Butane vs Propane Torch: Choosing the Best One for Dabbing

May 14, 2020 Dab Rigs

Butane vs Propane Torch: Choosing the Best One for Dabbing

When you’re getting a dab torch, one of the things you need to consider the fuel that’s firing up the torch. We’ll compare the difference between butane vs propane torch and see which is the best one to use for dabbing.

Heat delivery

One of the major concerns of dabbers is the release of chemicals that can interfere with the taste and safety of their dabs. The highest temperature range for a butane torch is 2,400°F – 2,610°F. It also has a slow heat delivery, which can be time-consuming when you’re heating your nail. If you prefer low-temperature dabs, a butane torch is your best option.

Propane torches offer a higher burning temperature of up to 3,600 °F. Since it’s stored at a higher temperature, it shoots out from the nozzle providing faster heat delivery. It can heat your nails quicker compared to a butane torch, but it exposes your quartz bangers to premature devit. As a high-temp dabber, this is your ideal partner but do watch out for your nails.

A butane torch is often small and handy, making it easier to use even with a mini dab rig.

Flame byproduct

What makes a butane torch ideal for dabbing is that it burns cleaner, producing less carbon monoxide. Your nails, whether you’re using quartz, titanium, or ceramic, will love you for using a butane torch. Aside from the low temp, the low residue slows down the wear and tear of your nails.

Some are hesitant to use a propane torch for dabbing because it burns dirtier, giving out more carbon monoxide. Camps are divided on the safety and taste of dabs when you use a propane torch. One thing is for certain, though. The intense heat and higher presence of carbon monoxide can wear out your nails faster. Some are also saying that the dabs have a slightly unpleasant taste, especially if you’re using the torch with a titanium nail.

Size and design

You get full flame emission on a butane torch because they have a straight, open-end tip. You have better control over the size of the flame, either higher or lower, depending on your needs. This makes the torch ideal for bangers and large-sized nails as they cover a wider surface area.

Most butane tanks also come in varying sizes, most of them small and portable. You can easily carry them around anywhere, which makes them great for travelers. On the other hand, the tanks can’t handle the extreme cold and hot temperatures.

A propane torch has a narrower flame, which can result in uneven vaporization due to hot spots.

A propane torch has a smaller head that curves inwardly. What you get is a focused flame that heats up a concentrated area the closer you bring the torch. It’s a good torch to use for domed nails but can cause hot spots on bangers. If you want to spread the flame, you have to pull the torch farther away, but that can lower the heat delivery.


Aerosol can refills for butane are harder to find compared to propane because of a lower demand. Many prefer getting a propane torch because it has a wider versatility. As a result, they are easier to get and come at affordable prices.


Because of the clean flame, butane torchers are loved by chefs. You can use it for crème brûlée, caramelize toppings on desserts and soups, melt cheese, and even char or roast vegetables.

We mentioned a while ago that a propane torch has a narrower flame. If you’re a jeweler or a handcrafter, this can help you weld small pieces efficiently. Larger torches can be used for gardening as well as cooking meat or grilling.

When you choose between butane vs propane torch, consider your needs for dabbing. Low-temp dabbers who want their nails to last longer and prefer a handy torch should go for a butane torch. If you want to get things done quickly, and always long for bold, strong flavors, a propane torch may be the best companion. As for the safety in terms of the presence of carbon monoxide, a butane torch will be helpful, especially in enclosed spaces.

Which torch do you prefer for dabbing? Do share it with us in the comment section!


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