Hexamine Vs Trioxane- What to Pick?

Picking the right fuel for camping is super important. Because some wrong fuel in the wrong situation can bring down the sky on you. 

And things get even tougher when it comes to comparing two solid fuel types. Because most of these have pretty similar features. 

Here’s the thing-

One of the super-popular debates in this sector is choosing between hexamine and trioxane. 

So, which is the best option when it comes to – hexamine vs trioxane

Although hexamine has a high heat value, it can’t be lit easily and provides uneven heat distribution. Plus, it can only work with a specific stove and tends to leave a residue. On the other hand, trioxane tablets are the exact opposite in every aspect. However, their toxicity and low heat value can cause issues. It also evaporates quite easily.

This was just an overview. Now, let’s burn right through the details-

Hexamine Vs Trioxane- A Quick Difference

If you’re in a rush and need to know the basic differences between hexamine and trioxane, we have a quick comparison ready for you. Let’s take a tour of the differences between these two solid fuels.

Produces yellow flameProduces blue flame
Hard to lightEasy to light
High heat valueLow heat value
Uneven heat distributionEven heat distribution
Burns out slowlyBurns out faster
Leave residueLeaves no residue
Needs a particular stoveDoesn’t need a particular stove

Hexamine Vs Trioxane- Sneak Peek

Hexamine fuel tablets are usually used by campers, hikers, cadets, the military, and relief organizations for cooking. These are solid fuels used for cooking in a limited space. Hexamine tablets can be used with disposable metal stoves. These stoves usually come with field ration packs. 

These little blocks of solid fuel actually burn smokeless and odorless. They also have a high energy density. Moreover, when these buddies are on fire, they don’t liquefy. So, it saves money. Most importantly, hexamine does not leave ashes when they burn. How amazing is that!?

Hexamine fuel tablets burn for about 5-7 minutes quite furiously with a yellow flame. This is enough to bring 240 ml of water to a boil. It’s also ideal if you plan on cooking your caught fish.

Each cube usually has a burn time of 12-15 minutes. This saves quite a lot of money.

solid fuel cubers

Source: Survivalterritory.com

If you don’t know which hexamine tablet to opt for, here are our top choices of hexamine tablets-

Image Product Buy Now
Expedition Solid Fuel - 40 XL Hexamine 1300-Degree Tablets Expedition Solid Fuel – 40 XL Hexamine 1300-Degree Tablets Buy Now
Esbit 1300-Degree Smokeless Solid Fuel Tablets Esbit 1300-Degree Smokeless Solid Fuel Tablets Buy Now

Trioxane fuel tablets and bars are also similar to hexamine fuel tablets. It is made of 1,3,5-trioxane which is a component used for fuel. Trioxane is also used to heat and cook food such as MRE food, ration packed food.

Trioxane bars come in waterproof wrappers so these will not get wet or break down in case of heavy rain or humidity. Trioxane is great for starting fires. Often militants and campers use trioxane fuel to start a fire. This is done to warm up the surroundings or heat up their water and food. These bars burn for about 8 minutes with a blue flame that makes them seem almost invisible.

If you want to get your hands on these bars, here’s a quality trioxane you can buy-

Image Product Price
U.S. Military Fire Starter Trioxane Fuel Bars U.S. Military Fire Starter Trioxane Fuel Bars Check Price

Now, let’s take a look at the differences in detail-

Hexamine Vs Trioxane: Time For Head To Head Comparison

Using hexamine and trioxane fuel tablets have a few benefits. For instance, these are extremely useful for emergency purposes. Comparing these useful features will help you to make a decision regarding buying one. So let’s jump right into the comparison of their features-

Price Difference

The prices of both tablets are important when it comes to making decisions. Prices of hexamine dry tablets vary within the range of $7.95-$29.99. The price actually depends on various sets containing 2-4 tablets. However, the price of a box of trioxane tablets is $9.95. This box contains three sets of tablets.

Size Of The Tablets

Hexamine solid fuel tablets are a lot more compact than general fuel systems. The whole stove system including the fuel can be stored inside a 0.5-liter pot. Moreover, if you learn how to make hexamine tablets, you can make your own ones for saving money.

On the other hand-

Trioxane is compressed into dry fuel tablets of size 1.25×1. 75 inches. This size makes it convenient to use for camping and portable stoves. This is also the reason why the tablets are easy to light up.

Availability Of The Products

Yes, your decision also depends on the availability of the products. Although both fuel compressed trioxane and hexamine are available in the market. You can get them in any nearby local store. Or order them online! However, in some countries, fuel tablets might not be as available as in the US. In that case, you can make your own trioxane fuel tablets.

So how to make trioxane fuel tablets?

