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  #1  
Old 2007-12-28, 5:32pm
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Default Barracuda vs. Hellcat?

I'm having serious torch dreams here. I even convinced myself that there was a Barracuda under the Christmas tree and then Christmas eve I had a dream that it was some kind of a Major burner and not what I wanted. Said object turned out to be a lovely handmade teapot. It had a round base, was heavy and had a part that stuck up in the air.

Anyway, I was tooling around looking at other torches and stumbled upon the Hellcat. It seems like it might be similar and I like that it comes with 4 studs so I could run the inner fire on an oxy con and the outer on a tank.

I currently use a Piranha that I love, but I've been making ornaments and larger hollows and it can't quite keep the whole thing hot enough. Sometimes I need more radiant heat. But I do a lot of small, detail work and like to dial my torch way down to do that. So i think two stages would be a good option.

I'm wondering if anyone has used these two torches and can give me a comparison?

Teague
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  #2  
Old 2007-12-28, 6:03pm
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There is no comparison. The Hellcat blows the Barracuda away. Hotter, cleaner, and burns less oxygen. Another option you may want to consider is the Knight Bullet. Pretty much identical to the Hellcat in terms of flame, but built better, and much cheaper ($659 is what we sell them for).
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  #3  
Old 2007-12-28, 6:31pm
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But will the center fire dial down far enough for detailed stringer work?

Teague
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  #4  
Old 2007-12-28, 6:53pm
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Yep. Sure will. Not as fine point as a pre-mix (what I use now), but the center fire on the Knight I have here can get every bit as fine of a point as the center fire on my Tiger Shark that I used to have (which is the same as a Piranha, and same center fire as a Barracuda). Honestly, I can't see paying $900 for a Barracuda when you can get a much better torch for $250 less...
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  #5  
Old 2007-12-28, 11:34pm
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Hmm well I've never used a premix so I can't compare there. But I do like to dial down my piranha, I'll be on the look out for a Knight so I can see it in action. Thanks!

Does the Knight Bullet come with four studs as well?

Teague
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  #6  
Old 2007-12-29, 8:20am
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You can get it either way (same price). We usually carry the 2 stud because it's more popular, but we can get 4 studs no problem.
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  #7  
Old 2007-12-29, 11:26am
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Wow, thanks for getting back to me. Wish I had the funds now.

TEague
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  #8  
Old 2007-12-31, 6:36pm
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If you will be in the Olympia area any time soon you can play with my Knight Bullet to see if you like it.
G.
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  #9  
Old 2008-01-01, 8:37pm
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I will put that on my list, I may take you up on it. Maybe before/after the Frantz Bash?

Teague
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  #10  
Old 2008-01-04, 12:37pm
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I will put that on my list, I may take you up on it. Maybe before/after the Frantz Bash?

Teague
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  #11  
Old 2008-01-04, 8:20pm
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I happen to have all 3 torches. I started out with a mini cc and loved it. I decided I wanted a bigger torch and wanted a Barracuda. At that time, they where no where to be found. Someone suggested the Knight Bullet Burner and I bought it. Definitely a nice torch, used it for about 6 months then a Barracuda came up for sale (Mr. Smiley was selling them) and of course I bought one. The 2 torches are very comparable in my opinion. I was running them off of 1 Integra 10 and a M-20 and had plenty of O2. Then came the Gathering and open torch. I played with the Hellcat for 2 days and fell in love with it. I ended up purchasing one with 4 ports and the foot pedal. I run this off the same concentrators and have all the O2 I need. The Hellcat is definitely the hottest torch out of all 3. Hopefully I am done buying torches for a while (-:. Let me know if there is something specific you need to know.

Lynn
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  #12  
Old 2008-01-04, 8:38pm
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Lynn,

Thank you I appreciate your input. If you can think of a way for me to rustle up the funds I'm all ears.

Teague
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  #13  
Old 2008-01-05, 11:34am
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There is 2 Bullets on Ebay for only $495.
I was going to buy them and sell them for $600 but no money.
They are 2 prong but very easy to make into a 4.
G.
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  #14  
Old 2008-01-05, 3:05pm
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Huh you must be searching in a different way than I am. I did find a Delta and a major though.

