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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Lantern mantle comparison
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 04:07:35 -0400

I recently had the opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison of
lantern mantles.  It had become time to change out the generator in
my Coleman lantern so I decided to experiment.

I was aware that Coleman had removed the Thorium from their mantles
because of irrational hysteria over it being slightly radioactive.
I also knew that it seemed like the lantern didn't perform like the
old Colemans in my memories.  I recently learned that Century
Industries/Primus mantles made in India still used Thorium.  I had
managed to locate some of these at Sears.  having used up my supply
of Colemans, I decided to use the generator changeout as an
opportunity to test.

After installing the new generator, I fired off the lantern using
the old Coleman mantles.  I put my photographic light meter on a
tripod and aimed it at the mantle and took a light reading.  I then
shut the lantern off and installed the Champion mantle.  The first
thing I noticed was that the unburned mantle was a LOT larger than
the Coleman.  I also noticed that the top where the tie string
resides was ragged and poorly made.  The surprise came when I burned
them.  The mantles shrunk up to about the same size as the Coleman
but it had a LOT more weave.  That in itself should produce more
light.  The weave also appeared to be thicker and more rugged.

The big surprise came when I fired that puppy up.  The light meter
registered 1 whole F/stop more light.  In other words, the new
mantles are about twice as bright as the old.  The light is
dazzling.  This is the Coleman lantern I remember.

I've been on 3 trips since changing out the mantles.  The new ones
take the normal abuse of travel much better than the old ones.  I've
yet to break one.  I usually lost a Coleman at least every other
trip.  What's really impressive is to look around a campground and
compare this lantern to the others.  It's at least twice as bright.

here's a picture of the mantle I'm talking about:

Century apparently also makes Thorium free mantles.  To be sure
you're getting the correct one, look for the "made in India" and the
meaningless radioactive warning on the bag.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.camping
Subject: Re: Coleman 424 dual fuel compact stove not hot???
Date: Sat, 02 Jun 2001 17:09:54 -0400

Rick Courtright wrote:
> Iron Chef Mako-chan wrote:
> > hair one time).  Make sure you pump it a few more strokes after you lit the
> > flame to re-pressurize the tank for the lost pressure during lighting.
> Hi,
> I've seen lots of folks complain about these stoves because they didn't add more air to
> the tank after lighting. I pump mine up until I feel noticeable resistance, and it burns
> HOT!!!!

Yup.  On mine I find that the atomizing air the valve releases
during startup almost completely drains the air pressure. When the
tank is pumped up again, the flame can be turned up enough to start
lifting from the burner face.

My experience mirrors yours on unleaded gas.  My dual fuel lantern
would barely run one weekend before clogging on unleaded gas.
Considering I can cook and run the lantern all weekend on a quart of
fuel, the cost of Wally*World's house brand coleman fuel, even at
$2.50 a gallon is trivial and not worth the hassle of gasoline.

BTW, have you noticed those little tank pressurizes that use CO2
cartridges that Wally*world is now selling?  I bought one to see how
it works.  Quite well, actually.  One cart will keep either the
lantern or the stove pressurized through several starts and a whole
tank of fuel.

Last year I upgraded my lantern to a Petromax and now burn kerosene
in it.  Twice the light as even the large Coleman plus the kerosene
lasts much longer (more BTU per gallon).  I got mine at Mill & Mine
Supply in Chattanooga, TN  for $55.  They're all made in China now
under several names.  The company using the Petromax name on the web
sells a nifty little adapter that screws in place of the pump and
has a tire valve on it.  One can then use any source of compressed
air to pump it up.  I use a small bicycle pump. three or 4 strokes
on this pump does what dozens of pumps on the built-in one does.  I
don't know of a commercial product but this would be easy enough to
make and add to a Coleman lantern.

