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Which torch to upgrade to? Centec or Smith Little Torch

Hi! I want to upgrade my torch as I have a uniweld acetylene that I can’t find tiny tips for. I’m looking at either upgrading with just acetylene to the Smith Silversmith or go for a oxy acetylene setup. I think I’ve decided to go oxy acetylene for the broader range of applications and I’m wondering if anyone can give me an opinion on the Centec oxy acetylene setup that is like the Smith Little torch except $200 less. I haven’t found any reviews yet for the Centec setup.

No idea but love my Smith LT​:+1:t3::sunglasses::heart:

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Hi Drew,
I think you meant the Gentec torch…it looks like a clone of the Smith LT…I guess you are aware that there are LT clones from China for as little as $29, right? I believe people complain about their valves not working well, but it wouldn’t cost you much to try one…I like my Hoke and I see used ones for sale on eBay for about $35, and they will probably be the older ones made in the USA. You can get the mini-tip kit for the Hoke (~$26) along with standard tips and the acetylene tips will work with propane and give you a flame that looks suspiciously like the Paige tips…the Hoke is a little heavier than the LT, but has tips just as small as the LT, so I suppose what feels good in your hand has something to do with it. I’m not sure that I would scrimp on this most basic tool which you will use all the time…I’d get what I really liked and maybe economize by buying used. A small butane torch would do many things and give you time to search for your heart’s desire. -royjohn

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As an air/gas (Prestolite) torch user for decades and a recent convert to the Smith Little Torch I can offer a few things to consider.

Firstly the purchase of the torch is only the start. The Gentech and Little Torch kits are not that far apart in price. Contenti has Gentec and Smith kits with similar appointments about $25.00 dollars apart in price.

Do you plan to use bottle O2 or will you buy an O2 generator? This is a much covered conversation in this forum.

The tips that come with the Small Torch are pretty basic but serviceable. Paige makes tips that are fine tuned sources of heat. Think the difference between a Pinto and a Porsche. Both get the job done. That said Paige tips can be delicate. If I am going to use a lot of steady heat for a long time I use the basic tip from Smith.

They are called Small Torches because they are small. Small means light weight but small can also be difficult to hold if your hands are messed up by arthritis, injury, or just age.

There is a learning curve in going from an air/gas torch to an O2/Propane/acetylene torch. Just learning the mixtures of gas to O2 is a lot of time invested. I am still in that phase a year latter.

And will they do the work you expect them to do?

This is certainly the place to ask the questions but nothing is better than hands on. Is there a near by smith that will let you try their torches?

Good luck with your search.

Don Meixner

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If you’re willing to go to slightly larger tanks, you might check out propylene. I believe it has a lower carbon content, and therefore less problems with contamination of the melt. The larger tanks last a long time, but are more expensive; you (I believe would need a different regulator. Good luck.

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