The 8 Best Cutting Torch Kits

Updated April 24, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

8 Best Cutting Torch Kits
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Oxy-acetylene torches are extremely hot and incredibly versatile. Not just capable of cutting and welding a variety of metals, they can be used for hardfacing, fire polishing, removing seized bolts, and much more. Our selection of high-temp kits includes multiple styles and designs, one of which is sure to be perfect for your next job. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best cutting torch kit on Amazon.

8. STKUSA Victor-Type

With all the components required to undergo small projects, the STKUSA Victor-Type offers light-duty metalwork capabilities in a very affordable package. It's perfect for beginners, artists, or DIY enthusiasts with the occasional need for a high-temperature flame.
  • 15-foot hose provided
  • cut or weld or heat using 5 nozzles
  • not suitable for heavy use
Model pending
Weight 16 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Hobart ToughCut

With its handle, cutting attachment, and regulators made of solid brass, the versatile and budget-oriented Hobart ToughCut offers quality construction at a great price. A medium-duty setup, it can weld metal items as thick as half an inch.
  • can operate on propane
  • reverse flow check valves
  • attachments get extremely hot
Brand Hobart
Model 770502
Weight 16.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

6. Medalist 350

With an incredible range of functions, Victor offers this multipurpose solution to a variety of personal and professional projects. Cutting-edge proprietary regulator technology and a respected manufacturer ensure that the Medalist 350 is a great choice for any craftsman.
  • can also use propane or natural gas
  • ergonomically designed torch handle
  • higher-priced than similar kits
Brand ESAB
Model 0384-2692
Weight 17.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Forney 1707

With three nozzles for welding, one for cutting, and one for heating, the Forney 1707 is a good choice for light- or medium-duty metalwork. Solid brass regulators, a tip-cleaning tool, and protective goggles make this a complete package for many tasks in the workshop.
  • victor-type attachments
  • built-in check valves
  • hose works for multiple fuel types
Brand Forney
Model 1707
Weight 15 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Victor Performer

Designed for small to mid-sized jobs, the Victor Performer offers reliable and precise heat combined with the solid construction of an esteemed brand. The included welding goggles and internal safety mechanisms give this pro-level set a great value.
  • moderately priced and versatile
  • attachments for multiple tasks
  • standard quarter-inch fittings
Brand ESAB
Model 0384-2045
Weight 15.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Harris Steel Worker

The included soft-sided carrying bag helps to easily transport and organize the high-temperature tools that make up the medium-duty Harris Steel Worker, a reliably-constructed set that comes complete with a 20-foot hose and welding goggles.
  • brass and stainless steel build
  • great for personal or pro use
  • contains cutting and welding tips
Brand Harris
Model 4403224
Weight 16 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Thoroughbred GasPony1

Packing intense heat into a convenient package, the Thoroughbred GasPony1 includes every component needed to tackle myriad personal and professional cutting and welding tasks. Transport is made easy with a freestanding caddy built of high-impact plastic.
  • empty tanks included
  • dot certified safe
  • victor-type compatibility
Brand Thoroughbred
Model TB-GP1
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Victor Journeyman

From an industry leader offering incredible performance and precision, the Victor Journeyman provides truly professional capabilities and top-of-the-line safety and reliability. This heavy-duty setup allows for skilled metalsmiths to make perfect quality cuts and welds.
  • great for large jobs
  • includes five tips
  • integrated flashback arrestors
Brand ESAB
Model 0384-2036
Weight 22 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

The Vast Power Of Flame

Humans have been using heat to join metal since ancient times. In the Iron Age, metalworkers widely adopted the earliest welding practices. The early forge welders used partially smelted iron ore heated in simple furnaces and then hammered together. In the last century, technology has advanced the field of metalworking just like it has many areas. Now even the home artisan can easily join together a wide range of metals at temperatures reaching thousands of degrees.

Blazing-hot temperatures at one's fingertips have a number of useful applications. A typical oxy-acetylene setup produces a flame as hot as 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Military, industrial, and artistic outfits have used these systems for decades, manufacturing durable and expressive pieces. The ability to chemically rip through hardened alloys makes demolition and salvage jobs easy when they might otherwise be impossible. The relative portability of a gas torch lets field operators use these tools in place of bulky angle grinders and welding generators.