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Lantern Mantles... Hey, Neon John...
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 22:31:01 -0400

ben hogland wrote:
> Thanks Bill (and John)..  That's it.. Now if I can find some of those "made
> in India" Primus Mantles.. I hope they can still be found locally.
> Ben

Sears stocks them.  Also widely available online.  Since I made that
post I have retired my Coleman lanterns and converted to PetroMax
all-fuel lanterns.  This is the original, pre-WW-II all-fuel lantern
that is now unfortunately made in China.  The chinese cloners also
sell the same lantern under several other names.  A local store,
Mill & Mine Supply ( sells the lantern
under the Santrax name for about half of what Petromax
( does plus Mill & Mine includes the
reflector.  I have bought two and love 'em.  I fire them on
kerosene.  I have tried everything from gasoline to salad oil and
all perform equally well.  Kerosene gives the best bang for the

This lantern uses a mantle holder that screws onto the air mixer
tube.  The mantles supplied by Petromax are larger than Coleman's
and seem to be considerably tougher.  I recently started suffering
frequent mantle failure during transport.  I transport the lantern
hanging on a hook with the lantern body snugged down against a
strong magnet.  This has worked perfectly for a long time.  I traced
the mantle breakage to the mantle holder coming a bit unscrewed.
This would let the holder jar hard enough to fracture the mantle.
Securely tightening the holder solved the problem.  Lesson learned
here is to watch out for any free motion between the mantle and the
RV, even if it is only a little bit.

BTW, one of the accessories I bought from is the tire
pump adapter.  This adapter screws in place of the built-in pump.  I
can now pump the lantern up with 4 or 5 strokes on a small bicycle
tire pump rather than wearing out my wrist on the built-in one.  I
noticed that Wally*World is selling a similar product for coleman
products, except that it uses a pellet gun CO2 cartridge to
pressurize the tank.  Nice.

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Lantern Mantles... Hey, Neon John...
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 20:10:21 -0400

ben hogland wrote:

> John,
> That Santrax Lantern sounds like the cats meow. I saw some pictures of it,
> it even looks cool..  I just put it on my list of things to buy..  Might not
> be this year, but I'm gonna get one.. (maybe as a gift with a suggestion
> with a suggestion from me from Family ;-))'

You'll love it.  A couple of tips.  The chinese do no post-machining
cleanup.  You'll find chips, cutting oil and probably a random
fortune cookie in the fuel tank.  Be SURE to flush the tank until
what you pour out is clear.  secondly, the chinese apparently have
no clue as to how to make a leather plunger work.  Therefore you
have to take the pump plunger out and soak the leather diaphragm in
light machine oil for a couple of days before it will work.  If you
get the tire valve adapter, you won't have to worry too much about
that.  I keep my pump plunger in a baggie soaking in oil just in
case.  There is a screw clamp that holds the air mixer to the head
assembly that gets loose several times before everything finally
beds in.  When it gets loose, it lets the burner assembly flop
around and break mantles.  That is what I mentioned before.  You
need to stay right on top of that screw for the first dozen firings
or so.  I got in a habit of lifting the lid and checking the screw
each time I lit the lantern until I found it tight several times in
a row.

> One of the first things I checked on my lantern is whether the mantle holder
> was lose. It's tight and secure. The only cause of my mantle breakage
> problem *seems* to be related to the mantles themselves. I may try hanging
> the lantern in the closet within the RV, but I am reluctant to try that as
> it may get the clothing covered with the smell of white gas.

Binding mine tightly to the rig with the hook at the top and the
strong magnet at the bottom completely eliminated mantle breakage.
I initially fixed up this stowage method with the colemans because
even with the good mantles, a sharp impact would break them.

> Thanks again for your great info,

You're welcome.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.camping
Subject: Re: Has anyone shelled out the bucks for a "Petromax" lantern? Was
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 18:08:26 -0500

"Jeepers!" wrote:

> Has anyone shelled out the bucks for a "Petromax" lantern? Was it worth the
> cost?

