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Gas Blowtorches

Recommendations wanted for small gas torches

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ANDREW JACKSON 618/02/2015 18:51:14
4 forum posts


I am looking to get a small gas torch for brazing & silver soldering of small fittings and fabrications but not for boiler making. Can anybody give any recommendations please?



Paul Lousick18/02/2015 21:28:09
1541 forum posts
578 photos

Hi Andrew,

A Bemzomatic TS8000 is good for silver soldering and brazing small parts. It has a valve to adjust the flame size and a trigger which opens the gas supply valve and ignites the flame. Great one hand operation. Got mine from the local hardware shop.

Propane and Map gas canisters are available in different sizes. Map pas produces a hotter flame but costs a bit more. For brazing bigger parts I use an oxy/propane torch.


benzomatic ts8000.jpg

Gray18/02/2015 21:41:40
1038 forum posts
13 photos

Yeo, use the same type for plumbing and small brazing jobs Map gas is by far the best.

Paul, i;ve been looking for an oxy propane torch, which one do you use?


JohnF18/02/2015 22:20:18
1022 forum posts
143 photos

I would look at the British made Bullfinch, I have had these for over 40 years and used very regularly almost daily and only one small problem. On one torch the pizzo ignition stopped working, returned to Bullfinch and it was repaired at a very modest cost. Would highly recommend them.

Edited By JohnF on 18/02/2015 22:20:58

Thor19/02/2015 05:59:01
1275 forum posts
39 photos

Hi Andrew,

I am using a Sievert propane torch, similar to this. Mine is old but is still working well. The handle can accept a wide variety of burners and neck tubes.


Paul Lousick19/02/2015 06:34:19
1541 forum posts
578 photos

Hi Grahame,

My oxy/propane torch is a CIG Porta Colt and is about 25 years old but still works. problem is the price for oxygen bottles. I only use 1 D-size bottle per year and the cost of rental for the bottle costs me more than the gas which I use.


ANDREW JACKSON 619/02/2015 07:31:20
4 forum posts


Thanks to everyone for your advice.


John Haine19/02/2015 08:04:57
3334 forum posts
177 photos

I've bought a variety of torches over the years, for all of them the control knob stripped off its shaft before I'd used a canister of gas. Then I got a Bernzomatic, it is excellent and never had another problem. It mainly gets used to light our anthracite stove but there when I need to solder something.

Neil Wyatt19/02/2015 09:39:19
18232 forum posts
714 photos
77 articles

All the small torches that screw on to the top of a bottle of gas are not equal. I have two and one is MUCH fiercer than the other, but they are not marked so I can't recommend a brand.

If you only want to do a modest amount of work, the cheap torch kits from Clarke/Machine Mart that run off a big cylinder are fine, but not as robust or flexible as a sievert/bullfinch type.


JasonB19/02/2015 09:47:24
18875 forum posts
2078 photos
1 articles

Andrew, what sort of size are your fabrications? I fabricate a lot of my models and the type of torch that screws onto a bottle even if a decent mapp gas would not get them anywhere near hot enough for silver soldering. I use a bullfinch torch that runs of a Calor propane cylinder and even then it can take a while to get the larger fabrications hot enough.


Jesse Hancock 119/02/2015 09:54:32
314 forum posts

Yes bottled GAS from B.O.C or similar is prohibitively expensive to rent for a lone amateur. I know from experience when welding a steel boat. It may be possible, if needs be, to bring several members of a club together to share the expense? Bring back colleges with night school classes.

Plumbers used to carry a port a pack oxygen acetylene from the above but because of rising rent prices they too have gone over to MAPP. My son, being a plumber, uses a Rothmanberg torch both as a cigarette lighter and a soldering torch! I suspect as usual you pay your money and get what you pay for.

Note: there will be a small burn off of the residue gas in the torch neck, so don't be tempted to tweak them too hard when turning them off.

If treated with care they will last a long time.


IanT19/02/2015 10:19:20
1613 forum posts
151 photos

I've used various 'portable' gas torches to silver solder, including the small disposable can (B&Q) types. For small items I use a (baked bean) can stuffed with ceramic blanket to focus the flame and hold the heat - takes less time and uses less gas. I also have a 1/4" steel plate that I place on the gas ring (when someone else is watching TV) to pre-heat multiple parts - again the gas torch is used to complete the work but this approach uses less (bottled) gas. For soft soldering parts together - I sometimes don't even need the extra heat btw - I just use the plate.

