/ primus omnifuel or msr xgk?

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pbphil169 - on 07 Mar 2012
A friend is offering me his omnifuel at a very good price but I've heard bad things about the omnifuel and only good things about the xgk. what's everyone's opinion?


pec on 07 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169: I've had an omnifuel for a few years now and never had any bother with it. Haven't used the xgk so can't compare them though.
I chose the omnifuel because you can use gas cylinders with it as well as petrol etc. which you can't with most petrol stoves.
Juho Risku on 07 Mar 2012 -
In reply to pbphil169: I'm a happy user of XGK, but I know several others who're using Omnifuel. As far I've seen these working they're both good. My personal favorite of all would be the Omnifule Ti however... it's so light, yet still efficient.
radson - on 07 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169:

jon griffiths wasnt too happy with the omnifuel
trueuk1 - on 07 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169: i use an omniful, when a got it the fact it has am aluminium fuel pump swayed it for me, been useing it for around 5 years and am yet to have a problem with it. on 07 Mar 2012 -
In reply to pbphil169: Both are good stoves, in our system XGK has gotten slightly higher rating (5 vs. 4 stars). Out the ones talked in this thread based on their specifications the Omnilite Ti is lightest one by a large margin and yet the fastest to bring 1L to boil. Another important aspect is the fuel usage efficiency... but unfortunately we don't have comparable data on that yet.

If you're interested of comparing these (and couple of other) stoves side by side go:,9859,4375,5951,8652&title=Cookers
needvert on 08 Mar 2012 - whois?
In reply to pbphil169:

Biggest dislike about my xgk is its loud. I did have problems once using it in strong wind and rain with just a pot on top. Was trivial to relight and you noticed it was out due to the quiet.

Not saying the omni isn't loud or works in tempests though, never used on.

Seems the plastic pump gets a bad rap, always struck me as solved by not standing on it. Lots of my stuff would break if deform if I stood on it.

Overall I love my xgk though.
Epic Ebdon on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169:

If its a good price, I'd go for the omnifuel. I've had one for about 6 years now and think it's brilliant. I wonder if JG's review was just a question of getting used to it - it's slightly harder to judge the amount of fuel you need to prime it in comparison to an MSR (but once you've used it 3 or four times, then that's not a problem anymore), but I find the MSR harder to use. It's just a question of what you're used to. I bought it because of the combination of lightweight, aluminium pump, longer fuel pipe (means stove and fuel bottle can be further apart), ability to drain the fuel line before shoving it your rucksack, and the simmer switch.

tjin - on 08 Mar 2012
Ofcorse when i doubt, ask the stove guys:

(Yes, there is a forum about stove)

The Primus Omnifuel and the older models Optimus Nova seems to be the favorite there
pbphil169 - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169: great. it sounds like a goer. thanks for the info.
LJC - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169: Never tried an XGK, but I love my omnifuel. The only bad part is the windshield which always breaks along the folds in the metal, no matter how careful you are with it. They can be bodged back together with split pins or wire loops. £12 seems quite expensive for a new one!
ScraggyGoat on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169:
I've owned and used XGK's (pre-shaker and shaker verions) for fifteen years or so, and an omini fuel for the past two or three. However I can't directly compare them as I ran the MSR's on unleaded petrol, and the omnifuel on a clean stove fuel. Thoughts are:

1) If going overseas particularly N.America and many greater ranges, I'd go for the MSR. Spares more accessible and if in base camp or on trial should the stove break, other parties will probably have MSR's and spares to help fix. Also the scouring wire for cleaning 'feels' more reliable than the filter insert method of the Primus for dealing with dirty fuel.

2) Downside to the MSR is the fuel pumps break, having said that it took ten years to encounter this myself, but saw several others suffer this.

3) MSR's always need fiddling with, especially compared to the primus (though this may be in part a function of the fuel).

4) Primus looks and feels to be of higher quality and better manufacture, with more thought being put into the design, especially on little details

5) Primus simmers and can use gas.

6) primus needs longer to prime (i.e. more fuel squirted through at the start) than the MSR as its fuel line doesn't pass over the flame. Also because of this if its not fully primed at the start, it won't gradually 'settle' down. In my experience those from an MSR background always flare the primus on first lighting.

