small o/a torch preferences?

Hello; There's 3 commonly available torches on the north american market that are meant to be used for the smaller jobs. Victor,harris and smith all make small torches with the valves up top to make easier control of the mixture. Anyone have any preferences on the 3 torches? Am working on a project that's going to use small dia thin wall tubing- a recumbent bike frame and need an excuse to buy a smaller torch. Thanks Pat

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I like my Smith's ... Just wish it had more than one welding tip . Ah well , what can a guy expect for 50 bucks at a pawn shop ? Handle , one cutting tip , one welding tip (#2 I think) and that included a pair of single stage regulators - but no hose .

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Terry Coombs

I have a small Harris torch and it works well for me. One of the best metal workers I've seen uses the Meco Midget. Look at this site.

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Tom Wait

Go to and take a long look at the Meco Midget. I'm very happy with mine. You couldn't give me a Harris.


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I think a Meco Midget would work well for you. It would be my first choice for that sort of work. I use mine for about 90% of my O/A work.

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Don Foreman

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Bill Noble

I've got a Victor aircraft torch and like it.

Two things to check, though.

One: does the layout of the hose connections allow you to use anti- flashback check valves at the torch? The Victor torch, when I got it many years ago, required that the valves be placed at the regulator. Things may have changed - new connections or smaller check valves.

Two: comparative cost of tips. The Victor tips were up around $40 each the last time I checked. Don't know if the others are the same.

John Martin

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I've got Victor and the Smith Little Torch for really small stuff. Victor, because it's what was cheap at an auction and I later found out that every welding supply in town had parts for it. Only one weld supply has tips for Smith and only cutting tips. Nobody carries Harris. Yeah, you can get stuff off the internet for just about anything, old or new, but it's nice to walk into a place and they've got what you need, no shipping needed. I have the mid-size handle, tips down to 000 were available for it, I have the full set of welding tips for it. My dad had a Harris set, I found the handle to be very heavy to use, and hard to manipulate. Just my opinion. Buy what you can get support for.

If you are going to braze, the Little Torch had a ring burner for doing tubing, works very well. Don't know if it's still available, though, if I like it, it's discontinued, pronto. Takes longer to purge the hoses than to do most silver-brazing jobs.


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Meco Midget. A joy to use. It will also support a big enough tip that you don't have to switch back and forth to a regular sized torch very often.

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Jim Stewart

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