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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gasifier Woodstoves by Valcas1...

Valcas1 traded me this stove a while ago with the stern injunction to do a review of it. This isn't the most thorough review I have ever done, but I am happy to report that this stove passed 9 out of 10 of my marks.

My sister wanted to go for a walk in the woods today despite the howling winds and four foot drifts. I agreed as I needed to get out of the house.

When we reached the shelter, I realized I'd forgotten the potstand. "Oh well," I thought. "I'll just set the canteen cup on top of the stove."

I must say that this stove would perform admirably with a potstand. Without it...well suffice it to say that every time I put the cup on top of the stove (without the included but forgotten potstand) it tended to snuff out the woodgas flame, which increased the boil time markedly. Also, some of the wood I gathered wasn't the best in terms of moisture content, nor was it the best in terms of wood quality.
Oh well, it was fun, and we got our mint tea anyway. It just took a bit longer


I am confident that with the proper fuel, more experience and a potstand I could get this stove to boil water in under five minutes, from ice cold to a rolling boil.

General rating? Five stars.

  • Attention to detail: Excellent. There are no "snags" or rough or torn edges where Valcas drilled the holes and cut the cans. Absolutely zero, zip nada, nothing. He is a master at this.
  • Overall construction: Excellent. (See above comment). Heavyweight cans that will not easily fall apart. Hardware cloth grate is also very decent in quality and well trimmed to prevent snags.
  • Compactness: Good to Very Good.
  • Completeness of kit: Excellent. This stove kit comes with everything you need to start cooking with (wood) gas, minus your food and cookpot, and the wood you burn.
  • Ease of lighting: Fair to Excellent, depending on how dry your fuel is.
  • Completeness of burn: Perfect-beyond Excellent. There was literally a few fingersful of white ash and one or two tiny chunks left, out of two small branches that I burned. This thing burns hot, and clean. Better than my mini gasifier experiment!
  • Usefulness: Excellent in my locale.

Unless you are going hiking above treeline, I would recommend this stove to anyone who lives in an area with trees and shrubs big enough to burn. (Not hard as this stove requires sticks pencil to thumb thick and less than four inches long). The benefits far outweigh the downside of finding dry fuel. This stove would be even better for those of us in very dry, windy areas as you could easily use this in place of an open fire for cooking and even heating, thus circumventing the burn bans. The only bad thing about woodgas stoves in general is that the fuel must be absolutely bone dry, or it just will not burn. I don't know why that is but it is true; I have experimented with my own before, and it is the same way. Altogether an excellent stove that I will carry for many a year.

Thanks Valcas!

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