You can survive in the wild by making your own fuel tablets. For this, you’ll need to melt a candle on a stove and soak some cotton balls in it. The melted wax soaked in cotton balls will act as fuel tablets.

Weight Of The Tablets

The hexamine fuel solids are extremely lightweight and portable. So, campers and militants can easily carry a lot of these in their rucksacks and attached assault packs without having to worry about extra load. Hexamine tablet packs usually contain 8 or 12 tablets. Hence being lightweight. So, these are pretty convenient.

The trioxanes are comparatively heavier. Which makes it a little difficult to carry around. However, the weight of the tablets are not really an issue for you to worry about.

Fuel Tablet Scents

You might need to make a choice regarding the smell of the fuel tablets. That’s because both hexamine and trioxane have powerful scents that you have to deal with while burning them. For example, hexamine odor is a bit like ammonia. More simply, it smells fish-like.

On the other hand, trioxane smells like chloroform. So both the tablets have strong scents. So you have to choose the one that you think will not bother you while burning the tablets.

To tackle this issue you can use some scented candles. They are really easy to carry and quite effective with the smell of these fuels.


Like any other product, trioxane and hexamine and trioxane fuel tablets have a lot of variety. We will be discussing some diverse forms of hexamine and trioxane other than fuel tablets-

Fuel Diverse Forms

Hexamine can be used in powdered form instead of tablet form. Though hexamine powder is used for more purposes than just camp fuel.

Now, how can you use hexamine tablet as powder?

In order to use hexamine tablet as powder you need to simply crush the tablets. Crush the broken bits of hexamine tablets until it forms a powder like consistency. You can now use this powder just like the hexamine tablet.

This trick is useful in case your tablets broke into pieces. You can turn them into a powder and preserve it for the future in a sealed bag/box. Another form of hexamine tablet is the hexamine liquid. This is an unstabilized version of hexamine/methenamine which can also be used for various purpose.

Just like the diverse hexamine forms, trioxane also comes in a diverse form. Which is known as trioxane gel. Another form of this fuel is the fuel compressed trioxane ration heater. This is simply a powdered form of trioxane. Which can heat up any meal by 100 °F without any visible fire.

Fuel Diverse Usage

Hexamine and trioxane are used for many purposes besides using it as camp fuel.

Hexamine is also used as adhesives, coatings and sealing compounds, and as corrosion inhibitors for steel. Other hexamine applications are for cross-linking agents for hardening phenol-formaldehyde resins and vulcanizing rubber, in the preservation of hides, and as a dye fixative.

Similarly, there are many popular trioxanes uses. It’s used as cooking oil, binder in textiles, and wood products.


Hexamine tablets take a much longer time to light than other fuel systems. These cubes use up a few matchsticks to start a fire.  This causes the entire cooking process to slow down. This makes the tablets less reliable. 

On the other hand, the trioxane tablets are easier to light as it takes less time. These disks can be lighted using just 1 match stick. So the work becomes easy. Even the whole bar can be ignited with just a spark. It’s actually that easy. Thus, makes it quite reliable for starting fires in the woods or a cold environment.


Hexamine tablets seem to work even at higher altitudes such as mountain tops. So you can carry them when you’re hiking or taking a shelter during military missions. Moreover, these work quite well at sub-zero temperatures. So even if it’s freezing cold or snowing, you’ll easily be able to heat up our food and keep yourself warm. 

Now your hexamine packs may get wet due to heavy rain or humidity. But these still work properly under wet conditions. But that won’t stop it from lighting up. Trioxanes are also very durable but they don’t work in water.

So, you might be wondering-does trioxane dissolve in water?

Yes, they do. Trioxanes are water-soluble and any polar medium. The 1,3,5 Trioxane has a solubility of 221 g/L in water. So, that’s why, once the tablets are wet, they won’t light up.


Hexamine tablets work best with one specific stove that is made for these tablets solely. So you’ll have to purchase the hexamine solid fuel cooker alongside the tablet pack. This way, it works more efficiently. You can also make your own homemade hexamine stove or alcohol stoves to make these tablets work well. 

But these tablets do not work the same way with all stoves. So, it’s best to use the stove that comes with these packs. 

hexamine tablet with stove

Source: Ferrehogar.es

Here are a few of our top choices of stoves for hexamine tablets:

Image Product Price
Pocket Stove Folding Emergency Camping Stove Pocket Stove Folding Emergency Camping Stove Check Price
Esbit Ultralight Folding Titanium Stove Esbit Ultralight Folding Titanium Stove Check Price

Unlike hexamine tablets, trioxane bars don’t need a particular stove to burn in. These solid fuels can burn in any kind of stoves that are good for the outdoors. So you don’t have to buy yourself a specific type of trioxane stove when using these bars.

