Trangia burners :
- are more fuel efficient than any home-made stove, according to Sgt. Rock's study(True, considering stoves tested in the study, ed.). That finding confirmed my own unscientific gut feeling, btw.
- don't need to be primed. They also don't need to warm-up before you can start cooking.
- are easy to adjust for simmering. Few home-mades are.
- can be extinguished. Most home-mades just burn until fuel extinction.
- have a sealable lid. Very few (any?) home-mades do. This means unburned fuel can be saved without having to pour it back into your fuel bottle. Also for overnight trips you can just fill the stove and leave your fuel bottle at home.
- are bomb proof. You can step on one without denting it. Matter of fact you can jump up and down on one without hurting anything but maybe your foot.
So Trangias eliminate some of the fuss factor compared to home-mades. There's no need to accurately gauge how much fuel to add since it's easy to put out the stove and save any excess. There's no prime and light or warm up routine. Trangias simmer, so that may open other cooking options. And you don't have to worry about crushing a Trangia.
Whether any of those advantages are worth a few more ounces is a personal call.
The one big drawback is the weight of a Trangia-over three ounces for the burner.
So why aren't do-it-yourselfers offering light, alternative designs with the same characteristics? One reason, in my opinion. Most of the features of a Trangia are simple for a stovie to duplicate but finding a container that is re-sealable and of the correct dimensions to use as a burner is tough to find.
I found one though.
Got2B hair products makes a product called Defiant that comes in a 2" diameter by 2 1/2" tall aluminum can with a re-sealable lid. I've been finding them in Wal-Marts and some drug stores.
The gasket that comes in the lid is worthless so I fitted mine with a 2" rubber washer from Home Depot and installed a ring of flame protector cloth held in place by 1 1/2" diameter aluminum tube from a butane can.
I wasted some time making an adaptor ring to fit the stove into a Westwind stand only to discover that the stove sits at exactly the correct level without it. Oops.
I carry a Heineken pot usually so I adapted it for that use as well.
The end result is a stove that can be simmered(next on the list), snuffed and resealed.
It weighs 1.25 oz. empty and will hold 3 oz. of fuel. Testing so far is showing 11 minute boils(right where I like to see it)and around six boils per fill-up, the same as a Trangia.