Le 7 septembre 2002, par OldJimbo
That’s the post I made about the stove, and while it’s a bit of bragging - the stove has only gone up in my estimation since.
I guess that a little update is called for, even before we get started. I keep the stove in the back of my truck - inside the coffee can pot, and I found in the middle of last winter that the truck canopy had leaked, the can had filled with water and that the stove was frozen in a block of ice. I decided to leave it that way for a couple of months feeling sure that it would still work. The end result was that the stove was frozen for four months. Once I thawed it out, it started first time and has worked without a problem ever since. I just have to polish the brass again to make it look new. That must seem like a pretty stupid test - but the fact is that these stoves are touted as being the sturdiest and most dependable ever built. It appears that they deserve the reputation ! The stove has also run flawlessly on 89 octane purple (boat) gas for a year now.
I’ve had a lot of email on this stove - lots to say how great the stove is, but others to ask if I’m really sure it’s a dependable stove. I’m sure not going to drop it off cliffs or drive over it - but I’d say it’s pretty well tested.
For some years I’d been meaning to get a single burner stove. There are times when a fire is not possible or convenient. I have had a two burner Coleman propane stove for decades, but that’s not too convenient to pack around. Anyway while I was visiting a buddy, I mentioned that I was shopping for a small stove and he gave me his - and the cook set to go with it. Now that’s pretty special ! I was quick to polish up the stove and even had it sitting on my bookshelf for a while : it’s one pretty piece of equipment being all brass. At first I was worried about getting any needed spare parts as the stove was 25 years old. I shouldn’t have worried - the stove has been produced for well over a hundred years. These days everyone is concerned with the latest stuff, lightness, hi-tech : I’ll stay with the stuff that really works : to me a brass stove looks better too.
And it sure does work ! Naturally I had to take it out and try it with the fuel that was in it, and had been sitting in it for 25 years. That’s some testimony to the fact that it doesn’t leak ! It fired up right away, and only slightly scared me with the distinctive sound that these stoves make - sounds like helicopters coming in. I was a little apprehensive about a stove using gasoline, but you soon get used to things. About the only fuel pressure stoves I ever used was as a kid camping in Europe and those were kerosene or "paraffin" as we used to call it there. The stove has been properly used and abused for the last few months running on regular unleaded gas, being left in a damp truck, and so forth. The stove has never hesitated. For sure you get to learn some tricks in getting it going, but it always goes. I could never bear to dent or scratch the stove, but my thought is that you would have to deliberately try to wreck it to stop it ! The one real warning is to be careful to store the plate (part #2174) that fits over the burner carefully. Lose it and you are in trouble as the stove just won’t work.
A beautiful ultra-classic light-weight white gasoline stove made of solid brass. The Svea has been manufactured since the late 1800’s and still sets a standard for compact outdoor cooking equipment !
We doubt that any other outdoor stove has been field tested as much as the Svea to this date. Widely used by Climbers all over the world, the Svea is recognized for its performance at high altitudes.
The built-in cleaning needle of the Svea is a very important feature at high altitudes where air is thin. If a stove does not get enough oxygen to mix with the fuel, it may start to sputter, flare up and eventually the burner jet may clog due to incomplete combustion of the gasoline. Turning the burner control to a full left on an Optimus stove clears the jet, and shutdown is avoided.
The Svea is ideal for single ventures, high altitude cooking or whenever stuff volume and weight must be kept low. The lid of the stove also serves as a small cooking pot.
As on the 8R Hunter, the Svea is self-pressurized. Operating without a pump, the Svea produces well enough output for one person outdoor cooking. If desired, output can be increased by using the optional Midi Pump.
Fuels : White gasoline, Coleman fuel.
Weight : 550 grams/19 oz.
Measurements : 100x130 mm / 3.9"x5.1"
Rating : Appr. 1.400 watts/4.700 BTU. With optional midi pump appr. 1.600 watts/5.300 BTU.
Burning time : Appr. 75 minutes on one filling (0.12 litres/4 oz.) at high output.
Boiling time, one litre of water : Appr. 7 minutes. With optional midi pump appr. 6 minutes.
The specs about say it all. Notice that the key adjuster is also a wrench set which can be used for everything on the stove.
The stove won’t blow up because it has a safety vent. It is important to not though that you can get some good flare ups if it does vent. This will be caused by people trying to build a wind screen that keeps too much heat in. You’ll hear the difference as pressure builds up and the burner runs fast. Those helicopter noises will get very threatening before anything lets loose.
If you are careful with refuelling, and keep your fuel bottle well away, all will be well. You can pre-heat the stove with cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly, placed in the burner bowl and lit. If you want to just use fuel for pre-heating then you better be a careful person. This just isn’t the stove for children or careless adults.
