Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Radiant Heater Review

Mr. Heater Buddy Review

The Mr. Heater Buddy is an indoor-safe portable propane radiant heater. The claim is that it heats 225 square feet with 4,000-9,000 BTU. During a winter power-outage, we ran this guy in our basement in a room close to this size. It does provide heat for that space size.

Saftey Disclaimer

Any unit that uses gas has the capability of being dangerous. Always read and follow the operating instructions and owner’s manual.

Listed Features

  1. Two heat settings
  2. Fold-down handle
  3. Multi-position control with built-in Piezo igniter off and lo/hi settings
  4. High-temperature wire guard
  5. Swivel regulator for each LP cylinder and hose hook-up
  6. Porcelain-coated heating surface
  7. Low-oxygen safety shut-off (ODS) and tip-over safety shut off
  8. Ceramic burner tile mounted with shock absorbing insulation

Testing Mr. Buddy

We also field-tested this at our hunting cabin during the 2019 season. The cottage is 12’ X 14’.  The outdoor temperature was approximately 22 degrees, and the cabin was not preheated. It took about 25 minutes to take the chill out and another 30 minutes to get comfortable at around 55 degrees.

Our hunting shack is 12’ X 14’ X 6’ or 1,008 cubic feet. With our desired temp was 55 degrees, and the outside temperature was 20. The increase needed is 40 degrees.

Therefore, 1,008 X 40 X .133 = 5,362 BTU’s. Mr. Heater has a range of 4,000 to 9,000, which works great for this size area. This shack is 168 square feet, which is inside the suggested area of 225 square feet listed by the manufacturer.

Known Issues

Altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level can cause the heater to shut off.

What is the Quality?

The central part is red metal, and the outer housing is plastic. I deducted two points for the plastic outer casing. If this were metal, it would be closer to 10. As such, I have a failure on the bottom connector, which I am going to repair. Now that I know it won’t take a severe beating, I plan on being a little more careful.

The control knob is hard plastic and seems like it’s sturdier than the exterior. It pulls off to assist in removing the other parts.

Mr. Heater Buddy Control Knob

How to Light Mr. Buddy

  1. Connect fuel tank paying attention to all the warnings
  2. Turn Control Knob counterclockwise to “PILOT” position and depress to light
  3. If it does not light, hold down for approximately 30 seconds, release and depress again

How to Supply Fuel

There are two choices for fuel.

  1. 1 Lb. propane tank – connected directly to the unit
  2. Up to 40 lb propane tank – remote cylinder requires a hose and/or hose/filter

Note: One drawback of the remote tank choice is the safety recommendations are to have the tank outside. This safety feature could limit this heater and larger tank combinations.

Markers: Use only LP-gas cylinders marked in accordance with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT). Use only cylinders that mate with No. 600 valve connection.

The 1 lb tank screws into the side of the unit and provides a reported 3-6 hours depending on the seating, Low to High.

Mr. Buddy Heater Propane Tank

The larger tanks require a connection hose. There are two choices for a connection hose:

  1. Hose with a fuel filter

Hoses: F273701, F273702, F298802

Fuel Filter: F273699

The fuel filter is disposable and needs to be replaced annually. This filter traps any oil substances which could render the unit inoperable.

  1. Hose without fuel filter: F273704

We tested the F273704 hose with good results.

Pro-Tip: How Many BTU’s Do You Need?

The formula for how many BTU’s needed is:

  1. Measure the space to be heated
  2. Calculate the cubic feet – Length X Width X Height
  3. Subtract outside temperature from desired inside temp
  4. If measured in Fahrenheit use this formula:
  5. Cubic Feet X Temperature Increase X .133 = Required BTU’s
  6. If Celsius use this formula:
  7. Cubic Feet X Temperature Increase X .2394 = Required BTU’s


There is a carry handle. Or, we purchased the bag and this works well for the optional hose and a few fuel tanks.

Mr. Buddy Carry Bag

Portable Buddy Heater MH9BX Specifications

BTU per Hour: 4,000/9,000

Heater Area: (Sq Ft) 225

Tank Capacity: 1 lb Propane Cylinder

Run Time (Hrs at Max BTU): 3 Hours

Run Time (Hrs at Min BTU): 6 Hours

Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr): at 4,000 BTU =0.044 Gal/Hr, at 9,000 BTU = 0.099 Gal/Hr

Electricity Required: No

Maximum Elevation: 7,000 Ft.

Weight (lbs): 10.6

Model: MH9BX

Oversized: No

Length: 14.25

Width: 9

Height: 15

Disclaimer: Not for sale in Massachusetts or Canada

Use: Emergency Heat, Tents, Campers, Workshops, Job Sites, Porches, Patios, Decks, Garages, Storage Buildings, Picnics, Tailgate Parties, Construction Trailers, Sporting Events, Barns, Sheds, Hunting Blinds, Shelters, Ice Fishing Shanties

Warranty: 1 Year Limited

Thermostat: No

Safety Tip-Over Switch: Yes

Fuel Type: Propane

Heat Type: Radiant

Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS): Yes

High Limit Safety Shut-Off (HLS): No

Indoor Safe: Yes

Ignition: Piezo

Hose and Regulator Included: Sold Separately

FAQ’s from Around the Web

Is Mr. Buddy Safe for indoor use?

If there is enough oxygen in the air, the unit produces CO2 when the propane is burned. CO2 is carbon dioxide, which is not dangerous. Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is the hazardous gas. The heater has a low oxygen sensor that shuts it off automatically to keep the unit from producing CO. Reviewers Note: The directions state clearly not to use without proper ventilation. Improper ventilation can create an Asphyxiation Hazard. It does not list homes as places for use.

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Can it be used in a Tent?

Yes, with ventilation. I would not recommend using while you are sleeping. If using a 20 lb tank, make sure the tank is outside.

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Does the heater come with everything?

Yes, outside of a fuel source.

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How long does it take to cool down?

Most reports, including our own, is fast. Under 10 minutes.

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Does the igniter require a lighter?


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Do you need a filter with the 1 lb tanks?


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Does it need a separate base?


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Is frost on the fuel bottle normal?


8.5 Total Score
Mr. Buddy brings the Heat

Part of my inner prepper and living in Minnesota requires a person to have five sources of heat at any given time. Enter the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy. This heater is a reliable choice for one of those sources with respectable review scores.

Heat Output
Look and Feel
Safety Features
  • Small
  • Easy to light
  • Safe for indoor use w/ 1lb tank
  • Optional 20 lb tank connections
  • Auto tip-over shutoff
  • Burns 1 lb tanks quick
  • Plastic housing is a little fragile
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