For as long as I can remember I’ve been using Trangia-type alcohol fuelled stoves when I go camping, even though these have served my needs well they’re very limited & tend to waste fuel. I did some looking around for Paraffin/Kerosene fuelled stoves instead, as I already have this fuel on site.
I found very good reviews on the Optimus Nova above, so I decided to go for this one.
This stove can run on many different fuel types, “white gas” (petrol without any vehicle additives) Diesel, Kerosene & Jet A.
Here’s the “hot end” of the device, the burner itself. This is made in two cast Brass sections, that are brazed together. The fuel jet can be just seen in the centre of the casting.
The fuel bottle is pressurised with a pump very similar to the ones used on Paraffin pressure lamps, so I’m used to this kind of setup. The fuel dip tube has a filter on the end to stop any munge gumming up the valves or the burner jet.
As with all liquid-fuelled vapour burners, it has to be preheated. There’s a fibreglass pad in the bottom of the burner for this, and can be soaked with any fuel of choice. The manual states to preheat with the fuel in the bottle, but as I’m using Paraffin, this would be very smoky indeed, so here it’s being preheated with a bit of Isopropanol.
The fuel bottle can be seen in the background as well, connected to the burner with a flexible hose. The main burner control valve is attached to the green handle bottom centre.
Once the preheating flame has burned down, the fuel valve can be opened, here’s the stove burning Paraffin on very low simmer. (An advantage over the older alcohol burners I’m used to – adjustable heat!)
Opening the control valve a couple of turns gives flamethrower mode. At full power, the burner is a little loud, but no louder than my usual Paraffin pressure lamps.
With a pan of water on the stove, the flame covers the entire base of the pan. Good for heat transfer. This stove was able to boil 1L of water from cold in 5 minutes. A little longer than the manual states, but that’s still much quicker than I’m used to!
The top of the burner opens for cleaning, here’s a look at the jet in the centre of the burner. The preheating pad can be seen below the brass casting.