Jess)

the temperature reached by most torches is more than enough for silver

I’m not sure I agree with the above statement. I tried a Burnz-o-matic
(with pencil point) and found that nothing could be soldered. I make
pieces that are more than 1"x 1" I suppose that if one is making items
that are less than a quarter of an inch (square) or just doing prongs or
chains, then yes, one could use any torch.

Torch suggestions are only relative to the size of work . . . if you’re
doing silversmithing (and making pieces larger than 1/2" x1/2" then you
will need a relatively large flame . . . you don’t want to BURN, you want
to solder which requires heating the entire piece - not just a spot.

Gold and other precious metals also require a different torch.

For Silver - the Prestolite is a fine torch!!!

The acetylene “B” tank isn’t always easy to find.

The “B” tank can be found at any welders supply. Most can be located in
the Yellow Pages under WELDER SUPPLY. Some will even deliver without
extra charges . . . (IN the USA.)

You might haunt the pawnshops for an acetylene-air outfit, I seem :
to see more of those (sometimes torch only) for sale in the :
pawnshops. : : Carefully!!! many of the pawned units will have
defective regulators (the expensive part) recommend written trial period
&/or expert help in selecting