I have several and love 'em.  No need to pay the inflated prices at, however.  The name and design has been licensed to a
red chinese company that makes them under several names.  Mine are
"Santrax".  The wholesale cost of the lantern in truckload
quantities is about $20.

A good place to get 'em, the place that I buy from is Mill & Mine
Supply in Chattanooga, TN.  $55 for the large lantern and about $40
for the small one.  The lantern comes with the reflector shade at no
extra cost.  Their web site is:

They also sell the mantles at a fraction of the cost of
- I believe about 70 cents for a pack of 3.

Three accessories I HIGHLY recommend are the shraeder
valve adapter, the heat shield and the stainless steel mantle
holder.  The shraeder valve adapter replaces the fairly ineffective
piston pump with a shraeder valve so that the lantern can be pumped
up with a tire pump (I use a small bicycle pump).  When burning
kerosene or other heavy oil, it takes quite a bit of air for the
starting burner.  The built-in pump will wear you out.  Three or 4
strokes on the tire pump while starting does the trick.

The stainless steel mantle holder replaces the stock ceramic unit.
The ceramic unit slowly sheds powder until it finally fails.  The
stainless holders in my lanterns look like new after over a year's
regular, every-weekend use.  It is important to put some high
temperature (nickel based) anti-seize compound on the holder before
screwing it to the mixer tube.

The heat shield is a piece of sheet stainless steel that sits at the
bottom of the globe housing and reflects heat away from the tank and
valve assembly.  Also keep mantle debris away from the valve.  The
reduced heat makes the valve packing last much longer  plus the tank
never gets much more than warm to the touch.

I recommend buying lots of mantles and globes.  Both are dirt cheap
from Mill & Mine.  The mantle usually fails by getting a hole in one
side.  If you don't catch it very quickly, the jet of flame from the
hole will quickly devitrify the globe where it contacts the flame.
As the globe cools, it cracks through the devit area.  The globe is
not a stressed member as on a Coleman so it takes only a second to
change it.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.camping
Subject: Re: Has anyone shelled out the bucks for a "Petromax" lantern?Was it
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 14:10:49 -0500

"Jeepers!" wrote:
> On or about 11/16/01 2:44 PM, Jeepers! spanked keys that wrote:
> > Has anyone shelled out the bucks for a "Petromax" lantern? Was it worth the
> > cost?
> Thanks John & Jason!
> I see there are 2 sizes, 150 and 500. I'm only gonna use it for emergencies
> and camping, not daily use. Ya think the 150 would suffice, or should I just
> go whole-hog?

I gave the 150 a good looking over last time I was down at Mill &
Mine.  Almost bought one 'cuz it was so cute.  Almost looks like a
toy.  The mantle is significantly smaller than the 500 so I'd expect
much less light.  The tank is quite small too.  In fact, it looks
like they took the blueprints for the 500 and shrunk 'em by about

As my main lantern(s), I'd certainly stay with the 500s but the 150
might be nifty for a spot filler or if you're tight of space or need
a very portable unit.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.camping
Subject: Re: Has anyone shelled out the bucks for a "Petromax" lantern?Wasit
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 18:56:22 -0500

"Jeepers!" wrote:

> I have two modern Colemans, an older round globe style and a moden regular
> style. I use them at home during power outages, and occassionally camping. I
> was thinking of a smaller unit to go with me out to our hunting camp or 4x4
> camping trips.

My only caution about the Petromax is that since lighting it is more
involved, it might not be the best choice for casual use.  Even with
coleman fuel, the warm-up burner must be burned for a bit before
lighting the mantle burner.  If you don't mind the extra steps, the
lantern will work fine for this application.

