User Review: Primus OmniFuel
Price Paid: GBP 100.00
There is only one thing preventing this stove from being perfect and that is the fact that it is a roarer burner: the jet of fuel is spread out onto the pan's surface by hitting a metal concave cover on the way up.
Other than that, there is very little to fault it.
The pump shaft is metal, not plastic (I know several people who have broken MSR pumps and sometimes have had to buy the entire pump assembly again). I have stood on this stove a couple of times and each time the legs just bend back into place. It grips the smaller pans no problem. Flare up is hardly an occurrence, and anyway just be patient and let the jet chamber heat up so as to vaporize the liquid.
Actually, there is one other minor problem and that is having to change the jet when moving between fuels, and they are marked with numbers, so remember which one you will need. I think that they are in millimeters and the finer the fuel the wider the jet, I think?
But that is another small price to pay for a stove that uses canisters as well as liquids. If you run out of canisters, use petrol (but carry the pump assembly). If the weather is sub zero, use Coleman fuel. If you want very clean pans, also use canister gas.
The stove has been left out in the rain too many times and always works straight away in the morning; other stoves had to be left to dry first.
Ok, I just remembered another niggle: the wire valve knob can stick, requiring careful forcing. Try and turn it gently when turning it off; it will still stick a little but not as much. Perhaps it needs some oil in there somewhere (it does need a service by now).
If it is your last meal of the site (usually breakfast) then turn the bottle over until the almost indecipherable 'off' shows on the pump assembly and let the gas burn off. This puts the pumps internal feeder into the air chamber part of the bottle and the pressure is drawn out and burnt off, leaving you peace of mind about the petrol/gasoline's pressure inside the bottle.
Also, stick to Primus bottles or another reputable company (not GoGas) for your larger/spare second bottle, as I have had a bottle top crack off with either pressure or seal expansion overnight (bottle was filled to below max and in a cool room).
What is wrong with a roarer-burner? Firstly, they are very noisy and early morning crowded campsites are not the place to be using such a loud stove. Secondly, they cannot simmer properly, or at least easily.
Lastly, they usually leave burner marks on the bottom of your pans for ever, as you continue to burn the odd meal or two. If you can live with these limitations (the weight is necessary if you see how it is made), then there is nothing else.
Primus made a titanium version of this stove a few years ago and it may be available (at twice the price) if you are that way inclined.
When you buy a spares/service kit, get the burner plate for this stove. It is only cheap and may fall off or get out of shape if you have to change the burner jet a few times each trip.