Before you struggle to answer that odd question, let me explain. You may be someone who is interested in buying a brand new steam engine from Mamod Ltd, or maybe you'd like to get your hands on a second-hand engine from eBay.

We are all like this, we either desire the new still-smelling-of-the-factory-shop-floor or you hanker for the vintage.

That's OK, here you will find how to settle your mind on one or the other, then the pros and cons of each option, and finally what to buy and from where.  So who are you, are you for new or for old?


If you've never owned a Mamod engine before, I recommend a brand new one direct from Mamod Ltd in Birmingham. Here is the reason why I say that………

They make'em and they know e'm!

Simple. Why would you buy from a trader on eBay who increases the basic retail price when you can buy from the people who have made them for decades?  Does that make sense?  It doesn’t but I’ll tell you why people do it. It's because no one has enlightened them to exactly how to buy and from where.

As I said, Mamod Ltd is in Birmingham, and their full range of engines is available from their web site.  Also before buying, if you want to, you can chat with the David the managing director and ask him anything about his engines.  Who knows the product better than the man who makes them? Buying direct in this instance makes a lot of sense!

Click image for the Mamod website

However, before you take the plunge and lay out your hard earned cash, you must decide which engine is right for you. Well, at this point I'm going to tell you how to think about this and what could be the best way forward.

It must make sense to look at what many other people are buying as they can't all be wrong. Basically, for your first Mamod engine you ought to look at one that does more than just sit there on the table revving-like- mad-and-making-a-funny-smell-with-steam-pouring-from-the-chimney.  

You may prefer a bit more action where you still get all the revs PLUS seeing it drive along the ground all by itself. That's what I call a win-win steam engine. Putting it another way, what little kid wants to keep looking at something that doesn't actually move, eh granddad?

The choice will depend on your personal preferences and how you plan to use the engine. Should it be a fascinating stationary engine or one representing the golden age of steam vehicles? Or perhaps I could say, table or floor!

Do you prefer a mobile or stationary engine?

From a technical perspective they are very similar. They produce steam, and have great engines. They both run for about the same length of time before the fuel is used up.  So what are differences?  The Steam Roller and the Traction Engine will give you stuff to do. These two both have forward and reverse and you’ll need to control the steering. Out of these two the Traction Engine looks nicer but that’s just my opinion. Both are great value for money and will keep you busy. The stationary engines are very popular because they can be run at table top height and it’s easy then to see what’s going on. Also they can be connected to an accessory called a Mamod Workshop when you’d see several machines working at once. It’s a matter of personal preference when choosing which type to buy. Hundreds of people have bought each type which proves the overall popularity of both styles of these steam engines.

Hundreds of buyers can’t be wrong!

Of course, you may poo-poo my pushing of two Mamod mobile engines in particular and ignoring the bulk of the Mamod range. I’m trying to present the case for running a Mamod engine yourself and whilst there are quite a few to think about it’s good to focus on the most popular.

Quite a few to think about 

Yes, but…. Yes, but I'm making a suggestion based upon public opinion and my own views too. You will love either type of these Mamod products. However, if you want to explore the full product range, my advice is to steer yourself to the Mamod web site where you can see everything they make and so importantly, their on-line prices. The thing is that you will be very hard pushed to find them on the High Street and so forget trying to find a shop selling them, just go straight to the horse’s mouth and hear what they have to say about their range of engines. I will be amazed if you can find a better price for any brand new Mamod steam engine than from the factory gate. Why not give them a call 0121 500 6433 and tell them I sent you!

Mamod Ltd: 0121 500 6433


A customer has just phoned me and asked if I had any Mamod brand new flywheels available. I said yes, I have them in stock. He then explained he's about to build a steam engine. I asked if he had thought to look on eBay for second-hand Mamod engine parts for his home built engine. He thought that was a good idea.  

What I'm getting at is, make sure you get the right deal and the best deal. For some it's totally sensible to buy old stuff. Under the paint it's still pretty good! You’ll be amazed how well these beat-ups can look after the application of tender loving care. Of course, if you don’t want the aggravation and hassle of tarting something up, it's best to buy brand new. So which is it? So which is it - new or old?   I’ll boil it all down right now.
  • If you want a mobile engine then buy a Traction Engine. If not, buy a Stationary Engine.
  • If you don’t want to have to do any repair work buy brand new. You will not be disappointed.
  • If you are on a limited budget that means you should buy either a Traction Engine or a Stationary Engine from eBay. You may be disappointed but you can usually fix the problem or get your money back.
If you buy "old" you will find the engine is probably quite good underneath.  These Mamod engines actually last for decades and decades. I got my first one over 60 years ago (yes, in the 1950s!). Many that are sold on eBay are 40+ years old and still run as well as they did when they were brand new.

It would be unrealistic to say they never need some replacement parts, that's only reasonable, but the big plus with these engines is that new spares, and second-hand parts are available. You will always find someone in the Mamod community who will happily advise you and help with any problem. You can find plenty of assistance here at the Mamod Forum.

Click image for more information.

This year (2017) we launched our publication called "Get Your Steam Engine Running!" Particularly with older engines this is a really interesting and helpful DIY manual.

Click image for more information.

So, as you can see, there is a lot of guidance and advice available regarding new and old Mamod steam engines which makes the buying process so much easier. To put the cherry on the cake, we provide free technical advice via email.

Need help? Send an email or call Trevor on 0777 552 1452. No problem.