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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,035

    Talking

    been reading the board useing the search mode...
    Seen a lot about tools....gauges...Multimeters...

    But other than turbo tourch vs oxy/act I did not notice any mention of best brand of Port-a-tourch sets...

    So far I noticed FLUKE..Yellow Jacket ...and snap-on seem to be the big dogs, but tourches dont get mentioned by brand....Is there any diffrence between the Home Depot Lincon Electric or say a Victor tourch set?

    As for hand tools...I have the craftsman, Kobalt and stanley I use around the house and cars...so just need a few odds and ends.

    I just can make the jump to snap on....$250 for 9 combo wrench set...do I get hooter girls handing them to me at the job sight? Seriously is snap-on that good? That much better than craftsman?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,864
    This, with every thing else, will start an arguement. Around here!!!!!! We use Turbo Torches. We do a lot of installation work. All with Turbo Torches. Miles of pipe per year. Turbo Torches. Not saying the oxy-acelene rig aren't any good mind ya...........

    Wrenches. Remember if you are out in the field the potential for losing a wrench is a lot higher than a if a mechanic is working in a shop environment. The best wrench in the world is no good if you lose it while crawling thru an attic or crawlspace. Or,if it is stolen while doing a service call in the nasty, vile, rat ridden, crime infested, crack dealing,peehole pleasing, terrorists'haven, streets of Pittsburg(h).


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    S.W. PA
    Posts
    3,298
    I like oxi accet. torches (prestolite by esab)
    Don’t have any issues with the turbo torch thing just never tried them what I have works just fine so no need to change

    As far as wrenches and sockets I like husky they are cheap enough to buy when you loose them and good enough I have never striped or broke one
    I have had lots of problems with craftsman so I will not buy them anymore

    Just remember when you buy a tool that you plan to make a living with, that without it you will not eat!!!
    I have never used lowes or home depot torches because I know the stuff that they sell at the supply shop has been tested by a bunch of guys who are just as hard on their tool as I am instead of a H.O. that will use his set twice a year


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    Victor mini oxy - accetalene, started out with turbo torch years ago being a guy I worked with had one. Later tried out the oxy - accetalene. No comparason to me. I hate heating up pipes that long if Im silver sodering. Traded my turbo torch bottle in for spare oxy & accetalene bottles after it sat for years.........kept the turbo torch just in case being it doesnt use up space

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,722
    I use a turbo torch. Not sure the brand. It was bought at a welding supply house. Brazing using the turbo torch was the first thing I was shown and taught. I just adapted to it since I was conformtable with it.
    Get back to work.™

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    san jose,ca.
    Posts
    5,285
    I use oxy/act. torches. Been using them for many years.
    In fact if you look at a picture of the last supper look at the table legs, i welded them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,308
    Turbo torch seems to have suited me well in the nearing 30 years in the trade. I've upgraded when better regulators, torch handles and tips came out. I've tried oxy-acetylene set ups... which also works great... but in truth, we have enough heavy things to carry from the truck to the units as it is... by carrying a 9 Cu/Ft bottle, and the right tip for the work you do... makes things a bit easier. If you need more heat that your largest tip won't supply (Unless you do large comercial) an A-11 tip will braze any fitting you tackle in the light commercial, or residential world.

    If the noise is an issue (the turbo torch has a loud hissing howl to it) get comfortable stereo style ear defenders.

    As for hand tools... ie: wrenches... invest in a good tool bag, buy descent quality tools, and discipline yourself in collecting them up at every job, and keeping that tool bag organized so that you can see a particular screw driver isn't in it's place, or wrench even.

    Westward, Craftsman... are all good quality, and lifetime warranty. I like Klien tools for electrical work, nut drivers, flat screw drivers, and wire strippers and wire crimpers... etc.

    Jet, make good soft handled, magnetic tip screw drivers... especial No. 6 and No. 8 Robertson (But if you live in the states, that might not be an issue)


    Everyone has their fav. depending on either experience with the tools, or because that's all they know.

    You descide whether the cost of better quality outweights what you need or what you want.

    Good luck.



    Teach the apprentices right... and learn from their questions and ideas.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    Posts
    168
    Originally posted by bigbird
    I use oxy/act. torches. Been using them for many years.
    In fact if you look at a picture of the last supper look at the table legs, i welded them.

    Is that why they call it the Last Supper!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    davenport, iowa
    Posts
    778
    not sure about the torches, but,,,,I make my living as a refrigeration/diesel engine mechanic....Snap on are the best tools made, along with Matco and Mac, but all are overpriced, Craftsman and cobalt work well enough to do any job and have the same guarantee. I would use Craftsman myself as the cheaper brands have inferior design and quality issues... you may choose to use whatever you like as long as you 'git er done !!!
    Da Threadkilla

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    Posts
    168
    Seriously,

    doglips, I would look at a torch from a welding or refrigeration supply house rather than a Home Depot home owner special. You really do get what you pay for with torches. I have a turbo-torch brand oxy that I have used for years and an old prest-o-lite "B" tank acetylene that I bought used off an old tech 20+ years ago. They are both still going strong.

  11. #11
    Check out this thread


    tool bags, what do y'all carry in them?
    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=47442

    As far as torches go .... there are three heavy hitters here in the States: Harris/ Mid-West, Victor/ West and then there is Smith.

    Smith is by far the best made, to my knowledge.

    But to the average guy, whatever is found at the wholesale house is what he or she is gonna develope a liking to.

    Unless of course, they grew up in a welding shop.
    Harris and Victor are equals. Both are top drawer. And you can get parts for them all over.
    Some tips are even interchangeable between the brands.
    Funny but true.

    If your doing service work, you will want a light weight easy to adjust handle. There are two basic styles. One has the valves up front near the tip and the other has the valves behind the handle.

    If your doing installation work and burning a ton of sil-fos .... you will surely appreciate a light weight handle.

    Myself, I like a 25 ft hose set on my little torch outfit.
    And I prefer the red plastic case to carry the rig around. The other carriers always hang up whenever you pull them up a rope onto the roof.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Victoria,Tx
    Posts
    6,680

    Smile doglips

    Take another look at bigbird's reply. Sort of funny isn't it? This is why we come to hvac-talk, to calm down. Roy

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    7,977
    Originally posted by Freeze Stat
    Seriously,

    doglips, I would look at a torch from a welding or refrigeration supply house rather than a Home Depot home owner special.
    I'll 2nd that emotion. I started out with a brand called "Fire Power" I picked up at Sams club. I used it for probably 10 years and thought it was pretty nice. I then aquired a 15 year old "Harris" outfit and it was a night and day difference. I sold the Sams kit for $50 bucks and never regretted it.

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