Is there anything better than power tools? Well, okay, yes… fire! This only goes to show that putting fire and tools together is about the smartest thing people have ever done.
We’re not talking about flame-throwers here. That’s another article. Instead, we’re going to look for the best propane torch that you can get.
Whether you’re looking for a short torch for soldering, brazing pipes, and melting glass, or a longer wand torch for melting ice and burning out weeds, there’s something out there for you. We’ve put together a list of some of the best bargain torches you can get to improve your home life.
So, let’s go through them, starting with the…
- 1 Top 6 Best Propane Torch on the Market in 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Ivation Trigger Start Propane Torch – Best Budget Propane Torch
- 1.2 2 Magna Industries Mag-Torch Self-Lighting Regulated Torch – Best Lightweight Propane Torch
- 1.3 3 Bluefire HZ-8388B Hosed Torch – Best Portable Hose Propane Torch
- 1.4 4 Hot Max 500g Big Max Propane Torch – Most Powerful Propane Torch
- 1.5 5 Flame King YSNAX1-078a Propane Torch – Easiest to Use Propane Torch
- 1.6 6 Master Appliance PT-2000Si Propane Torch Head – Best Value for the Money Propane Torch
- 2 Best Propane Torch Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for Other Great Tools and Workshop Accessories?
- 4 What is the Best Propane Torch?
Top 6 Best Propane Torch on the Market in 2021 Reviews
1 Ivation Trigger Start Propane Torch – Best Budget Propane Torch
In this review, we’re going to look at a few different types of propane torches. For simplicity’s sake, there are torch heads that attach directly to your propane cylinder, and then there are torches that attach to cylinders via a hose.
Our first torch is a short model that attaches straight to a tank. For about 30 bucks, you can pick up this quick and easy-to-use little torch. It’s about 10 inches long and weighs only 12.8 ounces. So it’s just a lightweight little thing, and it one of the best compact propane torches you can buy.
An ABS plastic body with a stainless steel and brass burner tube. This tube is removable and replaceable, but we doubt it will be the first part of this propane burner to go. There’s a piezoelectric starter built-in, but it seems cheap and probably won’t last long.
This is a hazard that’s common on many burners. The regulator used to adjust the amount of flame you’re getting works well, except when you turn it off. You have to crank it to the closed positions, or it can leak gas.
This little unit can hook up to a hand-held canister of propane via a CGA adapter or a 1-inch threaded valve. It generates heat up to 2372°F (1300°C), which is a bit low but still enough for a whole lot of different applications.
What’s it good for?
We can see this burner being handy for light soldering and brazing work, starting fires, igniting charcoal, woodwork, and more. It could be used to spot burn weeds on a paved or graveled area. But it wouldn’t be comfortable as you’d have to crouch or kneel to get each weed. But because it’s light and small, it can fit into tight spaces where other burners can’t.
- Small and lightweight.
- Piezo starter feels like it won’t hold up.
- Plastic components aren’t the most durable.
2 Magna Industries Mag-Torch Self-Lighting Regulated Torch – Best Lightweight Propane Torch
Next up, we’re looking at a similar design from a different manufacturer. This is the Mag-Torch Self-Lighting Regulated Torch from Magna Industries. Compared to the only slightly cheaper Ivation torch, this one is a bit longer at 14 inches. But it’s also only half a pound, so it’s a bit lighter than the Ivation.
Holds the heat…
This little torch burns propane at 2,595 degrees Fahrenheit with a high quality, consistent triple point flame. This is a great flame for brazing and other metalwork. The main body of the torch is made of durable ABS plastic, but the burn tube is stainless steel, so it can hold up to the heat.
The ABS body is formed into a comfortable grip, and the piezo starter is right there under your trigger finger. We found this to be one of the most comfortable propane torches we looked at.
Like the Ivation…
The base of this torch features a thread to screw it right down onto a propane bottle with a standard 1” connection. So you can screw it onto a small canister and get down to some hot work. This torch would work well for soldering and brazing pipes, thawing out frozen pipes, removing paint and tiles, and starting fires in your charcoal BBQ or when you’re out camping.
Are there any negatives?
Aren’t there always? There’s no safety lock on the trigger, which would be a nice safety feature to keep it from sparking accidentally. Also, the flame adjustability is not great. The range is super-hot to ultra-hot. It would be nice if you could turn it down to sear a steak or torch a meringue without burning it.
- Super-hot flame works great for brazing.
- Plastic components may not hold up over time.
- Flame is not very adjustable.
3 Bluefire HZ-8388B Hosed Torch – Best Portable Hose Propane Torch
With the Bluefire HZ-8388B Hosed Torch, we get a peek at a different style of torch. It’s in the name. Rather than screwing right onto a gas canister, this torch has a 3-foot hose coming from the head to screw down into a propane tank.
