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

By Richard Asmus; Updated June 12, 2017
MAPP gas, propane and butane have different qualities.

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

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

Manufactured from crude oil, liquefied petroleum gases, or LPGs, 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

MAPP gas, made from combining liquefied petroleum and methylacetylene-propadine, burns the hottest, around 3650 degrees F, or 2010 degrees C. Best uses include hard or silver soldering and brazing. But take care: MAPP gas may burn too hot for some applications.

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. For safety, you should store propane outdoors.

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 and serves much the same uses, but may cost more. Butane will not evaporate at lower temperatures so torches won't work at very cold temperatures.

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.