One question I hear a lot with regards to fire spinning is what type of fuel should I use, and to be honest there isn’t just one answer I am aware of, I don’t really know a great deal about fuels as of yet but this is what I do know – if anybody would like to add to this post feel free to email me, Basically any kind of flammable fuel may be used to spin fire and even breathe it.
1. The popular choice for most back yard spinners is some kind of white spirit or turpentine substitutes this is simply because its cheap and easily available from most stores and people do normally tend to have it lying around in their garden sheds or garage, these type of fuels do tend to have a medium flash point and a long burn-time but with that makes it more dangerous as any ignited fuel can cause problems fast, not only that but with a nasty smell and plenty of smoke they leave so much residue on your wicks the flame will start to feed on them after the fuel is gone which means they wont last nearly as long as they would if you used other fuels.
2. Another popular choice for back yard spinners is denatured alcohol or methylated spirits which are much cleaner than the above resulting in less residue, commonly used as the choice fuel for mixing flame dyes with, so you can add some colour to your spin that being said this fuel is rather expensive and wasteful so i personally only use it once in a blue moon.
However if you get speaking to some more avid and professional spinners they will more than likely tell you they use one of the following:
3. The main one i know of is one you have probably heard of, Kerosene also know as paraffin, is used by many as it has a low flash point and lights pretty much instantly, it does have a much shorter burn time compared to most other fuels. This fuel although smokey and smelly does seem to only leave a small amount of residue on your toys which is always a plus when trying to make them last as long as possible, you may also find that if the weather outside is chilly it does tend burn for a much shorter time and in some cases light more slowly, kerosene is said to be the prefered fuel for breathing as the chance of block back is slightly less than other traditional fuels and having the bonus of being rather cheap normally a few litres for a fiver this is also my first choice at the moment.
4. White Gas also known as Camp Fuel is another commonly used fuel for various fire flingers. It can always be found in most outdoor & camping stores as well as large D.I.Y stores, Out of all the fuels fire performers use white gas is said to be the cleanest burning which makes it ideal when performing indoors as it emits the least amount of smell and smoke, That being said it does have a wickedly low flash point which means it will pretty much light instantly which may be awesome when it comes to your toys but not when it leaks onto the floor or worse your cloths, you need to be extra carefull when spinning of the excess fuel when using white gas so a spin bucket is a must.
5. A more traditional spinners fuel is Lamp Oil you can buy this at most dare i say it hippyish type stores. Lamp oil has a high flash point so does tend to light a lot more slowly than the others but on the plus side it does have a much longer burn time compared to most other fuels, many say this fuel is probably the best when used outdoors because due to the smell and smoke that it emits you wouldn’t want to use it in a confined space. Since lamp oil ignites best when it is oxygenated and in the air it tends not to ignite when on the floor in a puddle and for that reason it is considered a much safer option to use. which also makes it an often chosen choice for many trained fire breathers.
Before deciding what fuels best for you, test them out maybe try mixing them for a better balance of cleaner burning and spin time, a good idea is if you have them why not use some old toys when you’re experimenting, This way you don’t ruin your newer ones, if your planning on doing a performance think about your surroundings, if your inside for instances you wont want loads of smoke so your best off using a cleaner fuel.
Anyways i hope this answers some questions as i mentioned before im not to clued up on fuels so any additions would be welcomed, feel free to use the contact form or the forums to let us know!