Butane and propane are similar gases that can be used individually as fuel or combined. They have lower flame temperatures than acetylene and are less costly and easier to transport.
Propane torches are often used for soldering, bending
, and heating, and because propane is a heavy gas, they require a different torch tip than the injector tip. Both torches are valuable tools for welding at home, but each torch produces different temperatures: Butane reaches around 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit, while propane torches can heat to 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit.
Propane torches have a small torch head that curves inward, allowing a more concentrated flame. The closer the flame is to the workpiece, the more precise and hot it is, and vice-versa. Butane torches have straight open ends, emitting a full flame. However, butane torch triggers can emit low or high amounts of butane, enabling the welder to control the flame temperature.
Although butane torches have a weaker flame, they are more compact and portable, making them better suited for soldering metals, drying wet materials, and heat-shrinking tubing and wiring. Propane torches are primarily used for welding.