Propane torches are an essential tool. From killing weeds to preheating metal to loosening stuck bolts, these torches are in high demand. With a good torch, you can weld, braze, and solder metal. They are also great for searing meat, killing weeds and DIY furniture blackening.
There are a lot of different models. You can buy a cheap, $10 torch that screws onto the top of a bottle. That’ll work just fine.
However, the more you spend, the more serious of work you can do. You don’t want to try to preheat a large piece of metal with a small propane torch. Nor do you want to try to burn all the grass along your fence row with your preheating torch. For the most part, you’ll want to get the tool that is best suited for your task.
Here are a few of my favorite propane torches for each type of task.
List of The Best Propane Torches
BernzOmatic Pencil Flame Propane Torch Head
The BernzOmatic is a fascinating little torch and is quite different from the other models that you’ll see on this list. It’s designed for light gas welding and for soldering.
It brings an extreme swirl technology to make sure that you get the most efficient use of your propane. It also has a 360-degree swivel that makes it easy to create a flame at any angle. The low profile and thin neck give you an accurate pencil flame that makes it easy to reach into areas where your hand cannot get close enough. Just light the end and then move the propane bottle around to direct the flame.
The STK-R regulator prevents backflash, making this an extremely safe torch to use in any position.
In addition to the super-hot flame, the ability to disassemble this little torch for cleaning makes this a better choice for heavy-duty commercial use. If you are continually ruining your torches by spilling solder into them, you will love how this one disassembles to easy cleaning. It significantly prolongs the lifespan.
Blue Flame Torch 9XTL
In my opinion, it is a close race between the Blue Flame and the Bernzomatic TS8000 below. Where I feel like the Blue Flame brings some fresh innovation is in the multiple tips.
With this propane torch head, you get different tip sizes that can be exchanged for the task at hand. This feature lets you use a narrower flame for those moments where you are worried about melting items around the torch. However, where you have more room to work, you can go with a broader tip and get the job done faster.
The wider tip is especially handy for things like heat shrinking wire connections and for stripping paint. This tip also comes in handy when softening tar while roofing.
The swirl tip is similar to the model below, in that it creates a swirled flame for the highest concentration.
Some of our culinary folks really appreciate this model. Propane gas gives a better taste than butane. It also burns hotter and makes it easier to get those custom seared steaks in less time.
As with the other models, this one gives you excellent flame control and the ability to lock the flame on to keep your hand from being tired.
Bernzomatic BZ8250HT Map-Pro Trigger-Start Hose Torch
The Blue Flame above is excellent for most situations. However, when you are working with small spaces, you need a small propane torch head that will easily reach into those little spots.
This torch is the only one I’ve seen that separates the torch head from the 14.1-ounce bottle with a hose. While using a 5-foot hose, this kit gives you the maximum reach for crawling under the house and soldering pipes or reaching up to a hidden bolt on the underside of your car. The pressure-regulated nozzle helps to protect you while keeping the flame on in any position. This aspect allows you to even use the propane torch upside down.
As with the other models, this one also uses the efficient, swirl flame that creates a narrow, hot flame. The flame control knob allows you to easily control the heat for the perfect amount of flame.
This is undoubtedly the best propane torch for HVAC technicians. Soldering those hard-to-reach refrigerant lines has never been easier.
If propane isn’t hot enough for your task, this one will also use MAPP gas for a hotter flame.
The holster is a nice feature as well. This allows you to have one compact tool for getting the job done.
Bernzomatic TS8000 – Professional Torch Head
The most basic propane torch is this model that screws onto the top of a 14.1 oz propane tank.
Every shop needs one like this. It is perfect for soldering pipes and for brazing work.
This one is so easy to use. There is the knob for adjusting the flame. And then there is the push-button igniter that lights the flame. From there, you can either hold the trigger down or use the run-lock button to hold the flame on.
This torch is labeled as the hottest hand torch. It uses a swirl flame to optimize the oxygen and propane and to get a faster soldering time. It can get up to about 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not hot enough to melt metal, but it sure can thaw frozen lines or melt solder.
Whether you want to use it in the house for searing meat, or on a frozen brake line, this torch is an extremely reliable option.
Worthington 336737 – Cheap Torch For Every Shop
I don’t care how tight of a budget you are working with. You need to make sure this Benzomatic torch is in your toolbox and at the ready.