Since all they do is burn two gasses, oxy-fuel torches are among the simplest and most versatile tools in the garage. Using the proper tips, they can burn through metal as thick as eight inches or more using pressurized oxidation. With proper care, they're a safe and straightforward way for skilled metalworkers and artists to manipulate steel and other alloys.

What Happens When The Torch Is Lit

A simple blowtorch uses a bottle of pressurized gas and ignites it as it mixes with atmospheric oxygen. That will only get your flame up to around 3,500 degrees. Cutting torches differ in one crucial way. In addition to the pressurized fuel, an additional tank of pressurized oxygen is fed to the nozzle. This allows for the efficient burning of fuel gasses even more volatile than propane.

The process isn't too complex. Equal-length hoses feed pressurized fuel and oxygen to a nozzle with a pressure regulator. For welding purposes, the fuels burn together in order to bring both metal pieces to the same high temperature. When they're pressed together, the opposing metal molecules diffuse around each other, forming a metallic bond. Under the right conditions, this bond can be even stronger than the individual metals themselves — in poor welds, the bonds are often weaker.

When cutting metal, the fuel gas is used alone to heat the metal past its ignition point. Pressurized oxygen is applied, turning the burning iron into iron oxide. This melts away at half the temperature of iron, leaving a quick and clean incision.

There have been a few different fuels used in cutting torches in the last few decades. Gasoline, propylene, and MAPP Gas have mostly lost favor. Pure hydrogen is a useful fuel, particularly because it works at extremely high pressures and is therefore useful underwater. Because the main byproduct of burning hydrogen and oxygen is water, it's perfect for sensitive processes that require the flame to be free of contaminants.

In addition to underwater (or bariatric) welding, oxyhydrogen is suitable for working with impurity-free laboratory equipment (especially glass components), as well as crafting high-value precious materials or heat-polishing of acrylic glass. However, it can't be used to weld ferrous alloys because residual hydrogen from the oxidation process can make the metal brittle.

The most popular choice for most home and professional users is acetylene, a simple chemical made up of two carbon and two oxygen atoms. It's not cheap, but it burns cleanly, is readily available in most countries, and the vast majority of torch options on the market are designed for it.

Also of important note is propane, usually mixed with butane. It's not ideal for welding, but thanks to its burning tendencies, it's great for heating and can cut faster than other fuels, though usually not as cleanly. Propane is cheaper and easier to transport than acetylene, and a lot of models easily convert to its use.

Isn't All That Heat And Pressure Dangerous?

Not if you're careful. Like many other highly effective tools today, these machines can cause disaster when used carelessly. But proper knowledge, technique, and respect make using these products perfectly safe.

Following a few important rules helps keep everyone and their welding equipment from exploding. For starters, the acetylene itself isn't just collected in an empty metal tank. A solid absorbing material such as wood fibers or diatomaceous earth takes up much of the space in these special reservoirs. Because acetylene is extremely volatile under pressure, acetone is used as a solvent medium to safely store the gas in the empty space left in the container.

Because of this relatively complex storage method, acetylene canisters must always remain upright. Should you tip one over, simply make sure to store it upright for as long as it was on its side. This lets you safely use the unit after the fuel mixture settles back to the bottom of the tank.

There's also the matter of the order in which you turn on and off the gas nozzles. Always turn off the oxygen valve first when using an oxy-acetylene setup. This keeps the excess fuel from backfiring into the hose and building up carbon soot or, worse, mixing and igniting fuels inside or outside the supply lines. That could have deadly results. The opposite can be true when using alternate fuel types; harsher fuels are less volatile but can release fumes corrosive to living tissue. Consult your specific model's user manual for the proper order of operations.

Also, most advanced units today employ flashback arrestors to keep gasses in their supply hoses, preventing dangerous combustion. There are a few different styles of arrestors that prevent burnback of volatile fuels and cut off gas sources in the event of increased fuel temperatures or combustion shockwaves.

As long as you follow directions, wear the right goggles, and treat these tools with respect, you can cut and weld like a pro in total safety.

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Last updated on April 24, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

A traveling chef, musician, and student of the English language, Chris can be found promoting facts and perfect copy around the globe, from dense urban centers to remote mountaintops. In his free time he revels in dispelling pseudoscience, while at night he dreams of modern technology, world peace, and the Oxford comma.

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