Fire training and safety, Which Fuel should I use ...

Fire Training - Which Fuel should I use for my fire tools?


Keywords: Fuel

SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003
  Published on 19 Apr, 2013

The following are excerpts taken from the discussion pages comparing some common fuels

"......Coleman/White Gas: somewhat smokey, almost a soap like taste, lingering smell to the air, neither of us breathe with it for fear of blowbacks, so I can't accurately comment on that. Wonderful ignition with a moderate burn length. An orangey-yellow flame, great for night.

Kerosene: Tastes like Moonshine but aspirates well without fear of blowback. Quick ignite, short burn. IMHO it is only worth it for breathing, not for Poi, staff or other toy. Smokey and residuey. Slows down in cold weather (Shorter burn, harder to create a strong blow). More of a deep orange flame.

Lamp/Candle Oil: Little taste, good aspiration, slight risk of blowback. Long burns, though a touch stinky/smokey. Slow to ignite..has a "creeping" flame. Great for inclimate weather. Has a more reddish flame than anything.

I like the lamp oil/coleman for the toys. I use it in and out of doors. I still use Kero for blows. There are many arguements for and against each fuel and it really comes down to personal preference."- Pele

"From my ...experience...

White gas has the quickest light and shortest burn. Cleanest burning. Very low flash point, definitely *not* what I'd use for blowing.

Lamp oil has a longer burn but a slower light up. Somewhere between white gas and kerosene on the clean burning spectrum. Higher flash point, good for blowing.

Kerosene has the longest burn time and somewnere between lamp oil and white gas as far as ease of lighting. Most smelly, smokey and leaves most residue on tools. I'm biased on the stinky, sooty kero bit. I've never blown with it.

A mix can make a good happy medium. I like soaking tools in lamp oil first and dipping them quickly in white gas at the end. That way I get the most of lamp oil's longer spin time, I get the white gas easy light and no kero stink and soot. Lamp oil and white gas will separate, but if you do the sequential dipping thing the white gas will be on the outside for the easy light. For indoor performance I use white gas alone for the cleanest burn. If I want a longer burn on white gas, I add more wick." - Diana the Huntress.

".....I just got done talking to a friend who is a Ren Magician and fire eater. He travels all over the Canada and the U.S.
We discussed the differences ....... in our findings and he had these insights and thoughts to add....
Climate Temperature. We are located in the Northeast US where it is cold, I know this effects Kero (the colder it is the shorter it burns and the harder it is to light). So far I haven't noticed a difference in Coleman or Lamp Oil.
Altitude. The higher up the shorter the burn. ALthough I know we aren't very high above sea level here, I just thought it might be worth mentioning.
He says that there is a real difference in where you purchase them. He said Coleman down south taste different than up here (he uses it on torches, not to breathe with ...). I don't know why this is but I have heard it from other performers as well." - Pele

"....incidentally, we accidentally let the lamp oil freeze a coupla weeks ago, but were {prolly stupidly} impatient, and soaked Poi in it as soon as there was anything thawed enough to pour ..... didn't seem to make any difference at all. the whole thing did eventually thaw and seems just fine". - ykaterina

".... you can mix lamp oil or kerosene with Coleman, around here it seems most people either go 50/50 or 3/4 Colman 1/4 lamp oil. It will smoke more but not nearly as bad as without the coleman and burns longer. You can normally get smokless or ultra pure Lamp oil and it doesn't smoke much but the spin off is really slick and hard to clean." - Crispyx


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Comments/replies: 2
Member #221339
Reged: Sep 2015
Post30th Oct 2015 1:32 PM 

I am a newbie, but very excited. And my Poi kit says to ise kerosene on the instructions.....

Member #261742
Reged: Jul 2017
Post2nd Jan 2018 8:41 AM 

I notice that Methyl Hydrate has been left out of the conversation. Cleaner burning than Colemans, although dimmer light, TERRIBLE for daytime. Lasts a while, great ignition, low starting temp. Ive never tried it for blowing, but lack of vapour makes it bad for most eating, but great for using fire tools indoors. Also, no smell, and almost no residue.

Comments/replies: 2


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