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Smith little torch fire hazards

I just set up my Smith little torch with an oxycon.It uses propane as the fuel. I took all the precautions, from keeping the #20 cylinder on the balcony, flashback arrestor for the fuel line and a good quality regulator. I checked every part with soapy solution and the hose by submerging it in water.

I heard all kinds of stories with hoses exploding, catching fire, flashbacks. However, I am not sure that is something likely to happen with the little torch as we’re talking about such low pressures, compared to welding torches.

Has anyone here had a fire incident with the little torch so far?


Been using the Smith Little Tourch for many years, been through 2 of them and never a problem. I use mapp and oxygen disposable bottles. Treat the tourch well and it serves well. I always purge the hoses at the end of the day and check for leaks once a month or so.


Greetings Andrew,

I have been using the Little Torch (Oxy/Propane)for about a year and two months. I have other issues with the Little Torch but concerns about fires or blowbacks aren’t among them. When I used a prestolite torch (air/gas) I relied on the sound of the torch to judge heat and the force of the flame. It is very hard to do that with a Little Torch. so thats a part of the learning curve I am dealing with. I also find it too light which may sound odd but the right weight makes for easier control in many cases. Good luck with your work.

Be safe.

Don Meixner


I just bought a new set of torch and hoses to replace the one I’ve used for five years. No problems, just thought the time was right (and Rio was having a sale).

My set up uses what others have mentioned: an oxygen concentrator and a small 1lb. propane tank. It has worked very well for me.


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It is hard to say how long I have used the same small Smith Little Torch. Decades now, I would guess.
I trained on Hoke torches, and I still have several. If i was still doing casting myself, Hoke would still be my choice.
At some point, though, stores I where worked had Little Torches, and I adapted. Thry are small and light, and easy to hang close at hand on a very busy repair bench.
The Smith Little Torch has done every task i have ever asked of it. Not always without playing around a bit, but i have never had to use any other torch to achieve my goals.
I have replaced the hoses many time. I occasionally need to file, clean and reshape the tips, as they start to act up, but i have never had to replace the torch itself.
The fact that i have several is because i tend to colkrct tools, not because the torch has ever failed me.

Since i “retired” and opened a trade shop here in the farmhouse @3 years ago, i started using an oxygen concentrator and 1# propane bottles. I still have yet to encounter any job that this set up cannot handle.


I haven’t upgraded yet myself, but another artist I follow had a scare a couple weeks ago with hoses that had been in service for several years. A flashback arrestor saved the day, and they were told by Rio tech support that replacing the hoses annually is best. Made an impression on me for sure. Enjoy your new toy- I mean tool! :grin: