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ESAB, Smith, or Victor (Thermadyne) Oxy Outfit?

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  • ESAB, Smith, or Victor (Thermadyne) Oxy Outfit?

    Hello.

    I am new to this message board. From reading the posts, I know that there is a lot of knowledge here. I am seeking some guidance on gas welding equipment.

    Out of the these outfits, which do you recommend? I am not looking to save a buck. I would rather purchase something that is good quality, will last a long time, and will endure some heavy use for a higher price.
    • ESAB OXWELD Trade Master Outfit DLX 540/510 (18835)
    • Smith DUAL GUARDâ„¢ HEAVY DUTY CUTTING, WELDING & BRAZING OUTFITS (HD-H510A)
    • Victor XHD Journeyman 510 w/H315FC (0384-2009)? Thank you.


    Thank you for your time and response.
    earle

  • #2
    I prefer Harris which is what I have owned for 20+ years, however of the ones you list my vote would go to the Victor model. Harris and Victor are around here considered the top dogs. I have had one regulator diaphram go out and cracked the brazing tip holder but other than that my harris has served me well for 20 years. I wouldn't go ESAB as I believe they have cheapened themselves to retail establishments.

    In the end its your money, we all have opinions.

    Comment


    • #3
      i have always had great luck with Victor also. never had any problems with them, own 2.
      smith is also well spoken for in many area's. before you chose , look to see what is best serviced in your area. availability of tip's, parts, service. if you intend to send it in for servicing, one might be done locally the other may need to be sent out or wait on seals wile the other would be done over night (so to speak)
      a search on the subject will get you more info also.
      good luck and welcome to the sits
      thanks for the help
      ......or..........
      hope i helped
      sigpic
      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
      summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
      JAMES

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a victor firepower setup that i got about 15 years ago, when still made in the US. It served me well for cutting. In recent years i stumbled upon the smith aw1 handle and cutting head and i love it. The cutting head just seems to work better than the victor, and its anice light handle for actually gas welding. It has a more quality feel than my victor too (my opinion). My buddy recently got a Purox handle (old but in new condition) and started buying tips for it, we are currently perplexed as to why none of the larger tips work right on the handle. The flame is very erratic and bushy, without a really defined cone, and also very loud. He has contacted esab but they are no help.

        So my vote is to go SMITH, made in USA, lifetime gaurantee and nice quality.
        Dynasty 200 DX
        Millermatic 175
        Spectrum 375
        All kinds of Smith OA gear

        Comment


        • #5
          Well a couple years ago I would have said Victor or Smith, now its just smith.
          Victor has moved some of its production to mexico and china, and the quality seems to really be falling off. Smith is in Minnesota and is actually doing product improvements as time goes on. Victors customer service is useless, no technical guys or engineers left there anymore, just marketing. A year and a half ago or so Victor did a design change on one of the welding tips they make, the flame quality went down the tubes. When I asked them about it they either:

          A-didnt know there was a change
          B-Blamed it on their manufacturing
          C-Eventually admitted it was a cost reduction and refused to by back the 60 ( yes 60 ) welding tips I had bought.

          I have one "Esab" torch set, seems to be of good quality but I had to go through 3 handles to get one that didnt have leaking valves out of the box.

          -Aaron
          "Better Metalworking Through Research"

          Miller Dynasty 300DX
          Miller Dynasty 200DX
          Miller Spectrum 375 extreme
          Miller Millermatic Passport

          Miller Spot Welder
          Motor-Guard stud welder

          Smith, Meco, Oxweld , Cronatron, Harris, Victor, National, Prest-o-weld, Prest-o-lite, Marquette, Century Aircraft, Craftsman, Goss, Uniweld, Purox, Linde, Eutectic, and Dillon welding torches from 1909 to Present. (58 total)

          Comment


          • #6
            Aaron,

            have you used any of the bigger Purox/esab tips? do they have a pointed flame like the Smith?
            Dynasty 200 DX
            Millermatic 175
            Spectrum 375
            All kinds of Smith OA gear

            Comment


            • #7
              In today's world, I like the technology of the Smith rigs the best.