When I was 13, my dad was a truck driver, so most of the automotive repairs fell to me. He had taught me well, but I was quickly picking up new skills. One of those skills was that — as a scrawny 13-year-old — I was heating up every bolt before removing it. The last thing I wanted to do was to strip a bolt head off.
One afternoon he was fighting a stubborn lug nut in an attempt to fix a wheel bearing.
After watching him try several hours of soaking it with PB Weld, I stepped over with my handy little torch and had it off in 10 minutes.
Yeah, I was an arrogant little twerp.
This torch uses an easy, trigger-start ignition. All you do is open the flow valve and squeeze the trigger to ignite the torch. The knob on the back gives you an adjustable flame that makes it handy for moments when you need low heat.
With this torch, you are going to use a 14.1 oz cylinder. The torch head simply screws on top of the tank.
The fact that the torch stays lit continuously makes it easy to use it and work for a long time on a project.
A lot of plumbers like this torch for brazing copper pipes together.
The only downside with this model is that the self-lighting piezo will eventually wear out. There is a reason these are sold in a four-pack. If you are using them heavily in your day job, you will want to buy a couple of them. For myself, using it occasionally, mine has lasted for over five years.
Red Dragon VT 2-23 C Propane Torch Kit
The Red Dragon is a handy torch for killing weeds without pesticides.
Right off the bat, this is a much larger torch than the first two that we talked about.
This one attaches to a 20-lb propane cylinder (the same type you use for your barbecue grill).
The 2-inch wide cones give you plenty of room to shape a powerful, 100,000 BTU flame. Designed to kill weeds, it creates a path of the perfect width to easily eradicate weeds from around fences and in driveway cracks. It delivers a 2,000 Fahrenheit flame, which is perfect for rapidly heating large chunks of metal.
This flame is so powerful that you will appreciate how you can dial the knob down to the minimum. This will let you conserve propane while still effectively wilting flowers and destroying seeds before they can sprout. With repeated use, you can effectively keep grass and weeds from growing in areas as you kill off all of the weeds, roots, and seeds.
Since 20-pound propane tanks are heavy and difficult to carry around the yard, consider getting a dolly to carry them around with.
Bernzomatic 19425 Torch
This is one bad-ass weed torch. The 36-inch reach gives you the ability to easily reach the weeds.
As with the other models, the flame on this one is entirely adjustable. This lets you save propane while still quickly killing all of the weeds.
You’ll notice that this has a narrow tip. This allows you to concentrate the heat and to get the job done more quickly.
One of the biggest selling points with this propane wand is that it is self-igniting. Simply turn the valve knob and click it to activate the flame. With the others, you have to use a separate igniter which puts your hand near the flame. This one keeps your hand away from the flames.
Unlike the other models, this one connects to a 14 ounce or 16-ounce propane tank. This reduces the amount of work you can do on a single tank, but it creates a much lighter apparatus for carrying around. Most of us don’t want to carry a 20-pound tank around with us.
With 20,000 BTU of output, this is a very efficient tool. You can use it to patch asphalt driveways, kill ant hills and thaw the ice.
This is an affordable, easy-to-use tool that can change the entire appearance of your lawn.
Mag Torch MT 5000
The Mag Torch is a close competitor to the Red Dragon hose torch. It is another outdoor torch for weeds and advertised 500,000 BTU with up to 3,000 Fahrenheit temperatures.
It comes with a 5-foot long hose and a little bit larger cone for delivering a pinpoint flame. This lets you easily kill all of the weeds in your path. You connect it to any BBQ tank-style propane tank.
This is basically a mini flame thrower. The wand is about 37 inches long, so you can easily reach the ground with minimal bending.
As with the Red Dragon, you can work with the valve to keep the flame low. Even on a low flame, you have an extreme amount of power, and it just withers the grass.
You’ll need to be careful with this one around the dry brush. It will start a field fire in a hurry.
A couple of common uses I have seen for this is thawing snow and ice off of a sidewalk, also lighting the pizza oven. This reaches to the back of a stone pizza oven and lights it easily.
If you are using it in place of pesticides, it takes about twice as long as applying pesticides. However, you will likely need to do it less often, and by the end of the season, you shouldn’t have any weeds left.
Zenstyle Oxygen and Propane Blow Torch Kit
When welding, there are times when you need to heat metal. Preheating metal can help you prevent cracking and provide a better welding bead, especially when working with thicker metals.
Most people are familiar with acetylene torches. Acetylene torches require a tank of acetylene and a tank of oxygen. These torches are perfect for cutting metal.