One other thing to consider.  Neither the Colemans that I had
previously nor the Petromax units particularly like being toted
around in a vehicle.  It's just a given for me that I'm going to
lose a mantle on each trip - if I don't, I consider myself lucky.  I
mount my lanterns in my motorhome via a hook to hold the bail and a
NIB super magnet to securely hold the body against the MH body.
This has greatly reduced the incidence of mantle breakage but not
eliminated it. has a support device that will support
the mantle from the bottom.  This requires a sock-type mantle with a
hole in each end.  Century/Primus makes a small propane lantern that
uses the same sort of mantle, available at Wally*World.  I don't
know if the mantle will fit the petromax or not.  The Primus might
end up being a better lantern for off-road use.

> How much like the original is it? I don't mind paying for quality and
> lifetime use.

They are identical and all parts interchange with one exception.
Both are made by the same chinese company.  The petromax has a brass
tank while the Santrax has a chrome plated steel one.  I prefer the
steel because I can use the super magnet to hold the lantern in
place in my RV.

> >
> >
> I couldn't find a listing at the site. Did I just not look hard enough?
> Thanks!

Their web site has a tiny fraction of the stuff they sell. They have
acres of stuff.  Just get their phone number off the web site and
give 'em a call.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.camping,misc.survivalism
Subject: Re: petromax as Sam's
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 05:38:09 -0400

On 3 Apr 2002 20:30:45 -0800, (Tom Best) wrote:

>I've just looked over an "authentic" petromax and the Wenzel I bought
>at Sam's.  They were produced in the same chinese factory.  Each part
>is made on the same machine.  I will disassemble the Wenzel and report
>back on the internal parts but I predict they will also be identical.

Getting in on this late....

George, you're absolutely correct.  I have a very old Petromax (real german
one) lantern.  I also have several Santrax lanterns (available from Mill &
Mine Supply in Chattanooga, TN for about $50.
last time I checked, the lanterns are not on the web page.)  I have
disassembled both down as far as they can be disassembled, mainly to see if
the BS on the Britelyt web site have any validity.  I can find absolutely no
difference in any of the parts between the two except that the Santrax has a
steel tank.  I prefer the steel tank because it lets me hold the lantern
steady against the wall of my motorhome using a couple of magnets.

Neither can I tell any difference in operation between the two lanterns.

My BS alarm going full tilt, I searched around and found the Chinese factory
that makes all of these.  They have a web site.
They list the price of the lantern FOB China at $25.  Subject to negotiation,
of course.  A tidy profit for Britelyt, wouldn't you say?

Here's a page that describes the history of Petromax and the current status of
the trademark, etc.

here's a page that gives a good explanation of how the lantern works.

BTW, Mill and Mine also has a smaller unit.  It appears to be about a 2/3
scale clone of the big lantern. About $35 if I recall correctly.

BTW2, Mill and Mine sells mantles in 3-packs for less than a dollar.

If you really want a genuine Petromax lantern, here's an outfit that sells
WWII vintage mil surplus lanterns for about what Sam's gets:

>I wonder, aloud, why the Wenzel would not be a multifuel lantern?
>I've got an answer.  Perhaps Petromax has an exclusive contract with
>the Chinese (China is where Petromax is made-not Germany).  Perhaps
>that contract says that only Petromax can distribute the multifuel
>lantern commonly known as Petromax.  However, Sam's is a big company
>with clever lawyers.  I know because I am a clever lawyer and used to
>be a businessman and supplier to Sam's.

Since the Wenzel is identical to all the other Petromax lanterns, it is also a
multi-fuel unit.  The only thing I can figure is Sam's lawyers insisted it be
described as a single fuel unit for liability considerations.  A very real
consideration is that the average idiot isn't capable of tuning the lantern to
each fuel so they just set it to kerosene and label it as such.

>Perhaps I am being foolish.  However, I can look at the parts and see
>they came off of the same machine.  If they are the same parts, I'll
>test burn the Wenzel with high octane unleaded for a couple of hours.
>I bet it will perform flawlessly.

