beginner multifuel stove advice

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Mike8472

Full Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,163
3
west yorkshire
I am thinking about getting a multifuel/petrol type stove for using in the winter time when the temp gets too cold to use my msr pocket rocket.

what would be your advice for a simple and relatively cheap stove to buy. I have zero expirience with petrol stoves so servicing etc needs to be simple.

will be used on day hikes and over night camping so nothing too hefty.

what would be your recommendations?
 

Shewie

Mod
Mod
Dec 15, 2005
24,259
21
45
Yorkshire
I've been using a MSR Whisperlite for over ten years, admittedly it's had little use over the last few years but it's still going strong. I've only ever used unleaded in it too which the stovies will tell you is not recommended. The MSR's have what they call a shaker jet which is pretty much a self cleaning mechanism for the fuel line, so very little maintenance is required.

The only time I had to give it any attention was a couple of years ago in the French Alps, it was spluttering and not quite getting hot enough to give a strong blue flame. Five minutes with the Leatherman and a bit of kitchen roll and it was good as new.

They are at the higher end of the market but well worth the investment
 

johnboy

New Member
Oct 2, 2003
2,258
4
Hamilton NZ
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I'd go for a Coleman Peak 1 / Exponent 442....


<br>[video=youtube;4x7jgVB1y48]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x7jgVB1y48[/video]

My reasoning is as follows...

1. They are relatively cheap
2. They dont need priming as such definately not priming in a conventional sense.
3. They are really very good performers and the can simmer really very well.
4. They are quiet in use
5. Coleman support the product with spares...
6. Servicing is really easy.
7. You dont have additional fuel bottles and pumps to worry about...

Down sides are:

They are heavy compared to other stoves ( but factoring in a fuel bottle perhaps not)
They are not particularly 'ALLY' compared to MSR's and Optimuis / primus kit.

I've used them on and off for ages and while I do have a 'few' stoves TBH for simple no fuss use and good cooking performance not much beats them...

IMG_0101.jpg
 

peaks

Settler
May 16, 2009
722
2
Derbys
+1 for the Coleman. As a novice I find mine to be very easy to use, efficient and not scary to use. Got mine from Anchor Supplies (no afflitiation etc)
 

ged

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I am thinking about getting a multifuel/petrol type stove ... what would be your advice for a simple and relatively cheap stove to buy. ...

Multifuel stoves are amongst the more complex types. If you want something which is truly multifuel (as opposed to the Coleman types, which basically use two fuels, both of which are more or less petrol) then try looking out for something like an older, e.g. second hand, European-made Optimus. I've had bad experience with the newer ones which are made in China. Although they may have fixed the quality problems by now, I'd still be reluctant to shell out over a hundred quid on one of them.

Strangely (it seems to me) some of the cheap Chinese multifuel stoves have been given good reviews here, check the archives, but I have no personal experience with them.

There are lots of cheap old paraffin stoves around, but IMO paraffin is as bad as petrol for smelliness.

After a long time not being able to find somewhere to buy "Aspen 4", I'm working with it at the moment but the jury's still out. It didn't work well in Shaggystu's Coleman Feather a couple of weekends ago at a meet in Derbyshire. I had planned to have another go with the Feather using other fuels but life has been in the way since then and I haven't had the chance.

Servicing of pressure stoves isn't usually too difficult when you get the hang of it. I much prefer the leather washer type of pump, in a pinch you can make a washer. The non-return valve seal can be an issue but a spare seal for that weighs about twenty milligrammes so there's really no excuse for not having one with you. I've used a total of one in getting on for fifty years of using paraffin and multifuel stoves.

Safety must always be on your mind with these things. A pressurized container full of fuel next to a red hot burner isn't something you want to treat carelessly.
 

Nonsuch

Full Member
Sep 19, 2008
1,862
1
Scotland, looking at mountains
It's a bit of a trade-off. Paraffin is more complex in that it needs a separate bottle of meths for priming. Petrol/Coleman fuel can be primed with the stove fuel but always scares me.

The Coleman's look good but I have never used one. For a lightweight, the MSR Whisperlites are good but the pump parts are plastic and can break. The Optimus/Primus versions have metal pump parts.

The prince of stoves remains an Optimus 111, but finding and fettling one can be tricky.
 

ged

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
It's a bit of a trade-off.

Very true.

Paraffin is more complex in that it needs a separate bottle of meths for priming.

You can prime with paraffin if you use a piece of string or something for a wick. It will never be as clean as using meths..

Petrol/Coleman fuel can be primed with the stove fuel but always scares me.

