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Thread: Coleman Kerosene lantern vs gas lantern

  1. #1
    Boolit Master omgb's Avatar
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    Coleman Kerosene lantern vs gas lantern

    What I want to compare is a 50 year old Coleman 220H lamp with a new Coleman Kerosene lamp

    To begin with, the 220H is old and lookls it. However, the generater and globe are new as is the pump leather and the mantles. The fuel is Coleman Camp Gas and is from a new can. Lighting is accomplished with a Coleman spark igniter that pokes up through the match hole on the base of the lantern. Ignition is pretty quick. Pump the lamp 30 times, open the valve 1/4 turn, wait for gas to hiss and spin the sparker. Poof, lamp lights, wait a minute to warm up and open the vale all of the way. If needed, rotate the cleaning needle one or two turns and you should have light for the next 6 to 8 hours. The lamp put out a brillian white light with a mild hiss of pressurized gas. There is very little odor and not too much heat produced given the brilliance of the light. Drawbacks: Coleman fuel is now $10 a gallon in my neck of the woods and it's not always easy to find., Second, gas is highly flamable and every once in awhile you get a huge pop and flair up at first lighting. Not often but enough to know you are working with gas. Positives: the lamp is very robust. All parts except the globe are metal built to last. That this lamp is pushing 50 and still works well dispite years of hard use speaks to the durability of Coleman lanterns. Mantles are cheap, and available almost everywhere. That good because they tend to develop holes...a real no no. A holed mantle can lead to a plasma burn through tin the tank. That's too scary to even dewll on. In sum, these lamps are real good.

    My next lamp is a modern Coleman Kerosene lamp. I bought it from Amazon for $79 and change. It uses K1 kerosene as a fuel. This is a lot cheaper than Coleman fuel running about $7 per gallon if bought in supplies of 10 or more gallons. Unlike Coleman gas which has a shelf life of about 5 years (according to Coleman) K1 lasts almost forever if kept out of the air and light. The Kerosene version of the lamp looks almost exactly like its 220E counter part with two exceptions. First, it has no cleaning needle. That function is integregle with the on/off knob. The second is that the pump unit contains plastic parts. I don't knw if that's good or bad, but there is plastic where only metal used to be. Oh, and the bail holds the vent cap to the top of the lantern...no more nut on the top. that's going to make using the side reflectors (an option from Coleman) impossible. Anyway, to light you do as follows. First you tie and pre-burn the mantles. The Kerosene unit uses a #11 mantle, about 2x the size of the #21 the gas unit uses. It is a single mantle to be sure but that mantle is twice the size. After the mantle is pre-burned (something you do only if you change mantles) you fill the pre-heater cup with denatured alcohol. They give you a cute bottle with a long brass tube so that you can do this function by sticking it up through the match hole. I just remove the globe and fill it that way. No spilling, no flash. With the globe back on and the bail attached, I light the preheat cup and let it burn until almost gone. While this is going I pump the lamp 30-40 times. Just before the pre-heat burns out i open the valve and poof, we get light. Much brighter and much noiser than the gas lamp. Without pumping it will run another two hours. Pump it a bit midway and you'll get almost eight hours out of it. The light is much brighter but at a cost. It generates a ton more heat, maybe a good thing in winter! it also smells of kerosene...not too badly but enought that one notices it.

    The big question....which is better? Well, that depends. If K1 is easy to get and if high output is criticle, then the kerosene version is tops, hands down. If fuel safety is an issue then the K1 model is best also. But, if quick lighting is needed and you don"t want to carry the alcohol bottle, then you want the gas lamp. Next report will be on one of the new dual fuel Colemans. They might prove to be the best of both worlds.
    R J Talley
    Teacher/James Madison Fellow

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    well you have several things wrong . first K1 dont keep and the coleman fuel is not needed- BP/ ammoco prem gas is the same and really now all will work as there is NO lead. the gas burns brighter and dont have to clean all the "inderds"

  3. #3
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Whuddyamean, K-1 don't keep? Last winter I used up some that was in my Dad's hunting and fishing gear that came to me when he passed. That was 1997. How long he'd had it I dunno.