It will if you tune it by adjusting the air shutter.  Just to see if it would
actually work, I've run everything from cotton seed fryer oil to nitromethane
(DON'T try this! NM will detonate inside the tank if heated sufficiently) and
found everything that would flow through the plumbing would make light.  I did
have to heat the generator with a handheld butane torch before the heavy oil
would work.

>As for rust, my original Petromax developed rust in the tank after
>being stored 7 months with kerosine.  It is now unusable as the fuel
>lines repeatedly clog.

That's easy to fix.  Go to your friendly local Co-op or Tractor Supply and get
some milkstone remover.  This is a 48% phosphoric acid and detergent mix used
in dairies to remove calcium buildup. About $3 a gallon. Disassemble the
lantern.  Degrease it fully using a volatile solvent like MEK or acetone.
Fill the tank with a near-boiling mix of about 50:50 remover and water.  Let
it soak for several hours, keeping it hot with a hot plate or equiv.  Rinse
with baking soda and then clean water.  The phosphoric will remove all the
rust and will passify the steel with a phosphate coating.  The reaction is
self-limiting so you can't harm the thing by leaving it in there too long.

The Santrax units come filled with rust and manufacturing spooge so I give
each one this treatment before ever firing it off for the first time.  I've
either sold or given away probably 2 dozen lanterns so I know this procedure
to work well.

>I don't like Britelyt, the distributor of Petromax.  Here's why:
>1.  They try to pass of a Chinese lantern as a German manufactured
>product ("German registered").  I hate dishonesty.


>3.  They charge too much for a mass produced Chinese lantern (check
>out the prices on Santrax lanterns-if you can find them-they are also
>made in the same factory).  The going rate seems to be about $60.  The
>same price as Sam's.  Imagine that.  I hate paying too much.

Yes.  Even given that they probably clean out all the spooge, the price is
still way too rich for what you get.

>4.  In my experience, their "technical service" department is not all
>it is cracked up to be.  I have little patience for ignorant people.

Yes.  More on this in a minute.  And frankly, even if there were Einsteins
involved, ferchristsake, it's just a friggin' lantern!  This ain't rocket

>5.  The lantern, while pretty good, has some pretty shoddy parts and
>workmanship when you dig into its guts.  Nothing at all like the fine
>German product they want you to believe it is.  I hate poorly made

I wouldn't be that harsh on the quality.  FWIW, my old one doesn't look any
better.  The only real complaint I have about the chinese ones is the spooge
in the tank.  If they bothered to clean the tank before assembly, I'd be happy
as a clam.

>6.  For many years, they continued to sell radioactive thorium mantles
>when safer yttrium is available (I know the health risks are minimal
>but this does not relieve a responsible company from choosing the
>safer of two acceptable alternative or relieve a responsible company
>from disclosing risks associated with its choices.  Britelyt did
>neither.)  I hate radioactive stuff.

Do you hate yourself?  You're vastly more radioactive than the mantles.  As is
much of the food you eat compliments of C14 and K40.  Hope you don't burn any
campfires.  Trees concentrate a variety of natural and man-made isotopes.
Burning the wood concentrates them more.  I enjoy doing a little demonstration
where I stick a GM probe down into a bucket of ashes and startle the observer
with the activity.

No one can "disclose" risks that exist solely within your mind so there is no
fault here.  If you'd like to discuss your fear of radioactivity, as a retired
nuclear engineer with a health-physics specialty, I'd be happy to accommodate.
But I don't deal with phobias.

I have proven to my satisfaction via testing in my lab that the yttrium
mantles are NOT equivalent to the thorium ones.  They may be theoretically
equivalent but comparing the Santrax mantles which are still thoriated, the
Primus/Century Tool mantles which are also still thoriated, the current
Britelyte ones and the Coleman mantles side by side using a photometer, I find
the coleman to be down by almost half as compared to the other two when
operated on the same lantern.  I consider the thoriated mantles a plus.

