cwill Posted By cwill, Apr 17, 2013 at 9:13 PM

  1. cwill


    Oct 13, 2010
    W. MI
    Wanted to give my review and opinions on my first winter with the Kuma.

    First a quick back story. We got this stove on clearance for $1k at a pellet shop that had previously sold wood stoves too. It was NOS, originally built in 08. Sat on a shelf in a warehouse till we found it. It replaced our small Century stove that we used our first burning season.

    After installing the stove I did the normal break in fires and had only minor new stove learning issues. After three cords of wood burned, I can say i got it figured out pretty well how to run it.

    What I like about it:
    1. Awesome build quality- fit and finish are top notch. Even the paint looks better than most stoves.

    2. Its 430lbs! For a 2.3cf steel stove, that's a lot of steel and brick. It will hold heat for a very long time. Will go an easy 12hrs on one load. We were on a 8am/8pm reload schedule most all winter. However if we missed the morning reload on the weekends we still had plenty of coals to restart even at 10 or 11 am with no superceader needed. Average temp swing in the house was from 75 to about 68 at reload time.

    3. North/south loading! Coming from a 1.3 cf stove that barely fit 4 pieces of wood, this stove seems like a cavern inside. (larger stove owners are probably laughing right now). Its 20" deep and 18" wide, with the brick. Had no issue with any of my splits fitting.

    4. Made in USA. Rathdrum Idaho to be exact. This is important to me. Stove are assembled by one person start to finish, real craftsmanship. I currently work in manufacturing and have seen the negative effects of out sourcing parts and pieces and quantity over quality.​

    5. The step top is large enough to cook on. I did this several times with soup and even did steaks over the coals one evening for dinner. With a decent fire the lower level is plenty hot to cook on and the upper level is about 200 degrees cooler. ​

    Minor issues.
    1. Air wash could be improved a bit. I usually had darkening in the lower right corner of the glass. I emailed Jack at Kuma explaining my issue and he gave me a few things to check and try but every spec was correct and nothing really helped. It wasn't a major issue, more of an annoyance. Jack was great to deal with and more than happy to help. I have just accepted it and moved on, not a big enough issue to be a deal breaker.

    2. The air control rod is hard to tell just how far open or closed it is. It needs some sort of marks to tell. I just divided mine into 4 equal parts and marked it with paint marker. BTW the air control works great. All the way shut will kill the flames at any temp below about 650.

    3. The ash pan is just as usless in this stove as it is in nearly every other stove. I left mine full and took the grate out and put a brick in its place.

    4. It will get Hot quick if not watched close. I found that if the air wasn't closed to a 1/4 by 475-500 it would always run up to 750+ rather easy and Quick. I struggled with this the most. Closing it a little bit different times while it heated up like most suggest had it nearly nuclear one night. However, after I got it figured out it runs great and is very predictable.

    Over all it has been a great heater this year. I checked the chimney about early February and didn't even need to run a brush down it. Other than the usual soot it was nearly spotless. Very clean burning. Had no issues getting the secondaries to light off. I consider this stove in the lifetime purchase category. I have no doubts that it will run great 30+ years from now as long as its taken care of. I had never heard of Kuma before and was a bit nervous about buying it after I couldn't find much about it on here. After spending the winter with it, I would highly recommend one. I know a lot on here really like Woodstock for the quality and great customer service. I would say that Kuma is right up there with them. ​

    Billybonfire likes this.
  2. BrotherBart

    Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    Thanks for the review. I have never doubted that I would like burning in a Kuma stove. BTW: Gorgeous hearth for that big honkin steel stove.
  3. DexterDay


    X2.... Was that alcove an old Pre fab fireplace? Or did you build it that way? That is one beautiful Hearth. :)
  4. hman


    Mar 13, 2011
    I bought a Kuma wood stove back in 2002.I got the Scott ht,they call it the Tamarack today.It's built just like the classic just smaller.Weighs 350lbs and can take a 16inch log n&s and e&w.Not many stoves can take the same size log both directions.

    I have the blower on mine and it is variable speed.It also has the heat shield on the back,for close clearances.
    Very good stove.Easy to get the secondaries to light off and I can get an 8hour burn time and have hot coals 2-4 hours later for an easy restart.

    More folks need to look into the Kuma line of wood stoves, if they are going to be purchasing a new wood stove.
  5. ddddddden

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 20, 2009
    Central Va
    Beautiful install and nice detailed review!
    Sounds like a winner.:)

    You Kuma guys definitely need to post more.;)

    Maybe Mtbrewr will see this.
  6. begreen

    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Thanks for the review. It's good to hear about another American classic, handmade with care. Nice looking install there too.
  7. aansorge

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 12, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
  8. mellow

    Resident Stove Connoisseur

    Jan 19, 2008
    Salisbury, MD
    Thanks for the review, I am a fan of the Kuma stoves, especially the Sequoia but not many real world reviews out there on that beast. Nice to see a glowing review of its little sister.

    And I agree, that IS a huge upgrade from the century.
  9. Highbeam

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 28, 2006
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    Great news on the burn time. That is excellent from a smallish non-cat and should even shame some of the larger cat stoves and hybrids.
  10. DexterDay


  11. xman23

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 7, 2008
    Lackawaxen PA
    CWILL, Real nice looking, thanks for a excellent review. Hope more here will take the time to comment on there stoves. I think most of us have had a learning curve trying to keep the glass clean. My first year the glass was completely blackened every weekend. I was buying lots of fireview glass cleaner, great stuff by the way. Why, I burn almost all oak. That first year the wood was not seasoned enough, smoldering fires, butt ends to close to the glass, we weren't to good at running the stove, were the issues. Now the same stove runs all winter with hardly a glass cleaning. I wonder with north south loading that you may always have a bit of an issue with the butt ends near the glass.
    Yes my ash pan is filled in two days, but we let ash build up a bit, and let it over flow, and just scrape out the compartment after emptying it a few times.
  12. kuma.jason


    Jun 11, 2007
    Rathdrum, ID
    I agree. Although, being a small family run business doesn't leave as much time for the forums as I'd like.


    Thanks for the review and I'm glad you got a great deal on that stove. If only we could get everyone a Kuma for $1000!

  13. begreen

    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Happy to hear from you Jason and real glad your stove got the spotlight in this nice review.

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