ASCO Torch Blog

High Temperature Torch Kits Vs Low Temperature Torch Kits January 17 2015

In a previous article we talked about the differences between using Oxy/Acetylene torches and regular Air/Acetylene torches  Now that we have established that although some guys prefer using Oxy/Acetylene torches, the easier and more economical way to braze and solder is with the more conventional Air/Acetylene torches.

That being said this article will deal with the differences between using a high temperature “Turbo” type torches and a low temperature “Prestolite” type torches. There are 2 basic ways to join copper and brass to themselves and each other. Brazing and Soldering. It is in this area that we are discussing the differences in the high and low-temperature tips.

Let’s look at some of the differences between Torch Kits.

High-temperature tips offer the following attributes:

  • Generally burn at a temperature of 2500 to 2700 degrees
  • Have a short hot flame that is designed to wrap around the fitting
  • Use more gas than the low-temperature outfits
  • Are usually of the quick disconnect design
  • Have a high pitch whistle

Low-temperature tips offer the following attributes:

  • Generally burn at as temperature of 1500 degrees
  • Have a longer more brush like flame
  • Use less gas than high-temperature tips
  • Are usually of the screw-in design
  • Much quieter than the high-temperature tips

Since brazing takes place at approximately 900 degrees the high-temperature tips would seem to be the more logical choice. Whereas both tips will reach the target temperature, remember it’s the temperature of the material being brazed that has to reach the brazing temperature. That being said, the higher the temperature of the flame the quicker the base material will reach the correct temperature needed for brazing to take place. High heat is also necessary for good adhesion and capillary action to occur when using silver-based solder.

Soldering occurs at approximately 400 degrees. This means that far less heat is necessary for soldering to occur. The low-temperature tips would be a better fit in these applications. Since less heat is needed the low temp tips will use less gas making them more economical to use. When doing service work generally the low-temperature tips are the better choice in that you are only soldering a couple of joints.

The problem with either application is that the high-temperature tips come with a quick disconnect design and the low-temperature tips are of a screw-in design.

The easy solution to this is at where you can get both the high-temperature and low-temperature tips in both screw-in and quick disconnect designs.

Air Acetylene VS Oxy Acetylene December 17 2014

When to us Air Acetylene or Oxy Acetylene

In brazing or soldering applications, the question is; what is the best, most efficient and economical way to get the job done. The 2 best ways are Air Acetylene and Oxy Acetylene. There are benefits to both. The benefits to using Oxy Acetylene are: By far it has the hottest flame (5000 degrees vs. 2700 degrees) and can get the job done the quickest, especially on piping 3” diameter and up. It is sturdier than some plastic handled torches so it holds up better to abuse (ASCO handles would be the exception because of their heavy brass construction) and the gases last longer therefore you can braze / solder more joints without having to change the tanks.

There are also drawbacks to using Oxy Acetylene set ups as well.

For example, it is a more cumbersome set-up. It has a much bigger handle and bulkier hose. This makes it much harder when in tight spaces or if you are brazing / soldering smaller diameter pipe. It has 2 tanks instead of 1 to carry around and the flow of gas needs to be regulated closely.

Replacement parts need to be specific to the manufacturer (you cannot mix and match different manufacturer set-ups) and it is a more expensive set-up as you need 2 tanks. Finally since copper melts at around 2500 to 3000 degrees there is less room for operator error so not to melt or distort the pipe.

Air Acetylene set-ups offer a better and more economical alternative to brazing and soldering.

The use of just 1 tank makes it much less expensive and easier to carry and store. The handle and hose are far less cumbersome to use. It is ideal for tight spaces and smaller diameter pipe, while still offering the ability to be effective on the larger diameter pipe. Whereas oxy acetylene is almost twice the temperature and the 2700 degree heat takes a little longer in brazing applications it virtually eliminates the possibility of distorting or melting the metal. Air Acetylene equipment is also completely interchangeable. Regardless of manufacturer all Air Acetylene equipment will work together. In all, the Air Acetylene set ups are definitely the way to go for everyday use in plumbing HVAC and AC/R applications.