This study was carried out in order to compare the functional characteristics of isolated starch from five tuber crops, yam, taro, sweet potato, yam bean and potato, as well as effect of guar gum (GG) and locust bean gum (LBG) on pasting and thermal properties of tuber starches. The results showed that total amylose content of five tested starches ranged from 17.85% to 30.36%. The results of pasting behaviour showed that potato starches exhibited the highest peak viscosity and yam starch presented a stable curve with little breakdown viscosity. Addition of GG and LBG resulted in a significant increase in peak, final viscosity, breakdown and setback viscosity for all tuber starches (P < 0.05), but a slight decrease in pasting temperature. The gelatinisation enthalpy (ΔH) for starches with GG and LBG was slightly lower than those of the starches alone in yam and sweet potato, but not in taro and yam bean.