    Check out www.lehmans.com for kerosene options.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I have a Coleman Kerosene lantern I bought 30 some years ago for the same reason, Coleman fuel was twice the price of kerosene. I like mine and have used it a lot over the years. Right now the globe is broken and needs replaced.
    It's a little bit of a pain heating up the generator, but it burns bright and steady.
    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Good info

  6. #6
    Boolit Master omgb's Avatar
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    K1 keeps, for years longer than Coleman fuel or White Gas. That is a tested and measured fact. Second, unleaded pump gas even in the dual fuel models, will eventually clog the generator and it will do so much faster than Coleman fuel will. I used to work as an authorized Coleman repairman back in the early 70s. I know my Coleman stuff and I have boucoup experience with Aieda, Petromax and a host of other pressure lamps. I ran the test to see if the new lantern was any better. As I found out, it all depends.
    R J Talley
    Teacher/James Madison Fellow

  7. #7
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    In a pinch:
    Kero stuff will run on diesel
    Coleman stuff will run on pump gas
    BUT the additives is not so nice.
    I have several Coleman stoves that are "multi fuel" meaning naphta/Coleman and pump.

    If a fuel is pure how can it spoil?
    It's those pesky additives again.

    Light/heat run on LPG will produce a lot of steam/wapor. But it's easy and damn fast to use.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Thief View Post
    If a fuel is pure how can it spoil?
    It's those pesky additives again.
    Light/heat run on LPG will produce a lot of steam/wapor. But it's easy and damn fast to use.
    Gasoline will go bad in time, even when hermetically sealed. The ends of the hydrocarbon chain molecules are active enough that they will link to one another, making bigger molecule that are too inactive to burn well. Stabil binds itself to these molecule ends and prevents the linkup - that's how it works.

    In the '70 gas would go bad in just a few months. I saw countless Hondas come into my shop that had been just parked for the winter, and wouldn't run come spring. We made many, many $$ cleaning carbs and fuel tanks.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Coleman fuel is straight naptha, not gasoline at all.

    Anyway, it's kerosene for me. I have kero lanterns, a single-burner kero cookstove that easily melts lead,, and yes, in a pinch that stove will burn Diesel or even #2 heating oil. (#2 is awfully smoky, though.)

    Had one of those pump-it-up Coleman "gas" stoves flare up on me in a big way once. Had it in the kitchen (during a power outage), too. Fire extinguisher dealt with it, but it melted the plastic impeller in the stove hood's exhaust fan first. I won't ever buy another one.

    There's other stories I've read, about what happens if they leak. One guy nearly died. His lantern was by the door of his slide-in, he was at the front. When it flared, he had to dive through the flames to get out, then roll himself because the leak had sprayed him with burning gas.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master omgb's Avatar
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    Kero lamps will run on olive oil, liquid parafine, canola oil, even alcohol (but that requires a different generator tip and loooow pressure) In below zero weather, you can mix Coleman and Kero up to 15% Coleman to make starting easier.
    R J Talley
    Teacher/James Madison Fellow

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I have several Coleman lanterns and several stoves including a GI WWII stove.

    I did not know Coleman even made Kerosene Lanterns I thought those were all Petromax or Chinese clones.

    I just finished the first can of Coleman fuel I bought with my stove 30 +years ago. Ran thru just fine.

    I thought the stuff was White Gas? Although it doesn't smell like gas. Naptha?

    Since I am a diesel freak I'd love to have a lantern and stove that would run on diesel.

    Coleman makes these?

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Forget the Gas and or the Kerosene! I have 3 propane lanterns and one gas. No muss, no fuss. Almost didn't pack the gas one before my recent move.

    Winelover

  12. #12
    Boolit Master omgb's Avatar
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    LPG costs a lot more than either gas or kero and doesn't produce the same amount of light. To run four hours on LPG woud take two $4 bottles. That's not even $1 worth of kerosene. Again, it's all about trade offs and what you really want/need out of a lamp.
    R J Talley
    Teacher/James Madison Fellow

  13. #13
    Boolit Master rollmyown's Avatar
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    I have somewhere between 35 and 40 pressure lanterns of various makes and models. The "gas" type is convenient because you don't need to carry alcohol to pre heat the generator.

