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  • FIRST POST
    Pansy Potter
    Which woodburning stove is the best?
    • #1
    • 18th Jan 12, 12:05 PM
    Which woodburning stove is the best? 18th Jan 12 at 12:05 PM
    I have one woodburning stove and am about to purchase another traditional type design (not modern) about 10kw output. Interested in finding out which ones everbody rates as best and why. I bought my first stove about a year ago, it was very reasonably priced and has worked well so far, there are some expensive models out there and just wondered what everyones opinion is, do they really justify paying a premium price tag? There surely cannot be that much difference, they are hardly high tech???
Page 1
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 18th Jan 12, 2:07 PM
    • 30,999 Posts
    • 79,437 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #2
    • 18th Jan 12, 2:07 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Jan 12, 2:07 PM
    We've got a Clearview and highly recommend them. No experience of other makes, though.
    • w50nky
    • By w50nky 18th Jan 12, 2:44 PM
    • 413 Posts
    • 234 Thanks
    w50nky
    • #3
    • 18th Jan 12, 2:44 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Jan 12, 2:44 PM
    Lots of reviews by stove owners on this site>.. http://www.whatstove.co.uk/ .
    There are lots of stove owners on this forum and each seems happy with their choice of stove. I would find a stove that you like the look of and in the size that you require and check out the reviews and ask again on this forum as I am sure someone somewhere will have one fitted.

    I also have a Clearview and love it. They are pricey though.
    • muckybutt
    • By muckybutt 18th Jan 12, 3:00 PM
    • 3,618 Posts
    • 3,419 Thanks
    muckybutt
    • #4
    • 18th Jan 12, 3:00 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Jan 12, 3:00 PM
    I dont really think anyone can answer that for you, it has to be down to personal choice, and financial reasoning.
    You may click thanks if you found my advice useful
    • Skulls
    • By Skulls 18th Jan 12, 4:45 PM
    • 361 Posts
    • 2,413 Thanks
    Skulls
    • #5
    • 18th Jan 12, 4:45 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Jan 12, 4:45 PM
    I have a Villager AL bought off e-bay for 250. It replaced a China import and is so much better. If the weather's not too cold then I only use one half of the fire box, but if it gets cold then I fill her up and boy does it throw out some heat! Ticking over it needs refuelling every 2-3 hours. It's most probably one of my best ever purchases, since my neighbours have seen it all 5 have bought one and all are very pleased.
  • woodlice
    • #6
    • 18th Jan 12, 5:33 PM
    Only had one
    • #6
    • 18th Jan 12, 5:33 PM
    The problem is there aren't that many people who have had more than one stove. I've had a Tiger plus for about 6 years which I acknowledge could be better but for the money I'm happy. Also its not just the stove to consider as stove's will behave differently depending on the chimney and the situation of the building.
  • highrisklowreturn
    • #7
    • 18th Jan 12, 6:11 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Jan 12, 6:11 PM
    I have had no problems with a waterford stanley - easy to use, light, controllable, can burn overnight with coal. Would happily buy from Stanleys again - I think their 10kws would start around 750-1000.
  • IvanDrago
    • #8
    • 19th Jan 12, 6:28 AM
    • #8
    • 19th Jan 12, 6:28 AM
    Clarke stoves from machine mart are excellent for the price. I have one and love it.
    • Greenfires
    • By Greenfires 19th Jan 12, 7:23 AM
    • 628 Posts
    • 535 Thanks
    Greenfires
    • #9
    • 19th Jan 12, 7:23 AM
    • #9
    • 19th Jan 12, 7:23 AM
    Sorry to disagree but the only time I'd recommend a Clarke stove would be if someone wanted a cheap and very heavy Chinese ornament that looked a bit like a stove! I'm actually removing one for a customer today as I've advised her it's not suitable for use in a house she owns! There are no seals on any of the doors, the castings are so poor there are gaps between them, the flue design is so poor that it's effectively self-blocking after a period of use - the list goes on. The fact they leak so much means they are basically uncontrollable - possibly okay for a garage or workshop - but I wouldn't have one in the house. I don't know if every model they do is like this, but I've seen a few around and they've been very poor indeed.

    Andy
    • grahamc2003
    • By grahamc2003 19th Jan 12, 8:15 AM
    • 1,747 Posts
    • 1,373 Thanks
    grahamc2003
    I remember the choice of stove is a pretty difficult decision. The key point has been stated before - most people have experience of just one stove, so all they (that includes me) can say is say whether they think that particular one is great or not, but not whether it is much better or worse than other models. So Installers/sweeps etc would have the best views.

    I just bought one on the name (taking any reviews I could find into account a bit, but I don't have great confidence in internet reviews on review sites) - figuring AGA wouldn't put their name to a heap of junk. Obviously, AGA ranges are bomb proof, so I expected (rightly or wrongly) their badged stoves to be too. The stove price isn't worth skimping on since the price compared to the total installation price isn't great.

    So I went for an Aga Little Wenlock, and installed it myself, with lots of help from these forums. Works great for me, as it has done for about 5 years now.

