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Jotul F500 vs Woodstock Fireview?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Gyprat, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Gyprat

    Gyprat New Member

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    We've been looking for a new wood stove for a while. The choices were finally narrowed down to Jotul Oslo F500 or Woodstock Fireview. $1.900 sale price on Fireviews is very attractive. Jotuls are beautiful stoves, we saw one in a store and really liked it.
    Now we are having a hard time making a decision.
    I have some questions about the stoves and hope someone can help with answers. I have no prior experience with wood stoves.

    Fireview has no ash pan. Is it really important to have one? How do you clean the ashes from the stove and how often?
    Is Fireview easy to maintain?
    Jotuls get mixed reviews. Some love them, some hate them. Many reviews mentioned that Jotuls are picky about wood quality. I don't plan on burning fresh wood but most wood will be seasoned for 6-12 month. Should I be concerned about it?
    We have no fireplace and will need to install the chimney throught the attic. What Class A chimney brand would you recommend? I don't mind paying a little more for quality products.
    Any help with will be appreciated.

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  2. Hanko

    Hanko Minister of Fire

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    with no ash pan, you have to shovel em out, messy, and you have to let the fire die down. I empty mine every morning when i get the paper, no muss no fuss. some that have a pan shovel anyway. The 500 is easy to run, easy to maintain, and looks good to.
  3. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    I rarely empty the ash pan of my Jotul - I just shovel. I cannot make a comparison to the Fireview, but I really like my Jotul
  4. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I shovel ash even though I have the ash pan - it's easy and I only have to shovel about once/10 days to 2 weeks. Any newer, EPA stove will be unhappy with poorly seasoned wood. 6-12 months may be fine, but depend on the kind of wood. Black cherry could be ready after 6 months in good wind and sun, while oak will have just begun to season at that point - needs 2-3 years to reach its best potential. I'd focus on getting 2-3 years ahead on wood and then you won't be as concerned about fuel quality. As we all say, the majority of problems with wood burning have to do with poorly seasoned wood. I'm a big soapstone fan, and the customer service from Woodstock can't be beat (from everything I've heard). You are also dealing with a cat vs. non-cat issue - don't know if you have a preference. I wanted a simple stove with less parts to be concerned with - so, no cat. I'm sure a cat is not a big deal to manage and service, but at least read up on the pros/cons. Cheers!
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ash pans are way over-rated in my opinion. Even when we had the Castine, I preferred to keep the ash pan full and let the ash build up accumulate in the stove until it needed cleaning. We have never used the ashpan feature on our Alderlea. If you like the Fireview, I wouldn't let this be a deciding factor.
  6. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    My guess is that the Oslo may cost you a few dollars more than the fireview. I can comment on the Oslo with wood selections and 'pickyness'. I have burned ash, red and white oak, maple and black cherry in mine over the last 2 years, not once did I have any startup trouble or reload issues related to wood quality. The ash pan is a nice luxury but to me not a make or break on a purchase. The Oslo is a workhorse, takes a bit of abuse and still looks great while keeping you warm. I, with the help of this forum, was able to further my overnite burns last year to have some generous sized coal bed after 8-9 hours.
  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    +1 on this. I use three stoves at once when winter kicks in. Two of the three have ash pans. Only one works effectively and even then it wouldn't be the deciding factor when purchasing the stove.
  8. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    +1 we never bother with the ash pan--it's too much of a hassle. Our old Defiant-Encore had a nice cover that would slide over the ash pan to keep ashes from flying everywhere while you were getting the full pan to wherever you were emptying it, and that was nice, but on our Oslo we never used the ashpan.

    I've never used a Woodstock stove so I can't say anything much about them except that they seem like a great company that puts out a great product.

    I can say that we were not happy with our Oslo, and in fact we just sold it. I think you need at least 25' of chimney to get enough draft for them to work right (we had 20' for a single story house), and I never liked the air control lever that got very hot when you were burning yet it had no Alaska handle or anything on it--just bare metal--so I was always looking for something to move the air control lever which was kind of a pain in the rear. Reviewers that say the Oslo is picky about needing very dry wood are spot on. The other issue was that whenever you opened the front door you'd get ashes falling out onto the hearth--not a very good design IMHO. They're certainly nice looking stoves and Jotul has a great reputation, but I would not buy an Oslo again.


    NP
  9. logger

    logger Minister of Fire

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    1. There's really no cat or non-cat issue becasue neither stove has one.
    2. Both are good stoves. Im partial to my Jotul. Any bad reviews of the Jotul are usually from people who do not know how to properly operate their stove, wood, or stovepipe... period. Most of my friends and family were so fond of ours that they have since gotten their own Joutuls and are extrememly happy with them. I got mine because I liked a friends. The front door does let ash out (we use the sidedoor), but its easily fixed (just search how on this site, costs less than 5 bucks). The air intake can get hot, but most people I know have gloves nearby, so searching for something shouldnt take time, duh.
  10. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    It's my understanding that the Fireview IS a cat stove.....

    Oslo's have their fans for sure, but there are experienced wood burners with dry wood and good chimney setups (like us) who just don't like the Oslo. There's really no need to insult those who don't like the same stove you do......


