PDA

View Full Version : Alcohol Stove Comparison



dkurfiss
02-23-2014, 12:09 PM
A couple of months back I purchased two Fancy Feast wicking stoves. They have sat on my “to do” list for all this time so this morning I decided to do a direct comparison to my other alcohol stoves. Keep in mind that the Trangia is my “go to” for motorcycle/car camping and has been for a number of years but now that I am doing more hiking (amazing what the loss of 75LB will do for your ability to walk) I am looking for something a bit lighter to toss into my day pack….enter the FF stove.

Once I got started I decided to spread sheet a number of my stoves and here are the results.

Testing done inside home so wind and cold not a consideration.

All testing done with a MSR 1.7L pot with lid on pot.
Pot was cooled to room temperature between each burn.
All testing done with 2 cups of tap water.

Areas of consideration:
Fuel: All stoves use yellow Heet. Only real difference here is I will actually use less fuel with Trangia as I can snuff the stove and store the fuel in it until I use it again. All others I let burn the entire 1oz of fuel

Windscreen: No difference as I use the same windscreen for all. Heavy duty foil with a couple of light stakes.

Bloom time is not applicable as it is figured into the time to full boil.

Space in back is pretty obvious when you consider the Trangia needs a pot stand and is a generally bigger stove.

For those that do not have Excel to view the spreadsheet with here are the winners in each category I looked at. I compared the 5 stoves in the attached pictures. From left to right: Trangia, FF wicking, Bud Can, FF non wicking, and open wick stove w/stand.

Weight: FF non wicking .2oz
Burn time 1oz Heet: Trangia because of it's snuff and save feature
Time to full boil: Tied FF wicking and non wicking at 5 minutes
Space in pack: FF non wicking
Durability: Trangia

Bottom line for me is all of these stoves with a pot holder will fit inside my MSR pot so for motorcycle camping I will continue to use the Trangia & my Bud can. My perception is that it they are safer because of the stands and the snuff out lid. I also love that I can snuff it out and leave the fuel in it. No waste.

When I am doing day hikes from camp I will be carrying one of the FF stoves. Probably the wicking since my impression is that it is a bit more stable but that is only my impression and not based on any facts I tested.

In fact, all of these stoves except the open wick stoves will have places in my various packs and will continue to get use. I love the Bud Can stoves as I have made a cork holder to help stabilize it. Both of the FF stoves are winner. They boil quick and are light to carry. 

Dusty Boots
02-23-2014, 01:00 PM
I've many/made many types of alchy burners and even taught seminars on how to build them at a local Outdoors Store when I lived in BC and it has been my own personal experience that they are all very close in efficiency and burn times when properly constructed.

With the exception of the store bought Trangia, I never cared for the simmer ring solution as they were always too finicky in real world operation, so they were basically limited to just boiling water (which they do well) and not to any simmering type of cooking without a great deal of fuss .... which is why I switched to a small cannister stove (Snow Peak manual SS Stove (http://www.rei.com/product/660004/snow-peak-gigapower-stove-manual) and windscreen (http://www.rei.com/product/668815/snow-peak-giga-power-windscreen)) for both backpacking and motocamping.
It has proven itself to be very compact/light weight, fuel efficient, durable and a very capable simmerer! P^

dkurfiss
02-23-2014, 01:28 PM
I've many/made many types of alchy burners and even taught seminars on how to build them at a local Outdoors Store when I lived in BC and it has been my own personal experience that they are all very close in efficiency and burn times when properly constructed.

With the exception of the store bought Trangia, I never cared for the simmer ring solution as they were always too finicky in real world operation, so they were basically limited to just boiling water (which they do well) and not to any simmering type of cooking without a great deal of fuss .... which is why I switched to a small cannister stove (Snow Peak manual SS Stove (http://www.rei.com/product/660004/snow-peak-gigapower-stove-manual) and windscreen (http://www.rei.com/product/668815/snow-peak-giga-power-windscreen)) for both backpacking and motocamping.
It has proven itself to be very compact/light weight, fuel efficient, durable and a very capable simmerer! P^

I know the canister stoves are da bomb. Many folks love them for their efficient burns, ease of obtaining fuels, and being light weight. My only issue with one is the sound...I can not stand the sound they make. If you notice, when you were using yours in the morning I would stay at my site until you finished using it. I don't know why but to me it is like nails on a blackboard.

