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About to take the plunge and would appreciate some insight; Jotul, VC or ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Black Locust Burner, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    We have no idea what this stove is. We don't know the size or it's capabilities.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Or how many bugs will need to worked out once the stove has real world exposure. Getting the latest in technology is fine for someone that is willing to put up with some teething pain, but this is not for everyone.
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    My concern is that the f50 is about the size of the Oslo. Right?

    The Harman TL300 is a 3 cu ft stove AND a top loader.

    I think it comes down:
    VC Defiant: 3.2 cu ft stove
    Quad Isle Royal: 3 cu ft stove
    Harman TL300: 3 cu ft stove
    Jotul F12 Firelight: 3 cu ft stove, but the OP must find a used one as it is no longer in production.

    All four have positives and negative. The OP will need to see all the stoves to determine which is best for his specific needs and expectations.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Oh, good point about the TL-300. I left off the Defiant due to 8" pipe. I was thinking that considering the Rangeley is double the capacity of the Sheffield, it would still be a big improvement and most likely up to the task.

    Edit: Note that the TL-300 has 18" corner wall clearance requirements with single or double-wall pipe.
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The 8" pipe on the Defiant is only needed if you plan on using it with the front doors open in fireplace mode.

    My concern with the Rangley is the total size of the home combined with the incoming draft of the old section. If this were a tighter home, it would make the F50 a more capable heater in this situation. But I have a deep rooted fear of undersized stoves when dealing with drafts. When I see 2,300 sq ft (which is stretching the F50s capabilities) + draftyness, I see a stove not meeting the heating need. That is where I am coming from when I mention my doubts as it regards the F50.
    raybonz likes this.
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Fact is, any stove can feel overwhelming at a certain distance. The Hearthstone Heritage (soapstone) at 600 and the Encore (cast iron) at 600 are about the same size stove and both can feel mighty harsh in the right setting. The Defiant at 600 (cast iron) and the Englander 30 (steel) at 600 are throwing a lot of heat. Sticking my head over any of those stoves to check temps can be mighty uncomfortable.

    My father in-law uses a Heritage in a larger home than mine, but the room the Heritage is in is small so he gets heat build up in that room. When the stove is cranking the stoves feels more overwhelming than the 30 or the Defiant in my house, even though the Heritage is a much smaller stove.

    We can talk about the "soft heat" of soapstone. But, it can still be harsh.
    Black Locust Burner and raybonz like this.
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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  8. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    FYI in regards to the PH and corner install. It's only a 12" clearance from the rear corners of the stove to the wall. Mine is set at 12 1/2" from each corners to the wall. I have no problem at all accessing the side door, it mse well be out in the middle of the room as far as that is concerned.
    Black Locust Burner likes this.
  9. Laurent Cyr

    Laurent Cyr Member

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    I have a Jotul too. An F600. I bought it because of the side-loading door, which, to me, seemed like an easy way to load the stove, instead of fumbling with the front doors. I have an ash pan too, but I never clean it when the fire is roaring. I wait till the morning and clean both the stove an ash-pan. I clean it every 3-4 days, depending on the type of wood that I burn. Some seem to leave more ash than others. You are right, though. When you remove the ash pan, there are some ashes falling in the back. I use my ash shovel to scoop it out.
    Like you said, the NJotul is a solid stove, and I wouldn`t want to buy anything else. (well, maybe a BK if we could find them here in Quebec).....:(

  10. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Man if I were gonna get a stove I'd surely go out and snag a Jotul F600. I just happen to like my F500 and I think the Jotul could be installed and run for 10 or 20 years straight and have no problems whatsoever. I mean, a guy might have to do some routine maintenance, but hey, what stove wouldn't?

    The Jotul is a solid stove and a workhorse for heating. And the operation of it is rather simple as long as one pays attention after loading it until the thing is up to temperature and you set the air back for it to cruise along.

    Lastly, if you MUST open the ash door when the stove is burning, or when you have a bed of coals, and you want to minimize the air intake from doing so, open the side door first, then open the ash door. It allows air to come in through the side door and dramatically cuts down on the "rocket sucking air" effect when opening the ash door.
  11. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    BK's performance is amazing, but coming from a Jotul, you'll likely be disappointed with BK's build quality. Jotuls are built much more solidly.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I don't see how you can say that.
  13. Laurent Cyr

    Laurent Cyr Member

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    Perhaps, but those burn times are making me drool! That and the capability of having them regulated with a thermostat..

  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Why not? We're comparing cast iron to sheemetal. Sure, they use 10 gauge for the firebox, but everything you touch on the outside of the stove is 16 gauge sheet. I've fondled a couple of BK's now, and obviously several Jotuls. Everything from important stuff like door closures to minutiae like the ash lip is heavier, beefier, and more solid on the Jotuls. I'm not saying Blaze King is a bad stove in any way -- perhaps the Jotuls are over-built -- but there's no denying there's a substantial and immediately noticeable difference.

    Don't take my word for it, though... one doesn't have to search far to find similar comments from Blaze King owners:
    The sad thing for me is their burn times are so fantastic, I'll strongly consider replacing one of my Jotuls with a BK Ashford 30, if it's even remotely attractive.
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    With all the burnt out, melted, warped, and cracked F12 Firelights I have seen, I don't think claiming Jotul has a big superiority in terms of build quality over Blaze King is a factual statement. I can definitely say they are in no way "over-built."
  16. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Confusing heaviness of construction with quality is the same reason people still overpay for European luxury cars with dismal reliability records.....
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Where? I've done a good bit of searching the archives for Firelight 12 info here, and haven't seen any failures reported, other than obvious cases of neglect.