TEague
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  #15  
Old 2008-01-06, 11:36am
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If you want that fine laser point flame for detail work than the Barracuda is the way to go, the focus it much tighter on the inner fire. I have used both the Knight Bullet burner and the Barracuda extensively and find that the Barracuda is my favorite by far. The Knight is a good torch but I really don’t see it a superior in any way. As a matter of fact I find it less efficient on fuel and O2 and while they are both hot torches I find the Bullet to be hotter. The valves got so hot it was difficult to touch them after several hours of work. I also do not like the base of the Bullet Burner. It is made of cast iron and has a tendency to break right at the mount. My supplier has had several arrive in his wholesale store broken in this way. They are now shipped double boxed and he has not had a broken one since. This fixes the shipping damage problem doesn’t address the poor design issue. I know a fellow lampworker that dropped hers and the base snapped. Bullet replaced it but it was a huge hassle.
Both have nice flame characteristics. I think the Barracuda has a larger flame that is just a bit cooler and softer. It is very kind to soft glass. The bullet burner is a hotter and harsher flame. While I was able to work soft with it quite well it was more difficult with some of the fussier color such as the new silver base varieties.

I played with a Hellcat recently for a few hours and liked it but don’t have enough experience with it to offer a valid opinion. I would like the opportunity to play more as it looks like a decent torch.

I currently am using a split manifold Barracuda with a foot pedal and love it.
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Last edited by Trey Cornette; 2008-01-06 at 7:19pm.
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  #16  
Old 2008-01-06, 12:55pm
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I did extensively research on these torches and discussed the various characteristics with different people whose work I admire . . . and got a hardly used Barracuda from Mike Frantz. Now just need my two M-15s so I can set it up!
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  #17  
Old 2008-01-06, 11:35pm
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Yeah Trey's set up is the first one that I imagined. Well I wasn't sure I could get the foot pedal at the same time, but eventually.
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  #18  
Old 2008-01-07, 6:54am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey Cornette View Post
If you want that fine laser point flame for detail work than the Barracuda is the way to go, the focus it much tighter on the inner fire. I have used both the Knight Bullet burner and the Barracuda extensively and find that the Barracuda is my favorite by far. The Knight is a good torch but I really don’t see it a superior in any way. As a matter of fact I find it less efficient on fuel and O2 and while they are both hot torches I find the Bullet to be hotter. The valves got so hot it was difficult to touch them after several hours of work. I also do not like the base of the Bullet Burner. It is made of cast iron and has a tendency to break right at the mount. My supplier has had several arrive in his wholesale store broken in this way. They are now shipped double boxed and he has not had a broken one since. This fixes the shipping damage problem doesn’t address the poor design issue. I know a fellow lampworker that dropped hers and the base snapped. Bullet replaced it but it was a huge hassle.
Both have nice flame characteristics. I think the Barracuda has a larger flame that is just a bit cooler and softer. It is very kind to soft glass. The bullet burner is a hotter and harsher flame. While I was able to work soft with it quite well it was more difficult with some of the fussier color such as the new silver base varieties.

I played with a Hellcat recently for a few hours and liked it but don’t have enough experience with it to offer a valid opinion. I would like the opportunity to play more as it looks like a decent torch.

I currently am using a split manifold Barracuda with a foot pedal and love it.
I found the opposite to be true. I found that the Barracuda was not very oxygen efficient at all. I found that both torches seemed to drain a tank at the same rate, but the Bullet was much hotter and I could work faster, so I could get more done in less time.

Granted, most of what I did was making marbles out of borosilicate, so that may be a lot of it...
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  #19  
Old 2008-01-07, 4:18pm
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I find it funny that people have a problem with the base of a Bullet,but I wouldn't know as I bolt mine to my table and thats where it stays.
Oh well I hope everyone can find a torch that they love and be happy.
G.
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  #20  
Old 2008-01-08, 7:09am
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I don't understand the complaint myself. Mine is clamped to the table with a C clamp (the same one I use on other torches).
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  #21  
Old 2008-01-08, 3:14pm
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Pointing out the poor base design of the Knight Bullet burner is not a complaint but an observation from personal experience. When I picked mine up from my wholesaler the first one we opened had a broken base. I was informed that this was not a new problem and it had happened before. I won’t name my dealer but he is a respected member of this forum. And in the second case, no one would want to drop their torch like my friend did but to have the base break off because of it is quite a surprise. We were both just happy that it did not land on the face and cause damage there. Cast Iron is brittle and can break easily Knight would be better suited to have a steel base fabricated like the Bethlehem burners are. It is more expensive but definitely more durable. I still like the Knight Bullet burner. It makes a great back up torch. I just don’t think it is in the same quality class as the Barracuda.
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Old 2008-01-09, 10:09am
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I've never heard of a base breaking before. I wonder if that's how Bethlehem tries to justify charging and extra $100 for the base?
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Old 2008-01-11, 1:40pm
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When I was looking for a torch I decided to go for it and get the Barracuda. I am in love. I have absolutely no complaints... She purrs like a kitten. I get excellent colors and it melts boro fast! I typically make round and lentil beads and average size pendants and hearts (Check out the link below). Haven't tried marbles yet but will soon... one thing at a time.