However, for preheating metal, you need a propane torch that will heat the metal without melting it.
These propane torches use the same acetylene kit, just with the addition of a propane tip. If you buy a propane tip like this one, you can use this kit for running propane.
When you combine propane and oxygen, you can take the flame from 3,590 degrees Fahrenheit up to 4,087 degrees. This higher heat enables you to get the deeper penetration of heat on those thick metal repair jobs.
With this setup, you can also cut metal when you use it with the hotter acetylene gas. But it is excellent for preheating metal. This is a phenomenal kit for a serious shop that is serious about fabrication. The rugged kit stores the product safely and makes a handy carrying case for taking it from job site to job site.
Best Propane Torch Buying Guide
Butane Torch Vs. Propane
Butane is not as hot as propane. Butane torches can reach 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit, while a Propane torches run hotter at around 3,600 degrees. Butane is better for tasks like lighting a cigar, browning the top of “>Creme Brulee, and for smoking dab. They struggle with tasks like heating stuck bolts and soldering pipes.
Mapp Gas Vs. Propane
Mapp often comes in those same, small, 14 ounce bottles that propane can be purchased in. However, MAPP is handy for those welding and brazing situations where a little more heat is needed. It burns at 3,730 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the 3,600 degrees that propane burns at.
Features To Consider When Shopping For The Best Propane Torch
Buying a torch is quite straightforward. Most of us just need a simple, lighter-style torch for light-duty use.
However, here are some simple features to consider.
Durability: There are two ways that these torches generally fail. The first way is when the lighter fails to strike. This isn’t the biggest problem as you can always light them with a striker. However, the other problem has to do with leaky seals that don’t let you turn the flame off all the way. You can always disconnect the head from the bottle, but you have to be cautious of the burning end if it doesn’t let you turn the flame off.
Adjustability: Most of these models have some type of knob that lets you adjust the flame. This knob is a pretty critical piece that is needed for keeping you from burning items around the torch tip from using too large of a flame.
Internal Ignition: Most of these models have an internal piezo. Simply click the trigger to ignite the flame. This feature makes the torch much easier to use. The other option is to use an external Stryker to light the flame.
Swirl Style Flame: On the smaller torches, this is a fairly standard option. The swirl style gives you a more reliable flame and should be a top consideration if you are making a lot of home improvement.
Safety Precautions When Using A Hand Torch
It is easy to burn yourself when using one of these. Here are some tips to help protect yourself from serious harm.
1. Wear Gloves. Our list of welding gloves can help protect your hands from accidental burns.
2. Wear Tight Clothing. You don’t want to wear a baggy shirt that can easily catch the flame. Keep long hair contained, and your clothes tucked in.
3. Stay Ventilated. Propane fumes are not healthy to breathe. Additionally, flames use oxygen. You want to make sure there is a steady supply of oxygen to the area where you are working.
4. Disconnect the torch. While a new torch tends to turn off tightly and does not allow gas to escape, they may start losing a little gas overtime. Leaking gas is an explosion hazard.
How to Use A Propane Torch
- Attach the Torch to the LP Gas.
- Turn on the gas and the flame knob.
- Light the flame to start propane torch.
- Adjust the flame to your needs. Apply it to the item you need to heat, being aware of your surroundings.
What is a Propane Torch Use For?
It is generally used to heat stuck bolts, and for soldering pipes. A less common use is welding with lead or brazing.
What Temperature Does A Propane Torch Burn At?
Propane burns at 2590 degrees Fahrenheit unless it is being supplemented with pure oxygen.
Why Is My Propane Torch Ticking?
A Ticking torch can indicate a poor mixture of propane and air, as is caused by a faulty valve. Try switching to a different tank to see if that resolves the problem.
Why Won’t My Propane Torch Work In The Cold?
This problem is caused by the propane gas not evaporating fast enough in the winter. Generally, the gas evaporates faster in the warmer months. When it is getting too cold outside, the gas cannot escape fast enough to maintain a flame.
Will My Torch Burn Upside Down?
Most of these torches require you to keep them upright for them to burn. It requires a high-end nozzle with a special regulator to be able to turn upside down. Even with these models, you generally need a full propane tank.
About Zachary Drumm
Hey! My name is Zachary Drumm! This site allows me to try these tools out, piddle around in the garage, and create fresh content for you. When it comes to tools, home improvement, and being a “shade tree mechanic,” you’ve come to the right spot.