The grip and head of this torch are together about 12 inches long. The grip is nicely insulated. The burning tube and combustion tubes are made of brass and hold up perfectly to high temperatures. That’s a necessity, as this torch generates a blue fire of up to Max 2642 Fahrenheit (1450 Celsius).
It puts out 10155 BTU/hr, which is some serious heating power for the gas consumption. You get a nice powerful swirl flame here, but it can be adjusted to a greater range than either of the previous two torches. Making it one of the most versatile propane torches currently available.
The long hose…
It comes from the wand ending in the gas regulator and brass threading. There’s a handy clip on it so you can screw it into a propane bottle, then clip the bottle to your belt and be nice and mobile. Despite it being a bigger unit altogether, this makes it far smaller in your hand. Meaning it’s easier to get it into tight spaces and tough angles that would frustrate most other torches.
This torch is a bit of a hybrid. While it’s small and mobile enough to be used for soldering and brazing, jewelry, and goldsmithing work, it could also be used for groundwork applications. Not as easily as the longer wands designed for this purpose, but still well enough in a pinch.
We do have a couple of issues…
One is that the gas regulator knob is plastic and doesn’t seem all that strong. The hose is thin and lacks reinforcement. Under the pressure of a larger tank, it might swell or even risk blowing out, so this unit has to be limited to smaller canisters.
- Portable and light.
- The plastic regulator and weak hose may not hold up for long.
4 Hot Max 500g Big Max Propane Torch – Most Powerful Propane Torch
The 500g Big Max by Hot Max takes us farther in the direction of propane torches for groundwork. This serious unit is comprised of a roughly 3-foot long wand plus a 10-foot hose to connect to a propane canister. You can use either a clip to carry around a small propane bottle on your hip, or a wheelie rack to pull a larger tank around with you.
The idea for this kind of propane torch…
Put out a fierce but wide flame that makes it one of the hottest propane torches on the market. This can involve things like burning out weeds or melting ice off your walkway.
It can also melt tar and asphalt, as well as heat-peel paint off roads or concrete surfaces. You can start fires with it, and also do wood-burning and heat-treating work. However, you should avoid using it to carmelize the top of your flan.
What it’s not designed for…
Small applications like soldering electronics or brazing copper pipes. And you definitely don’t want to set this guy up on your workbench to melt glass or work silver. This is Hot Max’s big power unit, putting out 500,000 BUTs/hr. It has a 300 PSI gas hose, connects with a POL safety valve to standard propane (or MAPP)canisters, and uses a brass regulator for flame control.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have is a built-in starter. Instead, it comes with an almost inexplicably cheap manual starter. This thing looks like it will hold up to about ten strikes. So you’d better look for a better one if you pick up this machine.
Get a grip…
On the grip, you’ll also find an extra feature that looks like a motorcycle brake grip. This is the extra ‘boost’ to get you up to full power. Get ready – it makes a heck of a sound and burns through propane. But sometimes you just need FULL POWER!
- Big and powerful.
- Quality hose and connections.
- Loud and uses lots of fuel.
- Can’t solder, braze, or do detailed work.
5 Flame King YSNAX1-078a Propane Torch – Easiest to Use Propane Torch
Flame King is next up. With their Propane Torch (never mind that complicated model number), they’re in direct competition with Hot Max. This is another wand-style torch intended for groundwork.
Could be longer…
The whole thing is nine feet long from the flame tip to the end of the hose. So it’s a lot shorter than the Hot Max, and the wand itself is only three of those nine feet, which is going to be a bit short for taller users.
So for the same price, you’re getting less hose length (6 vs. 10 feet). You also get less power output. The Flame King puts out 340,000 BTUs/hr compared to the Hot Max’s 500,000.
On the other hand…
The build quality here seems a little bit more durable. We also prefer the design of the Flame King. The handle is more comfortable to grip, and the “boost” trigger is exactly in the right spot.
To top it off, this torch has a built-in piezo starter like all of the smaller torches we’ve looked at. This is a real advantage because starting a long wand torch by hand can be a bit tricky, and even a bit dangerous.
Other standard features…
This machine runs on propane and can connect easily with its POL valve to any 1-inch thread. You could use it with a bottle clipped on your belt, especially a smaller bottle than the Hot Max, since it burns through a lot less fuel. Conversely, the flame isn’t as intense. We’d like to see it take in more oxygen to get a blue flame to make it hotter and more efficient. We’d also like to see a stronger hose.
Still, this isn’t a bad little model for burning weeds, melting ice, starting fires, roof repair, and more. Once again, it’s not suited to more delicate applications like brazing and desk-top work.
- Comfortable and easy to use.
- Has an electric starter built-in.
- Hose and wand are both a bit short.
- The flame could be hotter.
