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Equinox or Blaze King?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jb1951, Jan 30, 2008.

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  1. jb1951

    jb1951 New Member

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    After spending months researching and looking at different stoves, in early December my husband and I decided on a Jotul Oslo 500 to replace our old Earth Stove. We have our wood stove installed in the basement, so we need alot of heat for it to heat the upstairs (our main living area). The Earth Stove, with it's HUGE firebox, accomplished this with no problem unless it was extremely cold outside. The Jotul has been a MAJOR disappointment. If we set it low enough for it burn through the night, the house is chilly during the night and downright cold in the morning when it's burned down to just coals. If we burn it hot enough to make it comfortable upstairs, it will only burn for about 4 hrs. We're going to have to replace it with a stove with a bigger firebox. We weren't familiar with the new clean-burning stoves and how they burn when we bought the Jotul. Now that we've actually used it, we know where we went wrong and what we need for our set-up.

    The Jotul just doesn't hold enough wood to get very long burn times when we burn it hot enough to heat the upstairs. With the Earth Stove, we could burn it hot when we needed to and kick it down to low at night or if we were going away and still have heat 12-14 hrs later. We got as long as 18-hr burn times out of it.

    I think the only two stoves that will do the same job are Hearthstone's new Equinox or the Blaze King's 1107 King model. Another thing that is important to us is the depth of the bottom of the stove from the bottom edge of the door. With the Jotul, we have to be careful that the coals or logs don't fall out on the floor when loading from the front door. The bottom of both the Equinox and the Blaze King seems to set several inches lower than the bottom edge of the door opening. We almost bought a smaller HearthStone model when we bought the Jotul, but didn't like their little ash pan. I wrote HearthStone to see if the ash pan was bigger on the Equinox and a rep wrote back and said it was much bigger and had the sliding lid like VC has.

    If anyone has either of these stoves, I would appreciate your comments.

    Thanks,

    Jan

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  2. daleeper

    daleeper Minister of Fire

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    jb1951

    I don't own either of these stoves, but am in a similar heating situation you have with the same old Earth stove, and considering a new stove. I am watching this with great interest, as I have been told to get a smaller stove, and see that it is not working for you. Keep us posted please.

    Now, after reviewing some of your other threads, and contemplating your situation, one thing comes to mind. Did your old earth stove have a blower on it? If it did, and you used it, have you set a fan behind your new Jotul stove to recreate that air movement? I am assuming that the oslo has not got a fan on it. I wonder if that would help move the air up the stairs and allow you to turn the air control down on the stove, increasing burn time and better air distribution instead of getting hung up in the stove room? That Oslo on paper should be big enough to heat the house, and still burn more than 4 hours, but I am not experienced in these newfangled stoves either.

    Listening to your burning habits, it looks like you are missing the thermostatic damper control that the earth stove had (I believe the model you had was equipped with the thermostatic damper?). Only the VC cat stoves, and the blaze king cat stoves have that feature, so that is what I would be looking for. One of the Blaze king dealers I talked to suggested that the King model was too big for a house our size, but with your experience of too small a stove, if you end up with the King, I wouldn't blame you. It looks like a cat stove would really shine in your situation, but something to consider if budget is a concern is the Lowes blowout on the century (don't see the englanders sold at Lowes in your area) 30 series stoves. The firebox isn't deep on them, but the low price is something to consider.

    Hope you have some experienced Blaze King and Equinox owners respond, and good luck with your search.

    BTW, was the oslo a new stove? If new from a dealer maybe they would consider trading up in size?
  3. piscator

    piscator New Member

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    hi;
    the stove fan isnt the problem. the stove has insufficient capacity, regardless of the btu output. the v/c stoves are a combustion engineers stove. the hearthstone i traded my dutchwest for doesnt have an intake damper adjustment, burns incompletely, has an ash pan the size of an ashtray and i have to use gloves and fingers to push last nights ash into the pan. you dont need looks and the size of the house is the only other consideration.
  4. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    Equinox Equinox Equinox Equinox Equinox Equinox :cheese:

    I want to see one here on the forum running so get that one. I have its sibling the Mansfield and I think it is the greatest stove ever so the Equinox would be an awesome stove.

