LAST UPDATED: June 04, 2018

The Best Propane Torch (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Best Choice bernzomatic start torch Bernzomatic TS8000 – High Intensity Trigger Start Torch
Premium Pick red dragon torch kit Red Dragon VT 3-30 C Heavy Duty Propane Torch Kit
Best Value worthington propane torch Worthington Trigger Start Propane Torch

Whether you are welding, brazing, soldering, searing – or even stripping paint – a gas torch can be a useful addition to a home garage. There are simply some tasks, such as welding, that cannot be completed without one of these useful tools.

A propane gas torch can be the way to go. Propane is one of the safer gases to work with, with a lower flammability point than many others, whilst still delivering a flame of up to around 3,000 Fahrenheit.

There are a range of different makes and models on the market today. These days, even a small propane torch can still deliver excellent high temperature flames, so choosing the right model is more important than ever – you really can have a high degree of power right in the palm of your hand, so you need to trust the torch you’ve bought to handle it.

Our guide to the best models, plus our useful buying guide and FAQ will help you select the right tool for you.

The Best Propane Torch

Our first model is this beauty, from Bernzomatic and, lets go in early; it is a very well designed tool packing a lot of useful features.

First up is that extremely handy automatic ignition. As we’ll see as we go through the list, not as many propane torches as you would imagine come equipped with auto ignition, so it’s great to see it in place here. It basically just means that you don’t have to search around for your spark lighter all the time – just pull out your torch, click a button to light it up and away you go.

Key Features
  • Auto Start Ignition
  • Swirl Style Flame for High Heat Output
  • Sturdy, Aluminum Construction
Specification
  • Brand Bernzomatic
  • Model TS8000
  • Weight 1.2 lbs
PROS

Easy to Ignite

Well Built

Powerful Flame

CONS

Relatively Heavy

Can only be Hooked up to Smaller Tanks

Not Painted like a Dragon

So this item here is actually manufactured by a company called Red Dragon, and it is still not painted or decorated to look like one (seriously, they should let us do the marketing for these tools).

What we have here is the first of several multi-use style propane torches that we will have on the list. That long handle makes it perfect for burning out weeds and other ground-level applications. It generates a heat of 2,000 Fahrenheit, so it’s toward the lower end of the heat scale – but still a useful amount, and could be used for the usual vehicle related functions like soldering and light welding.

Key Features
  • Comes with Hose, Burner Head Unit & Striker Lighter
  • Hand Tightened Tank Fitting
  • Generates up to 2,000 Fahrenheit
Specification
  • Brand Red Dragon
  • Model VT 2-23 C
  • Weight 3.7 lbs
PROS

Complete Kit

Hooks up to Larger Tanks for Long Term Use

Multi-Use

CONS

Expensive

Mid Level Heat Generation

This is another multiuse torch, and one of the larger on the list, with a weight of over 7 pounds. Whilst it does come with a very well designed and ergonomic handle, that weight is perhaps going to make accurate burns that little bit harder after a while.

Hot Max has decided to give the heat output for this torch in BTU, like some other manufacturers on this list. This stands for British Thermal Units, and very simply, one BTU is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one Fahrenheit.

Key Features
  • 500,000 BTU
  • Ergonomic Handle
Specification
  • Brand Hot Max
  • Model 500G
  • Weight 7.33 lbs
PROS

Powerful

Comfortable to Hold

CONS

Heavy

No Built in Auto-Lighter

This small propane torch from Worthington has quite a few interesting points of note. First off, as we said, it’s pretty small, being about 10 inches tall and weighing in at less than 3 ounces. In addition to that it’s also the cheapest item on the list.

So it’s small and cheap. In addition, it has a auto trigger lighter built in, so it’s easy to ignite, whilst the small dial controls propane flow, so it’s easy to use. That small size also makes accurate burns nice and easy, and this torch would be perfect for small soldering jobs for example.

Key Features
  • Trigger Auto Ignition
  • Stainless Steel Tube
  • Handheld Design
Specification
  • Brand Worthington
  • Model 361552
  • Weight 2.24 oz
PROS

Small & Light

Easy to Use

Built In Auto Lighter

CONS

Very Basic Design

Not Premium Materials

Be confident in using your torch when you work with this MAPP or propane torch. It comes with a 5-foot hose for plenty of flexibility and range during use. You’ll appreciate the regulated pressure feature that makes it safer and easier to use. It also has a swirl flame, giving you a hotter and more concentrated heat. A comfort grip is located on the torch base so that you don’t touch the metal. A nice feature is a self-igniting ability. This makes it safer to use.

