MAPP Gas vs. Propane
A propane torch is the traditional weapon of choice for weekend plumbers. It works fine for most jobs and it's cheap: You can get a 14-oz. disposable bottle of propane and a torch for about $20.
The big advantage of MAPP gas (methyl acetylene-propadiene) is that it burns more than twice as hot as propane. That means the joint gets hot enough to melt solder twice as fast; you'll save 15 to 30 seconds per joint. MAPP gas also enables you to solder large pipe (anything more than 1 in. in diameter is difficult with propane). But you pay for the extra heat: A bottle of MAPP gas costs about twice as much as propane and requires a special torch, which will cost twenty bucks or more.