Home / Gear Reviews / Toaks Titanium Wood Stove

Toaks Titanium Wood Stove

manufactured by :
Toaks
Version:
1
Price:
59.95

Reviewed by:
Rating:
1
On April 27, 2015
Last modified:August 3, 2015

Summary:

I've had the Toaks Titanium Wood Stove out on a few trips and have had very mixed experiences with it. While its adequate for boiling water, it's awful heavy for a titanium wood stove (7.9 ounces) when compared to smaller box-shaped stoves that fold flat for easy transport. I also think the top can in the three can set-up is way too tall and should be cut down to a third of its height so less of the stove's heat is diverted out its sides when the wind blows.

Toaks Titanium Wood Stove
Toaks Titanium Wood Stove

The Toaks Titanium Wood Stove is a can-style wood gas stove that weighs 7.9 ounces and can be used to burn wood on camping and backpacking trips. Technically speaking, it’s an inverted double-wall gasifier stove, basically a can within a can with a pot stand, that burns wood and smoke more efficiently than a single walled can with holes punched in it, because it burns the wood as well as all the smoke that is produced by the fire.

It works like this.

  • Burning wood produces smoke.
  • You get more heat/energy if you burn wood and smoke.
  • The trick is to burn the smoke before it gets away. Some gets away when you start your fire, anyway.
  • You do this by adding oxygen to it from the top down (inversion).
  • The fuel supply (dry wood) is all around you. No need to carry it.
  • The stove is dead simple. Nothing to adjust or maintain.
The Toaks Wood Stove is a three can system that slides together for assembly
The Toaks Wood Stove is a three can system that slides together for assembly

Assembly Instructions

The Toaks Wood Stove is a three can system that slides together for assembly.

  1. The leftmost can in the picture above, is the pot support on which your cook pot rests. It also has a small rectangular opening on the side that you can feed small sticks into to add fuel to the fire.
  2. The middle can is best described as the fuel box because it holds all of the hot coals that fall into it from above. It also has a perforated bottom to promote air flow from below.
  3. The rightmost can acts as a pot stand and a windscreen.

It’s very easy to assemble this stove incorrectly (having done several times), so I thought I’d provide some illustrated instructions here on how to put it together.

Take the middle can with the perforated bottom and insert into into the leftmost one with the fuel feed hole on the side.
Take the middle can with the perforated bottom and insert into the leftmost one with the fuel feed hole on the side.

Push the can with the perforated bottom all the way through the leftmost can, which has no bottom.

Push the can with the perforated bottom all the way through the one with the fuel feed.
Push the can with the perforated bottom all the way through the one with the fuel feed.

Next, turn the rightmost can so that the outside air holes are facing down and slide the two joined cans into it from the top. This prevents the top can from sliding down and suspends the bottom of the other can an inch or so off the ground so that air can flow up through its perforated bottom.

The assembled stove
The assembled stove

Cooking with the Toaks Titanium Wood Stove

Once assembled, fill the stove with wood up to the halfway point of the top can. When filling the stove with wood, put bigger pieces of wood on the bottom and smaller stuff on the top, but don’t over fill it by putting as much wood in it as will fit. You want to preserve good airflow through the stove.

Light the stove from the top of the wood pile using your favorite fire starter and accelerant: a vaseline covered cotton ball works well. Once lit, the wood will burn from the top down. It will also burn very fast because the cans act like a flu, drawing oxygen into the fire. This is a good time to boil a pot of water or cook a soupy meal, because the stove will burn very hot when it gets going. It’s not a good time to cook a meal if you need a simmer, because once this stove gets going, the fire burns like a jet engine.

When the wind blows, much of the heat generated by the stove burns out the side of the top section, not through the top
When the wind blows, much of the heat generated by the stove burns out the side of the top section, not through the top

Simmering is tricky with this stove because it burns so hot and efficiently. Instead of long-lasting coals, like in a campfire, this stove burns all the wood you load it with to ash. While that’s desirable for Leave No Trace because you don’t leave behind partially burnt wood, I’d recommend that you get a box stove with a bottom fuel port like the QiWiz Firefly or the Emberlit FireAnt for more control over a burn if your menu requires simmering.

While you can add wood to a burning fire through the fuel port in the upper can, I’ve had very mixed results doing so. First off, the fuel port in the upper can is annoyingly small, so you can only add very small pieces of wood. You’re better off just removing your cook pot and dropping wood in from the top. Next, if there’s any wind, most of the flame and heat from the fire burns out the sides of the upper pot. It’s a real problem with this stove, actually.

Transport

When disassembled the stove fits nicely in a GSI 1.1L Halulite Boiler Pot
When disassembled the stove fits nicely in a GSI 1.1L Halulite Boiler Pot

When collapsed, the Toaks Titanium Wood Stove fits nicely in a GSI 1.1L Halulite Boiler Pot. The only problem with carrying it this way is that this is a pretty sooty and dirty stove, so you’ll need to re-clean your cook pot before you can use it again.

