Gear TSOTSO STOVE - Single and Double versions
  The Tsotso Stove is a fuel efficient wood burning stove made from sheet metal. It was developed by David Hancock in Zimbabwe in the '80's. About 30,000 were sold and it is so far the only commercially successful wood burning stove made in the region.

'Tsotso' means 'Twigs' in Shona. It has preheated secondary air with a single control for both. The fire grate was made from mild steel and had a removable (and replaceable) bottom grid made from wire.

The stove body was filled with vermiculite to increase the heating of the secondary air and to provide more stability.

The side wall at the top provides some shelter from the wind and has a cutout to allow for a frying pan to be placed on the 'X' shaped pot stand.

A significant feature of the marketing plan for this stove was that it was sold in a cardboard box which increased the acceptability of an 'unusual' product by making it appear more 'store bought'.

David Hancock reported an efficiency of about 21%, far higher than a standard fire. The stove was produced in Harare until about 1987.

The Tsotso Stove consists of four components:

- the main stove body with two wire handles and an insulated core
- the fire grate with holes punched through it
- the welded steel 'X' to support the pots.
- the loose grate bottom which holds the fuel in.
This picture shows the original stove recorded in the honours thesis of Busie Simelane, University of Swaziland, Luyengo Campus. The red lettering originally read "Tsotso" across the top of the round flame and "Stove" underneath.
Click for larger image

The Swaziland version featured a 4mm thick fire grate with a fixed bottom and welded wire handles. It did not have internal insulation.

The whole body used 1.2mm mild steel sheeting which was heavier than the original. About 60 were made in the mid 1990's

This shows the pot stand sitting atop the fire grate. The grate height is 255mm.
Pot stand sitting atop the fire grate

This is a rare double fire version. Each fire has its own air supply controlled by a separate door allowing for two pots to be cooking at different heats at the same time. Only about 20 of these were produced.
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Bottom view of a Double Pot Stove. The air entered the control doors and fed the grates from below with some air passing up the secondary air tube which surrounds the fire grate. There is no insulation in the stove body.
Bottom view of a double pot stove

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