1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Advice please.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by TK-421, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. TK-421

    TK-421 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    New user logging in but not new to wood burning.

    I've read the site rules and understand that I may get conflicting ideas and even manufacturers giving advice to sell their product. With that said, I'm looking for advice on a new stove purchase. I've been reading up for the last month or so and am now in information overload.

    My stats.

    42 yrs, been using wood as a primary heat source since I was about 10. As a kid my chore was splitter, fire starter.
    Grew up with a box stove on the porch and a scandia in the house.
    Built my own house and put in a Yukon eagle wood/oil furnace. Loved it.
    Sold the house and bought one with a VC resolute w/propane backup.
    House shaped like a "T" with the main section a two story cape. Total living space is 2000 sq ft but the stove is in a 500 sq ft great room with 13' cathedral ceilings. Located in eastern CT.
    6" single wall exposed to the cathedral ceiling. Through roof and exterior chimney 8" Hart & Cooley stainless double wall.
    2x4 construction with updated batt insulation. No basement or I'd get another furnace. I'm considering a 10x10 addition to pipe a wood furnace back into my hvac but with the economy that is years away if ever.

    The resolute did an ok job last winter but we were a bit cold and the stove was always running at max heat. The front great room was always warm.

    I always have 4-5 cords of 1-2 yrs seasoned hardwood. When we moved in two years ago I did some clearing and have this year's load cut mostly at 24". Don't really want to have to cut it all up.

    I know the resolute is under powered for our house and have been shopping around. I also know I'm old school and saying that, I've been searching for an old 1975 Defiant. I missed out on several good deals and the few I made it to were badly pitted, cracked or warped with broken legs and other damage.

    I started shopping for new and also researching new technology.

    My local dealer turned me onto the Jotul f600. I hit up another dealer and learned about the Lopi Liberty or the Avalon Olympus.
    I've also researched the Englander 30 and Buck stoves.

    I'd like to keep it close to $2000 if I go new which I'd rather not but I know in the long run it's probably a better way to go.

    I don't want a cat. Always hated cats. Dogs are way better. LOL
    My wife has signed on for ultility over looks as she likes it hot. She agrees to the Lopi and Avalon type appearance.

    We are hard core wood heat. We both grew up on it, have a lifelong friend that sells me wood at a discount and this stove will be 95% of our heat source with our propane hvac only there for when we leave town or the occasional pop to aid the upstairs. My wife is a stay at home mom so this stove will crank up here in the next few weeks and extinguish about seven months from now.

    I know you all have your preferences. I've read good reviews for each stove and bad ones too. I'm running in information overload and looking for a little extra insight.

    I need the output of the old 75' Defiant.
    I'd like to be able to use 24" logs.
    I like the heft of the Liberty and wide box but even though it states 3.0 it still seems too small a box next to the old Defiant or even my resolute. I am old school so I still think a bigger box=bigger fire= more heat. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my brain around the newer reburn efficient stoves.

    My current choices i order are:

    Lopi Liberty quote around $2400
    Avalon Olympic around $2000
    Jotul f600 quoted at $2195


    Dealers please stay out of this thread. I'd rather hear from every day home users that dont want to sell me a stove.

    I'm open to any and all options as long as it's a quality stove that will withstand heavy use, won't break the bank, and put out the BTUs we need to keep mom and the little kids warmer than last winter.

    I'd like to move soon so I can unload my resolute while there's still a market for it. I don't want to hold onto it until next fall.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,284
    Loc:
    Antrim, NH
    TK-421, why aren't you at your post?
    WriteNoob likes this.
  3. TK-421

    TK-421 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Now why did I think I could escape that quote. LOL. I'm not even safe on a wood burning site. Ha ha.
    WriteNoob likes this.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    44,544
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    That's a good price on the Jotul F600. If it is your wife's preference that is what I would go for. It is a good, radiant heater.
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    The quoted price for the Jotul seems pretty damn good. Fact is, all three of those stoves should put out about the same amount of heat. If the old Defiant truly met your needs you might want to think about going a bit larger with the Englander 30, Blaze King King (Cat stove, though) or the Buck 94. The old Defiant had a firebox at about 3.5 cu ft and the three stove you listed have a firebox that is a bit smaller. Not saying the listed stove won't heat your home, but they are a bit smaller than your defiant.

