Checked and updated on February 18, 2021 by Aaron Barnett
The best portable oxy acetylene torch kit, is of course light enough to be easily moved around, can hold enough fuel to get the job done, and built to provide years of reliable service with all the head-tip attachments, and gauges that are required for brazing, heating, and cutting
#3 Best portable kit for DIYers
Uniweld KC100PT Centurion 13 pcs, CGA540/ 200, 20 cu ft/ 10 cu ft tanks, oxyacetylene torch kit
#4 Best medium-duty portable oxyacetylene torch set
Thoroughbred GasPony1 11 pcs, 80 cu ft/ 70 cu ft tanks, oxyacetylene torch kit
A portable oxy acetylene torch kit is a type of welding equipment that allows for brazing jobs outside of the workshop, on building sites, and in remote locations. A portable torch kit with oxygen and acetylene tanks is easily carried by either a trolley or just a plastic tote.
Oxyacetylene works by combining oxygen and acetylene to either cut or join together various kinds of solid metal materials most commonly copper pipes, or copper artwork. If you want to know what’s possible with copper art, have a look at these examples.
Though most uses of oxyacetylene kits involve a range of metals other than copper, they are usually used for lighter applications such as metal-forming, heating, and brazing. Because oxy acetylene torch kit is low-cost and the majority of the kits are portable, making them ideal for use in small shops and at home.
On the other hand, because of their utility, oxy-acetylene torch kits see optimum use by highly mobile professionals like plumbers and gas fitters.
The oxyacetylene welding process was discovered by French engineers Edmond Fouche and Charles Picard in 1903 and, to this day, remains one of the best heat-induced tools for cutting steel.
By 1910, oxy acetylene welding had amassed much prominence and led to the like Harris and Victor who aimed to bring the main industrial and stationary application of oxyacetylene down to commercial use and in a more “dynamic” form.
Modern oxy-acetylene torch kits are versatile and travel-ready, making them a must-have for builders, engineers, maintenance crews, and even iron artists who are constantly on-the-go.
While it can be difficult to make a perfect choice, a user should decide on a dedicated portable kit like what’s here. Or considering a less portable but bigger kit by purchasing the best oxygen acetylene torch kit and pairing it with larger tanks.
But for portability, we have identified the options in this guide.
Features to consider when buying a portable oxyacetylene torch kit
Why do you need a portable oxyacetylene torch kit?
When should you weld with oxyacetylene?
While oxy acetylene does have large-scale industrial applications, it is more favored by hundreds of skilled workers handling copper brazing and smaller steel cutting jobs.
Being low-cost, oxyacetylene is more accessible, making it easily acquirable especially if you are a sole proprietor or the owner of a small business.
Oxyacetylene is relatively safe compared to other welding fuel compounds and burns the hottest, making it more effective and better-suited for manual use on small to medium-sized jobs such as customizing a car’s chassis or building a custom animal cage.
Paired with a decent finger sander you can polish of imperfections left by welding, have a look also at my best file belt sander recommendation.
Portable kit vs a workshop oxyacetylene kit
Function-wise, there is little to no difference between working with a portable oxyacetylene kit and its workshop counterpart. For a start, both still need you to manually work the hose in order to weld or cut.
Using a portable kit is easier for beginners as they are lighter, cheaper, and don’t require much to maneuver. For those who have to be mobile for their job, like plumbers, and gas fitters using a portable kit is also more beneficial as it allows time to move from one job to the next without as much hassle as bigger tanks.
Experienced users also appreciate a portable kit simply because of the convenience, although we have to admit that they do lose out to the workshop counterpart in terms of overall tank capacity.
What you need to know about the tanks
These kits always come with 2 tanks, 1 for oxygen, and 1 for acetylene. Both tanks are usually made of steel, with the acetylene tank often including porous material like crushed firebrick and has acetone-lined interiors to better stabilize the gas.
These tanks should always come pre-assembled with valves and regulators. Valves and regulators are safety measures and help you watch, control, and adjust pressure and gas flow. If any of these appear faulty or have visible damage, replace or have them repaired immediately.
The same goes for hoses and attachments – faulty or damaged hoses and the incorrect use of attachments can lead to gas leaks or pressure building up in the tanks; both of which are extremely dangerous, but avoidable with keen vigilance.
Never interchange regulators and hoses as they are designed to work respectively with just oxygen or just acetylene. Swapping regulators will give you false readings if it gives a reading at all and plugging in the wrong hose might cause an imbalance in pressure. Fortunately, hoses are color-coded; with blue being for oxygen and red for acetylene.
Depending on what you’re working on, you’ll often be switching from lower pressures to higher ones. To give an idea, if you’ll be welding 1/16-inch steel, you’ll need 8 – 20 psi of oxygen and about 5 psi of acetylene. Likewise, for cutting up to 2-inch steel, you’ll need 40 – 50 psi of oxygen and 5 psi of acetylene.
Bear in mind that these are portable kits, so their capacity is not too large. While 20/10 cu ft is enough to get most jobs done, the small size falls victim to constant refills and short continuous use.
