Soto Amicus ‘gassie’ (with Soto Windmaster comparison)

Discussion in 'Japan' started by presscall, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,523
    Mentions of this stove on CCS and elsewhere have been favourable and justly so. It’s lightweight, compact and well made.

    I already own a Soto Windmaster which I rated highly when I reviewed it HERE. Content with the Windmaster, I didn’t seek out an Amicus, but a used example sort of found me, hence this review of a model that’s been around for some years now.

    Amicus with its integral pot rests on the left, Windmaster with separate 4-leg and optional 3-leg (a more compact, lighter weight option) pot rests on the right.

    8472E036-C51B-4D74-98ED-D0D2BD7F80C9.jpeg

    A99439C4-0167-482A-8804-E7424E299072.jpeg


    Reviews comparing the two mention the greater height and larger diameter burner head of the Windmaster. Well, yes.

    CBA3A0A4-D055-410F-BF02-0117E4B9FEFC.jpeg

    7E01D563-05C1-4C01-832F-DE59F6B9C339.jpeg


    For me though, an important difference, and one that explains the higher price of the Windmaster over the Amicus is that the former has a regulator-equipped valve as opposed to the needle valve of the Amicus.

    Potentially, this confers better performance of the Windmaster in cold conditions, and it has a greater maximum output, should that be required.

    Soto’s instruction sheet explains the workings of the Windmaster valve (left hand column - Amicus type needle valve on the right).

    DBD161C5-35F8-4168-9ABD-16E33BD74ABE.jpeg


    Performance aside, a noticeable comparison is that the valve spindle screws into the stove body to raise the flame on the Windmaster. Cleverly, it has a left-hand thread, so it still follows the convention of clockwise-to-shut-off, anticlockwise to increase the flame.

    Off.

    AF857F3F-D66F-476B-8524-3C6AE88CA2CB.jpeg


    Max.

    4FA63783-899A-445D-907E-B0CF2221A806.jpeg


    The Amicus valve spindle operates conventionally, screwing clockwise into the stove body to shut off.

    Off.

    A7EA66FC-95DB-4F1E-AF2B-4341F6919DC3.jpeg


    Max.

    5709C22D-3C30-49E5-A7C0-D58B9EEA0A4C.jpeg


    Functionally, here’s the nitty-gritty of why the Windmaster performs better in the cold and has a higher output. A larger jet orifice, coupled with the regulator incorporated in the valve.

    0.4mm diameter jet orifice on the Windmaster, 0.23mm on the Amicus. That equates to a three times greater orifice area for the Windmaster, allowing more gas to pass in ideal conditions and presenting less of a throttling effect when the gas is cold (and its vapour pressure in the canister is low).

    Jet size difference is not visible with the naked eye but is obvious with magnification. Windmaster on the left.

    1FF5374E-EEF3-47AF-9E3A-C9A1C7904CE3.jpeg


    Magnified views, same degree of magnification in each case.

    Windmaster.

    3C9B2ACA-B806-48D2-AB5A-45EE87934A22.jpeg


    Amicus.

    726DA5CD-655B-45B1-8B20-41C7E2C2FA57.jpeg


    More obvious is the greater area of air inlets on the Windmaster, left, to create the right fuel/air mixture for the gas the jet’s capable of passing.

    5AF0A347-EB0B-4FDE-B65E-B90399871970.jpeg


    On a near-empty canister of gas, the Amicus is struggling.

    57014D40-B01F-4DB2-AEE8-8E864DF38C9D.jpeg


    Quickly switching the same canister to the Windmaster, there’s more gas getting through to be burnt.

    00DE7F05-0ABC-48DB-8ED4-5372FCAD1C05.jpeg


    The Amicus is an excellent stove and in all but the severest of conditions there’s nothing to separate it from the Windmaster, performance-wise. The latter has qualities you may think are worth paying more for however.

    John
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  2. z1ulike

    z1ulike United States SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,027
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    A very nice review. Especially the close-up of the jet orifice. I prefer the smell of kerosene with my morning coffee and I don't do any backpacking so I probably won't be buying either. Still that Windmaster is an impressive bit of engineering.

    Ben
     
  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,523
    Well said, Ben!

