Smith little torch leak

My Smith little torch handpiece will not turn off my propane any longer. I can turn it all the way open and all the way close in the propane continues to leak out. What’s the answer question

Sorry I meant to say when I close the handpiece knob all the way down the propane continues to leak out. What is the next step. Replace the hose? I can’t find a handpiece sold separately…

Where is it leaking? If it’s coming out the torch tip, you probably need to replace the needle valve. Replacing the hose won’t help. Needle valves will wear out, especially if they’re closed down too hard.

Thanks Alex that’s exactly where it was leaking I appreciate the help

Get a better torch - I use and recommend the Meco Midget, others use the Hoke if you can find a US manufactured one. Smith little torches are infamous for failures such as this.

Hello Christina,
I agree with Alec - it seems to be a leaking valve although you could also have a very small pinhole in your hose. You can purchase a valve separately or just a hose replacement - here’s a link to copy and paste in your browser - Tools & Equipment > Soldering & Torches > Torches
I am not affiliated with any supplier of the aforementioned products. Hope this helps.

Regards the leak. A bit of soapy water will tell you if the leak is at the valve or in the hose. I developed a leak in my torch hose, Oxy side. I cut the hose in half and I went to a hobby store and got a piece of brass tubing that fits snugly in side the hose. slipped it all together and I am up and running.

Over all I am not thrilled with the quality of the Smith Little torch. I think it is made well of the cheapest materials possible. And the hoses are flimsy and easily damaged. I use them because I can get propane for it at 6:00 am on Sunday from any hardware or crooked kitchen cabinet store in the country. With damaged hands they are easy to hold. If it came to where I had to use something else I would go right back to the Presto Lite I have used for years. Right now the Little Torch works for me if I use good quality(Paige) tips and I am very careful.


I guess experiences vary. Or … maybe Smith has changed the quality of components over the years, but I have been using a Smith air Acetylene (silversmith) for years and never had an issue with it. No experience with the little torch… I’m using a Meco Midget with Paige tips for that. Don … my meco uses oxygen and propane … but I’m using a 5lb tank which you can’t get filled anywhere except a gas place. If you are using BBQ tanks you can use them with the Meco Midget propane/oxygen … I just didn’t want to keep a big tank in the shop. The Paige tips rock.

Brent I come from a work history with Smith torches. Both in fabrication shops and boatyards. Oxy-acetylene torches from Smith were just fine. My experience with the work of the Little Torch has been fine too. I am just not impressed with the materials used in the product. Like a lowest bidder scenario. I can buy rebuild kits for the Little Torch but maybe my point is I shouldn’t have to. My Presto-Lite gear(Air-Acetylene) is easily 50 years old and working fine. I could pull it from the shed and lite it up. I just didn’t want to have to wait a week end if the tank ran out on Friday. I have had the Little torch for less than a year and I have had to repair the hoses twice. And sometimes I think it is too light weight.

I looked at the Smith silversmith torch at one time but since my plan was to get away from Acetylene and I dropped that thought. My brother Rob uses the Meco Midget and is quite happy with it. I have a Hoke torch with Paige tips as well.

I like the Little torch from the flame to the work. Its that stuff between the O2 generator and the flame that I am underwhelmed by. I think the the Orca E-Z Torch is better made than The Little Torch but it doesn’t generate the heat needed and in my shop it is really only used for annealing metal.

Thanks for the comment.


Thank you to all that answered my question and help me figure out what to do. Right now I’m just going to replace the hose and that the handpiece. I’m not in a position where I can afford to buy another torch unfortunately. And thank you for the thumbs up about the Paige tips!

I had one out of the box with the same issue. And another one I used very briefly and had it leak from the tip. Was sent replacements fro Rio. I check mine occasionally by putting the tip in my quench water to see if it’s leaking.

I’ve had my Little Torch since 1992. Just last year I had to get my first set of replacement hoses. I have seen issues twice with the hose to handpiece connection, but that was fixed by cutting off the last inch of hose and reattaching.