I have trained on O/A and very much enjoyed using it - it's a very useful tool but I decided I could not afford the cylinder hire for the amount I would likely use it (and I didn't really like the idea of having O/A cylinders around either).

So I purchased a Bullfinch 404 which will 'Bronze' (brass) braze steel as well as silver solder. SIF bronze is much cheaper than silver solder - so worth using where possible - it's probably stronger too in many applications.

Some may recall that I asked whether it was possible to adapt my "Patio" gas propane cylinder to use with the 5/8" POL fitting on the Bullfinch. Well the solution was much simpler. I still had the old Calor butane cylinder for the BBQ that I owned before the new (propane) one. I was enquiring about 'adaptors' at my local Calor stockist when the Manager said he would happily exchange my butane cylinder for a propane one. So I swopped a 7kg butane for a 6kg propane and just paid for the refill (£22). This will last a good deal longer than the smaller gas bottles and is not too heavy to move.

I will probably still use my smaller torches for quick jobs but the Bullfinch 404 will get used for SIF brazing of smaller parts and some silver soldering. I'm still practising with it so cannot say too much but it seems good I think it is the best alternative to O/A for my particular needs but I will have to take be cautious in its use for some work as it can be quite fierce and I'm pretty sure I could melt smaller brass components with it if not careful. So my smaller propane & butane torches will still get used when I need something a bit "softer" in the way of heat.



Gordon W19/02/2015 10:20:12
2011 forum posts

I've got a standard Clark type torch, runs off propane bottle, had it for years and still OK. It takes different nozzles, have a small one about 1/2" dia ,ideal for small plumbing and will do small silver soldering esp. on stainless. I have been looking for a gas -air torch that will use propane with no luck, I am sure I can remember them in the past but seem to have disapeared.

Vic19/02/2015 10:42:08
2611 forum posts
20 photos

Sievert make a great range of gas torches. Just be careful where you buy them, they can be expensive.

These folks were the best price I found at the time but do a google.

JasonB19/02/2015 10:52:46
18875 forum posts
2078 photos
1 articles

Keep us posted as to how you get on with the 404 Ian, I have been thinking about one as it would suit the steel fabrications that I do and the ability to form a larger fillet than silver soldering would be very useful. I've also got a couple of packs of sifbronze rod somewhere.

KWIL19/02/2015 11:05:07
3308 forum posts
63 photos

Look at ADAMS Gas, they supply rent free bottles on the basis of a refundable deposit of £55, you can get it back any time. £85+vat. Worth looking at under "HOBBY GASES"

Edited By KWIL on 19/02/2015 11:08:41

Neil Wyatt19/02/2015 11:33:36
18232 forum posts
714 photos
77 articles

You don't specify the sizes, but I imagine you mean rather small items? The following may be of assistance. They are all silver soldered fabrications.

This governor valve body is small - the copper pipe is only 1/16" diameter and fairly short. I used a turbo-flame lighter (the type that produces a small needlle flame):

ancient engine parts (7).jpg

This sandbox is about 1 1/2" high from 16 gauge brass, and at the upper limit for the cook's blowtorch:


This water pump is about 1 1/2" high. I used a cook's blowtorch:

water pump.jpg

This fabricated cylinder is about 2" tall and comprises 7 parts, it required the use of a screw-to-a-can blowtorch:


Finally, this fabricated engine frame is about 5" high from steel and required the use of the Clark propane torch:

photo 6 after pickling 2.jpg

martin perman19/02/2015 11:46:14
1875 forum posts
78 photos

over thirty years ago I and a friend made our regular visit to the Saturday morning Auction in Colchester where I found a box of junk, proper rubbish with a Sievert torch a gas regulator and a few nozzles stuck at the bottom, which I got for less than £10 which I've used regularly since and added several nozzles from a fine flame to blowlamp size, it gets used to soft solder petrol tanks together and generally heating metal.

Martin P

ANDREW JACKSON 619/02/2015 17:35:32
4 forum posts


Thanks again for all the assistance. I have just taken up Model Eng. again and plan to make small stationary engines and possibly G1 locos or 1" traction engines. I was thinking of a "screw on a can" type torch to cope with the boiler fittings and valve gear type fabrications, and nothing larger than Neil's examples.

All the best


Paul Lousick20/02/2015 04:59:28
1541 forum posts
578 photos

A collection of old petrol blow lamps on display at a recent antique engine fair.



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