    It’s a luxury I sometimes indulge in to take a hike with very light, compact, kit and with the convenience of quick heat without priming. Soto spark ignition on the two Soto gassies I’ve been using so far have proved very reliable. That on the Amicus has the same components as the other two, so I anticipate similar reliability - I always take a separate lighter with me nevertheless!

    John
     
  4. HunterStovie

    HunterStovie United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    Parker, Colorado, USA
    @presscall

    I too am a fan of the Windmaster and the original Mircoregulator stove. Although now knowing precisely where their cold weather performance drops off, where they become gas hogs, I'll be using liquid fuels in the future at those temps.

    Thanks for sharing your comparison.

    Mike
     
  5. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    17,384
    @presscall , Good Morning, John!

    This is an excellent review of two very, very good gassie stoves!! Well done! I have both the Windmaster (just got it, but love it, already!), and the Amicus, and I also have the Soto Micro Regulator stove that preceded the other two. All are excellent gassie stoves, and all work wonderfully. But, as you point out, and Windmaster bests the Amicus in several ways, and I would assume it would best the Micro Regulator stove, at least in wind resistance.

    I am more than a little amused by those writers on YT, who use words like "huge", and "heavy", when discussing the Windmaster!! I wonder what they would so if someone quietly removed their itsy-bitsy stoves from their packs, and slipping in an Optimus 00 and fuel, instead!!! ;):lol::lol:

    I think that all three of these Soto stoves are very well designed, but like you, find the Windmaster the best of breed when it comes to such tiny little micro stoves. Again, I thank you for your thorough and excellent review, and agree with you, 100%! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    PS - IMHO, you don't have to be a backpacker in order to enjoy a tiny stove, like the Windmaster. It would work wonderfully for day hiking, and other such adventures, too.
     
  6. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,523
    To supplement the line drawing of the mechanisms, regulator v. needle valve.

    22BDE0D0-44C5-4BDD-9C9B-7CB69F725FAB.jpeg


    ... and a cutaway view of the Windmaster.

    3272C142-1E36-4FB3-976D-0632CFC6BA04.jpeg
     
  7. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,523
    HunterStovie said,
    Got me thinking, I don’t believe they do become gas hogs, but use what’s available to best effect.

    Vapour pressure of the gas cart is low (cold ambient temperature and/or gas cart nearing empty), the regulator ensures minimal obstruction to gas molecules reaching the burner, taking advantage of a jet with an aperture three times larger than usual.

    In more favourable conditions, the regulator responds to the higher gas vapour pressure by moderating the pressure (and therefore the volume) of the gas released to the burner, maintaining flame levels comparable - in the low to medium range at least - to when ambient temperatures are low.

    Well, my take on what occurs!
     
  8. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    17,384
    John,

    I agree with your comment about the Windmaster. It uses less gas, and works better than the others. Not a gas hog, at all. It makes the most of whatever gas is left in a cartridge, whilst others stoves simply stop working, of work poorly. I like that about the Windmaster!

    Mark
     
  9. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,523
    @Doc Mark
    That’s certainly the end result Mark, indeed.

    The Soto ‘micro-regulator’ is a ‘technological’ solution to cold weather underperformance potentially afflicting gassies as @hikin_jim comprehensively discussed in one of his excellent ‘Adventures In Stoving’ reviews HERE.

    Another ‘technological’ solution I’ve encountered - very different as a heavy, bulky but practical base camp stove - is the Tegstove, which utilises conducted heat from the burner to activate a thermo-electric generator, charging a lithium battery and powering a fan which blows warm air (burner source of course) around the gas cart, keeping the gas moderately warm, offsetting evaporative cooling of the gas and low ambient temperatures.

    John
     
  10. HunterStovie

    HunterStovie United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    Parker, Colorado, USA
    @presscall

    Maybe gas hog was not the appropriate term, but when you use up an entire 110gm cartridge to boil 2 cups of water for a meal you've exceeded the operating parameters of the stove. Not the stoves fault but the users.

    Mike
     
  11. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,523
    As this morning ...

    EE098A8B-2086-42D5-AFDA-F97699A0631B.jpeg


    Tea, milk, ginger nuts (cookies).

    9E365636-BD5D-45DD-8EFE-7751DE17756D.jpeg


    Lighter on standby (not needed).

    0F2DED4F-B5BB-4B77-ACE9-E157537626FC.jpeg