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Sunday, February 24, 2013

The New Lightweight Champion

Until recently, the Monatauk Gnat (aka the FMS-116t, aka the Olicamp Kinetic Ultra) was the world's lightest canister stove at 48g/1.7oz.  Until recently.
The Monatauk Gnat, 48g (1.7oz).

The maker of the "Monatauk" Gnat is really Fire Maple in China.  Fire Maple's nomenclature for the stove is FMS-116t (The "T" denotes "titanium").  Well, Fire Maple has now come out with a new, even lighter stove, the FMS-300t, which they have named the "Hornet."  The Hornet weighs in at a scant 45g (1.6oz).
The Fire Maple Hornet (FMS-300t), 45g (1.6oz)
Wait, wait, wait just a second.  Hikin' Jim do you mean to tell me it's only three measly grams lighter?  Three grams!?  Why that's only 0.1 ounce!  Who Cares?!

Well, and you've got a bit of point there actually, but that's not the whole story.  Whereas the Gnat is a rather wide stove even when you fold up the pot supports, the Hornet is quite compact.
The Hornet (FMS-300t) folds up compactly
Fire maple lists it's folded dimensions as 37mm X 52mm (1.5" X 2").

What's that you say?  With a tiny little burner head like that the flame must be extremely focused; why I'll burn my supper!  Actually, no.  The videos I've seen and the reports I've read indicate that the flame fans out reasonably well (Note:  I have not yet had a chance to get a Hornet myself for testing).  The stove is however reputed to be quite loud when in operation on high flame.

Of course, it remains to be seen how pot stability compares to other stoves.  The radius of the Hornet's supports is fairly small, and a pot will only have three points of contact because of the angle of the Hornet's pot supports.
The Hornet's pot supports are angled.
Wow!  So, where can I get one?

Fire Maple stoves are not currently available for purchase in the United States through normal channels, but even though Fire Maple stoves can't be bought from US sources, one can always buy them direct from China on eBay. Liberty Mountain does carry some stoves built by Fire Maple under the Olicamp name, but I don't yet know if the Hornet will become available under the Olicamp brand or not.
UPDATE 5 April 2013:  There have been some problems reported with jet blockages in the Fire Maple Hornet.  Apparently there is a sintered brass filter in the base of the jet.  If any gunk gets in the filter and blocks the flow of gas, there is no way to restore flow short of drilling out the filter.  A blockage would be impossible to clear in the field.  My advice is to hold off buying a Hornet until Fire Maple gets the problem corrected.  I'll post an update as more information becomes available.
At this juncture, I don't have any further information, but I wanted to at least pass it on that there was a new light weight champion in the upright canister stove category and mention the new stove's very compact design. 
Two lightweight champions in a row.  Well done, Fire Maple.

I thank you for joining me,

HJ

4 comments:

  1. Tracksterman tried one of these a month or two back, but he didn't seem too impressed.

    Although it's possible his was faulty, see this and the subsequent posts - http://tracksterman.tumblr.com/post/36402261963/fms300t-pic

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  2. Yes, I saw his tests. I haven't seen the stove myself, but I'm pretty sure his is faulty. It seems like he has some kind of occlusion that is activated when the stove gets hot. The fix I've read about is to disassemble the stove and remove the sintered brass filter. Apparently this filter can jam altogether too easily.

    Chinese stoves are coming along, but I don't think they're quite up to American, Japanese, European, and Korean standards quite yet, particularly with remote canister and liquid fueled stoves.

    HJ

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  3. Just a general point - three fixed points of contact is fine, and probably better than four in respect of being more reliable as points of contact, ie; all support point will inevitably be doing their job in a three-point system whereas that will only be the case with a four-point system if the bottom of the pot is completely flat. If there is any discrepancy a four-point system will not be in four-point contact and the pot will wobble to some degree when stirred or blown. This principle is even more noticeable when comparing three-point and four-point ground-contact systems, such as legs on a stove. Three-point systems will always be in three-point ground contact (unless you're trying it on completely silly ground), whereas four-point ones will not offer the same likelihood of support and stability. Ever wonder why Grandpa's milking stool only had three legs instead of four...?

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    Replies
    1. Richard,

      That's true, but I wasn't trying to make a distinction between 3 points of contact vs. 4 points of contact. My point is that the pot supports will only have point contacts rather than having contact all along the pot supports. If a pot contacts the pot support along a flat pot support, then there is a great deal more friction, and the pot is less likely to slip.

      I'll have to do a post on it some time. Photos would help clarify what I'm talking about.

      HJ

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