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Comparison of Torch Gases: MAPP Vs. Butane Vs. Propane

Updated February 21, 2017

Three types of liquefied petroleum gas (LPGs) burn in torches for various professional uses, home uses and hobbies. Your choice between MAPP gas, butane or propane depends on your application.

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Manufactured from crude oil, liquefied petroleum gases remain in a liquid state while stored in tanks. When released into the torch, they evaporate and the gas mixes with air and burns.


MAPP gas, made from combining liquefied petroleum and Methylacetylene-Propadine, burns the hottest. Best uses include hard or silver soldering and brazing.

Propane Gas

Propane, the most common of the three, does not burn as hot as MAPP gas, but is available at more retail outlets in more forms. In a torch, it can be used for soft soldering copper pipes.

Butane Gas

The least toxic of the three, butane burns the cleanest, and you can safely store it indoors. It burns at about the same temperature as propane, but may cost more.


MAPP gas may burn too hot for your application. For safety, you should store propane outdoors. Butane will not evaporate at lower temperatures so torches won't work below freezing.

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About the Author

Richard Asmus was a writer and producer of television commercials in Phoenix, Arizona, and now is retired in Peru. After founding a small telecommunications engineering corporation and visiting 37 countries, Asmus studied broadcasting at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College in New York.

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