    I know nothing about the stove you are currently running but I think the Equinox sounds like a great fit for your application since it will combine the higher btu output with the longer burn times due to the firebox size.
  5. fullbore

    fullbore New Member

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    I'm currently heating my 2000 sq ft. home from my basement(3000 total sq ft.) with my new Quad 5700. I was debating the Oslo and Firelight until my buddy said he has to feed his Firelight every 5 hours to keep his house warm. The Equinox looks impressive and I think that it would suit you needs as well...
  6. jbrown56

    jbrown56 Feeling the Heat

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    jb, sorry to hear that your new stove falls short of expectations. After dropping that kind of money I would be truly disappointed. I heat 2100 sq. ft. with mine and it does a great job. I built the house with the intention of heating with wood 26 years ago and is open concept with cathedral ceilings on the second floor. Good luck in our new search and hope you can trade the Jotul.

    Jim
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I really like to look at my soapstone. It is a piece of art with a large window and very lively fire. Very easy to use with the side door. It has become apparent to me that burn time, Productive Heating Time, is an extremely important consideration with a 24/7 heater and that the non-cat stoves just are not going to provide the same burn times as your old Earth stove. The EPA doesn't allow them to be turned down to a low low burn rate that you would need for those long burns. Blaze King makes a big deal about their long burn times and during that long burn the btus are relatively low but the firebox is big enough that if you want to crank out the heat then you can adjust the stove to do that too with a corresponding shorter burn.

    The BK is not very pretty. Maybe it is an acquired look and it is ridiculously expensive for a plate steel stove. I believe that you'll need an 8" flue for it. Huge capacity, deep firebox for ash, thermostatic, macho blower, clean burning cat, etc. This would be a great 24/7 stove.

    I am becoming a fan of cat stoves. I didn't want to, but it is hard to dispute that they are superior in certain applications.
  8. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    One of my neighbors has a Blaze King princess he's had for a very long time and loves it. It's old enough it doesn't have glass but it does have the cat in it.

    Never seen nor dealt with the Equinox.
  9. jb1951

    jb1951 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    daleeper, we were told to get a smaller stove, too. Every dealer we talked to tried to talk us into going with the 400 Castine and said the Oslo 500 would be way too much stove for us. WRONG! Our old Earth Stove did not have a blower on it, but we positioned a household fan on a high stand to blow the warm air through the open stairway from the basement. We have the same fan set up with the Jotul and another one near it to blow the air across the room. Our Earth Stove had the thermostat in the back. We would load it up, get a roaring fire, then kick it back between low and medium and it heated our house with no problem unless it was really cold outisde and then we burned it hotter. At night or if we were going to be away, we turned it down to low. On a low setting, we easily got 12-14 hour burn times.

    We bought the Oslo new and yes, jbrown, we are just sick that we spent that much money on the stove and now have to run our furnace because it won't heat our house! The dealer we bought it from also has both HearthStone and BlazeKing stoves, so we're hoping he will at least give us a deal on a different stove. He might take the Jotul back as a trade-in, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

    Highbeam, I think a non-cat with a large firebox is the best way to go for us. A cat burner will burn low enough to give a long burn rate, but from what I understand about the cat burners, if you burn them too hot it will burn up the cat unit and they take more "babying" than the non-cat stoves. We need to be able to burn hot when we need it and low at night. After our experience, I'm convinced only a large firebox is going to achieve this.

    Fullbore, I looked at the 5700 on Quadrafire's website and it looks like it would work for us, too. How much distance is there between the bottom of the door opening and the botton of the stove?

