Torch Comparison
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  1. #1

    Torch Comparison

    Hello......I am fairly new to welding/brazing and have been doing copper sculptures. Primarily full bodied copper fish. I am looking at Victor Performer torch or Meco Midget torch. Can anyone make a recommendation of which may be the better of the two? Or a different brand/model is fine too. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Barre Town, VT
    Posts
    861

    Re: Torch Comparison

    How thick is the copper? I’d lean towards the Victor just because copper is such a good conductor of heat the Midget torch might not be able to pump enough heat into the parts. But that is just a guess on my part not knowing more about the project. Also full disclosure, I really like the Victor torches and have never actually used the Meco Midget so my bias is towards what I know works for me.
    My "collection":

    Homemade Stick Welder
    Victor O/A Torch
    AC 225
    Ideal Arc 250

    HF 90 Amp Flux Core
    HF Mig 170
    Solar 2020 Plasma Cutter
    Power i-Mig 140E
    Harris O/A torch
    HF Dual Mig 131
    140ST
    Alpha Tig 200x

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    643

    Re: Torch Comparison

    I have used neither (not available around here anyway), but if you have the opportunity, try a Dillon/Henrob/Cobra 2000/DHC 2000 torch. It has changed name as different companies has sold them through the years, but it has been around for something like 40 years now. DHC 2000 is the current name, unless I've missed something - you can see plenty of demos of it on youtube.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northwest Missouri
    Posts
    1,074

    Re: Torch Comparison

    OK, here goes the great AO torch debate again.

    I own a Victor, as a matter of fact I own several Victors. From the J-40 torch up to the Journeyman. Great torches and they have served me well for 40 plus years.
    I own a MECO Midget that haas welded, brazed, and soldered a few thousand miles of joints in the past 30 years. Very small and nimble torch. The forward valves make single handed and on the fly heat adjustments a really versatile little torch.
    I also own a couple of Smith Aircrafter torches. Again the front valve make them a good choice for art, auto body, and airframe work. Also have the little baby Smith jewelers torch, but it is so specialized for extremely light duty I only use it for artwork.
    I also own a few Harris torches of differing models and they also work great.

    Basically I pair the torch to the work being done. The MECO is just as capable as the Victor in welding capacity with the Victor hedging the Midget if you need a cutting head. I prefer the Midget for general brazing and welding, as its small size allows for getting into tight spots. I fire off the Victor anytime I need the rosebud for heating or the cutting head.

    I won’t address the cobra/henrod/doc/whatevertheyarecallingit . I’ve own several over the years, as a result of several shop buy outs and surplus deals. I have tried them and they are awkward to use and totally worthless for any meaningless production work. Just a gimmick to sucker in the garage journal set.

    BTW. I use Victor dual stage regulators for all my torches with the exception of the Smith Jewelers torch which is on a baby set of burglar bottles.

    Basically buy a quality torch and learn to use it.
    Roger
    Old, Tired, and GRUMPY

    Salesman will call, Batteries not included, Assembly is required, and FREE ADVICE IS WORTH EXACTLY WHAT YOU PAY FOR IT!

    Dial Arc 250HF
    Thunderbolt 225 AC/DC

    Assorted A/O torches

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Not there
    Posts
    2,614

    Re: Torch Comparison

    There is no debate. Old Victors are the deal. You can buy all the tips, rosebuds etc from welding city. They're fine.Get decent regs...........the cutmasters are OK. The Smiths are batter for thin/fine work. Cobra pistols are a bunch of BS like Jessica James and his nonsense

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    8,329

    Re: Torch Comparison

    Smith I think are still made in USA. Victor is just as good. Both have a couple of rosebud sizes if that matters . I would definitely invest in a full size setup.
    Check with local supplier and get package deal with tanks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    bar stool
    Posts
    1,621

    Re: Torch Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    Smith I think are still made in USA. Victor is just as good. Both have a couple of rosebud sizes if that matters . I would definitely invest in a full size setup.
    Check with local supplier and get package deal with tanks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Smith WAS American made.

    ITW crap with the name Smith on it is made wherever is cheapest in the 3rd world.
    ITW uses a lower grade of brass & cheap labor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Aiken SC area
    Posts
    1,087

    Re: Torch Comparison

    If you go to Baker's gas, weld my world blog there is an interesting bit of info regarding where these two pieces of equipment are made. May surprise you. Found in archive of 4/1/17. Bob
    Last edited by rhunt; 11-11-2018 at 08:59 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    8,329

    Re: Torch Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil5 View Post
    Smith WAS American made.

    ITW crap with the name Smith on it is made wherever is cheapest in the 3rd world.
    ITW uses a lower grade of brass & cheap labor.
    Smith IS MADE IN USA !!!! Here's my local supplier that has given me great prices. Maybe use for comparison near you. Victor has a REBATE .


    https://www.weldersupply.com/P/317/S...eteMediumDutyO

    https://www.weldersupply.com/C/5/Gas...ttingEquipment

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    city of Four Flags
    Posts
    1,731

    Re: Torch Comparison

    To me a cutting torch is like a cordless tool.....I use what is comfortable for me.
    I don't like the feel of a Victor and I don't like how Harris cuts. I like my Smith, both 2 piece and one piece.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    city of Four Flags
    Posts
    1,731

    Re: Torch Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil5 View Post
    Smith WAS American made.

    ITW crap with the name Smith on it is made wherever is cheapest in the 3rd world.
    ITW uses a lower grade of brass & cheap labor.
    Blah, blah, blah same ragging on ITW.....we get it, you had a bad experience with ITW at some point.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    bar stool
    Posts
    1,621

    Re: Torch Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by vwguy3 View Post
    Blah, blah, blah same ragging on ITW.....we get it, you had a bad experience with ITW at some point.
    If you got it I wouldn't need to splain to you ITW is a giant holding company that whores everything they buy and hold.
    Go forth and read the ITW 80/20 policy mayhaps you can understand ITW don't give a dam about you or anybody.

    The whoring of Smith is just the most recent chapter.

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