              I own Victor stuff, but if I buy anything new in the future, I'll probably buy a Smith Dual-Guard setup because I think (dangerous!!) it to be the safest technology available.

              Hank
              ...from the Gadget Garage
              Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
              Handler 210 w/DP3035
              TA185TSW
              Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Aerometalworker View Post
                `` A year and a half ago or so Victor did a design change on one of the welding tips they make, the flame quality went down the tubes.
                -Aaron
                What a bummer!
                I finally bought a used Victor journeyman (just the cutting head and handle) to replace the one that was stolen from me a long time ago. I've been hunting E-Bay for welding tips for it.
                I was wondering what welding tips in particular have the design flaw?
                What about other brands that will fit the Victor, like Goss, maybe?
                To all who contribute to this board.
                My sincere thanks , Pete.

                Pureox OA
                Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                Miller Syncrowave 250
                Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

                Comment


                • #9
                  Smith Equipment

                  I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond. I like the fact that Smith equipment is made in the USA and that their torches carry a lifetime warranty. Smith sales reps email me back in one day. I am still waiting on response from Victor. I guess I am leaning more towards Smith.

                  Thank you.
                  earle

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by burninbriar View Post
                    What a bummer!
                    I finally bought a used Victor journeyman (just the cutting head and handle) to replace the one that was stolen from me a long time ago. I've been hunting E-Bay for welding tips for it.
                    I was wondering what welding tips in particular have the design flaw?
                    What about other brands that will fit the Victor, like Goss, maybe?

                    In particular it was the "N" style tip that is threaded and fits torches like the Meco Aviator, Midget, and the Victor J series with the factory adapter they used to make. I bought a set of standard J tips a year ago and they arent nearly as nice as the set I have from the 1950's

                    Unfortunately since the majority of the torches sold arent for quality welding anymore, the quality of design and manufacture has seemed to slip a lot for most companies, Smith being the only exception in my mind, since they have some very excellent torch bodies, regulators and tips with a very very nice flame.

                    Back in the 1930's through the 1950's companies like victor used to make different style welding tips depending on the application, they had different flame shapes for steel or aluminum or stainless. Since the true science and depth of OF welding has for the most part been lost to time, there has been no financial reason to keep making these tools.

                    Goss tips I have found to not be much if any better then the new victor tips, since they are of the same design and in some cases more inconsistent.

                    Please keep in mind, if im critical of a design or a detail, it due to the fact I use these tools for a living. Of the 30+ torches I own now ( yes 30 ) I find myself using the older designs much more.

                    -Aaron
                    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

                    Miller Dynasty 300DX
                    Miller Dynasty 200DX
                    Miller Spectrum 375 extreme
                    Miller Millermatic Passport

                    Miller Spot Welder
                    Motor-Guard stud welder

                    Smith, Meco, Oxweld , Cronatron, Harris, Victor, National, Prest-o-weld, Prest-o-lite, Marquette, Century Aircraft, Craftsman, Goss, Uniweld, Purox, Linde, Eutectic, and Dillon welding torches from 1909 to Present. (58 total)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Its really ironic, the reason I decided to get another Victor was because they have been so consistent with there design.
                      I came to that conclusion after my first set was stolen, I had an older Smith cutting torch that I had not used in a long time and dew to my loss of the Victor set I was going to start using the Smith for cutting. To make a long story short, when I tried to buy tips for it, I couldn't. They had changed the design and the tips for my torch were no longer made. A real bummer since the Smith torch itself is in near perfect shape. That soured me towards Smith, now I wish I had bought a new Smith set back then instead of getting all bent out of shape because I couldn't get tips for my antiquated torch.
                      Oh well, live and learn.
                      To all who contribute to this board.
                      My sincere thanks , Pete.

                      Pureox OA
                      Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                      Miller Syncrowave 250
                      Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Have always used Victor. Got a Smith about a year ago and I like it a lot better. If I purchase again it will be a Smith for sure.

                        Comment

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