Unfortunately, this propane torch does not have a comfortable or ergonomically shaped handle. This can make it tiring on your hand during extended use. You also have to turn the gas up very high to get the self-ignition to work successfully.

Key Features
  • Can be used with MAPP or propane
  • Regulated pressure
  • 5-foot hose
Specification
  • Brand SÜA
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 2 pounds
PROS

Self-igniting

Efficient swirl flame

Comfort grip

CONS

Have to turn flow very high to ignite

Handle not ergonomic

Enjoy professional quality with this auto-igniting propane torch head. It has professional quality materials and construction. You’ll appreciate the instant on/off trigger igniter that makes igniting the flame user-friendly. Cast aluminum is used for the construction to make the torch durable yet lightweight. This torch is compatible with one-pound propane cylinders, making this torch portable. Its performance stands out because it has an ultra swirl flame, giving you precise control and concentrated heat.

The downside of this propane torch is that it doesn’t come with a hose, so you’ll need to buy one separately. It also has a short grip handle behind the controls. This can make it uncomfortable for some people to use.

Key Features
  • Cast aluminum body construction
  • Lock button
  • Flame control valve
Specification
  • Brand Flameking
  • Model 5000T
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Instant on/off trigger igniter

Compatible with one pound camping propane cylinders

Ultra swirl flame

CONS

Short grip handle

No included hose

This is our second entry from Bernzomatic and it is, to say the least, something of a quirky design. It isn’t, as it might seem at first glance, a modern update of Charlie Chaplin’s walking stick.

Instead, what we have here is a cool mixture of the Multi-Use and hand held models, with a smaller propane torch head at the end of an extended pipe that feeds directly into a smaller propane bottle connected directly to the device.

Key Features
  • Auto Ignition
  • 20,000 BTU Heat Generated
  • Adjustable Flame Control
Specification
  • Brand Bernzomatic
  • Model JT850
  • Weight 1 lb
PROS

Flame Control is Easy

Light & Hand Held Design

Multiple Uses

CONS

Underpowered

The fact a model lacks auto ignition will make more or less difference to different people when they are selecting their model of propane gas torch. Whatever you feel about this however, if a torch is being sold as a kit and comes bundled with a striker style lighter, then you want that lighter to be good quality.

No such joy here, so do anticipate picking up a new striker sooner rather than later – though in truth, they’re not so expensive or hard to find.

Key Features
  • 61-Inch Hose
  • Works with 20 Pound (or Bigger) Tanks
  • Generates Up To 500,000 BTU
Specification
  • Brand Mag-Torch
  • Model MT 5000
  • Weight 3.9 lbs
PROS

Very Powerful

Very Simple

Long Gas Hose

CONS

Lacks Auto Ignition

No Booster Trigger

Bundled Striker is Rubbish

Use this propane torch for all of your projects with its refined burn tube that gives you complete control. It has a large handle that’s ergonomically shaped to fit your fingers and palm. This gives you a better grip, more control, and reduced hand fatigue. A standout feature of this torch is the fingertip auto igniter. This makes it simple to ignite the torch. You’ll appreciate the consistent flame once it’s lit. An adjustable brass knob is located on the side of the handle for precise flame control.

Unfortunately, the construction of this torch isn’t as durable as others because the handle is made from plastic. You’ll also find this torch to be heavier than other options. A hose isn’t included, so you’ll need to buy one separately.

Key Features
  • Brass adjustable flame knob
  • Stainless steel burn tube
  • Ergonomic handle
Specification
  • Brand Magna
  • Model MT 535 C
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Consistent flame

Fingertip auto igniter

Refined burn tube

CONS

Heavy

No included hose

Plastic handle

Our final model and it’s another product from Red Dragon, still happily ignoring their own company name. This model is another variation on Chaplin’s walking stick. Just like the version we saw earlier then, this makes for a model with a wide range of uses and functions.

This model is a bit more of premium design than the one we looked at earlier however. Whilst that does mean we have a higher price point, we also have a number of useful features built in.