    We have a lot of threads from people switching from an old pre-EPA stove to a modern stove and end up being disappointed when they inadvertently undersized their new purchase.

    Also, the dealers on here are actually pretty good people with a lot of experience that tend to offer good advice.
  6. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    652
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    Enerzone 3.4 takes a 22 inch log. 3.4cuft firebox. 6inch flue.
  7. TK-421

    TK-421 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Thanks for all the quick replies, even from my Star Wars friend. :)

    I may have led you astray. I never owned the Defiant. I was planning to upgrade into a Defiant. I know from experience that stove will not be too much for my house. I'm currently on the Resolute. Way too small for my house.

    Yeah those prices were quoted all within the last three days from local reputable dealers. The "around" figures were based off the fact that those stoves have options like brass, pewter black front door face and legs. Blower is free right now.

    I like all three choices. The firebox on the liberty seems small but it boasts 3.0 compared to the new Defiant at 3.2. Not a big difference.

    I don't really want to spend the money but it's a long term investment that I know we need to make so it goes down a little easier.

    I didn't mean to single out the dealers. Im site admin on another site so I went straight to the rules first. I read the notice about getting advice so I thought that might be an issue here with vendors jumping in to make a sale. I have seen that before.

    As long as I get good advice I'd be more than happy to hear from anyone.
  8. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    652
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    The Englander 30 will come in at a much lower price than all those stoves. Actually, if you get the right zip code, you can have it delivered to your door for well under $1000 dollars from the Home Depot website. It's a very capable heater . Lots of reviews here. You'll be cutting your wood a bit shorter though. 3.5 cuft firebox.
  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    Sorry, I thought you had an old Defiant. All three stoves you listed are very close in terms of heat output. The price on the Jotul would make it hard for me to pass up.
  10. TK-421

    TK-421 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Impressive. Most impressive. One more to consider.


    So far the only big difference I have is the Jotul cast vs all the steel boxes. Thoughts? I'm looking for a quality workhorse that will last me many years of hard use.

    I like the idea of a $1000 stove but am willing to pay more to get better quality if that's the case. I'm a bit leery of the big box stores and quality after my home depot tractor episode. I ended up going to a Deere dealer and paying more for the quality.
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    Steel, cast iron, soapstone, all perform quite well. It's mostly personal preferences with a lot of it coming down to the looks of the stove. I own a soapstone stove, a cast iron cat stove, and an old pre-epa cast iron stove. Next year I will be replacing the old pre-epa stove with the large Enlgander 30NC. Reports here have been very good and the company has very good customer service.

    For the most part, once you sort out sizing needs, it will come down to what you find visually pleasing. Some here love the Blaze King stove, while I think it looks like a washing machine. Others hate the look of steel stove, while others will only buy steel stoves.
  12. fredarm

    fredarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    573
    Loc:
    Eastern Mass
    Will any of those stoves (Liberty, Olympic, f600) take a 24 inch log?
  13. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    That is an amazing price on the F600- get it NOW!

    Also, it takes the 24 inch logs, has a huge firebox, and from what I have experienced so far, is a cinch to operate.
  14. TK-421

    TK-421 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Yes both. I brought my tape measure to verify. :)

    I guess if they are all basically the same in quality, performance and ease of use we'll just pick aesthetics vs our budget.

    Yes, that is the correct price. Most places in CT have them around $2400. I found one place in RI for the $2195 and our local dealer five miles away agreed to price match.

    I pretty much agree with what you all have said. It's just nice to have a little more advice when it comes down to the final choice.
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    My buddy has a Liberty and loves it. Its a great heater. Its also looks like they designed it after the Fisher stove line (either grandma or grandpa bear) it has the same step-top design, just an EPA stove with a window.

