Stove FAQ

I want to know the value of my stove.

Valuations are not a service offered on this website


The purpose of this site is to act as a resource for collectors & users of vintage camp stoves. As a strict policy we do not give valuations, the best way to assess the value is by offering it for sale by conventional channels or through an online auction site. Forum posts which request valuations will have this policy posted in reply by the forum moderator, and it will then be locked. This policy has had to be adopted because the value of an item is determined not only by age, condition and perceived rarity, but also by how many purchasers may be interested in it at that specific time. Time spent in reviewing the sort of prices which similar items reach in an online auction site, may give you a guide to it’s value. It is then your decision as to whether you sell it, and the method you choose, noting that it is always possible to seek a buyer via the For Sale section of the Trading Post on this site (Subscription Required). Thank you for your co-operation.

How old is my stove?

Primus made it easy by date coding most of their stoves between 1911 & 1962. Please refer to the chart below. For other brands check out the catalogues available on the site or please post a description & ideally a picture on the forum so that we can help you.

Primus Dating Chart 1911 - 1964

Primus Dating Chart

From 1911 Primus paraffin stoves are stamped with a letter code. This is found under the tank. The codes Q & AQ are not used. From 1955 a six digit number was used, the last two digits corresponding to the year. This stamp is often found on the leg or burner riser tube depending on model. The code was also used the petrol model No:71 but not from the first years of production. With regard to the later 6 digit date code it would appear that post-1964 the code may have been continued but stamped on the cardboard box rather than the stove. I have a unstamped Primus 5R with such a stamp on the box & the date corresponds to the date of the invoice which was with the stove.

Many thanks to Peter Benscher, Bo Ryman, Dr.Peter Watchorn, Neil McRae & Arne Aasgaard for their assistance in compiling & updating this chart.

Is my stove safe to use?

This site can't categorically answer that question for you. You stove may be old, previously misused, poorly maintained or badly made. Remember you are dealing with highly flammable fuels under pressure & that safety features on many older stoves are not of the standard we would expect today. Even a perfect stove can be dangerous if not used correctly. The Discussion Forum is a good place to get advice on specific concerns & the article Stoves & How To Use Them Efficiently (Registration required) explains the principles & cautions generally required.

Always be mindful of the hazards & avoid repairs etc that are beyond your own skill-level. If you are in doubt consider an old stove as an ornamental collectible only.

My stove has a fault - what do I do?

First, ensure that you are familiar with the stove & any precautions required handling the fuel your stove uses. If you are unable to establish the cause of the problem try posting in the Fettling Forum  for advice. Be aware of your own skill level & abilities & that you are responsible for the consequences of following any advice given.

I have an vintage stove but I'm not sure how to use it.

For specific instructions check out the Instructions section. The instructions for your stove or a similar model should be there. If not post your query on the Stove Forum - someone will probably be able to help. There are many instructions still to be uploaded to the site so if I have the instructions for your stove your query may push it up the queue for inclusion. For the general principles & operation of pressure stoves please read the article Stoves & How To Use Them Efficiently

Various stove fuels have different names around the world?

Fuel Name FAQ website is dedicated to this subject. If you cannot find the information here post your question on the Stove Forum.

I need information on my pressure lantern or heater.

Although these products were often made by the same manufacturers this site only deals with vintage camp stoves. Please visit our sister site at Classic Pressure Lamps.

Jul 9, 2015
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