Torch Hoses: Conventional versus Super Flex

Feb 2015 26
20 57 Thu
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TIG welding is a precision art that requires delicate manipulation of the torch and filler metal. There are many things that can contribute to causing a weld to go bad, including bad technique from welder fatigue. So what is the advantage and disadvantage of each of these types of cables? Let’s take a closer look:

Conventional Torch Hoses:Closeup of Hoses
Conventional torch cables are usually made out of a flexible plastic or vinyl material. These cables are generally heavier, less flexible and harder to manipulate than their super flex counterparts, however they do have certain advantages. The first and most obvious advantage is that they are generally much cheaper in price. Another area that these hoses can offer an advantage is when welding reactive metals, like Titanium. Sometimes rubber hoses can absorb moisture or other contaminants from the air which can transfer impurities into your weld.

In most cases, however, people prefer the super flex cables, because the disadvantages of the plastic (vinyl) hoses usually far outweigh the advantages. For instance, conventional cables are prone to melting when they come in contact with a hot part or torch. They also are not nearly as flexible, making it much more difficult to manipulate the torch.

Super Flex Torch Hoses:

Super flex torch hoses are made from a braided rubber and are built to be highly flexible and lightweight. They usually cost a little more than conventional hoses, but last longer and most will agree that they pay for themselves over the long run.

So which torch is right for you?
In most cases, we recommend going with super flex hoses. In most applications you will get the most out of your equipment with this type of cable. However, as we mentioned earlier, there are applications where conventional plastic hoses can be beneficial. So, take a look at your application and decide which type of cable is best for your needs.

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New "Set it and Forget it" Welding Helmet from Optrel

Feb 2015 17
14 34 Tue
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New Optrel e684 Helmet Allows Welders to “Set It and Forget It” with Fully Automated Shade Level Protection

Adaptive Shade Autopilot ADF technology automatically adjusts shade level to the welders’ parameters in full high definition viewing

EAST GREENWICH, RHODE ISLAND – Optrel, the global innovator of autodarkening filter technology for welding helmets, brings ADF lens and optical technology to the next level. The new optrel e684 is the only welding helmet with an ADF lens that fully automates protection through its Adaptive Shade Autopilot technology, automatically adjusting its shade level as the welder works – and in full high definition viewing. This new level of clarity and automation not only keeps welders better protected, it enables them to perform their job more efficiently, with greater accuracy and precision every time.

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Using Lift Start Like a Pro

Feb 2015 12
16 59 Thu
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If you hate using anything other than high frequency arc initiation in your TIG welding, you are not alone. Everyone has gotten into that position where they can’t (or don’t want to) use high frequency starts due to the interference it can create with some electronics or you are somewhere where you are not allowed to use it. The problem is, as welders, we have become so accustom to using HF to initiate our arc that many of us are no longer proficient at using the lift start function on our TIG welders.

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Pipe Welding: Three Commonly Used Processes

Nov 2014 03
16 27 Mon
Written by Alexander Barth

Pipe welding is an important trade which has revolutionized modern society. There are several different categories including pulsed TIG, stick and MIG welding. Of course, this skill takes a good amount of time to master and welders need to be certified based upon levels of expertise. In terms of pipeline welding and even domestic purposes, all welding processes need the use of electricity to generate the necessary heat to successfully bond two sections of pipe. Also, equipment such as pipe clamps and pipe stands are required to provide a safe and stable platform during the entire process. So, what are the basic forms of welding that are used?

Stick Welding:
As the name hints, this process involves a rod that is coated with a metal powder which acts as a shield from oxygen during the burn process. This is the most common type and it can be somewhat difficult because the welder is not able to see the weld due to the fact that it will be covered with slag. This excess material must be broken away after the weld is complete.

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding:
This technique employs a wire spool which feeds this material to the intended pipe joint. Also, a pump supplies inert gas to the welding handle. This gas is again intended to protect the weld from any ambient air. While MIG welding is considered to be easier than stick welding, setting up the required pipe welding equipment can be difficult and due to the potential for windy conditions, this is generally not used for exterior tasks. (See more on MIG Welding Pipe)

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding:
This method uses a torch which contains gas within its interior. A permanent tungsten rod heats the metal of the pipe while a "filler" metal is held in another hand. This metal is fed into the joint as is needed. The benefits here are that a greater degree of control can be enjoyed and the weld can immediately be seen. However, this two-hand process can be challenging for novices and TIG welding is therefore considered to be one of the most difficult forms to master. (See more on TIG Welding Pipe)

These are some of the most basic features of modern welding processes that are used. In many respects, welding is as much of an art form as it is a science. Experienced welders boast decades of experience in this novel, challenging and potentially lucrative industry.
Alexander Barth
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