Electric arc welding, which was invented in the late 19th century, has now become highly popular. However, despite this modern technique, conventional gas welding continues to be preferred by various welding enthusiasts and professionals. In fact, the global welding gas market grew at a CAGR of 7.8%, from $2.71 billion in 2022 to $2.92 billion in 2023.
Flint strikers, which are used to light welding torches, are among the many supplies needed to carry out gas welding successfully. If you want to learn the art of gas welding, you can buy flint strikers online to build your welding kit and get started.
What are Flint Strikers?
Flint strikers are handy tools that help light the welding torches required to carry out manual gas welding. In this kind of welding, also known as oxy-fuel welding, a fuel gas and oxygen are used to create a flame. This flame then delivers the heat needed to join two or more metal workpieces.
To ignite the gas and get the flame started, you need a spark. Flint strikers deliver this instantly. The ‘flint’ in the term ‘flint striker’ refers to a hard and dense rock (often, a sedimentary rock). This flint is struck against the metal used in the flint striker, which is now most often carbon steel. This action produces the sparks needed to kickstart the gas welding process.
Using the spark generated by the flint striker, the fuel gas is ignited due to combustion in the presence of oxygen. The resultant flame can then be used to deliver the heat you need to fuse two metal pieces together in the weld pool.
Single Flint Strikers vs Triple Flint Strikers
Depending on the design and the number of flints available, there are primarily two different kinds of flint strikers — single flint strikers and triple flint strikers.
Single Flint Strikers
As the name indicates, a single flint striker has only one flint (or rock). So, it is this rock that is solely responsible for producing the spark needed to ignite the fuel gas. Since there is only one flint present in the striker, it may take a couple of attempts to get the spark needed to produce the flame.
That said, single flint strikers are the most cost-effective option, making them suitable for amateur gas welders and hobbyists who are working on a tight budget.
Triple Flint Strikers
A triple flint striker, as is evident from the name, has three flints instead of just the one. The immediate advantage offered by this feature is that you can strike up a flame faster and more efficiently. The flame is also more powerful, allowing you to get started with your weld jon more quickly.
Nowadays, many triple strikers also come with triangular flints that are easy to replace. You simply need to remove the central screw and rotate or replace the flints that have worn out. Once that’s done, your triple flint striker will continue to provide reliable sparks to light up a welding torch in record time.
The long and short of it is that both single flint strikers and triple flint strikers fulfill the same purpose. However, they are each suited to different applications and operations. If you are only just getting started with gas welding, you can start off by getting a single flint striker.
And as you get better at the process of gas welding, you can expand your welding toolkit to also include a triple flint striker. That said, keep in mind that no matter which kind of flint striker you use, maintenance and upkeep are important if you want them to remain in working condition for the long term.