Gone the days of Soldering iron for doing all types of soldering jobs. With time soldering torch has snatched away a large market from soldering iron. The reason behind this is soldering torch uses a flame for the heating purpose which gives it the advantage of flexible and speed working over soldering iron. It can also control the temperature up to a very high level. So now when we need to solder large stuff we can use Soldering torch at high temperature. But while finding the best soldering torch for our required task we often get troubled. In this article, we will be able to find all the unbiased information we need while looking into the territory of Soldering Torch.
The Basics of a Soldering Torch
The inalienable parts of a soldering torch are soldering tip, flame gun, fuel tank, a trigger button and filling valve. This parts together make the torch fully functional.
Some torches have different sizes of soldering tips. It is of great convenience because if you want one soldering torch for different purposes. The flame gun releases the flame needed for soldering. There is a flame control button associated with it for varying the size of the flame in some torches. The fuel tank stores the fuel. The fuels of a soldering torch can be Propane, Butane, Acetylene, Mapp gas etc. Powered up by one of these fuels the torch shoots flame when the trigger button is pressed. The method behind it is when the trigger is pulled air is sucked into the torch and high pressure builds up. And with the help of the oxygen of the air and high pressure the butane burns and creates a flame. The filling valve lets one fill up the fuel tank when you are short of fuel. There is another button called the safety lock button. It prevents accidents by an unwanted opening of flame. Some torches also have a knob which actually let the flame to flow continuously when needed.
Why You Need a Soldering Torch?
You will need a soldering torch when you are a painter and has a paint stripping(heat-stripping paint) job. This is one of the major uses of soldering torch. Jewelry making and repairing also require just the right kind of soldering torch. A soldering torch has become almost an essential element for DIYers as it can reshape things with precision. You will also need soldering torch for soldering large objects as pipe joints, various electrical appliances. Plumbers use soldering torch for various purposes. Want to know a startling use of soldering torch? Well, it is also used in the culinary sector, but you just have to be careful while picking the best one for it.
In reality, a soldering torch should be considered as an essential element for every home because whenever you need to build or fix or make something at home you definitely will feel the want of a torch.
Different Types of a Soldering Torch
The versatile use of soldering torch naturally has created the demand for various kinds of soldering torches. In accordance with that, there are different soldering torches for different purpose such as a Gas torch, Plumbers torch, Jewelers torch, Micro torch, Pencil torch, Butane soldering torch etc.
You can know about all these in detail below:
- Gas torch: Gas torches use various gases such as propane, butane, acetylene as the working fuel. These torches can be used in different sectors according to their fuel.
Such as a butane torch generally used in the culinary sector and also for metalworkings involving aluminum, copper and some other common metals. They are known as kitchen torches, cooking torches, or culinary torches when used in the culinary sector. Some of the butane torches can raise the temperature up to around 2,610 °F.
Propane torches are capable of generating very high temperature and this high temperature allows these to be used also for low-temperature welding. They have a large-scale use in home building, remodeling, and plumbing.
- Blowtorch: Blowtorch is one kind of Gas torch which is very popular. It is capable of operating at low temperatures. It has a common use of melting snow and ice from pavements and driveways in cold climate areas. Also, it is used in road maintenance.
- Plumbers torch: This type of torch is mainly configured for plumbing works. Propane torches can also be classified as plumbing torch because these torches are widely used as plumbing torches. This type of torch can be applied for a variety of household projects such as various diameter soldering, thawing, melting and heat application. These torches have a temperature level of up to 2000 degree Celsius.
- Jeweler’s torch: Soldering is a sole part of making or breaking a jewelry. Usually, hand torches are used in the creation of jewelry. According to your required temperature, you can choose your jeweler torch which depends on the fuel. If you need low temperature you can choose butane or propane for your torch, in case of high-temperature requirement you have to choose acetylene.
- Micro torch: Micro torches are mini sized torches which are very comfortable to use while using for small stuff. They can be used for electronic and small household repairs. They are also easily affordable. Largely used in jewelry making.
- Pencil torch: Pencil torches have butane as the operating fuel. These are a specialized kind of torch which is used for heating up nonflammable items. These are of the size of a pen or pencil which makes its naming justified. Pencil torches are used when you need to control your flame very precisely. By using pencil torch it is very easy to place the flame in the exact position while dealing with very small objects because of its tiny size.
- Butane Soldering torch: It falls under the classification of the gas torch. This is highly usable in the food sector for melting cheese, caramelizing sugar etc.
- Mapp gas torch: It is a comparatively new kind of soldering torch in the market. It is now being popular because the fuel map gas is much safer than acetylene. So for high-temperature soldering, people are choosing this torch as a replacement for gas torches of acetylene.
