It's a great torch, the hoses are fake the braided cloth sleeve just slides over the some kind of poly type hoses. If I remember correctly that is the number one thing on the internet search engines.(the replacement of hoses)they are very delicate and seem to get damaged very easily. They are sort of expensive, but easy to replace.
The biggest problem you will find that at around $9.00 a bottle for the oxygen and with a rose bud tip on the torch you will be burning through the bottles very quickly.
The second biggest problem is the Full sized regulators, the two stage regulators pulse at the low pressure, some cause the Smith little torches to constantly go out. They sell the small single stage regulators for a reason. Even a full size single stage will work. If you notice most regulators are even numbered below 5 PSIG. The torch is operating at 1 to 2 PSIG.
There are some generic knock offs of the smith little torch. Gentec is one that is sold by HF on occasion.
Gentec's compact torch
Here is one site that has a number of oxy/fuel and air/ fuel torches
They have the Gentec, Hoke torch.
Meco midget torches are another great small torch.
Meco Midget torch
this is the one that Kent from tinman tech talks about in his gas welding 2 part article in the home shop mag.
Meco midget tinman tech
Or you can just hunt up the smallest tip and handle for a regular fuel welding torch as the do make them. most don't know unless they stumble across them.
The two cylinders MC and B (bus) have the regulator adapters for the air/fuel presto lite torches on them in the photo.
Are the disposable bottles if you look at the amount of oxygen in the bottle, 1.4 ounces compared to the smallest cylinder here in the states an MC (Motorcycle cylinder)
I have a Gentec air/propane torch and a Gentec gas saver and I am happy with both of them.
I also have a Smith and it to has been great for what it is.
If you are planning on doing ferrous welding on small thin parts be warned that you can only weld with oxygen and acetylene to achieve a neutral flame. Any other fuel gas will only contaminate the weld pool and give an inferior weld.
Silver brazing other torches will work.
This is one style of new generation torches that is becoming popular in the jewelry field for silver brazing. It is what is called a high pressure torch, it use no regulator but it is at cylinder pressure. About 160 psi.
Their web site with the selection of torches they sell
I have one and it is great for the students in class as it is light and easy to carry back and forth from home to class.
Hope this may clear up some of the draw backs to using any type torch with disposable bottles. Whether it is Smith's little torch a Gentech knock off or the type of torch below.
It is what it is a great little welding, brazing or soldering unit for ladder work, in restricted spaces or in an office type area where people see a real full size torch and start to get squirrelly, about the danger.