The 5 Best Cutting Torch Kits in 2020 – Expert Reviews
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From hobbyists and DIY fanatics to auto restoration and metal fabrication, there is a wide range of applications that require the use of cutting torch kits. After carrying out some best cutting torches, I have looked at the models below and gauged them on usability, quality, and of course, value for money.
Whatever you need a torch for, you can be confident that one of the models listed in these reviews will be a perfect match for your specific metal cutting needs.
While some of these kits come as part of a gas welding and torch configuration, I will be reviewing them primarily in relation to their effectiveness and quality in the area of metal cutting.
Table Of Contents
- 5 Best Cutting Torches 2020 Reviews
- Purpose Or Use Of Cutting Torches
- How To Use A Cutting Torch
- Cutting Torch Settings
- Step By Step Buying Guide Of Cutting Torches
- Final Note
5 Best Cutting Torches 2020 Reviews
1. ARKSEN Harris Type, Gas Welding & Cutting Torch
If you are looking for a professional welding and cutting set with a case that comes complete with everything from the torch itself to a full set of fully reverse flow check gas gauges, and more, then look no further. Arksen is one of the best cutting torch brands in the market.
This complete set-up has everything a professional welder/cutter needs including goggles, sparker, and even a brazing torch.
With a welding and brazing capacity of up to half an inch and an astounding cutting capacity, this kit is a favorite among both hobbyists and professionals alike.
The minute you open the robust case and handle this torch you know that you are using a quality tool. Considering the manufacturing quality and the amount of kit you get, this set-up represents excellent value for money.
2. Victor Technologies Performer Medium Duty Cutting System
For a medium duty cutting system, the Victor Technologies 0384-2045 delivers pure cutting power right when and where you need it. Complete with hose, sparker, gauges, goggles, and a professional brass torch, you will be working with a piece of equipment made by a leading brand name manufacturer.
The torch itself is sturdy yet light enough for those tricky cuts making it ideal for everything from cutting plate up to ¾” to shaping metals for decorative items.
The handle utilizes built-in flashback arrestors and check valves for extra safety, and it doubles as a 1/8th” capacity welding torch when used with the optional tips. If you are looking for a branded tool that delivers the goods at a competitive price, you need to take a closer look at this one.
3. ESAB Victor 0384-2036 Journeyman
The Victor 0384-2036 Journeyman has all the features that you would expect from a true heavy duty cutting system. It comes complete with hose, goggles, sparker, valves, a set of welding tips, and the kit also includes a heating nozzle.
As you would expect from a brand name such a Victor, you won’t be disappointed in the features and ease of function that this unit provides. This heavy-duty system will cut up to ¾” and weld up to ½” when used with the optional welding tips.
Flashback arrestors and check valves will keep the heat and gas right where you need it and the handle is light and easy to use. As with this company’s entire product range, the Victor 0384-2036 represents great value for money for DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. This is the best heavy duty cutting torch.
4. Gas Welding and Cutting Torch Kit Victor Type Professional Grade Set
When it comes to choosing professional grade tools that are suitable for both regular use and by hobbyists, the Victor professional grade set ticks all the boxes. Complete with its own heavy duty carry case, this unit has everything you need for clean cutting and neat welding.
From the 3 standard welding nozzles to the comfortable feeling torch, it simply oozes the capacity to get the job done. Everything needed to get you up and running is included from the hose and gauges to the sparker and welding goggles.
This professional grade cutter/welder is a must-have addition to any self-respecting fabricator or renovators toolkit. Easy to store and handle it will stay safe and clean, ready for use whenever it is needed. It almost goes without mention that this offering from the market leading brand represents excellent value for money too.
5. AmeriFlame T100 Medium Duty Portable Welding/Brazing Outfit
For welding steel up to .125 inches and brazing of copper up to as large as an inch, you will have to go a long way to beat the Ameriflame T100 Medium Duty on performance at an outstanding price. This is a fully integrated welding and brazing kit with everything built into the one unit including twelve and a half feet of hose.
The robust carry stand keeps everything you need neat and tidy ready for use from the sparker and goggles to the tank spanner and the welding kit itself.
This product has everything that you need to connect to the gas and get to work straight away. From the regulators and welding tips to the brazing torch, this value for money kit has everything you are likely to require. One of the best quality cutting torch on the market.
Purpose Or Use Of Cutting Torches
When it comes to shaping, cutting, or fabricating metal, you will always have a need for welding, brazing and cutting torches of some type. Whilst the more expensive and complex plasma cutting systems offer some advantages in certain working environments, gas cutting is still the method of choice for many DIY hobbyists and professional metalworking operatives.
Gas powered cutting torches provide fast and accurate cutting of metals such as steel up to thicknesses that discs and saws would labor with. From the lightest gauges used for the precision work to heavy steel for metal fabrication work, gas continues to provide a cost-effective cutting option for industry, small business, and hobbyists alike.
Cutting torches are especially valuable in the fields of automotive restoration where standard body and chassis parts are no longer available and need to be fabricated from scratch using raw steel and other metals. They are also invaluable in the construction of ornamental steelwork such as gates and metal fencing where large quantities need to be cut in a short space of time.
Even the modern equivalent of the traditional blacksmiths and metal workers now rely heavily on cutting torches in much of their work for both cutting and heating of metal.
The bottom line is that if you need to cut metal you really do need to invest in a quality cutting torch and its associated kit. Using this method of shaping and cutting is certain to save users both time and ultimately money on their metalworking projects.