    When we went to purchase the wood stove, we went with the intention of buying a HearthStone Mansfield or Phoenix until we saw that dinky little "ashtray size" ash pan. HearthStone has assured me that the Equinox has a much bigger ash pan, but I haven't actually seen one yet. Right now we're more partial to the Equinox. I think the price is about the same on both the Equinox and BK and if we spend that much money on a stove, we definitely prefer the soapstone. The deciding factors are going to be the depth from the bottom of the door opening to the bottom of the stove and the size of the ash pan.
  10. denn

    denn Member

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  11. fullbore

    fullbore New Member

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    JB, I'm at work right now so I can't measure the stove lip, but I've already had about 4" of hot coals that I needed to burn down. I'm sure the front lip is at least 3" deep. I don't really use the ashpan as it is relatively small...about 8"x10"x2". Long overnight burn times are easy.
  12. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    Hi jb,I have the Mansfield until the Equinox it was Hearthstone's largest stove.It's in my cellar and replaced a Woodstock Classic soapstone stove.The woodstock is a good stove and provided overnight burns however the Mansfield provide more heat.I have a very strong draft and had to use a pipe damper with both stoves to get an overnight burn even though one stove has a cat. and the other doesn't.My Mansfield is now kicking and heats an unfinished basement with heat going up the cellar steps to heat the kitchen.I plan to put the woodstock on the first floor to replace my disappointing Pacific Energy Summit.The Woodstock is 1 year old,the Summit is 9 months old and the Mansfield 3 months old.I'm going all soapstone and the Summit will be sold or I'll give it away to a relative.Jb I would go with the Equinox because I'm amazed by the Mansfield and if Hearthstone hasn't dropped their standards with the Equinox that stove will be the Godzilla of woodstoves.Remenber if you have a strong draft put in a pipe damper and you should be all set.Both of my soapstoves couldn't be shut down enough to handle my draft until I added the pipe damper.
  13. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I believe both are 8" exhaust. The BlazeKing looks like a Fred Flintstone stove.
    That Equinox is sexy as all hell.
    I think the Equinox is less expensive also. Your talking about .2 cf difference in size. And while the Blaze King does boast long burn times, you will sacrifice heat output for those bragging rights. At single digits & 20 mph winds, a 24hr or longer burn time is useless if its not heating the home or area the stove is in.
    Of course both seem like qulity stoves, just depends on preference.
  14. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    I got the Mansfield because they didn't have an Equinox and the Mansfield was actually enough stove for me. I would not go back from Soapstone now. That Equinox is a killer unit...
  15. kgrant

    kgrant Member

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    I run a Blaze King Classic with a cat in my shop/house. 40'x40' with a 16' ceiling. Right now it's -25F and it heats the place no problem. I go about 8 hours between loadings at these temps. You can go longer, but at 8hours there is still 2-3 inches of coals left, easier to get the new stuff lit off.

    When it's -40 and colder the boiler gets to help a little.

    When I go out of town I load her FULL and shut her down. I have come back 2 days later and had the stove still at 200 degrees. Sure you're not putting out mega BTU's during that time, but I'm not there, I dont need it 70. I'd rather have a little heat over along perioud than alot in a short period.

    Ya know I have read alot about people having to baby cat stoves. I don't know, maybe I'm doing something wrong, but this stove is easy to run. Sometimes I don't have the 10-15 minutes to sit and wait for the stove to get hot before closing the bypass, and I just close it anyway. When I get home stove is doing just fine and cat is lit off. Been diong this for 5-6 years now.

    I LOVE the firebox on the Blazeking. Nice and deep, never have any logs or coals falling out. There is at least a 6" lip.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I prefer the look of the Classic stoves to the others with all their gold bling, fancy colors and crap.

    Cheers
  16. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    So Kgrant, to respond to a previous assumption would you say that you can run this monster BK stove hot and consume lots of wood one day and then another day run it cool and get very long burn times? The versatility of a very large capacity stove that is able to do both long and low or hot and fast is a good feature. We know they can burn long and low but can you get the stove hot? Do you have a thermometer? That BK firebox is enormous and holds a ton of btus.

    If the OP wants a non-cat then I would be a serious advocate of soapstone since they are just so dang darn nice. It would be a shame if the reason for choosing non-cat is due to a misbelief about heat output or about a finicky cat.
  17. kgrant

    kgrant Member

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    Yep, I can load her full and have that wood gone in 4-5 hours on high, thats alot of wood to burn up too. On high stack temps run 8-1200 F. I usually run stack temps 3-400 I think, I dont have a thermometer at the moment, took it to the cabin.