Dusty Boots
02-23-2014, 01:53 PM
I know the canister stoves are da bomb. Many folks love them for their efficient burns, ease of obtaining fuels, and being light weight. My only issue with one is the sound...I can not stand the sound they make. If you notice, when you were using yours in the morning I would stay at my site until you finished using it. I don't know why but to me it is like nails on a blackboard.


Actually Deb, it/they are quite quiet the way I use them (on low), :confused: .... especially compared to white gas stoves such as any of the MSR offerings (WhisperLite/SimmerLite/DragonFly, all of which I have owned and sold because they were so noisy! :( )

KevinL
02-23-2014, 02:29 PM
Nice writeup and overview Deb!

I totally understand that sound sensitivity thing - there's just some of those sounds that totally get under your skin. I feel for ya.

BeemMeUp
02-24-2014, 07:45 PM
Actually Deb, it/they are quite quiet the way I use them (on low), :confused: .... especially compared to white gas stoves such as any of the MSR offerings (WhisperLite/SimmerLite/DragonFly, all of which I have owned and sold because they were so noisy! :( )

I have a couple Dragonflys and I can say the dang things work well but sound like a rocket engine when they are burning. I'm now back to using a two burner Colman because I have room to pack it in my trailer. The Dragonflys served the purpose for packing small and easy to regulate for cooking but they do attract alot of attention from other people because they are noisey.

DILLIGAF61
02-25-2014, 07:27 AM
Hey Deb I have I think 4 or 5 alcohol stoves in my trailer I like playing around with the different stoves and your little essay was spot on the money with my experience with alcohol stoves the only thing that bothered me was your use of "heet"
as a back up maybe but it does have additives I really would not like to cook with on a regular basis
I would much prefer to hear you do a write-up on several small bottles to carry denatured alcohol in and in other words please use straight denatured alcohol instead of "heet" I think it would be healthier
(I carry 4 trangia surplus military plastic bottles)

and congrats on the 75 loss This winter I was actually able to drop 36 myself but I have a loooooong way to go

Posted via Mobile Device

dkurfiss
02-25-2014, 07:41 AM
Hey Deb I have I think 4 or 5 alcohol stoves in my trailer I like playing around with the different stoves and your little essay was spot on the money with my experience with alcohol stoves the only thing that bothered me was your use of "heet"
as a back up maybe but it does have additives I really would not like to cook with on a regular basis
I would much prefer to hear you do a write-up on several small bottles to carry denatured alcohol in and in other words please use straight denatured alcohol instead of "heet" I think it would be healthier
(I carry 4 trangia surplus military plastic bottles)

and congrats on the 75 loss This winter I was actually able to drop 36 myself but I have a loooooong way to go

Posted via Mobile Device

Thanks Larry but you know what? Everyone is dying from something. When I was smoking 4 packs per day, I knew I was dying of now it will just be from Heet :) Actually, while I appreciate your concern, I don't concern myself too much with stuff like that.

DILLIGAF61
02-25-2014, 08:07 AM
[QUOTE=dkurfiss;112214]Thanks Larry but you know what? Everyone is dying from something. When I was smoking 4 packs per day, I knew I was dying of now it will just be from Heet :) Actually, while I appreciate your concern, I don't concern myself too much with stuff like that.[/QU

OK then try this

"heet" on amazon is $1.96 for a 12 oz bottle that's 6.12 cents per oz

Lowe's sells denatured alcohol for $7.29 a quart that's 4.38 cents per oz




Posted via Mobile Device

Dusty Boots
02-25-2014, 08:51 AM
We don't have a source of Denatured Alcohol up here, so we use Methyl Hydrate (http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/methyl-hydrate-0497127p.html#.UwysUONdWSo) (same as your Yellow HEET, but cheaper $4.99/L, or $10.29/4L) which is available at every hardware store, or pretty well anywhere that sells paint.


http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4058/4583311629_793b75cee9_z.jpg



Dusty

DILLIGAF61
02-25-2014, 12:39 PM
methyl hydrate No additives. It has 99.9% of methanol

heet Isopropyl Alcohol



Denatured alcohol or methylated spirits is ethanol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol)
Posted via Mobile Device

dimetraveler
02-25-2014, 01:01 PM
FYI for stoves to the extreme check out minibull designs,my friend has a couple of them and they work great.I am too cheap to buy one so I use my cat stove or penny stove.One plus to these stoves are some are setup with a bottle feed so you can cook larger meals because of the burn times.