Overall I think the primus is the higher/better quality stove. But they are both good, and quality isn't the only factor to consider.
Gentleman - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169:

primus omnifuel was/is my first (and only) coocker.

I have not had a problems with the unit..

few MINOR issues I might give more weight should I look for a cooker now:

*Noise .. not a big thing but
*Can it be set up while you are camped on portaledge ? (I would not use mine.. perhaps with experience on setup etc..)
*How small pot can you put on it? I cant use my screw top expresso kettle and I do have some trouble (not stable) with steel pots that have small bottom area.

My key reasons for picking omnifuel (I cant recall what were the alternatives):
Good basic design.. no killer flaws.
Burns basically anything.
metal pump.
ok weight/size, ok price.
mkean - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to Gentleman:
I wouldn't use an omnifuel on a ledge, although I suspect that you could bodge a reasonably safe hanging setup if you used gas. The potential risk of flair ups would put me off using liquids!
captain paranoia - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to radson:

> jon griffiths wasnt too happy with the omnifuel

"I came out with a Primus Omnifuel. I've never used a Primus stove before and I've got to say I was pretty disappointed. Priming the thing was quite an attentive process and it had a tendency to go out very easily compared to the MSR XGK. We eventually broke the pump whilst trying to unscrew it from the bottle and someone loaned us an XGK - we were both pretty relieved to go back to our tried and tested system."

Going on such an expedition without first using and understanding a particular liquid fuel stove's foibles doesn't seem a great plan (assuming he means what he says in the second sentence; no prior experience). In which case, a 'tried and tested' stove is always likely to seem better/easier to use.
martinph78 on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169:
> A friend is offering me his omnifuel at a very good price

Get it then!

Had mine for years and like any multi-fuel stove they take some getting used to. Would I buy one again? Not immediately, I'd shop around and choose on price and spares availability.

The ONLY thing I don't much like about the Omnifuel is it's inability to simmer. Fine on gas, but simmer isn't really simmer on liquid fuels. I only tend to use it for boiling anyway. Did try pancakes on petrol last weekend when climbing (yeah, bit of a treat for a mates first outing at a crag) and that was a disaster lol.

I wouldn't recommend it over the MSR, I think it is personal preference, but if it's a good price then that would swing it for me.

If you don't want it message me his price and I might have it, would be nice to have another
ClayClay - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169: I've put my omnifuel through hell and have always been well fed at the end of the day. is it the piece of kit for weekend trips in the UK? Not really, i find the small gas stoves like the primus micron are better for that. I really only use it for multi week trips cooking for 2 or 3.

Spares=good and easy to get everywhere
Fuel= non issue
Cooking= lots of heat, can simmer, large pots sit well
cleaning the fu**er= need to do this in order to get the most, not just the jet pricking, the regulator rod always needs a good reaming (once every coupkle of weeks with 3x per day use).
strength= one leg is slightly bent, it hasn't exactly been treated with kid gloves, very strong.

If buying now I'd have a serious look at the optimus nova and the new MSR whisperlight, which I hear also runs on gas.
Billy the fish - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169: I use a couple of omnifuels and think they are great. They burn a wide range of fuels, except I for homemade biodiesel I found. Priming has never been a problem and they aren’t very sensitive to needing the correct selection of jet size. The persuading factor for me was the durability of the metal pump.

Ben Sharp - on 09 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169:

a comparison of the omnifuel and the whisperlite, good wee blog.

Boulderdash86 on 09 Mar 2012
In reply to pbphil169: I haeva Omni fuel in a Trangia - it brillant all the advantages of a trangia with the advantages of a multi fuel, and if the trangiadoes give up I can go back to it being stand alone.
davidbeynon on 09 Mar 2012
In reply to Boulderdash86:

The idea of a Trangia giving up is amusing. For all their faults they are unkillable

To the OP. I have used both, and found them to be good stoves. Never had a problem with either of them. IMHO the Whisperlite international is MSRs best stove though.

The MSR Dragonfly on the other hand... Piece of crap. Avoid.
Boulderdash86 on 09 Mar 2012
In reply to davidbeynon: I meant if it melts in time....meths compared to multifuel

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