I bought a swiss torch with both the micro (hypo needles) and
standard (hoke style) tips a while ago when my old U.S. made Hoke
finally died, and I couldn’t find a usable chinese made new one.
Besides, being a tool junkie, I was seduced by the good looks of the
Frankly, I was a bit disappointed. Using the city gas and oxygen
supply our building has (where I work, not my home shop, where I use
propane), my old Hoke with a larger tip could easily melt small
platinum ingots by fusing bits together in a depression on a wesgo
type soldering pad. To be blunt, the swiss torch simply won’t do
this. Not even close. Even with it’s largest tip, melting more than a
small bit of platinum seems beyond it’s ability. Not sure why this
should be the case. Same gas supply and pressures, essentially the
same tip sizes. But the old Hoke simply put out more heat, presumably
from higher gas flow rates.
The Swiss torch is a fine and precise jewelers torch for typical
benchwork jewelry needs. But I would not recommend it for any sort of
larger silversmithing such as your illustrated repair.
I note that Otto Frei also sells what looks like a similar torch
only called the German Torch. Apparently, at least reading their
description, it’s capable of more heat, but I’m only going on what
the web site says.
Personally, I’d recommend a Meco Midget. Cheaper, a wider range of
tip sizes and types, and it’s a kick ass torch when you need to do
some serious heating, as well as being capable of fine precision work
when you need that, and use a suitable smaller tip…
I got through grad school including a fair amount of somewhat larger
silver construction pieces, easily on the scale of your illustrated
piece, using a Meco midget. Seldom needed anything more except for
very large work or annealing larger pieces where a soft air/gas torch
was available. And in my home shop now, I use the meco the most. I’ve
also got a larger casting/melting torch and a little torch, but the
meco is my mainstay for most work. One of these days I’ll probably
take the time to swap out the swiss torch at work for another
hope that helps.