Super Cat Alcohol Stove

DIY, portable cooktop

I’ve made four kinds of alcohol stoves: the previously-reviewed Pepsi Can Stove, the Turbo Cat II, the Peyo Revolution, and the Super Cat. Of the four stoves I built and tested with a stopwatch (in my 60-degree garage), the Super Cat boiled water the fastest. While one of the others took as long as seven minutes to boil 500ml of water, the Super Cat did it in roughly 4 minutes and 30 seconds, and required no fuel re-fills to do so. Your use may vary, but regardless, the Super Cat called for the least number of materials and tools to make. A lot of tin can stoves require assembly with JB Weld, as well as cutting apart cans with scissors and X-Acto blades, which can lead to getting cut on sharp aluminum. To make the Super Cat, all you need to do is open the can (cat food, hence the name), dump the contents, and drill or punch holes in the prescribed pattern. Since it’s just a simple dish of fuel that you light in the middle, the stove does not require a primer dish to pre-heat the stove, nor does it require a pot stand. The stove is actually designed to have the pot sit on top. Without the pot on top, it burns much less efficiently; it needs it there to force the fire out the side holes. In the field — once on a summer mountaineering trip and twice camping — it’s held up and functioned great. It definitely seems more crush-proof than the other stoves. The only disadvantage: I had to throw out the cat food because I don’t have a cat!

-- Steve Schmitt 09/2/08

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