While saws and cutting discs do offer some benefits in certain circumstances, most mechanical cutting methods take a lot more time and the machinery needed to carry out such work can be rather expensive. Cutting torches, on the other hand, are relatively inexpensive, take up a very small amount of workshop or garage space, and they can also be used for heating and welding too.
How To Use A Cutting Torch
Using a mix of gases at a very high temperature to cut through steel requires good preparation and awareness of health and safety of both yourself and others before starting any work.
Lighting the torch
You need to have your gloves and googles on and do one last check of the work area for any loose, possible flammable materials before you light the torch. Once this is done, taking the striker, open up the valve of the acetylene cylinder so there is just a very gentle hiss of gas, then place the striker at the end of the torch and give the handle a small squeeze. You should now be getting a small yellow flame.
Getting the cutting flame right
You need to adjust the valve so that the flame is about 25 cm in length, once this is achieved you then open the valve to the oxygen gas. With the oxygen feeding in, the flame turns to light blue, you now you need to adjust the levels so that the inner part of the flame is slightly longer than the width of the steel you are cutting.
Also make sure that the flame is steady and clean – not stuttering or feathery, this may happen if too much oxygen is fed in so if this is the case, lessen the feed.
Starting to cut
With the flame adjusted to the correct length and steadiness, bring the inner blue flame to just under 1 cm above the marked line on the steel you are going to cut; it does not have to touch the surface.
After about 45 seconds the steel will start to go molten and pool around the cut area. You can now press the handle on the cutting torch to release more oxygen which should ignite the molten steel and the cutting can begin.
Working the cut
Once you can see that the steel is parting, gradually move down the line that you have drawn, do not go too fast, the steel needs time to get molten before it can separate. Continue along the line until it is parted, being aware all the time of not standing on any droplets of molten metal that may have fallen.
When your cut is finished, turn off the torch; doing it in the reverse order of when it was turned on. If there is no rush then you can allow the metal to stay in place and cool naturally before moving it; if you need to move it away from the area then use lots of water to cool it down but be aware of the super-heated steam this creates, so stand well clear when immersing it in water.
Cutting Torch Settings
When it comes to achieving the optimum cutting torch settings everything starts at the regulators of the oxygen and acetylene tanks. It is prudent to remember that the oxygen, in particular, is compressed and stored at very high pressure.
It is highly important to ensure that the oxygen regulator is turned on slowly and gradually to avoid damage. Whatever make or model of cutting torch you are using it is always advisable to refer to the operator’s instruction manual in respect of setting the pressure at the regulator.
Higher pressures can always be controlled by the valves on the torch itself but if the pressure is too low before it arrives there operators can find themselves in a situation where there isn’t enough pressure at the torch.
This scenario can lead to overheating issues and even blow-backs where the cooling effect of the pressurized oxygen is insufficient to carry the heat away from the tip of the torch.
Setting the valves
Once an operator is satisfied with the pressure delivery from the regulators they should first turn the acetylene valve at the torch about one eight of a turn and light the gas.
A good indication that the acetylene valve isn’t open far enough is the appearance of black sooty smoke and if this is the case it should be slowly turned until the smoke clears. Opening the oxygen valve until the flame is not clearing the tip is an indication that it is set correctly.
The trigger mechanism is then used to add an extra blast of oxygen to push the molten metal away as and when the torch melts it.
Step By Step Buying Guide Of Cutting Torches
There are many factors to take into consideration when buying a cutting torch or combined welding, metal heating setup. From how often you are likely to use it and the type of metal you need to cut to storage and the return on your investment, are all points worth considering before you buy.
While many kits do offer multi-functionality, the “one size fits all” model can have limitations in some circumstances. Bearing this in mind, it may well be worth asking yourself a few useful questions before you actually make your buying decision.
What do you need a cutting torch for?
Whether you are renovating a classic car, fabricating articles as a hobby, or carrying on a business that works with metal, you are likely to have specific requirements for cutting, welding, and heating metals.
It is highly unlikely for instance that someone using a cutting torch at home would need to cut or weld heavy gauge industrial steel plate. Conversely, a workshop that repairs plant and machinery would rarely be working with fine and intricate metalwork. Once you have clearly identified your cutting and/or welding needs, you will be in a position to make a more informed buying decision.
Cutting, welding or both
While many kits are designed to cut and weld or even heat, the bigger more professional cutting torches are often used solely for cutting metal. Welding is a highly skilled craft, especially where using oxy-acetylene gas is involved.
The correct mixing of the gasses and choosing the ideal welding tip sizes are only the beginning of a good weld and achieving such takes many years of practice. That is before you even get started on the practicalities of having superheated gasses and a live flame in a confined workshop or garage building.
Taking some of those factors into account, users have to decide what type and duty level is going to suit their purposes best. If you are carrying out only light-duty cutting on relatively thin gauges of metal, you may be better off with a general duty “all purpose” light duty cutter/welder and heat-gun kit. These are also ideal for auto repair workshops that may be more reliant on electrical welding sets and need a torch for general heating and cutting duties.
The key to your success is likely to rest in making the best choice based on a mix of the above, your budget, and, of course, the overall value for money and return on your investment that it is likely to represent.
I hope that you have found my best cutting torch kits review helpful in guiding you to make a better-informed buying decision for yourself or your business. I am sure that whether you are looking for something to use at home or in connection with your work, some of the above will prove helpful when it comes to choosing the best kit for your specific purposes.
All that remains for you to do now is to check out some of the great kits that have been reviewed and decide on the best one in terms of value-for-money, usability, and a worthwhile return on your potential investment. Then you can get on with that project, job, or all important hobby that needs welding, cutting, or heating into a finished article that you can be proud of.