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Old 04-01-2007, 11:58 AM
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Gas Welder - Best Bang for Buck?

Any leads on a decent oxy/acetylene gauges and cutting/welding tip setups?

I buy a lot of hand tools from HF but the HF gas welding stuff looks a little weak to me - this is something I want to own for the next 10-20 years and not have issues with the quality of the parts

Thanks for your recommendations and help!

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Old 04-01-2007, 04:31 PM
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That's easy, A Victor is all the torch you will ever need! One of my Victors is over thirty years old and will still see use on a regular basis , check out the Victor Super Range outfits. They make two different sizes of the welding/cutting torch outfits that are almost identical except for the size and both are excellent torches. Like most anything else you will pay a Little more for the quality, although the Victors are really not that pricey, but if you just half way take care of them they will last a lifetime.
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Old 04-01-2007, 05:26 PM
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My Sears outfit is a Victor - purchased it in 1987 and with the exception of new hoses and an O2 regulator repair a couple of years has been great (and the welding supply house even loaned me reg while mine was being fixed)
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:04 PM
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victor only

we currently have 20 victor torches in use at one time, i have seen many good deal off brand torches setting on a shelf. parts not available.guages rarley have a problem if not abused. Stay with victor in my opinon.
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:39 PM
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Victor 3 Others 0

I have looked at the Victor professional setup locally - I liked everything but the price!

Does anyone have a good link online to buy the good Victor setup?
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:22 PM
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In the Pacific North Wet it is central welding supply they have the online sales and they are local if we need consumables..I get my stuff there..

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Old 04-02-2007, 05:43 AM
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Be warned! There are a bunch of Victor knock-offs out there, seems like they always copy Victor, (for a good reason I guess ) and most are so close that some parts will interchange but I have never seen ANY of these worth bringing home if they were free so a genuine Victor is worth the cost. The cheapos may seem like a good buy at first but they tend to leak (everywhere!), tips are hard to seat, oxygen cutting valves tend to stick, valve knobs fall off, the list of problems goes on and on. I know you said you are looking for the Victor but you will probably come across these junky things I am talking about so I thought I would mention the likely (certain!) problems before you might be tempted by the price since some of them look really good until you try to use them. Also it is common for a salesman to push the cheapos by saying "they are made by Victor" and I have heard this non-sense more than once , if it is made by Victor it will be clearly labeled "Victor" and not Victor "Compatible"!

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Old 04-02-2007, 08:16 AM
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I bought my oxy-acetylene outfit from HF quite a few years ago, but I wouldn't if my living depended on it. The hoses lasted 1 year. The replacements purchased from a local place haven't shown signs of cracking in all the years since. The regulators are single-stage, but that's not a big problem for the occasional use I give it. My tanks are leased and the cart was the first thing I built.

I've used it for cutting, bending and welding. It's exactly what I expected from a cheap outfit. Sometimes the quality of the tool gets in the way and slows the job down a little. It has yet to prevent a job being completed, though. Your tolerance may vary.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:12 AM
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Believe it or not HF once carried real Victor torches at a good price but only slightly below normal prices and not nearly as cheap as the "econo" brands. I have not seen the Victor at HF recently and they do not come up on the web site however it may be worth asking them. HF has some name brands like Milwaukee, DeWalt and even S@K wrenches and sockets but these rarely are much cheaper than most anywhere else.
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:22 AM
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I own a Henrob 2000 that torch is great for resto work. I Also own a HF oxy setup I bought it after I quit the shop I worked at because I needed A rig an dHad little money. For cutting it work perfect from day one no problems. The Oxy valve on the handle did not seat at all so you couldn't weld with it I had it replaced with I belive a victor one CK had it in stock no problem. I would not buy the HF setup for anything more than home use. I would go with victor, smith, purox, etc for pro use. There just plain better more durable parts avail, tip sizes etc. Check Craigslist and Ebay don't be afraid of used ones either so long as the reg's are good. I've done a lot of work with all kinds of torches I did use a sears model and it basically leaked burning acet through the handle where the cutting head attaches the first time it was fired up all bad o-rings. work great after that but the reg's were sticky I rarely read them anyway just to make sure acet is under 10psi other thatn that I let the flame guide me to set the pressures. Kris
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:31 PM
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Go Victor. Remember: "You get what you pay for." Sometimes, cheap tools are not too bad, for what you want to do with them, but for my money, a welding outfit is no place to go cheap.
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:42 AM
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Rrumbler, I could not agree more. A cheap torch may seem like it may be ok for light duty but the first time the dang thing catches fire in your hands, which they are prone to do, then they will not seem like a good deal at all. With all the safety regs out there I have often wondered how those outfits can get away with selling that junk since some of it is simply dangerous. Acetylene is nothing to take chances with since it will flash violently and burns so hot when it does, mix in just a small amount more oxygen than contained in the air and it will explode even if not confined.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:41 AM
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I bought a small Smiths set in 1971 for doing gas welding on body metal...remember those days?? Anyways, no repairs yet of any kind. The o-rings on the tips get cracked when exposed to air.

It had 2 small tips and I then ordered a "rosebud" tip for heating big stuff. The cutting torch total length is Ok, but cutting up big steel in a scrapyard is better done with the longer ones.

Get a size that fits what you want to do with it. I agree, don't buy junk....safety issues IMO
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