    Critical factor (in my amateur opinion) is to match the heat output to the room you want to heat. You want to drive the stove hot to avoid all sorts of problems - running a 12 kW monster low all the time isn't a great idea, better to run a 5kW hot and get the same heating. I don't know what the spec tables show, but 5kW (nominal, it blasts out more than that if required) heats my 100m**3 room sufficiently, although I can't heat the hall too if its really cold (by keeping the door open for example).
    Last edited by grahamc2003; 19-01-2012 at 8:40 AM.
    • smcqis
    • By smcqis 19th Jan 12, 11:22 AM
    • 807 Posts
    • 243 Thanks
    smcqis
    the correct and obvious answer is of course a San Remo UK built 5 year warranty
    • A. Badger
    • By A. Badger 19th Jan 12, 12:51 PM
    • 5,288 Posts
    • 6,676 Thanks
    A. Badger
    Do I detect the aroma of spam?

    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.
    • MrsCrafty
    • By MrsCrafty 19th Jan 12, 10:18 PM
    • 1,881 Posts
    • 3,526 Thanks
    MrsCrafty
    I have to be really honest and say that it depends on the size of the room. I bought a cheap model from ebay 2 winters ago and I can't fault it. It heats the room that it's meant for and the rest of the house that the heat can naturally flow from.

    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.
  • Pansy Potter
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I take the point that most people have experience of only one stove. I have looked on the review website http://www.whatstove.co.uk/. However I am a bit dubious of any review website because they are not all as unbiased as you would think and anyone can spam their product anyway. My main big question mark at the moment is over the "big" brand names and whether it is worth paying extra for these. After all, is it not true that most cast iron stoves originate in China because that is where the the big founderies are these days? I rather suspect that most of the so called British and European manufactured stoves are actually manufactured in China and just overbranded in another country. Can anyone comment on this? I will research further to confirm this but I have seen it happening a lot with other products that I am more familiar with. Yet I can see above that the so called "Chinese" stoves get really bad press!! Seems to me that you are only paying for a brand name, brands are not infallible some manufacturers release complete doozies on the unsuspecting public - I know of some complete rubbish central heating boilers for example released under big brand names!!
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 20th Jan 12, 8:20 AM
    • 30,999 Posts
    • 79,437 Thanks
    Mojisola
    We found it very confusing when we first started looking for a stove. Walking round a showroom, looking at unlit stoves, didn't really give us any idea of what the stoves were like.

    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.
    Last edited by Mojisola; 20-01-2012 at 9:13 AM.
    • savingmonkey
    • By savingmonkey 20th Jan 12, 9:10 AM
    • 927 Posts
    • 1,338 Thanks
    savingmonkey
    We have a firefox 5 - multifuel so we can also put coal in it but we mainly use wood. Very happy with it, heats the room well, looks good, 5kw output and we have quite a big but not huge living room

    http://www.stovesareus.co.uk/catalog/firefox-5-multifuel-woodburning-stove-p-3143.html
  • Williwoodburner
    Best woodburner
    As with most things, you get generally find you get what you pay for.

    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.

    Regards

    Willie.
    Last edited by Williwoodburner; 20-01-2012 at 1:30 PM.
    • A. Badger
    • By A. Badger 20th Jan 12, 2:30 PM
    • 5,288 Posts
    • 6,676 Thanks
    A. Badger
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I take the point that most people have experience of only one stove. I have looked on the review website http://www.whatstove.co.uk/. However I am a bit dubious of any review website because they are not all as unbiased as you would think and anyone can spam their product anyway. My main big question mark at the moment is over the "big" brand names and whether it is worth paying extra for these. After all, is it not true that most cast iron stoves originate in China because that is where the the big founderies are these days? I rather suspect that most of the so called British and European manufactured stoves are actually manufactured in China and just overbranded in another country. Can anyone comment on this? I will research further to confirm this but I have seen it happening a lot with other products that I am more familiar with. Yet I can see above that the so called "Chinese" stoves get really bad press!! Seems to me that you are only paying for a brand name, brands are not infallible some manufacturers release complete doozies on the unsuspecting public - I know of some complete rubbish central heating boilers for example released under big brand names!!
    Originally posted by Pansy Potter
    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.
    • bobthedambuilder
    • By bobthedambuilder 21st Jan 12, 10:14 AM
    • 474 Posts
    • 367 Thanks
    bobthedambuilder
    I'd just like to add my 5 penn'orth to the Clearview lobby. We have two in our converted barn, and they've been great. The amount of heat they put out is tremendous - whatever you do, don't oversize! Easy to light and very controllable. As another poster has said, if you can visit a Clearview shop, you'll be able to see one working.
    A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove you don't need it.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 21st Jan 12, 10:21 AM
    • 30,999 Posts
    • 79,437 Thanks
    Mojisola
    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!
    Originally posted by A. Badger
    Many of the well known brands are seriously overpriced - you are paying a lot for a name.
    Originally posted by roderi73
    I'd just like to add my 5 penn'orth to the Clearview lobby. We have two in our converted barn, and they've been great. The amount of heat they put out is tremendous - whatever you do, don't oversize! Easy to light and very controllable. As another poster has said, if you can visit a Clearview shop, you'll be able to see one working.
    Originally posted by bobthedambuilder
    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.
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