    I'm not saying F12's are better heaters than BKs in any regard, as in fact, we know theyre not... just saying that they are heavier and feel more solid in every way. I think the European car analogy is perfect. Think Toyota vs Mercedes.

    I only buy European cars. Go figure. :)
  18. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    First, it is known that F12's are susceptible to certain type of damage and cracking.

    I also spent three years looking at used F12 stoves across the entire Northeast (and occasionally in the mid-west when I would rationalize driving further). I found more with damage than without.

    Consistent damage I found on F12s:
    Melted firebacks with holes burnt all the way through.
    Warped firebacks.
    Cracked firebacks.
    Cracked side castings.
    Cracked top castings.

    Do not confuse big and heavy with well made or over-built.

    Did this sway me from considering buying one that was in good shape and reasonably priced? No. But, they are not superior stoves.
  19. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I think we're in agreement here... I never felt or meant to imply that BKs were inferior at doing the job of heating... I was just making a comment on how they're built, as the OP was debating a switch from one brand to the other.

    There's an intangible value in both mass and feel. This is where Mercedes and BMW make their market. We all know Toyota makes cars that can take some abuse and keep on ticking, with remarkably low cost of ownership, but then why aren't we all driving a Camry?

    Oh... and "big and heavy" is precisely what I meant by "over-built". It's what it means.
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Wouldn't this then apply to every steel stove? Making the argument less about BK and more of your personal preference to go cast iron over steel?
    evilgriff likes this.
  21. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    To some degree, this is true. However, not all steel stoves are built the same. Likewise, most steel stoves don't cost even 50% of what BK charges. Their premium price sets expectations for quality much higher than one may have for some other steel stove costing under $1000.
  22. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Name a steel stove that has more mass than a cast iron stove of equal firebox size.

    If you are on the West Coast, a BK King and F600 cost about the same while the BK King provides much longer burns. Right now you are looking for reasons to defend the product you own. The BK serves a specific purpose for those that need it that the Jotuls do not.

    Claiming one is better built is a poor claim to make.
  23. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    I love this thread!
    I am looking to buy my first brand new Stove. I started a thread a few days ago and got great feed back.
    I never had the money to buy a new stove but enjoyed as a high school student delivering VC, jotul, nashua, fishers, russo,efel and many brands back and forth(new out and old back to store). I learned to rebuild stoves and found most stoves to be built in a fashion that would serve the intended purpose as they where built with economy in mind.
    I personally have always bought used steel stoves with firebrick. $500 or less. for me I can rebuild(weld) these with ease and buy what i need at local stores and not wait for parts to come in. Also I can remove bricks and doors and carry them down stairs. As for the heaviest steel stove I have encountered was the Nashua. I think it was 850 dry wieght and they always went into basements. Stairs sometimes are not strong enough for this wieght plus two to three 200+pound guys rolling down stairs.
    I have always had a goal to finish my house and install a brand new high end stove.

    I narrowed it to two brands for me it was jotul and Woodstock(for the living area). I have strong dealer support for both here in NH. When the weather turns to bike season I will go to woodstock and see first hand for myself. I have heard no negative about this manufacturer and their support. I find this odd with any business selling anything to the general public. so i have to go and see first hand.
    I have family with fireviews and they love them.
    I have a fisher GrandPa(purchased in 1990) in my basement currently. I can heat the whole house with this stove 3000 sq. ft. if i choose to bring all the wood down stairs.
    So I have not made up my mind on my stove purchase for next year. But i think any new stove for me with new SS liners in my outside chimney will be a great improvement for my wood consumption!
    As far as the car talk I have driving the wheels off most brands of cars japanese,american,european Never had a car I bought for myself with less than 100,000 miles on it to begin with. They all go until you get tired of putting money into them.
    I would buy a corrolla for longevity and dependability. but for me they feel light in the snow with studded snows. I have had great luck with VW low end cars for me they feel good in the weather. My 81 rabitt went 450,000 miles. My exs villager(nissan) over 200,000.89 ford escort gt went 300,000 200,000 chevy silverado 250,000 ford expedition 220,000. They all go now that technology has improved.
    I think the wood stoves are much like the Automobile as technology is enabling the consumer to achieve burn times and longevity much as we expect from our cars now.
  24. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Isn't the Grandpa a huge stove?
  25. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Yes the Grandpa is a double door front loader. Its my basement stove. I could fit it in a fireplace if I wanted too but for the living room I want something a little more pleasing to the eye. and certainly needs to be controllable. Also it has an 8 inch flue. I am relining and pointing up my chimney this spring/summer and most likely will be going with a 6 inch liner for all three flues. And with so many positive reviews of most manufacturers I have seen here on this forum. I am sure I could get a good stove that will consume much less wood to replace Grandpa. the jotul or wood stock will be a new install in my livingroom in front of fireplace. All these years I have been running my Grandpa I have just been waiting for the technology of stoves to come out and prove themselves. So I will be updating Grandpa in the near future also.
    I am glad to hear positives about Cat stoves of late. Back in the day when I was delivering stoves Cats where just coming out. People where not happy especially the people that where not burning dry wood or people that bought dry wood that wasnt dry. So initially i waslooking fora non cat stove so I was leaning toward Jotul.

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