BTW, the mantles that Britelyte currently sells are still slightly
radioactive.  Probably trace impurities since all those elements have similar
chemical properties.

My main complaint with both the Britelyte and the Santrax mantles is that they
are very much more fragile than either the coleman or the Primus mantles.  I
discovered that by using a Primus mantle (available from Sears) on my Santrax
lanterns, I can get almost a whole season on one mantle.  I'm lucky to get
more than a couple of trips on the stock mantles.

Here's some more fuel for the flames.

I've bought several accessories from Britelyte.  The tire valve adapter is a
godsend but after the first one, I simply bought a metal valve stem from my
friendly local tire store and made my own.

The heat shield that goes in the bottom of the lantern works well and IMHO,
should be standard equipment.  The lantern gets WAY too hot without it.

I bought one of the stainless mantle holders.  This thing was a royal POS.
Despite Britelyte's vaunted intelligence and capabilities, they chose a lousy
stainless alloy.  With only one season of camping under its belt, the end is
almost completely corroded away.  The screen finally blew out last weekend.
Back to the ceramic piece.

This could have been a great product.  If they'd chosen a suitable stainless
or better yet, something like Inconel, the product would be wonderful.  As it
is, I have a nice little boat anchor.

To be perfectly honest, I have not contacted Britelyte about this failure.
Who knows?  they'd probably replace it.  But that wouldn't salvage last
weekend's camping trip.

>I have no association with Petromax, Britelyt(obviously) or any other
>lantern company.  I'm just an interested consumer.  How about you

same here. Just a big fan of the Petromax lantern and someone with a very
sensitive BS detector.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.camping,misc.survivalism
Subject: Re: petromax as Sam's
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 06:47:23 -0400

On Thu, 25 Apr 2002 22:43:09 GMT, (Walter Daniels)

This is fun.  Shooting fish in a barrel.
>  I have been following this, as an _interested_ observer. I have *no*
>experience with any of the products, so I am unbiased. However, I do
>have some experience with manufacturing quality,  and production.

Well, at least you admit that you know nothing about this particular product.
Qualifies the rest of what you say.

>  1) If I have a product made, it had better meet *my* quality
>standards. AFAIC, the factory can do what it pleases with those that
>fail. Most overly capitalistic factories, will repackage and sell as
>"knock offs" the units that fail *my* quality standards. As long as it
>is *not* sold as _my_ product, I can't do much.

You obviously haven't done business in China like I have.  A tiny company (If
anyone from Britelyte is actually in this discussion, which I doubt, I
challenge him to post annual sales figures) like this one doesn't go to China
and have something made.  The Chinese (all manufacturing is controlled at one
level or the other by the Peoples' Army) are oriented toward either extremely
high volume, low value manufacturing or else moderate volume, very high value
added manufacturing.  (Our work with oil well equipment and later with pay
phones fell into the latter category.)  This lantern is low value.  For items
like this, they typically want to sell a containerized cargo container at a
time.  What Britelyte MIGHT be able to do is have the factory or its US agent
do some special processing such as flushing the manufacturing residue from the
tank.  BFD.

Of course, if you either have the money or the technology (neither of which
apply to Britelyte), things get interesting.  They'll make almost anything you
can dream of.  Of course, they'll build exactly the same item for anyone else
who wants it.  Part of the cost of doing business there.

>  2) $25 is probably *in quantity at the _Chinese_ factory.* That is
>what FOB means. All packing, shipping, customs charges are _my_
>responsibility. Even if that price were at the port in LA, I still
>have to pay shipping (to distributors), warehousing,  *technical
>support,* sales people, etc. IOW, _Wholesale_ price is very low,
>compared to "retail," because a lot of costs have to be covered. The
>lower the gap between "Wholesale" and retail prices, the more quality
>_must_ suffer.