    All are great heaters. Which is your preference?
  16. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,786
    Loc:
    Michigan
    If you already have an 8" chimney in place it would be hard for me to pass up a BKK, too bad it has a cat.

    I can't speak on the Jotul but you will be happy with either Travis stove you have listed. My Lopi Endeavor was made great, I had no issues with the quality or performance of the stove. I made the switch to a Blaze King cat stove looking for a performance gain when burning the stove low. The Endeavor loved to run hot and I didn't always need that much heat to keep my house comfortable in the spring/fall. We'll see how it works out with the CAT stove this year, maybe the grass just looked greener on the other side soon we'll know. :lol:
  17. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,109
    Loc:
    Western VA
    I would vote for the Jotul f600

    Good luck,
    Bill
  18. TK-421

    TK-421 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    I'd have said the Jotul last week. I'm a bit "fired up" over the Lopi though for both looks and performance. The only downside I see is the cost and what appears to me the smaller firebox than the Jotul. I do like the single door and larger window on the Lopi. Very nice looking stove for being a steel box type.

    I have 8" going through the roof and up. At the ceiling which is 8-9' above the stove I have a 6" reducer going to single wall black. I would take me minutes to adjust the height to fit the new stove.
  19. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,509
    Loc:
    Templeton, MA
    I'd go with a Woodstock Fireview.
  20. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    Clearly, I would agree with you, VC, but Tk is looking for a larger stove. I'd suggest the New Stove, but he said he doesn't like cats. . .however, Tk, their new 2.7 cf stove is a hybrid, part cat + part dog. Anyhow, as you have deduced, the key is to measure the firebox. Mfrs all include unusable internal volume in their firebox spec, and they do this to varying degrees, so the cu ft spec is pretty much useless for any purpose other than classfying a stove as S,M,L,XL. For many of us, the shape of the firebox and location of the door also affect the amount of wood that can be packed into a stove. Most folks feel that they can fit in more wood by loading it endwise, east-west through a side door or north-south through the front door of a stove with a deep firebox. I dunno if you are going to find a firebox 24"+ deep. I would look for a large side loader. Re steel vs. iron, both can be long-lived. The welds in a steel firebox don't require recementing every decade or two like the seams in an iron box do. . .
  21. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    . . .OTOH, if the stove gets overfired, warped, and split at the seams, it may be possible to fix an iron stove by cementing in some new parts, whereas a steel stove would probably be considered "totaled." Basically, iron stoves require periodic maintenance, but they are more readily rebuilt than welded steel. Maybe take a look at the large Elm stove for something that will readily take 24" logs.
  22. TK-421

    TK-421 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    I noticed that when I saw the liberty. I was quite obvious that they were including space around the baffle tubes that would not be usable for packing in the wood.
  23. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    I've always felt the opposite since welding is such a pain for cast iron stoves. An over-fired cast stove can, and does, crack which pretty much means you need to replace the cast panel with the crack. Steel stoves seem to have this issue less and when it does happen the crack can usually be welded. You have no idea how many cracked cast stoves I've come across searching for a used stove. Doesn't steel have a higher heat tolerance than cast iron?
  24. TK-421

    TK-421 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Browningbar

    I thought the same thing. Last year when we were looking and ended up getting our old resolute I was told that steel would hold up better and could take more abuse in over firing than cast. Kind of why I was leaning towards the liberty vs the Jotul 600.

    As a kid we used to get our old junky scandia so hot the doors would glow. I know, bad thing. It did end up with a cracked rear baffle. I think my dad said we used it cracked for years. Not recommended but we did.
  25. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    Keep in mind that, for the most part, the abuse we are talking about that would crack cast iron or warp and crack a steel stove are extreme cases. If you crack or warp either styled stove you are probably beating the hell out of the stove to begin with. So, I'm not sure if you should base your purchase on the ability to repair a crack.

    That being said, you will find threads on here that talk about stoves cracking on both cast iron and steel. Right now it seems we have a run of steel stoves with cracks. But, that is more coincidence than anything.

Share This Page