Key Features
  • Adjustable Flame
  • Hand Held Model
  • 25,000 BTU
Specification
  • Brand Red Dragon
  • Model VT 1-32 C
  • Weight 2.4 lbs
PROS

Steel Construction

Easy to Use

Small, Accurate Flame

CONS

Weak Flame

1 Pound Gas Canisters

Best Propane Torch Buying Guide & FAQ

It’s pretty obvious from our list that there is a wide variety in the types of models currently on the market. Everything from small and accurate propane torches to big beasts you could use to storm a World War 2 bunker, there is a lot of variety out there.

We’re just going to go through a few of the features of the different types, and then tackle some of the most frequently asked questions about these models. Stick with us, and we’ll light a fire for propane torches.

Get it?

propane torch

Features To Consider When Choosing The Best Propane Torch

These are the main features to consider when making your decision. The more features, typically the higher the price – but also the better job it could end up doing for you.

Swirl Style Flame – A premium model will employ a swirl style of flame. This type of flame gets much hotter in a smaller area, allowing for high accuracy for precision weld and solders without affecting performance.

Turbo Boost Trigger – usually found on larger models, a boost trigger is an easy way to quickly increase the gas – and therefore flame power. It’s easier and more convenient than having to fiddle with the supply knob, especially if it’s mounted on the tank connector valve.

Auto Ignition – Click a button, get a flame. Faster and more convenient than the old fashioned, external Striker style of ignition.

Construction Material – Either Steel or Aluminum will be employed in the construction of the pipe and torch head. Both are fine, but premium models will usually employ aluminum, as it’s a little bit lighter.

How to Properly Use a Propane Torch

One of the key elements of using a torch is getting the sucker lit up in the first place. After all, without a flame at the end, a propane blowtorch is just a fancy metal tube.

Here is a great guide to getting the torch-started from our friends at How Stuff Works.

Naturally, since you’re here on Car Bibles you’re probably checking out a propane torch to use on your car. In that case, the use is probably going to be limited to welding and soldering – here’s a great guide to welding from Popular Mechanics.

best propane torch

Safety Precautions When Using a Propane Torch

A propane torch puts a lot of power straight into your hand – the power of fire! But it doesn’t really take much in the way of safety precautions to keep you safe – apart from common sense of course.

So just make sure you:

1) Wear safety equipment

2) Work in a well lit and well ventilated area

3) Adjust the flame so it is appropriate for the work you’re doing

4) Be aware of flammable materials in your workspace

5) Always be aware of the propane tanks location, as well as any connecting cables or pipes.

Best Propane Torch FAQ:

Got a question about propane torches?

Q:  What Can The Propane Torch be Used For? 

A:  As we mentioned above, if you’re buying this tool to use on your car it will probably be used for welding and soldering.

They can have other uses however, such as loosening tight or rusty bolts, melting snow and ice off the driveway (how cool will you look doing that? Very cool is the answer) and even tackling stubborn weeds in the yard.

Check out this video guide here which outlines some of the other uses that a propane torch can be put too.

Q:  Is it Safe Buying a Propane Torch Online?

A:  Of course! Just make sure you buy one with the flame strength appropriate to the task you want to complete, with the types of control and tank hook up you feel confident using.

Q:  What Temperature does a Propane Torch Burn At?

A:  It depends which model you go for of course, but a propane torch can reach a temperature of a little over 3,000 Fahrenheit.

Q:  Why is My Propane Torch Ticking?

A:  A ticking or pinging sound is usually an indicator of an uneven mixture of propane and air. It could also be a faulty valve.

Either way, the issue lies with the propane tank, not the torch, so contact the manufacturer or supplier of the tank for a replacement.

Our Top Pick 

You’re going to have to scroll all the way back to the top of the list, because the best product on it is right at the top of the tree – Item Number 1, the Bernzomatic TS8000.

For our money (and yours) no other product on this list so successfully combined ease of use with such a powerful (and therefore useful) flame. It also boasted an excellent construction of robust materials meaning it should give you a nice long life span. All that and it’s not even the most expensive product on the list should amply illustrate why it’s Number 1.

Related Posts: Best Welding Helmets and Best MIG Welders

Sources:

  1. BTU Explanation – Sciencing
  2. Guide to Torch Lighting – How Stuff Works
  3. 5 Uses for a Propane Torch – YouTube
  4. Basics of Welding – Popular Mechanics