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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Push the can with the perforated bottom all the way through the leftmost can, which has no bottom.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Easy to light
- Flu-like air flow burns hot and fast
- 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.
Disclosure: Toaks provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a free Titanium Wood Stove for this review.
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