Burn Time

Hexamine tablets have been seen to burn for 12-15 minutes. This is quite a good amount of time. And it’s enough to boil water or heat up your food. This makes it very efficient. On the other hand, the trioxene bars burn for about 7-8 minutes only. Moreover, since the bars have a low heat value, more bars or tablets are used up. This requires both extra money and time. So, these are not very efficient. 

Heat Value

Hexamine tablets have a higher heat value which means it takes quite a long time to burn out. So you can actually save up money since all of the blocks won’t be required to heat up or cook your food. So a pack of these can last longer than the other fuels.

Trioxane tablets or bars have a low heat value which means it takes a long time to heat up the food. Moreover, the low heat value causes the tablet to release less heat and burn out quickly.

Heat Distribution

Hexamine tablets burn for longer than any other fuel system but not as uniformly. After the 10 minutes mark of being lit, the fuel seems to burn with low heat. This might cause the cooking time to be longer and often cook the food unevenly.

These fuel tablets are good for cooking food that needs boiling but not simmering. Hence, they are mostly used to heat pre-cooked food. 

Trioxane bars have a low heat content. But even the lowest heat is distributed evenly. The fire burns with the same intensity until it burns out. This helps a lot when it comes to boiling water or heating up pre-cooked food. 

Carbon Footprint

Now hexamine blocks tend to leave a sticky black residue on the cooking pots. So, the pot needs to be cleaned up pretty well. This will avoid the residue from becoming toxic. Hence, cleaning the pot every time could be a load.


Source: Sportsmansguide.com

Trioxane bars leave no residue on the cooking pot. Not even any black soot underneath. Isn’t that amazing?

In case you’re lazy or on the go, you don’t even have to clean up the bottom very well. The pot will still look brand new. Because the fire burns clean, the clean-up process becomes very easy and convenient.


Now the burnt trioxane bar needs to be thrown away because even the slightest bit can create a hazardous situation like catching fire. These fuels are highly toxic and become harmful if not handled properly. Moreover, if you’re stuck in a poorly ventilated area like a bunker, never use this fuel because it can get seriously toxic.


Let’s talk about hexamine shelf life

Hexamine tablets seem to have a long shelf life. Because these tablets do not evaporate, even when it is exposed to wind and humidity. It is quite reliable and convenient to use as cooking fuel. This makes the storage process easier because you don’t have to be worried about the tablets evaporating if the package gets torn.

Now, on the other hand, trioxane shelf life is limited.

That’s because trioxane bars tend to evaporate. So, if the packaging is left with even the tiniest hole in it, the whole thing will evaporate. And you’ll be left with nothing. So, make sure there are no prickly or pointy tools near the trioxane pack to avoid evaporation.

But you must know how to store hexamine and trioxane fuel tablets

Hexamines usually have an infinite shelf life. However, you can make it longer by storing them in a sealed dry and waterproof container. And in case of trioxane, make sure the tablets are sealed in the pack properly and kept in a dry area.

How to Use Solid Fuel Tablets?

Using solid fuel tablets isn’t as complicated as you might think. You just simply pop out a solid fuel tablet or bar and put it inside the tray of the stove. Now all that’s left is to light the fire with a match or a lighter. Depending on the time of each type of fuel. It’ll light up and start to burn. 

So, Which One to Choose?

Now that you’ve come to this point of the article, you may be able to select the right fuel for your camp days or military missions. If you ask me? I’d say each of these solid fuels is made for different use.

While the hexamine tablets are good for boiling, heating up food, or even cooking food. The trioxane bars are quite better for starting fires in case of a night stay.

So, you can use these two for their own purposes because of their features. Besides, price and availability also make an impact on your decision.


How long does a hexamine tablet last?

Hexamine tablets can last up to 12-15 minutes straight. The tablet will burn vigorously till the 10-minute mark and then burn with slightly lower energy.

Do solid fuels smell bad?

Solid fuels typically don’t smell bad but hexamine can often smell funny. Especially when it’s dry but trioxane does not smell at all.

Are solid fuels poisonous?

Yes, solid fuels can be quite toxic in a poorly ventilated area. Smoke from these fuels produces a cocktail of toxic particles that are harmful to the body.

How to store solid fuels?

Solid fuels can be stored in the basement or in plastic containers. This keeps them dry and good for a long time. 

Does trioxane expire?

Neither hexamine nor trioxane expires. If they are stored in a favorable condition- that is in a dry and sealed place- then they will not go bad or expire.


That was all from us. Reading our in-depth comparison of Hexamine Vs Trioxane should help you decide on which one to go for when you’re camping next. 

We hope that through our article, all your queries related to hexamine and trioxane fuel tablets have been answered.