An important fact to remember is that a mixture of one part gas to 16 parts air explodes if ignited, rather than burns. Storage of gas involves some care.
Pressure fuel stoves give a lot of heat. That’s the advantage over alcohol stoves which you can make or buy cheaply. Gasoline stoves are the most fuel efficient. For all of the stoves out there, reviews show many people returning to the 100 year old design of the Svea. I think I can see why.
For classic stove stuff, start here and follow links.. Stoves
I agree with your evaluation of the Svea. I had one for over 20 years and had a great cook pot set, in which the stove fit perfectly in the smaller pot, I bought it from REI. Recently, my stove and pot set were stolen. I was able to replace the stove from e-bay, however, I can’t seem to find the cook pot set. Anyone have any idea what I am talking about and where I can find such a cook pot set, it contained three pots of different sizes, fitting into each other, with handles and lids ? It was a perfect match to the svea camp stove.
Bob Marquardt email@example.com
I’m not sure what the seal looks like on your stove, but I’ve replaced several coleman stove seals with O-rings. to get one the right size, go to a reputable garage, or a good auto parts store. They should have a kit with a range of sizes. You could also check with a plumber, but they don’t always have the range of sizes. Plumbers do know how to solder though, so if you damage the tank, they can often repair it.
BTW I’ve had an O-ring seal on my large two burner Coleman for ten years, and it works better than the new stoves. Finger tight means no leaks, and it makes it easy to open if I leave it for a season.
Wonderful piece of gear. I use a medicine dropper to put a few drops of fuel in the indentation where the stove meets the tank. CLEAR the area and use a long lighter.
I have never been able to duplicate the "Compleat Walker’s" method of lighting a small pice of paper held under the tank, open the valve, some fuel comes into the bowl, shut the valve, light the fuel and reopen the valve just as the last of the fuel burns.
My Svea 123 has been sitting on the shelf for about 15 year half filled with Coleman fuel. I decided to see if it would still work. I replaced the old fuel with new, poured a little fuel in the cup and fired it up. It burned, but sputtered and didn’t ever get very hot. I then disassembled it and cleaned each part and reassembled. This time when it took right off and the had the distinctive roar. As a test I boiled a liter of water in my old Sigg tourister pan with the Sigg wind shield. It took about 6 minutes.
It has been a long time since I last used this stove and I have a couple of questions. After about 3 minutes the flame started burning hotter and the roaring sound noticeably increased. As it was heating the water I noticed the burner was glowing red. Is this normal for the Svea ?
I just bought (by mere chance, unexpectedly in an old tools shop) a SVEA no 121 stove.
Do you know this stove ? Which characterisitics does it share with the SVEA 123 ?
I was told it is operated by paraffin. Do you know if yu can use any other fuel ?
Thanks for any info !
Hi Nomade !
The SVEA 121 is kerosene (parafin) fuelled and so no other fuel can be used.
This can be a benefit as parafin is much safer.
It should look like :
and the stove site is the place to look for details of spare parts and tips :
I’ve had and appreciated one of these SVEA 123 stoves since 1981 and haven’t replaced a single part.
One tip for preheating -notice the little channel that runs around the base of the burner assembly. This can hold a piece of ESBIT, META or similar, a fuel soaked cotton ball or even -if you’re careful -some petrol. Lighting this means you don’t risk clogging the burner and you don’t have to remove (risk losing) the top plate.
To be honest, 25 years into ownership...I didn’t know the top plate came off !
Just fired up my Svea which I hadn’t used in about twenty years (my grandsons asked me to go backpacking). No problem.
Now if my knee works as well as the stove, we’ll have a great time.
We just bought our second SVEA 132 campstove at a garage sale for a couple of bucks. Our other one is about 30 years old, still working fine and have never changed parts. It has gone all the way across Canada and used every day on that trip for months ! However, this new one, upon trying to fire it up, my husband could not get it going. He took it apart and noticed the pin (cleaning needle) was bent and broken. We need a part and cannot locate one. I tried Mountain Coop and SIR. I tried to e-mail Optimus but received not response. Can anyone help ? Our e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you ! Colleen
Try A&H at www.packstoves.com for parts. Also check out Spiritburner.com for a neat website with links to parts. Base Camp in the UK carries lots of parts for old stoves. Your 30 year old Svea...I have one of similar vintage...is probably more reliable than the newer version with the self-cleaning needle. I never had a lick of trouble with my old one. It now looks like it survived a war, but still runs like a Swiss clock !
I have been using a svea 123 for about 20 years and start it one of 3 ways.
1. Pour a bit of fuel in the indentation in the top of the tank and light, or :
2. Heat the cold tank with a tea bag wrapper or scrap of paper and fill the indentation with fuel jetting from the nozzle. Then light, or :
3. Open the valve and let the fuel flow out on its own because I filled the tank at a lower elevation after breakfast.