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)

Best top loading stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Trilifter7, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Beavercreek Ohio
    Having a 3.0 cu. ft. Firebox should make that narrow space in the back not an issue for me. My current resolute has a 1.9 cu. ft. So it will be a huge jump from that. So if you typically load your stove 3x per day do you only get around 8 hr burn times out of it? Or do you get any longer burn times if needed?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,320
    Loc:
    south central WI
    This morning's burn


    For relighting on the coalbed, you can get 12-14 hour burns or longer if the previous load was a full one. Burn time is a controversial subject. Non-cat stoves have a heating cycle. My stovetop will stay between 550-650 for 2-3 hours , depending upon the load, and then start drifting down. I reload depending upon when I need heat and determine my woodload depending upon heating needs also. Often, my stovetop at the end of a long cycle is only 200 degrees with plenty of coals for a relight
    without kindling or matches. Burning at low temps at that point isn't believed to produce creosote because all of the volatiles are gone from the wood. Coals
    burn clean. When it gets real cold (below zero), my house needs heat, so I might burn four cycles per day.
  3. cmperry

    cmperry New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Eastern Maine
    The Jotul F50 Rangeley has exceeded our expectations. We have an 1800 sq/ft full 2 story in eastern Maine (marginal insulation, lots in attic, not so much in walls) and have only burned wood in this stove to heat the house so far. Temps have been in the teens quite often. This stove loves to run..no problems getting up to temp. Running with air closed after getting up to temperature the stove still runs around 600 degrees for the middle part of the burn. After 7hrs still plenty of coals to restart without kindling. The stove loves to burn with a full firebox.

    We bought the top loader in case in the future someone had a hard time bending over it would be easier to load (my uncle is 89 and still uses his top load Vermont Casting). Also the floor protection needed for the sides are much less for a toploader, you just need the 16inches (if I remember right) in the front of the stove and just 6inches on sides. If it is a sideloader you need that 16 inches protection on the loading side. This is the best wood stove this family has ever had and just wanted share our experience.
  4. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,673
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    I can tell you the harman TL-300 delivers a very long burn time for a non-cat stove. Also i am heating a 3000 SQ ft house and have the stove in a finished basement. Right now its in the 30s outside and the first floor is 84 the 2nd floor is 80 and the 3rd floor is 75. thats at the lowest air setting on the stove. It really too hot on the floor with the stove but cant turn the air down any further and i guess thats better than too cold.
  5. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Beavercreek Ohio
    Good to know about burn times Northwinds. Thats exactly what I am looking to get. I will have to look at the jotul stoves to see how they would work for me. I looked at the harman Oakwood today and I really liked it! The dealer took it apart for me and everything seems very basic and simple to maintain. You can take the entire back wall and cumbuster out without tools! And the cleaning and upkeep seem very simple and minimal. The front glass has a nice reflective finish to it as well. So far the Harman is looking pretty good for me.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,673
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Iv found that you can put ta lot more wood in a top loader so thats why the long burn times. Im lettin my stove go out tonight its 85 in here now. Im sweltering.
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,378
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    I'd debate this. I have a top loader, which must be loaded east-west, due to the wide but shallow footprint of its firebox. In theory, using the top load door, I could load much higher in the firebox than I could thru the front doors. However, the andirons aren't that tall, so as to allow front loading. So, you have all this space that you can't easily use, due to chances of having the load shift and a split or round roll into the front glass and break it.
  8. cmperry

    cmperry New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Eastern Maine
    The Jotul Rangeley can be loaded either north-south or east-west (usually when loading I use n-s first layer,e-w for second layer). The height is restricted, you can't fill to the top, no advantage there over a front/side loader. Something else to look at is the ash removal. This stove has grates/slots in the firebox floor and ash pan, just rake coals/ashes around a little and ash falls through to the pan..my other stove I had to shovel out ashes or remove a small trap door and try to get all the ashes down a small hole to the pan. Just some things to consider. Good luck, there are alot of nice stoves built today.
  9. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,496
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    I think this is an issue no matter how the stove is loaded. You will always need to make sure it won't roll forward onto the glass. I feel that a top load stove makes a smaller firebox much more usable.
  10. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,673
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    My Harman has andirons that go all the way up so i can really pack it tight. I t seems i can get almost twice as much wood in it as my Englander front loader even though the englander also has a 3 CU ft fire box.
  11. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,378
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    You can fit the same length split in a Rangley, both ways? How long a split would that be? My firebox measures 22" E/W, so I usually cut 20" - 21". I haven't measured N/S, but it's much less than 22". Maybe 12" - 14"? Far too short for practical cutting and stacking, IMO.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,332
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I thought the Rangeley can take an 18" split N/S, but haven't actually measured one.
  13. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,332
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Hmm, I thought it was the opposite. 20" E/W, 18" N/S but could be wrong.
  15. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    I *think* the F 55 is basically the same firebox, just taller than the F 50, and Dutch has been kind enough to provide us with some measurements. :)


  16. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    749
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    We looked and looked and picked the Quadrafire Isle Royal cast iron top loader....love it!!
  17. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Beavercreek Ohio
    I am going to look at the Isle Royale this week so we will see. The Harman Oakwood has the same bottom grate for ash removal that you mentioned CMperry. Looked like a very simple setup overall. How is your Isle Royale to clean Don? Is there anything to remove or take out... And can it be taken out easily without tools? How is ash removal?
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,332
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It is, just taller with the air tubes placed higher. Thanks, that confirms my thoughts.

Share This Page