Although the torches have been classified above, most of the torches can be cross-referenced. Such as if you want a suitable torch for jewelry making you will need micro torch which is also classified as a jeweler’s torch.
Things to Consider Before Buying Best Soldering Torch
If you want to buy a perfect torch for you, buying a soldering torch randomly may not fulfill your requirements. You need to consider some features before choosing the best soldering torch. Consider the points below:
1. Fuel Choice
The service delivered by the torch largely depends upon choosing the right fuel. It makes sure that the torch will burn at the desired temperature.
- Temperature requirement: The temperature range varies from torch to torch. And different soldering jobs require different operating temperatures. You can get different ranges of temperature based on what fuel you are using.
- Acetylene: Acetylene gas has up to 6300°F flame. It can be used for jewelry makings.
- Propane: It produces a flame of lower temperature than acetylene’s which is 5252°F.
- Butane: It has maximum the flame temperature of 4995°F. Because of that, its applications are limited.
- MAPP Gas: Its 5301°F temperature has made it suitable for high heating applications.
You have to make sure that the torch you are using matches the temperature needed for your soldering otherwise it can result in unwanted melting of your useful stuff.
- Acetylene: Its price is comparatively high than the other fuels.
- Propane: There are variations in its availability and so the price is not very low. Although it is reasonable.
- Butane: It is easily affordable. Also, it is portable and readily available.
- MAPP Gas: It is not easily available as it has some excellent features. And that is why the price rate is also high.
Except for Acetylene, all the other fuels of soldering torch are safe to work with.
- Cleanness: Propane and Butane gas produce carbon-free flames. But Acetylene and Mapp gas produce soot which is undesirable sometimes while working in some jewelry sectors.
2. Flame adjustment
When doing plumbing jobs such as making joints of soldering pipes you will need comparatively large flame than you need in soldering some electronic elements in some PCB board or something. Also, you might need different sizes of flame for various jobs. That is why some of the soldering torches have a knob for flame adjustment which increases or decreases the size of the flame. Do not forget to check the existence of it in your soldering machine.
3. Size of the Soldering tips
Soldering tip is the narrow head placed at the first end of the torch through which the flame is extinguished. Sometimes the flame need to be shot at a narrow joint sometimes the joint can be wide. So if you want to have one soldering machine for different purposes do not forget to buy the one with a number of soldering tips of different size.
Safety lock button ensures your safe work with a soldering torch. Prevent unwanted opening by a child or anyone else. Presence of it in your torch should be a must.
The features described above such as soldering tip size, flame adjustment allows a soldering torch for usage in various sectors.
4. Handy Design
The performance of your work with the soldering torch will depend on the degree of ease with you deal with the torch. If you are comfortable with the torch you definitely will work better. Also, portability is another essential feature. So the design must be checked to be convenient by looking into the size, configuration, and weight of the torch.
5. Warranty period
Generally, the soldering torches remain in warranty period for about 1 two 2 years. Some also provide a lifetime warranty. So you need to into check the specification in order to find the warranty.
6. Ignition control
Some soldering torches offer automatic ignition while for some a spark lighter is needed for igniting the flame. Although nowadays almost everybody prefers the automatic ignition as it is quite a hassle using an additional lighter for ignition.
7. Fuel Tank
Fuel tanks can be of various sizes. Some soldering torches also contain a reservoir with a hose for supplying fuel into the torch in the case for heavy duty tasks. This kind of torches is called blowpipes.
The price normally depends largely upon the fuel used for the torch. The price variances of the fuel are discussed in the “fuel choice” part. Also, the overall price can differ with the presence or absence of various features it provides.
An optional but also sometimes really necessary feature is a continuous flow knob. If you want your flame to be applied consistently for a while you can press the button and the flame will continue to extinguish until you turn that knob off.
How to Use Soldering Torch?
So when you will work with a soldering torch first you have to check if the fuel tank has got enough fuel or not. If not fill up the fuel through the filling valve. You might also need to remove all the flammable item from your workplace to prevent any kind of accident. The metals you want to solder should be cleaned up with sandpaper. Then holding the torch in hand conveniently you have to place the soldering tip near the junction of the two things you want to join together. Pull the trigger button and if you need the flame continuous for a while just pull the safety button too (if your torch has one). After the joint being heated enough just add the solder element to the joint. When you feel the need to change your flame power, just adjust the flame control knob. Although some simple soldering torches do not have the facility for controlling flame. This is one thing you have to keep in mind while buying a torch for yourself.
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