At the temperatures that most people will be cooking outdoors, a pool of liquid petrol or meths can be lit without a wick. So yes the fuels are more flammable than something like paraffin, but when there's an accident with a stove it usually involves something hot (like the stove burner) and/or something which can form a wick (like your clothing) so caution is advised in all cases.

The Coleman's look good but I have never used one. For a lightweight, the MSR Whisperlites are good but the pump parts are plastic and can break. The Optimus/Primus versions have metal pump parts.

The Optimus, Primus and similar brands, especially the older models, seem to be constructed a bit more robustly than Coleman. Having said that I have a couple of Coleman stoves and they've always worked well.

The prince of stoves remains an Optimus 111, but finding and fettling one can be tricky.

It's been my favourite for many years. Apart from the weight, the main drawback is that my big frying pan is too big to fit on it because the lid won't drop right back flat.

http://www.jubileegroup.co.uk/JOS/misc/111b.jpg

The one non-return valve seal that I mentioned in my earlier post was for this stove. When the seal failed the whole thing went up in a ball of flame. It was quite exciting and would have been very dangerous if for example the stove had been in a tent. I would never use one in a tent anyway. The reason for the failure was that my wife had replaced the leather washer, but unfortunately as I found out a couple of years later she had left part of the old washer in the pump body. It's very important to keep the insides clean and free of debris to avoid problems with things like seals and jets.
 
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rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
66
south wales
I'd never use one in a tent burning Coleman/petrol but I have and do use them burning paraffin; use common sense and always have a clear exit. Do this at your own risk though.

In my school days we often ran out of meths/meta tabs and would use a bit of paper as a wick for the paraffin to prime the stoves, messy but works. That said, in the 60's two of us would cook in a small mountain tent when the weather was bad using Primus stoves, can you imagine H&S allowing 13 year olds on School expeditions to do that these days:eek: Thinking back lighting a two man mountain ten was always just a candle.
 

Mike8472

Full Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,163
3
west yorkshire
Thanks for the replies, i was thinking around £70-80. Hoping to pick up a bargin on ebay if something like a primus or msr came up.
I do like the look of the exponent coleman and could prob pick one up for about £50 online.
If i used unleaded with some of that fuel addative stuff from the petrol stations, would that get rid of the sooting problem?
 

The Joker

Native
Sep 28, 2005
1,231
12
53
Surrey, Sussex uk
Thanks for the replies, i was thinking around £70-80. Hoping to pick up a bargin on ebay if something like a primus or msr came up.
I do like the look of the exponent coleman and could prob pick one up for about £50 online.
If i used unleaded with some of that fuel addative stuff from the petrol stations, would that get rid of the sooting problem?

Like i said earlier my Coleman 6+ years old never used anything but straight petrol and works as good as the first time I tried it, and it gets a lot of use.
 

ged

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
... If i used unleaded with some of that fuel addative stuff from the petrol stations, would that get rid of the sooting problem?

Nope.

To work properly these burners have to be hot -- which means glowing red, or nearly, depending on the burner. Then they burn with a blue flame. Soot forms from a yellow flame. This can happen when you use the stove's own fuel to pre-heat the burner. It can also happen when the burner isn't hot enough, so the flame doesn't burn blue. To pre-heat the burner I usually use meths, which I carry in a small plastic bottle of about 50-125ml (the size partly depending on the length of the trip but mostly on what I happened to find in the cupboard that day). Preheating with meths is very clean, and the blue flame when the stove is going well is very clean too. Meths will probably be a lot cheaper than any petrol additive from the petrol station anyway.

Some burners don't like burning with a yellow flame, the soot which forms can block them. In that case you need to blow the flame out rather than turn it down until it goes out, because just as they go out they tend to burn with a small yellow flame. A good blow just as you turn the flame right down will usually do the trick. The Optimus Nova has a nifty arrangement where you turn the fuel bottle over about 30 seconds before you want the flame to go out. Then it purges the fuel line, puts the flame out and lets the pressure out of the bottle all in one painless operation.
 

para106

Full Member
Jul 24, 2009
701
8
65
scotland
There's quite a few Optimus 111s been on the bay recently. Sometimes you can pick one up for around £50 - and sometimes they go for over a ton. The 111 is certainly my stove of choice along with a trangia. If you can get a multifuel burner in a trangia you've the best of both worlds IMO.
 

widu13

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Feb 9, 2008
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Ubique Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
66
south wales
The consensus on the CCS forum is that these DO NOT burn kero/paraffin efficiently.

They will burn paraffin, I've done it without problem although will light more easily using naptha but once lit on paraffin work fine. I do have concerns over the quality of the fuel line but none have failed on me yet so I may be worrying over nothing.
 

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