6 Master Appliance PT-2000Si Propane Torch Head – Best Value for the Money Propane Torch
Our final propane torch comes from Master Appliance. Their Propane Torch Head brings us back to the shorter, screw directly onto a canister type of torch.
At 13 inches long and just over a pound, this is another short and lightweight machine, like the Ivation and Magna. It can be used for all the same sorts of applications as well. It can burn up to 3600 degrees Fahrenheit on propane or up to 3730 on MAPP gas.
The real difference…
Between this machine and the other models, besides an increase in the price of about $20, is the build quality. Rather than a plastic body, the Master is made of cast aluminum housing.
This will be a lot more durable and be less of a concern for melting or failure due to weakness. It uses a brass regulator valve and knob and a stainless burning tube as well. Making it one of the most durable propane torches on the market.
On the other hand…
The built-in piezo starter seems to be the same quality as the other models. That means low. Like most torches, we expect the starter to be the first part to fail, though you can still light them all with a hand sparked. While you won’t want to be crawling around on your knees burning weeds or melting ice with this machine, it’ll do very well in other applications.
We can see it working great for brazing, soldering, jewelry, heat treating, metalwork, loosening bolts, glass shaping, cleaning metal tools, and more.
- Strong and durable construction.
- Includes a flame lock to keep the heat on safely.
- Piezo starter isn’t high-quality.
- Not convenient for groundwork.
Best Propane Torch Buying Guide
Like all products these days, propane torches come in a huge range of types and levels of quality. We’ve looked at a selection of affordable torches for regular home use rather than professional torches. But there’s still a lot of variety. So how do you choose the best one for your needs? To help you out, we’ve put together a few features to focus on when making your purchase.
Types and Applications
In general, there are two types of torches to consider.
Short, no hose torches…
They screw directly into a gas canister and spark up. These are generally lighter and less cumbersome, allowing you to get into tight spaces to get some work done. They can also be mounted on a workbench for all sorts of applications.
Generally, these propane torches are for brazing and soldering pipes, electronics work, jewelry making, and smithing, along with glasswork, woodwork, heat treating, and more.
Long, wand-style torches…
These are the best propane torches for ground work. They’re made with a grip and controls on one end and a big burning tube on the other. They also connect by hose (the longer, the better) to a gas tank that you can either carry with you or have on a wheeled stand.
These torches produce a less focused flame by spreading their heat output over a larger diameter. They’re used for things like stripping paint off roads, melting ice on your driveway, burning out weeds, and starting large fires.
A hybrid torch…
These can be formed between the other two, with a hose connecting a smaller head to a canister of propane. Hybrid torches can get into even tighter spaces but aren’t great for groundwork as they’re generally too short to be used comfortably.
It’s crucial to think about what you will primarily use your propane torch for. The main choice is going to be groundwork versus plumbing or bench-top work.
This is a huge concern with all tools. Sure they work now, but will they last? As a general rule, plastic bodies will be less durable than metal ones, and for sure moving plastic components will fail before most metal ones.
For torches specifically, brass regulators and connections are a must. Anything else might wear out or not be strong enough to hold up to gas pressures. Likewise, a highly rated hose, especially one with wire mesh reinforcement, is something you should look for.
For starters, piezoelectric starters are notorious for failing early in the life of the machine. This is only an inconvenience since you can still start any torch with a manual sparker, but that means an extra cost and less ease of use.
Of course, price is a factor when buying a torch. You can get torches for under $20, but if you do, please don’t expect them to last longer than a season. A more expensive torch, like something around the $50 mark, may seem expensive for something you don’t use all that often. But after it lasts for a few years, you’ll appreciate the savings.
Looking for Other Great Tools and Workshop Accessories?
We can help you with that, so check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Air Impact Wrenches, the Best Tool Chests, the Best Mechanic Gloves, the Best Socket Organizers, the Best Magnetic Tool Holders, the Best Tool Box Drawer Liners, and the Best Garage Workbenches you can buy in 2021.
Also, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best Lighting for Garage, the Best Garage Floor Mats, the Best Garage Refrigerators, the Best Garage Heaters, the Best Kinetic Recovery Rope, the Best Deep Cycle Battery Chargers, and the Best Gas Cans currently on the market.
What is the Best Propane Torch?
This was fun. We got to look at a bunch of torches, burn a lot of stuff, and generally have ourselves a good time. But now we have to choose a champion, and it’s not always that easy.
Looking at the main factors of applications, durability and build quality, and price, we’ve made our choice. And we chose the most expensive torch, that being the…
It’s only around $50 but just seems miles ahead of the others in terms of quality. This little torch will burn hot and allow you to work on plumbing, electronics, glass, wood, and all sorts of other applications.
That’s our choice, but you may have a different one depending on your needs. Whichever torch you buy, you’re not going to regret it. A propane torch may just be the best toy, er, tool in your toolbox.
Until next time, try not to get burned.