How to Select the Correct Cutting Tips For Your Oxygen Acetylene Torch

oxygen acetylene torch

Whether you are buying your first cutting torch or replacing your current one, there are a few things you need to consider in order to get the best one for your project. One being the tip you choose.

While the selection process may seem daunting there are only 4 main things to consider:

1. Seat Type

2. Metal Thickness

3. Application

4. Fuel-gas

Keep reading to learn more about what goes into these 4 steps and get resources to help your cuts.

Practical. Powerful. Portable.

Complete oxy-fuel (oxygen acetylene torch)cutting and welding kit with accessories and cutting tips








In recent years there’s been much discussion about the value of plasma-arc and laser processes for cutting and welding, but Oxygen Acetylene, more commonly known as oxy-fuel, is still the most commonly used method worldwide.

The equipment is robust, easy to use, and the cost of entry is relatively modest. You can purchase high-end Oxygen Acetylene torch and equipment for $250 – $350. To save money and storage you can rent a gas cylinder. Electricity is not required so you can cut and weld almost anywhere.

There are several thousand types of regular and specialty cutting tips and welding nozzles available. Some are designed to cut off the base of an I-beam or remove the head of a rivet. Other tips extend up to 24” from the torch. There are tips made to fit into awkward places or cut at odd angles, and long-lasting tips with special alloy wear rings.

4-Step Method of Selecting the Right Cutting Tips 

Choosing the correct cutting tip for the job is critical to performance and safety. It’s easy when you use the 4-Step Method, but you need to understand these four things about your project and equipment:

Oxy fuel cutting tips seat-style varies with equipment brand and model


1. Seat Type

This is determined by the brand. You must know the manufacturer or model of your torch and/or the part number of the cutting tips you want to replace as this determines the seat type.

If this important step is skipped, damage to the equipment or dangerous flammable gas leakage can result. Tip seats vary greatly with the torch model (shown here in yellow).

2. Metal Thickness

The thickness of the metal being cut is very important because the center hole of the cutting and gouging tip is sized to deliver the proper amount of oxygen at the proper pressure for a specific thickness. The pre-heat orifice is also sized to handle the proper amounts of mixed gas to heat a given thickness of metal adequately. Oxy-fuel equipment is capable of cutting mild steel from 3 mm (1/8”) to 300 mm (12”).

3. Application

Tips are designed specifically for the applications in which they are to be used. There are different tips used for cutting, gouging, and heating. They may be one piece of solid copper, or a two-piece hybrid with a brass inner piece and a copper outer piece. Cutting tips are specially designed to use with automated cutting machinery for high-pressure cutting that permits quicker, cleaner, more accurate cuts.

4. Fuel Gas

Oxy-fuel cutting uses many types of gases. Cutting tips, designed differently for each fuel gas, optimize the delivery of oxygen and gas.

gas_cylinders, oxygen acetylene torch


The hottest most-versatile gas, acetylene, is very easy to use for all purposes. Pre-heat time for cutting and gouging is relatively short because the flame temperature is between 5,600 and 5,800 F. However, this gas is the most expensive gas available and is not the most efficient for heating large areas.


Commonly used as a generic name for many types of gases. These range from specific gases, with their own chemical formula, to gases that are primarily propane mixed with ethylene or other chemicals that generally burn hotter than propane. Cutting, gouging, and heating is reasonably efficient with propylene. Pre-heat times can be longer, but using the proper tip design can eliminate this issue. Propylene yields flame temperatures between 4,800 and 5,300F. Wedling typically does not use this gas.

Propane and Natural Gas:

Have flame temperatures between 4,500 and 4,600F and are the least expensive gases available. Propane is the most efficient for heating because of its high BTU output and the large heavy heating tips that are available. Welding does not use these gases.

Resources, References & Guides

Oxy-fuel catalog with index of cutting, heating, welding and specialty tips.

Use our online catalog to search for cutting, welding, heating, and specialty tips.
Tips can be searched by brand and tip part#; and each listing includes information about fuel gas, application, features, and length.

Hundreds of tips for more than 20 brands are listed in this catalog; including Harris®, Esab®, Smith®, and Victor®.

relative size of orifice in oxy-fuel tips

Tip orifice shown above at actual size.

Recommended Oxygen Acetylene Torch Best Practices:more safety information is available in this excellent book about cutting with oxygen acetylene torch

For more information about the cutting process, procedures, and safety practices the American Welding Society (AWS) publishes Recommended Practices For Safe Oxygen Acetylene Torch Operation.

Revised and expanded, this book describes the oxyfuel gas cutting process and presents the latest procedures and safety requirements, using terminology and practices compatible with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) documents. Illustrations show torch and nozzle configurations, and examples of production-cut surfaces. ANSI Approved. approx. 53 pages.

Follow this link to buy it from the AWS Online Store.



Overview of The Cutting Process 

Oxy-fuel proMix high performance mixer, oxygen acetylene torchYour oxy-fuel equipment manual will explain how to adjust the torch and regulators to achieve the optimal flame for pre-heating and cutting. If you don’t have a manual you can download the ATTC equipment manual here.

First, preheat the steel to its kindling temperature. Then the cutting and gouging processes can begin to remove the metal. When the steel becomes “cherry red”, the added oxygen causes an exothermic reaction that removes the metal. The oxygen must be 99.9 percent pure to produce a quality cut.

Depending on the brand and model of your torch, the pre-heat gases are mixed in different ways. Some torches are tube-mix while others mix the gases in the head or in the tip itself.

Learn more about our oxy-fuel torches, gas apparatus and tips here.


Cut Clean With The Best Cutting Tips for Your Oxygen Acetylene Torch

Looking for an oxygen-fuel acetylene torch tip perfect for cutting, gouging, heating, and brazing? We have been producing high-quality, cost-effective oxy-fuel cutting parts since 1940.

Most of our standard cutting and welding tips are made from tellurium copper with a precision-swaged calibrated orifice. We also offer a wide range of oxygen acetylene torches from handheld to automated so you can upgrade everything all at once.

If you need help selecting the right tip don’t worry! Our team is here to help you find the perfect fit for your needs.

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