What would be ideal for DIY and those in professional metalwork is a tank size of at least 80/70 cu ft. It’s big and offers longer operational time without making you overburdened even with the increased weight.
One last very important note to remember is to make sure that before you purchase, look to see if the tanks are DOT approved. DOT-approved tanks are those that pass and comply with the DOT’s regulations and are deemed good for use in transactions; local shops might and can refuse service for non-DOT-approved tanks.
Also, depending on the courier and mode of delivery, most of the time, tanks do get shipped empty to avoid any hazards, especially if they will experience changes in pressure during transport.
Top portable oxyacetylene torch kit
#1 Top best oxyacetylene torch kit
The Victor ESAB 0384-0948 comes equipped with a 20-cubic-foot oxygen tank and a 10-cubic-foot acetylene tank, both of which are DOT approved.
Its J-handle torch is suitable for handling different light-duty tasks, cutting 1/2-inch-thick metal, and welding 1/8-inch-thick metal with ease. The torch is also compatible with larger-sized tanks, providing more practicality and flexibility to the user.
The Victor portable torch kit with oxygen and acetylene tanks comes equipped with a light torch handle as well as a cutting attachment. The kit’s hard plastic tote and comfortable grip not only make it durable but easy to carry around, making it ideal for jobs that require you to move to other locations.
#1 Premium portable oxyacetylene torch set
While being the priciest kit on the list, the Harris 85601-200 has commendable features that distinguish it from the others. First is its flame-resistant and weather-proof carrying case. This, along with its lightweight polycarbonate frame, shows that it is guaranteed to last you a very long time.
It features a heavy-duty brazing attachment and can cut through 4-inch plates and weld 1/2-inch plates without any troubles when fitted with larger tips.
#1 Best value portable oxyacetylene torch kit
Like the Victor ESAB 0384-0948, the Thoroughbred GasPony1 also comes with its own ISO-approved tanks. What’s different is that these tanks have a much larger capacity and are exchangeable for filled ones if you don’t mind shelling out a bit more money.
While most portable kits are meant for lightly-demanding tasks, the GasPony1 can effectively handle medium-duty torching, brazing, and welding. It also comes with shade 5 glasses and is housed in an impact-resistant, freestanding plastic tote.
#1 Most affordable portable oxyacetylene torch kit
The 9Trading oxyacetylene torch set is one of the more affordable kits on the market that still guarantees you satisfactory results. It comes in a lightweight, waterproof polypropylene case, making it suitable for on-the-go jobs.
It is capable of handling general brazing, cutting, and welding tasks without much fuss.
However, the downside that comes with this kit’s low price tag is that its tanks are not DOT-approved, so having them filled will be a challenge.
Reminders before you buy a portable oxyacetylene torch kit
Can you use other gases with these kits?
It is possible to use other gases but it can only be done for specific uses, and the necessary precautions must be observed.
For example, propane and propylene are viable replacements for acetylene but can only be used for heating and cutting and not portable gas welding. However, using these gases will require a longer time for preheating before the torch can be used.
Tips for using portable oxyacetylene torch kits
Dangers to avoid
Safety, maintenance, storing, and refilling tips for your tanks
More tips for using portable oxyacetylene torch kits
Best safety and operation practices
Comparing portable oxyacetylene torch kits
|Victor ESAB 0384-0948||Thoroughbred GasPony4||Uniweld KC100PT Centurion||Thoroughbred GasPony1||Ameriflame TI350T||Victor ESAB 0384-0946||Victor ESAB 0384-0944||Forney 1753||Hobart 770500||9Trading||Harris 85601-200|
|Verdict:||Top performing portable kit||Best value portable kit||Best low-cost||Best premium portable kit|
|Quantity:||15 pcs||12 pcs||13 pcs||11 pcs||12pcs||15 pcs||12 pcs||13 pcs||13 pcs||11 pcs||13 pcs|
|Tank certification:||DOT-stamped||ISO-certified, DOT-accepted||DOT-stamped||ISO-certified, DOT-accepted||Not DOT-approved||DOT-stamped||DOT-stamped||DOT-stamped||DOT-stamped||Not DOT-approved||DOT-stamped|
|Oxygen tank:||20 cf||125 cf||20 cf||80 cf||20 cf||20 cf||20 cf||20 cf||20 cf||20 cf||20 cf|
|Acetylene tank:||10 cf||145 cf||10 cf||70 cf||10 cf||10 cf||10 cf||10 cf||10 cf||10 cf||10 cf|
|Hose size:||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12.5 ft||(2) 3/16 inch diameter x 12 ft|
Overall, the Victor ESAB 0384-0948 is the best portable torch kit you can currently get, balancing price, quality, and functionality into an easy-to-carry package.
The Harris 85601-200 Port-A-Torch Deluxe may have a heftier price tag, but it is well-justified by its heavy-duty torch attachments and high-quality build.
With the exceptional value of the Thoroughbred GasPony1, you’ll be able to handle more moderately-demanding welding tasks without having to worry about portability or durability.
Finally, despite the drawbacks given by its relatively affordable price, the Colibrox 9Trading is still a commendable kit for its transportability and capacity to handle general maintenance work.
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