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Propane or acetylene

At home I’ve a simple propane torch from the hardward store which
has been ok for the past few years for what I’ve been doing, but the
tip can’t be changed. soldering is out of the question.

I’ve been using Smith’s acetylene/atmospheric air systems torches in

I need to get a better torch at home and wonder about

the acetylene/atmospheric system or the propane systems which look
to need oxygen…

OR the Swiss Torch set in Rio’s catalog

which uses propane—does it need extra oxygen, or will it work fine
with only a propane tank?

I’m confused and can’t seem to get the “search” to find anything for

Any suggestions, links, search engine directions would be much


Unless you will want to weld steel at some time in the future, where
oxygen and acetylene is mandatory, then oxygen and propane will do
everything youll ever need in heating soldering etc.

As to where to go for a torch, try a industrial welding supplier,
youll get to see the torches maybe ever get to see it working, and
these come with different tips for different flame sizes. Get the
smallest one available to start with.

also they will have the regulators, hoses and tanks for these 2

You should get professional tools even if they cost more to start
with than the hardware depot types.

This type of handpiece will last you all your working life.

Hi Linda

the acetylene/atmospheric system or the propane systems which look
to need oxygen.... 

We tend to agree with Ted and like using the propane oxygen systems.
They burn cleaner and have plenty of heat.

OR the Swiss Torch set in Rio's catalog 

This a great torch, it runs on Propane or Natural gas and Oxygen or
compressed air (there is only one head that will work with
compressed air though, so that may be a little limiting). Using
oxygen with interchangeable heads, you can go from jobs needing
needle size flames to casting platinum. It’s a very versatile torch.

I hope this helps. If you have more questions, call us, Live chat us
via our website, or email us and we’ll help in anyway we can. We
also have quitea few videos on torches on our website, so follow the
link and click on the “Video, projects and more” tab. We’re about to
release a Soldering 103 video were I talk about the different
torches, so look for that soon.

Mark Nelson
Rio Grande Technical Support

I’ve noticed that the best prices on the the large torches are from
online welding supply companies. I bought a very nice versa smith
torch for large volume needs like open crucible casting, and I use
two y connectors on my propane and oxygen lines that split to my
gentech (copy of little torch). For small needs. The versa torch
tips are more expensive than I would have thought but I am very
pleased with the quality. I highly suggest this dual set up to any
beginner or hobbyist like me because it gives you lots of abilities
without too much expense. You will be glad you did. Don’t limit
yourself. The only challenge I found was buying the oxygen tank. Look
for new ones on Craigslist. Or be prepared to pay 300 or near from a

Rick Powell


a basic jewellery torch is the ORCA it connects directly to an LPG

It comes with 3 tips. Only problem is it needs to be lit every time
it is used.

Personally I prefer a brazing torch with a pilot light that uses LPG
with bellows.

It depends on what you are doing. For rings and small pendants a
small butane torch can work well. Really good for soldering
jumprings. Check out Leonid Surpin’s blog on his torch adaption. It
really has some power.

I think on this topic you will get many replies as there are many

Xtines Jewels