Smith little torch tips

I have had a little bit of an adventure with my smith little torch. I use the disposable propane and oxygen tanks and it had worked fine for several years. Then out of nowhere the damn thing would just go out whenever I turned on the oxygen. Not sure what happened, maybe they changed the pressure in the little disposable tanks. The problem was solved with a real oxygen tank and a regulator. Now it lights fine and i get a good flame. Unless i want to use the finest tips which I kind of need for soldering chain links. As i write this I have come to the realization that i may need a regulator that would allow me to turn the pressure down even more. I am open to suggestions of light duty regulators that allow me to turn the pressure way down. Thank you for your thoughts.

Paul –
You say “finest tips” but don’t say what sizes they are. If you’re trying to use tips #1, #2 and #3 with propane it’s going to be nearly impossible. Those sizes are even tricky to get going right with acetylene. I use a #4 tip with propane for chain with no problem.
– alonzo



Running a torch is much like soldering in that things have to be very clean with the system. Clean hoses, tips, and tanks. When working as a shipbuilder we knew that opening any tank for the first time we had to blow out the valves before we hooked up the regulators. Any small bit of dust in the valve would not do good things to the regulators. When I change a propane bottle I blow out the threads and the aperture before I put on the regulator. The O2 generator is much less of an issue but just the same I check for dust before I light it up. Another thought is the Smith Little regulators are not the same as a Victor regulator that reads in pounds in the tank and pounds at the torch valve. If you have blow back protection there is another source of dust and dirt contamination to consider.

I moved to a Smith Little Torch after years of using a Prest-o-Lite air/gas torch. I made the change because I was tired of not being able to get acetylene on the week end when I ran out of gas. Two years later I am still working on the learning curve. I haven’t found any concerns lighting any tips of any size with my rig. I use camp gas(propane) and an O2 generator. The little O2 bottles are way too pricey.



Thank you for the replies and the tips, ha tips. I usually use the #5 tip for general work. When I got some new disposable bottles of air it just wouldn’t light. My problem doing chain with the 5 tip was that it would cause the solder I had already put down to flow again and fuse the links together. I was hoping to use a smaller tip to keep the heat on the link but im working on. Saw a maker on line using a oxy-hydrogen water welder with a very tiny tip.

This may have been suggested, but have you tried just cleaning the tips? Put them in an ultrasonic for a while, boil them in water or just soak them in your rinse bucket. They can get very dirty. Also, take a look at the Paige Tools website. They make a very nice set of tips for many propane torches. There is a lot of good information there about tip selection and tip design theory. Good luck…Rob


If you haven’t gotten a propane regulator, that may be the problem, because the propane pressure on the preset regulators is at one selected pressure and it could be too much for your smallest tips. When I used a Little Torch, I didn’t have much trouble lighting the smaller tips even tho’ my regulator gauges could show down near zero…you can show zero on the gauge and still have enough pressure to light the torch. It’s just trial and error until you get the pressure low enough that the smallest tips don’t blow out.

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Well that did the trick. I turned the gauge down to zero and i can now light the smallest number tips. It really seems to help keep the heat on the chain link I’m working on