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M62/76
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Played with the tiny backpacking version. Wood gas is supposed to be extremely efficient, hot, and clean burning.

It's double walled, it heats air that still has all it's O2 and directs it to the top of the fire, where it burns all the stuff that normally just goes out into the air.

 

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You couldn't do the same thing with an old washing machine tub?

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The theory with this is that it burns cleaner due to double combustion. Kind of like the lanterns that return hot air to the flame
 
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That much stainless steel isn't cheap
 

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SAF
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Secondary combustion, exactly what Syclone posted. Good wood stoves and furnaces operate that way. Europeans discovered that many years ago, which is why my H.S. Tarm boiler has been heating my sorry old ass almost 40 years. When I bought it, no American furnace could come close to its efficiency.
 

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A buddy got the $500 version but I haven't heard how well it works.


ETA: He said it works awesome.
 
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I enjoy the heck out of mine, and to answer your question, it's worth the money. I have mine out on my wood deck. I have the ring stand, mesh cover, and the tools to go with it. It does everything it's advertised to do. It burns very clean and once it's going there's very little smoke. I had originally thought about getting the Yukon (larger model) but bought the Bonfire and I'm glad I did. There's plenty of heat and while the larger one would have been warmer it would have used quite a bit more wood. I was concerned about it getting the deck hot or sparks escaping but neither is a problem. It snowed lightly one day when I was using it and it only melted it a few inches away from the fire pit. Directly underneath it is only warm to the touch. The fire itself is very different from other pits I've used. Fun to watch for sure. The only downside is that it's a little inconvenient to empty but that only has to be done every 3-4 fires.

One other note. It's WAY better than a washing machine tub. Been there, done that.
SOLO snow.jpg
SOLO fire.jpg
SOLO.jpg
 

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I would build one of the you tube designs before I would spend that kind of money. I like to tinker though. I will not ever do that though. I just build a fire whenever I want one and it is usually a bigger one than I could make in one of those.
 

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I picked one up last year after smoking out our campground neighbors using the worthless ring at our site. It’s been worth every penny not to go through that embarrassment again. The stove works fantastic. Once it’s good and hot (which doesn’t take long at all) it’s nearly smokeless as advertised. Even with a breeze there’s no more moving the camp chairs around trying to stay out of the smoke and our clothes don’t get saturated after an evening around the fire. I highly recommend it.
A skilled person with a plasma cutter and TIG welder could make one much cheaper I suppose, but I’m more of a carpenter so I spent the money. Check the Solo Stove website before buying somewhere else, I saved $50 over using Amazon.
 

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Whenever we get the Magnesium bars from replacing gas lines we throw them on big bonfire. Sit back and watch that sucker get white hot. Not even a stainless tub would survive. We talking bonfires in excess of 50' diameter not city burbs lame stuff. LOL Trying to find some pictures though. We actually killed the maple trees nearby from the heat. :cheers:
 
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