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Review of Jotul --- Oslo F 500 -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Jotul --- Oslo F 500 -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Date Reviewed: prior to Nov. 2004*)

Satisfaction Ratings from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst)
Satisfaction with unit = ✰✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with dealer = ✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with manufacturer =

Other Information about the Home and Stove
Room Size (Sq ft): 1000 | House Size (Sq feet): 1500
Bought in 2001 , Price Paid: 1800
Location : Vida, Orego , USA
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Buck's Stoves

Likes: Atractive as furniture. Holds a fire a LONG time. Even heat. Easy to start a fire in. Not smokey. Simple to control the rate of burn.

Dislikes: Can be messy emptying the ash pan.

Comments: This is an excellent stove that I would recommend to anyone. Except for the bathrooms (small baseboard electric heaters),it is the only heat source for our house. We have, in general an open floor plan and with the addition of inexpensive electric fans and a bit of attic duct work, two bed rooms also are heated by the stove. Our winters here on the west side of the Cascade mountains are mild so after a couple of hours in the morning on "high" I'm able to turn the damper to "low" for the rest of the day and the house is at a comfortable temperature.
We did a fair amount of investigating stoves in stores in Eugene, Oregon and on the internet. This ratings site made for very informative reading so I promised myself that good or bad I would take the time to add my two cents. By the way, we bought our stove in 2002 (there was no option for choosing that year on the e-form).
We decided on the Jotul because of it's good reputation, it was a large stove without a catalitic converter to replace down the road and because of it's fine looks. We choose the green enamel finish and were not disapointed. In it's initial break-in burn it had a mild chemical-smell offgassing for several hours.
Prior to the Jotul we lived in a 500 sq ft cottage with an old low tech offbrand wood stove. We use probably twice the wood now but are heating three times the space with way more windows. I'm confident that when I discover what the Jotul does with various types of wood and fire box loading techniques I'll cut down on the amount of fuel we use.
It helped to call around for the best price. There were some places that wanted $400 more for the same stove. We found Buck's Stoves in Portland had the best price and also seemed to have more of a nuts and bolts knowledge of stoves than any other dealers we talked to.
This stove easily holds a fire over night if you stoke it with large pieces of seasoned wood. Last night as an experiment I stoked it at 5:30 pm and at 9:30 am it still had enough coals to coax a fire from without using a match or even kindling. Sixteen hours... how about that?
Beware, this sucker is heavy... 450-500 lbs if it's an ounce. It was quite an engineering feat for my wife and I to move it into the house. Use a piano dolly, wooden blocks and a lever if you don't have several stout and true friends. We have friends... we DO, it's just that we wanted the friendships and their respective backs to remain intact.
The glass front does soot up on "low" and as advertised, burn off when you have a hot fire going for a couple of hours. It never gets 100% clear (the edges remain darkened) but we never expected miracles so we're not bothered. At all times you get some nice glowing... flicering flame effects. Kind of like those old Doris Day movies that get all fuzzy whenever the camera just shows Doris.
Well, good hunting. There are no doubt other well made stoves out there but for what it's worth we are feeling pretty smug with the choice we made. That is saying a lot because $1800 is quite a chunk of money for us. Now that the stove is in and going I don't think about the money I just think how warm it is in here.

* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004