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Which woodburning stove is the best?
in LPG, heating oil, solid & other fuels
196 replies 354.9K views
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As grahamc2003 says, choosing a stove is hard and some of the user reviews are skewed by the sheer cluelessness of the very users. Then again, the stove retailing and installing business has far more than its fair share of chancers, conmen and ratbags, so I'd take anything they told me with a huge pinch of salt. The problem is that this is now a fashion market and a lot of people have scented easy money (one reason for the preponderance of dodgy Chinese stoves). It isn't helped by the 'Green' lobby, brand snobbery and most certainly not by the HETAS closed-shop cabal.
In the end you have to make your choice based on as much information as you can gather and with a keen eye for when you might be being spun a yarn by someone who wants to get his hand in your pocket.
After all it's only a metal box that gets made hot once you burn something.
I am not sure if I went for one for my living room which is larger, that I might change my style.
We burn wood and smokeless fuel and so far this winter have only had the central heating on between 7-8am for the children to warm up. Hubs has recently lagged the loft and the heat is sooooo retained by this.
I live in a Victorian terraced house which on one side does not have any central heating (next door).
However, you do have to work hard for wood and to get it in a decent size for burning. We have invested in a chainsaw and friends bought us one of the brickette thingies for christmas so we will be making sawdust/paper logs this summer.
We took a trip to Clearview to visit their display house where the stoves are lit every day. Their stoves are made locally.
Combining liking what we saw with the very good reviews their stoves get and the fact that we were looking for a stove with an oven (which restricted our choice), it was just a case of deciding whether the price was worth paying out. We bought a Pioneer Oven and are very pleased with it. It lights easily, is instantly controllable and cooks casseroles and baked potatoes beautifully.
I would avoid the very cheap stoves, anything over £600 should be well made and last many years.
Our old cast iron scandanavian stove was in use for over 40 years and was secondhand when my father bought it at a farming auction.
We only replaced it because it had no viewing window and we wanted to see the fire.
Replaced it with a Yeoman Exe 5kw (nominal) which with the help of the Rayburn in the kitchen nicely heats the downstairs of the farmhouse if you leave interior doors open.
Chose it because it is British made, has a big window, single door and very wide to take big logs (less chopping).
It is very sturdy and well made, and we are very happy with it.
Looking at the whatstove site best user rated stoves, it is worth bearing in mind how many persons have made an entry on the stove you are looking at, to give a more balanced opinion.
Clearview and Town and Country appear to be well liked.
Most important factor in my opinion when operating a stove is the wood. Must be well seasoned for at least 2 years outside, open to the wind and sun but covered on top so doesnt get wet when it rains.
I suspect the best way to look at it isn't so much to ask where the stoves are made (how could one ever find out, anyway?) but whether they are backed by a substantial company..
If a firm like Hunter, Stovax or Dunsley were to sell a faulty, imported stove, you would have redress against the retailer who would, in turn, have a claim against the manufacturer. It would get expensive for the brand owner and would damage its reputation.
A small importer who sells through eBay or a handful of its own stores is perhaps more likely to take a chance - especially if they are just cashing-in on a trend.
This isn't infallible, of course. Look at what has happened to the reputation of brands like Hotpoint - but if nothing else, buying a major brand means you are likely to be able to get spares: not the case with a fly by night importer.
On the other hand there is brand snobbery to contend with - and what the marketing types call 'post purchase justification'. It's the syndrome where people pay so much for a brand and its image that they refuse to admit faults, even when they are there. Apple and VW fans spring effortlessly to mind!
This is encouraged by stove retailers who routinely rubbish good value products in favour of overpriced ones, because they make more profit on the latter.
I wrangled with all this a few years ago before buying a Hunter (cue chorus of boos and hisses from retailers who wanted me to buy a Clearview, a Morso or a Town and Country). I haven't been disappointed with the choice: nor is it the first stove I've owned. It did what I expected it to do for the price I paid.
I'm glad you are happy with your Clearview.
Sitting here in front of my Apple computer, being warmed by my Clearview stove, I'm beginning to think my recommendations won't be taken seriously! No VW though. :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:
We're looking to convert our existing fireplace to have a wood burner stove installed.
We had a certified Hetas engineer visit and have quoted an install charge of GBP 1K++.
I'm kinda puzzled, as our existing fireplace is still functional (1968 build)..
Can anyone give a ballpark figure our recommend a reputable installer in Berkshire? We're looking for a 5-7kw cast iron stove.