    I like kerosene because it's safer. Less flamable stuff to have stored about.

    With lanterns old is better. Lanterns made in the 50's 60's and 70's were much better quality than they are now.

  14. #14
    I'm A Honcho! SPRINGFIELDM141972's Avatar
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    I have been kicking around the idea of a Coleman Kero lantern. Does anyone have any experience with one in cold weather? Any problems?

    Thanks,
    Everett
    "There's a reason John Browning's middle name is Moses."

  15. #15
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    Havent used a Coleman but a Primus kero lamp in -20degC~-4degF.
    Fill up the priming cup good and preheat good (maybe twice!), then startup is no problem. Oh and a 400cp (Candle Power)~100W incadesent, will give off @ 7-800W~2500BTU of heat to boot.
    Mine runs 10-12 hours on full throttle using @1l~2pints.

    One of my Swedish Army lamps even has a flat top for heating meals and water.


    And some/most of my stoves

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have to take exception with shelf life concerns with Coleman fuel. Last weekend I smelted lead on a Coleman gas stove, burning Coleman fuel bought Sept, 2001. I bought a couple of cans after the 9/11 attacks and wrote the purchase date on the can. When I was a Boy Scout in the 1960s we used Amoco premium gasoline all the Coleman appliances. BTW, the stove was the only great deal I ever got at a pawn shop. It was in great shape for its age and I got it for $5 a few years ago because the clerk said it wouldn't hold pressure when I put my thumb over the hole in the pump. I knew all it needed was a few drops of oil on the leather.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I made a small fortune selling Coleman items in 1999 via Ebay. Due to the Y2K scare Coleman items were flying off the shelves. I was shopping flea markets and yard sales, putting the Coleman goods on Ebay and at times almost felt like I was stealing.

    I discovered there are Coleman collectors and many live in Japan. The Jap collectors all had very deep pockets and would pay a small fortune for oddities. I turned one $15.00 lantern into a $765.00 sale. For you collectors, it was a Gold Bond 200A. Not bad but I saw one a few months later go for 2 G's.

    Kerosene lanterns are ok, not as bright, a pain at times to light but if one goes the kerosene route, get a spare generator asap. The kero generators are rarely found on store shelves. Kmart used to sell generators dirt cheap but have discontinued stocking them.

    When I was selling, at most 50 Coleman lanterns would show up on an Ebay search. Now it is a minimum of 500 and the prices crashed. If anybody has an old Coleman item, check it out on Ebay. It may be worth some big bux. Like guns, age is a factor but old doesn't mean rare. Rare means $$'s. If you have something rare you might be pleasantly surprised. If you do post one on Ebay. Use a translator into Japanese and put "the bid of the Japanese welcome".
    The overseas buyers will not bid until they know the exact shipping cost. Pack, weigh and check postage rates, don't guess and don't pad it. The collectors know what they have paid in the past. The Japanese see padding shipping costs as a sign of dishonesty and they will shy away.

    EDIT: Some of the older Coleman and other brand heaters due to age can be deadly, if you must, use with extreme caution. The possibility of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning makes their use risky.
    Last edited by azrednek; 09-21-2012 at 03:23 PM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I have never used a Coleman kerosene, but had extensive experience with Petromax and Rolex kerosene mantle lamps, much like the Coleman.

    The kerosene lamp has the advantage when it comes to economy and safety

    The gas lamp has the advantage when it comes to ease of use.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I mean if you really want to talk efficiency here then it is pretty hard to beat the LED Lanterns out there now,,, they work great, they put out alot of light, they are easy on batteries, the bulbs never burn out.

    However they are just not very cool.

    Chicken Thief: your collection is very cool and I actually have three of the stoves you have . The GI, The Back Packer, and the silver dual fuel single burner. i have used all of them to melt lead!

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickory View Post
    I have a Coleman Kerosene lantern I bought 30 some years ago for the same reason, Coleman fuel was twice the price of kerosene. I like mine and have used it a lot over the years. Right now the globe is broken and needs replaced.
    It's a little bit of a pain heating up the generator, but it burns bright and steady.
    Hickory..is that a single mantle lantern? If so, I have spare globes if you need one. Shoot me a PM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check