Primus Type Burner Quality Control Issues…

A short article on the problems that come with burners from overseas

By Dorian Stonehouse

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Cheap imports of Primus spare parts from India and other countries, have (by and large) been welcomed by Primus stove owners –myself included. 

Optimus Marine Stove – a burner bargain ?

Primus Type Burner Quality Control Issues

Previously, when it came to purchasing a new burner, I would be lucky to stumble upon a “new old stock” burner replacement; now I can get a new one at a very competitive price!

 An Optimus 155w burner from India ready for brazing

So, am I knocking the cheaper imported spares (in this case – burners), which often come from India? Certainly not!

Insufficient brazing leaves tiny fissures around the base of the pipe

 Primus Burner Quality Control Issues

Imported burners, however, have let me down in the past.

The more serious manufacturing defect is that sometimes the brazing⇑⇑ around the inner circle of the burner (where the pipe sits in the picture⇑⇑) is poorly done. 

Within months of purchase, pressured kerosene rapidly decants from the seam,  so letting the product down – with a bump!

The Optimus marine stove burner, 155w showing a fuel adjustment tap

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I have had trouble with oil seeping through the graphite packing inside the fuel regulator tap⇑⇑, and finding its way to the spirit bowl.  This can occur when insufficient packing has been inserted into the regulator. 

That was easily repaired by dismantling the valve, replacing the packing and away to go – but still annoying!

 Example of better brazing (arrowed) Please compare with above burners

 Primus Burner Quality Control Issues

Last of all, don’t forget to look out for metal burrs – any rough edge or ridge left on the burner by the action of a tool or machine. If you find any, you can bet your bottom dollar that it has skipped past Quality Assurance (QA) and been shipped overseas as is.

Metal burr circled

So there is a bit of  “buyer beware” element when you buy a burner from oversees; in that you will always need to check the burner for defects.  Doing so will prevent a problem occuring later on down the line.

Primus Burner Quality Control Issues

To conclude:  Will I continue to buy the cheaper oversees-made burners for my stoves?  Yes, definitely.  But hey! Guys and gals, get your QA sorted out – please!


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