Recommendation

I’ve had the Toaks Titanium Wood Stove out on a few trips and have had very mixed experiences with it. While its adequate for boiling water, it’s awful heavy for a titanium wood stove (7.9 ounces) when compared to smaller box-shaped stoves that fold flat for easy transport. I also think the top can in the three can set-up is way too tall and should be cut down to a third of its height so less of the stove’s heat is diverted out its sides when the wind blows. Finally I don’t understand why this stove is packaged as three separate pieces when at least two (the bottom two) could be welded together into a single component. I feel bad for Toaks because they make such good Titanium cookware, but if I were you, I’d give this wood stove a pass.

Likes

  • Easy to light
  • Flu-like air flow burns hot and fast

Dislikes

  • Non-intuitive assembly.
  • There are too many ventilation holes in the top can. If there’s any wind, the heat and flames exit from the side of the top can and don’t warm the pot efficiently.
  • The rectangular hole in the top can is very small, so you can only feed the stove with annoyingly small pieces of wood unless you remove the pot and feed it from the top
  • Very dirty stove to carry inside a cook pot.

See also:

Disclosure: Toaks provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a free Titanium Wood Stove for this review. 

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9 comments

  1. Good review, intriguing stove. I think I’ll stick with my Solo Stove, however.

  2. Liked this review, I agree on all your points but mostly on your blunt honesty. With likely refinements this will be a worthy stove.

  3. Philip, I have used a wood stove for a few years now. Mine ( Four Dog Stove, Bushcooker) is very light, and dead simple, no assembly required. It fits perfectly into my 1.3 liter pot including a carbon cloth windscreen and boils water quickly. The time varies depending on the quality of the wood. The pot does get carbon on it but an old cloth ditty bag helps with storing the kit. I cheat sometime and carry a few Esbit tablets to use with the stove.

    • Hey – thanks for the review! I’ve been using a solo stove for a couple years, and I’ve been tempted to get the lighter Toaks or Four Dog Ti stoves. Philip (or anyone else who has experience with all these stoves), did you have similar problems with wind when you used the solo stove? I didn’t see any mention of it in your review, although I can’t say I’ve had much trouble with it. Also, (and maybe more importantly) have you noticed a significant increase in effieciency from the gasifier stoves compared to a simple fire box (like the Qwiz)? I’ve been happy with the solo, but I’m curious if a fire box would be just as good.

      Thanks!

      • The solo stove will have fewer problems with wind because the wind screen is solid and the fuel cell has far fewer holes in it.

        Gassifier technology was far more important in world war II when people drove cars using it due to the shortage of oil (in Germany). It’s really unimportant today when used in camping stove because wood is so readily at hand.

  4. I have been researching all sorts of stoves and playing around with my own versions of some wood stoves for backpacking. The many different designs range from simple firebox/hobo stove designs to more elaborate wood gas and TLUD designs, with different sorts of hybrids in between. What is important to understand, and what is not always clarified, is that the fire building and burning technique used for a TLUD (Top Lit) is VERY different from the traditional methods used for building campfires and using firebox type stoves (Bottom Lit). Whereas firebox stoves are basically as their name implies: little boxes to contain mini campfires, wood gasification stoves, and especially TLUD stoves, are more precisely designed in regard to oxygen flow, and more finely controlled combustion. Optimum burning in a wood gas stove requires that short segments of sticks be preloaded into the firebox rather tightly, with the fuel level kept below the secondary air holes, then lit from the top and allowed to slowly burn downward. The stoves perform at their best when fuel is burned as one single “batch”, much as an alcohol stove is burned with, say, one ounce of fuel at a time. If more wood is added to a wood gas stove, it is best added in the same small sizes, judiciously, later in the burn, just to keep the gas production going. And, it is also important to always keep any added wood below the secondary air holes. If these wood gas stoves are overloaded with wood coming up too high, as I have seen in many videos on You Tube (including the video I have seen on the Toaks stove), the fire will behave like a campfire, not like a gas stove. It’s hard to get a feel for how a wood gas stove performs when the person demonstrating a burn on a video overloads the stove. Although I was able to find videos that showed the effectiveness of the Solo and BushBuddy stoves burning as wood gasifiers, I would like to see how the Toaks and the Caldera Cone with the Inferno attachment perform when burned appropriately. Unfortunately I couldn’t find many videos showing proper technique with these two stoves.
    I think these are important distinctions to bear in mind when comparing stoves. If you like the aesthetics of a campfire, and you would like to stoke the fire in a more traditional manner, and don’t mind dealing with more smoke and soot, then you may prefer a firebox type stove like the Emberlit, Vargo, FireFly, Littlbug, Firebox, Bushcooker, Caldera Cone (without the Inferno insert) or a DIY hobo stove. If you want a more smoke-free, efficient burning stove, and don’t mind learning to practice a new technique and losing some of the “campfire” feel, you may be looking for a design more akin to a Solo, BushBuddy, Biolite or Toaks stove, or like me, may enjoy experimenting with designing your own DIY wood gas and TLUD stoves.
    I’m not an expert, but hope I was able to help out in this discussion?

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