If you'd actually done business in China, you'd know just how silly you sound.
EVERYTHING is negotiable.  In our case, we got the Army to put up money for
ALL ASPECTS of the projects in return for half ownership in the corporation.
All we had to do was bring technology.  For low value products such as this
lantern, buy enough and they'll put 'em on your doorstep.

But let's suppose your supposition is correct.  FOB the factory dock.  As of
about 10 years ago, the time of our last venture, it costed about $2,200 to
rent a Class A cargo container and have it shipped from China to the US.  That
includes pulling the container up to the factory in China and then driving it
down to the docks.  On average, assume about another $1500 to truck the
product from a US dock to anywhere in the country.  We have $3700 in getting
it from there to here.

Back of matchbook calculation, let's figure one can put 20,000 lanterns in a
container.  Dividing that out, we get 18.5 cents a lantern in transportation
costs.  Somehow I just can't imagine shipping and handling pushing the cost of
a $25 lantern up enough to justify the prices some of these places are
charging. These numbers intentionally aren't completely real but I know the
folks at M&M supply well enough to know that it's representative.  It also
fits well into the mercantile principle of pricing that desires a retail price
of about twice cost.

 Britelyte isn't the only outfit that's charging rip-off prices.  Go googling
and you'll find half a dozen overpriced on the first page or two of links.
>  In short, BL-P comes off looking better than the "competition" you
>are pushing. I discovered a long time ago, Quality costs more the
>*first* time. Long run, it costs a *lot* less.

Really?  By your admission you've never seen either product.  I own both.  Yet
you think you have enough information to argue with my opinion?  Only a
marketing weasel (in the full Dilbertan meaning of the word) would say
something like that.  I feel like a spectator watching the monkey play at the

BTW, I'm not "pushing" anything other than the lantern itself.  I'm an
enthusiastic user of the Petromax lantern.  I own several and use them
practically every weekend.  I buy 'em and give 'em away as gifts.  Given my
enthusiasm for the lantern and the purchase volume, I have a great interest in
the lowest price possible.  So far in my searches, that is Mill & Mine Supply
which just happens to be in my back yard.  If I find someone else who sells
the same product for less, I'll switch vendors in a new york second.

I stated before that the Santrax lantern from M&M supply is just as it left
the factory, complete with manufacturing grunge in the tank.  One must slosh
some solvent around in the tank before attempting to use it.  I use acetone
but since the grunge is mainly cutting oil, I imagine anything from gasoline
on up would work fine.  I would hope that for the price Britelyte and the
others who charge so much would do that cleaning for the customer or have it
done.  If avoiding sloshing a pint of solvent around in the tank is worth a
hundred bux to you, then by all means buy the Britelyte lantern.  That plus
the less desirable brass tank on the Britelyte lantern are the ONLY

Actually there is one more difference.  M&M supply includes the top reflector
with their $50 lantern while Britelyte charges $26 extra.  In passing, I
should note that M&M charges 85 cents for replacement glass globes while
Britelyte charges $8.  (I want to hear your argument about the differences in
quality of short hunks of pyrex tubing!)

Finally, to further illustrate your sense of quality and judgement, consider
the response from that guy who purports to be Britelyte tech support (I doubt
it but humor me.)  I reported that their $14 stainless steel mantle nozzle
failed after less than a gallon of kerosene's use while I've never had a
standard ceramic nozzle fail.  His reply was to acknowledge the failure
(without offering to replace it) while offering the excuse that "the proper
stainless steel wasn't available".

Bullshit.  Pardon my french but that is a flat-out lie.  Stainless ain't
exactly rare.  Nor is it the right material for something that operates cherry
red hot.  Something like Inconel is much more suitable.  This "we can't get
the right material but we made and sold it anyway" doesn't exactly speak
highly for the company.  I see that as of this post, their web site is still
offering the nozzle and it's still stainless.  So much for quality.

I think I've provided enough information that anyone interested can make a
decision so that's it for me in this thread.  You can have the last word.  I'd
expect no less from a marketing weasel.


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