    So ya, you can get the stove hot.
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Great, and that must be with your AK pine type littlewood so if a NE type fella could load 4.2 CF of double the btu per CF oak hardwood into the box he could have a goliath roaring along at 700 stovetop degrees overnight with little effort. Remember now that that BK stove stands tall and wide providing a lot of surface area to throw off btus.
  19. kgrant

    kgrant Member

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    Yep, I burn 90% white spruce. The rest is birch. Wish I had access to more birch.
  20. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    I may have overlooked it, but how many square feet are you trying to heat? And how tall are your ceilings?

  21. jb1951

    jb1951 New Member

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    kgrant, after reading your post, I have no doubt that the BK would definitely do the job! My husband got a kick out of reading your post about the -40 degree temps. It brought back some old memories. He served some of his service time at Allison Air Force Base back in the 50's. He said he remembers well how those -40 temps felt and he didn't have a big woodburner to keep him warm...only a little Yukon fuel stove! He wanted me to ask you if the CowTown Bar on the outskirts of Fairbanks is still there.

    rmcfall, the Jotul is in a 13' x 15' basement family room. Our main living area is upstairs and is approx 1100 sq ft. All ceilings are 8'. Our upstairs living room is at the far opposite end of the house from where the woodburner sits.
  22. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    Thanx for being on-board kgrant. Someone eles to support my eairlier quotes on other threads. I never repley anymore about BK questions as I just gave up. This is the stove for me that has required the least attention. The cat has been flawless. Load it
    set it and forget it. Not that it gets cold here or anything. :coolhmm: Any way as far as looks go tractors look good to me and a house that wont freeze when Iam away for a couple of days is worth somthing also. My old stove was just a TOY
    compared to the new one. 3yrs now. Mine has a 6 inch lip yours is a nine. & Hogz the BK also comes with a 6 inch stack on the
    Princess model. Cheers also...
  23. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The princess model is a sub 3 CF firebox but looks more like a regular stove.
  24. kgrant

    kgrant Member

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    Well I'm glad I'm not up on the Yukon. Suppost to be -60 up there tonight!

    I've never heard of the CowTown Bar, musta been before my time! I'll have to ask dad. Sounds like a hoot of a place though.

    north of 60 sure it doesn't get cold down there. You guys are suppost to be -40 tonight!

    It's only -13 here, cheer! But suppost to be -30 this weekend, I'll give the Englander at the cabin a workout.
  25. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    The princess looks the same as the KE 1107. They both come in the three models. Ultra, Parlour and Classic There #s are
    also based on douglas fir (a softwood) Stack size and fire box size is the diff. There should be no problem to get a 14 to 16hr
    burn with effective heat with hardwoods to heat a home with the princess model utilizing an existing 6" stack unless the
    roof is missing off the house. If I can heat 2100 with pine spruce and poplar @-30c other people should have a good chance
    to succeed also. The heat output between the KE & Princess @ min and max differ very little if you read the specs. Just the burn times drastically change. Neither are to shabby at high or low settings. I burn 8 to10 monthes a year. 8 months @ 24/7.
    Low setting is useful to me at the shoulder seasons. April/May--End of Aug to mid Oct. All these months have below 0C mornings
    And only reach + 5 to 10c in the day. To some people in the south and west coast this is winter. If I am gone for two days and the stove is loaded and keeps it above freezing with the furnace staying off Ill take it. Our power around here is not very reliable.
    Ive noticed people burn more oil in one month than us northerners burn in a htg season. I know a 1942 uninsulated colonial doesnt help compared to a 1990s heavily insulated northern home. I do really get into stoves and wood heat as 12 monthes
    Iam involved in it one way or the other. Felling/cutting/splitting/stacking and burning. I think thats why most of us are glued to this site. I hope some of this rambling helped jb1951. Good luck on your search. This is just my 2 cents. And good input Highbeam. :coolsmile:
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