Yeah, I’ve only used one for 36 years or so. I once split my hose when moving my tank. My local jewelers supply cut off a couple of inches, installed a new fitting and I was on my way in 10 minutes. The only problem I’ve had.

I suppose its just like everything else these days. Quality declines as folks try to compete with less expensive options. Don … well, what bad can you say about a Presto-lite :). I worked in a production shop in the 70s and that’s all we had. I have a small armada of them somewhere … lol. I do love the Smith Silversmith … I’d fight you over my Meco Midget :). There are few brands today you can count on for quality … Durston, Bonny Doon, Kevin Potter, Paige. I’ve been disappointed more than once from the major suppliers.

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Both of mine were leaking at the tip. The shut off valve wasn’t completely closing. I had one I used for 8 years and was great. Lost my house to a fire and the new ones leaked. I have one now that is working fine

Brent you are very correct. You can’t beat quality. And as far as the Presto set up I have nothing bad to say about it. Brother Rob is very pleased with his MECO torch as I am sure I would be. My Durston Mill was the best $1500.00 I spent 3 years ago. MY complaint about the Little Torch was never about what I could do with it. And my admiration for Rio’s customer service is very high as this blast from the past will state.

July 2018

  • "I used the Little Torch for awhile yesterday morning and was pleased but not overwhelmed with the set up. I also was irritated by a draft which I had never felt before. After searching I found a hole in the die of the oxygen line which blew on me constantly and lowered the line pressure on the O2 side. I called Rio Grande and told them of the problem with the defective hose.*

Rio Grande gets high marks for customer service. They had a RA certificate in my email and a NEW torch in my hands with in 24 hours. And as the new torch was dropped into my hands the defective torch was in The UPS Guys hands.

Now here is where the story gets fun. I worked on a bracelet this evening and all was well until I started to feel a draft. I picked up the hose and there was hole in the O2 line and also one in the Propane side. And there were tiny spider web type streamers going from the hose to the Paige Tip adapter. Every time I finished an operation I’d shut down the torch, hang it where I had always hung the Presto Torch, and thought nothing of it. While my back was turned the Paige Tip Adapter was busy melting my gas lines.

The only thing left to do was to swallow my pride and call up Rios Customer Service, talk to Jennifer, and eat some crow. That was bad enough but I mentioned on Orchid a week ago that in years of working on the building floor of a commercial boatyard I had never seen a gas line holed by the occasional hot bit of metal. And that I suspected that was as rare in the jewelry shop too.

At my insistence Rio is sending me back the first Little Torch and now I will have two.

So now I have to repair a few gas lines: advice on that is appreciated, go back to using the Presto to finish a few orders, and retrain myself to do something different with the way I handle my hot torch.

  • Make jewelry and have fun my friends. "*

I even gave my son a Little Torch, new hose kit, and my spare O2 generator for Christmas. (My son makes three generations of Meixners working at the bench.)

I just find the torch to be too light weight.


I bought my Little Torch sometime in the early `90’s. a (very) few years later the hoses deteriorated and I thought the replacement cost was rather high so I used 1/8" I.D. (I think) drip irrigation tubing. It’s been working great for the last ~25 years.
– alonzo

There should be gaskets, or “O” rings of some kind inside the hand piece. This could make a “nuclear bomb” out of your shop, so if you’re not familiar,…ask your local compressed gas supplier, as many have repair shops in house. Be sure your check valves work also. Lastly, if professional repairs are needed, they may exceed the price of a new torch head?..(just get a new one).Now don’t take insult, just asking…you do shut off the tank valves, and bleed out the lines through the torch head at the end of the day,…right? Good luck.

Yes thank you I do shut down the tanks And I do believe the lines. I just replaced the handpiece and the hoses but I’m gonna take your advice and do it again. Thanks for helping out

There have been a lot of very serious accidents with the cheap knock off little torches from ebay etc. Leaking valves flashing and seriously burnt operators also some of there hoses look the same but the O2 one cracks and leaks it isnt obvious as the hose has a cloth cover. This is when you do need GOOD flash back preventors. The real Smith ones are a well made torch and they provide genuine parts when needed.