Acetylene torch recommendations

I just got an oxy acetylene torch but the Harris 85 fuel side valve leaks so the torch doesn’t turn off. From my research it’s due to the valve seat being damaged.

What torch handles do you all prefer? I would prefer one that can have a cutting head. It seems like the price difference in off brand and name brand is not that big…

I’ve had Victor for over 40 years, still going strong. Interchangeable welding/brazing tips with a cutting head.

With a little work, you should be able to repair your Harris. Take the valve apart and look for imperfections in the valve stem and seat, or dirt and grit. These can be cleaned up with valve grinding compound, depending on construction. There’s probably an O-ring or packing material on the valve stem. If you can’t find the correct replacement, roll some Teflon tape around the stem and fake it.

For safety, always turn the gasses off at the tank, bleed the hoses, and back the regulator screws out for zero pressure.


I agree with Mark. There’s a good chance you can fix it. (Remember, No oil) That would be a good way to maintain cutting ability.
If you decide to get a new torch, you can probably get a usability improvement by going to an aircraft style torch because they are smaller and lighter. I use a victor J28. The J28 and it’s clones are popular. The Smith AW1A is also popular.
I also use the light hose from Tin Man Tech.

1 Like

Torch update- I talked to my local welding supplier and they have a supplier that does rebuilds on torches and regulators. It looks like this option will be about half the price of a new torch and has free shipping.