I just started working with Boro the last week in Sept 07 and have never tried soft glass. I have also never tried any other torch but I don't feel mine is lacking in any way. I am running it on tanked and propane. I got it from ABR Imagery and had a great experience with them. I got the torch, the blue mount and the cleaning kit for a bit over $900. Great investment IMHO.

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  #24  
Old 2008-01-11, 6:22pm
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Somthing else I find strange is someone saying the knobs get hot on a Bullet.Mine are not even warm after 6-8 hrs.
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Old 2008-01-11, 6:56pm
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I guess everyone's experience with an individual torch is going to be different. I just realized that the Hellcat is Carlisle and the centerfire is a mini CC, which I don't particularly care for. So I guess it's a Barracuda or a Knight for me. Or whatever comes up for sale when I have money.

Teague
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Old 2008-01-14, 10:22am
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Quote:
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I guess everyone's experience with an individual torch is going to be different. I just realized that the Hellcat is Carlisle and the centerfire is a mini CC, which I don't particularly care for. So I guess it's a Barracuda or a Knight for me. Or whatever comes up for sale when I have money.

Teague
Teague, wait. I understand that you're thinking of the Hellcat as being primairily a MiniCC center with an outer ring added, but in my experience it's just not so. While the center fire is supposedly a MiniCC, IMO it behaves differently in the form of the Hellcat. And then, there's the outer ring. I usually run it with the outer ring set with a small flame that augments the center fire -- until I need to open it up, and then wow. Easily adjusted to accommodate every need. I love the Hellcat. Period.

We have ten torch positions and the majority of our student positions are set up with MiniCCs, so we've had the opportunity to really see them in action--both with boro and soft glass. They excellent student torches. No, they're not the torch I choose to sit at.

We have a bunch of other torches including a Minor, a National 8Mw/rider, Carlisle Hellcat, Wildcat, Pinpoint, and GTTs (Mirages and Phantom--which we also love), but just have to say that the Hellcat is a GREAT torch, and is not an O2 hog.

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  #27  
Old 2008-01-14, 2:12pm
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I can understand that it might function differently, but I want somthing that dials down to a pinpoint and min iccs tend to be wide.

Teague

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Originally Posted by Playing with Fire! View Post
Teague, wait. I understand that you're thinking of the Hellcat as being primairily a MiniCC center with an outer ring added, but in my experience it's just not so. While the center fire is supposedly a MiniCC, IMO it behaves differently in the form of the Hellcat. And then, there's the outer ring. I usually run it with the outer ring set with a small flame that augments the center fire -- until I need to open it up, and then wow. Easily adjusted to accommodate every need. I love the Hellcat. Period.

We have ten torch positions and the majority of our student positions are set up with MiniCCs, so we've had the opportunity to really see them in action--both with boro and soft glass. They excellent student torches. No, they're not the torch I choose to sit at.

We have a bunch of other torches including a Minor, a National 8Mw/rider, Carlisle Hellcat, Wildcat, Pinpoint, and GTTs (Mirages and Phantom--which we also love), but just have to say that the Hellcat is a GREAT torch, and is not an O2 hog.

Virginia
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  #28  
Old 2008-01-14, 3:12pm
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Teague Teague is offline
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Thanks Kimberly, that's the kind of I'm looking for experiences I'm looking for.

Teague
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  #29  
Old 2008-01-14, 8:41pm
Playing with Fire! Playing with Fire! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teague View Post
I can understand that it might function differently, but I want somthing that dials down to a pinpoint and min iccs tend to be wide.

Teague
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teague View Post
I can understand that it might function differently, but I want somthing that dials down to a pinpoint and min iccs tend to be wide.

Teague
OK, just to clarify: the point that I was trying to make which I guess I didn't do very successfully is that people think that the Hellcat is the same as the Mini CC only more of it, and I don't think it is.

The Hellcat's centerfire can make a tighter pinpoint than the MiniCC. I can't explain why because Carlisle says it's MiniCC centerfire. That's what I meant when I said the centerfire behaves differently in the form of the Hellcat. Whatever it is, it's more than the MiniCC with an outerfire. It's pinpoint is not as hot as a Phantom's, and I don't know if it's pinpoint will be hot enough for your needs, but it is a great torch. Hope that explains it a bit better.

Virginia
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  #30  
Old 2008-01-14, 11:30pm
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Teague Teague is offline
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Ah okay. You're correct, I didn't understand your first post quite right, now I understand. Thank you for the clarification.

Teague
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