Buying a Used Torch: A Lampworking Torch Buyer’s Guide Part 2

Welcome back to our Lampworking Torch Buyer’s Guide series! Let’s dive into purchasing the torch of your dreams while staying within your budget – do you purchase a used torch or a new torch? When it comes down to it, it’s about finding a torch that can grow with you.

The Great Debate: Buying Used or New

It’s okay to purchase a used torch, but be wary. If you don’t put in the time to research, you can find yourself spending 2x more money than if you were to buy brand new.

If you’re considering a used lampworking torch, here are some simple tips we suggest keeping in mind:

  • Ask to demo the product before you buy. If you’re unable to test the torch in person, ask for video and flame shots from the seller to ensure the torch is working properly.
  • Contact the manufacturer for review. Not all torch repairs are covered by Bethlehem’s Lifetime Factory Warranty. If you are considering buying a used Bethlehem Burners torch – contact Kate Hayes for a consultation. She will be able to break down any possible torch repairs a used torch may need, and what those repairs will cost.
  • Look for those tell-tale signs. There are a few common signs of torch fatigue. For example, you can spot if a torch is premixing fuels internally if you hear loud bangs when firing it up.
  • A gamble is a gamble. Even with photos, you can miss some tell-tale signs you have a lemon. If the risks outweigh the good, you can always buy a new smaller version of your dream torch.bethlehem burners alpha torch

They say: “Buy the best torch you can afford because you will have to relearn everything once you upgrade and you’ll pick up good torch maintenance habits while working with high-end equipment.”

Bethlehem Burner’s says: Choose a smaller version of your dream torch, one that is constructed by the same torch manufacturer but on a smaller scale.

While “their advice” is accurate, it is also very costly. If you’re looking to slowly invest in your new career or hobby, start slow. The smaller torch will give you time to learn proper fuel mixture ratios for specific glass techniques and it will teach you how to safely operate torches made by that manufacturer. If you can’t get your hands on the smaller version of your dream torch, get one that most closely resembles it.

Lampworking seems simple enough, but you can easily rack up a large repair bill if you’re not mindful of how you’re treating your torch. The problem is that operating and maintaining a torch requires a lot of effort and know-how. Most beginner lampworkers are preoccupied with learning how to create glass art and tend to accidentally mistreat their big and expensive torches. This leads to very costly and sometimes very time-consuming torch repairs.

Browse our inventory of new torches for all skill levels. If you have questions about what type of center fire will work best for you, contact Kate Hayes at