    NP
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The Fireview is a cat stove.
  12. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    Logger, can you post the link to the ash fix - I searched but couldn't find it
  13. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    It's funny how minor issues can make or break a stove in some cases. I could jump on loggers bandwagon here but it looks like enough is enough.
  14. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    The Oslo is rated @ 70k BTU max vs. 55k for the Fireview, so if you want to pump the wood through it with more frequent reloads, the Oslo will give you more heat. OTOH, the catalytic Fireview will let you slow down the burn for 12+ hours when you want to, so it will give you more flexibility. The Keystone has a nice ash pan, and it's only ~20% smaller than the Fireview. If that's too small for you, Woodstock's new stove has an ash pan option too.
  15. Gyprat

    Gyprat New Member

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    Thanks guys. I did not mean to start another Ford vs. Chevy thread. Just trying to make an educated decision. My wife really likes the Oslo. And I like the fact that Woodstock is ameican made. Both seem to be great stoves.
    We can order Jotul from a local dealer and they will delive and bring it into house for $90. Not bad considering how heavy it is.
    Woodstock will ship to a local carier distribution center (25 miles away) for $140. Bringing it into the house will be a major issue. They are heavy and my back is in bad shape.
    No we have to wait for a contractor to install a hearth pad and some nice hearth stone on the wall where the stove will be.
    I already got a load of wood. Not much, just a pick up truck load of seasoned wood. The guy claims it's seasoned but it's hard to tell.
    It's oak and was seasoned for a year. How can you tell if it's seasoned enough??? Ohh well, it'll do for a start.
    Again thanks for all the replies. It's gretly appreciated.
  16. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    I can't speak to the wood requirements of the Fireview, but I know from personal experience that the Oslo needs VERY dry wood to work properly. Given that most Oak species need 2 years cut, split, and stacked to properly season, and given that most woodsellers are, shall we say "optimistic" about how long their wood has been cut, split, and stacked to dry, I'd say the chances of that Oak you bought burning well in an Oslo are not great. For $15 or so you can get a moisture meter that will tell you the actual moisture content of the wood you want to burn.


    NP
  17. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Most folks here don't consider 1 year to be long enough for oak to dry out. . .enough time for many species, but not oak. Many use a moisture meter on their wood. I haven't gotten around to buying one. I use the audible method. Tap on the end of the wood with a hammer. Dry pieces will sound like the "plink" of a bowling pin or the "crack" of a baseball bat. A more muted thud = too much water in the wood. Regarding stove delivery, the same $90 would probably hire a crew of movers to bring the Fireview into the house.
  18. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I have not burned a fireview.

    I have burned my oslo.

    My Oslo can be tough to get going from a cold startup, meaning a completely cold stove. But once I have her up and running, she's a real heater.

    My wife and I built this home 5 years ago, south central Pennsylvania, and we've burned a quarter tank of fuel oil so far.

    Yep, the oslo is a real heater.
  19. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Yep, the Oslo is a good heater, by most accounts. If it had a baffle bypass, which gives you a straight shot up the flue, draft on cold starts would not be a problem. Some anti-cat folks complain about cat stoves having this extra lever to operate. I see it as a good thing. Apparently Lopi does too, because they put a bypass on some of their top non-cat models.
  20. eyefish2

    eyefish2 New Member

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    A comment on ash pans............Not all ash pans are created equal. I am most familiar with the Oslo since I just purchased one and have had a few fires. The Oslo has a cast grate on the bottom of the stove. The grate covers a good portion of the stove bottom/burn area. This is one of the main reasons I purchased this stove. It also looked very nice on the show room floor when I finally got a look at one. Ashes fall through the grate and into the pan as the fire burns. I am no stove expert, but several other stove designs with ash pans have small "squares" in the center of the stove that ashes need to be pushed towards to fall into the pan. Some have ash doors/ gates for this to occur (maybe all do?? Not sure).

    If ash removal is important to you, you may want to look at this as you look at stoves.
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Oslo user here . . . so I am biased . . . plus I find the Fireview a bit ornate for my liking . . . I do however really, really like the look of the new Woodstock Progress Hybrid and if I was looking right now would be giving some serious looks at this stove . . . especially at this price if it fits your needs.

    Ash pan . . . I like the ash pan in my Oslo -- namely because it is functional. When reloading in the morning I stir the ashes and the ash drops down into the ash pan . . . a short time later I pull out the ash pan and go outside and dump it in the pan. No mess. No fuss. Other stoves with other ash pans may or may not be as functional. Usually I only have to dump the ash pan 1-2 times in week when burning 24/7. That said, are ash pans the end-all, be-all . . . I think by now you've seen enough members who say they can survive without them and do fine.

    Reviews . . . you've got to take them with a grain of salt. I would say for the vast majority of folks either the Oslo or Fireview gets high marks. There are some who have special circumstances where those stoves may not work for whatever reason . . . some for the size, some for the way they burn, some for whatever other reason . . . but in general you cannot go wrong with either stove. I know I love the Oslo and it has been a great, reliable heater . . . then again . . . most folks would say the same about the Fireview.

    Wood . . . The Jotuls are picky about seasoned wood . . . then again just about any EPA stove is pretty particular about seasoned wood. Garbage in = garbage out. I will say in the first year I burned some wood that was only seasoned 6-8 months and I did OK -- mainly by using pallets mixed into the wood to bring the temps up and help drive out the moisture . . . but in year two with truly seasoned wood I realized just how important seasoned wood is . . . but this is the same for any EPA stove.

    Class A chimney . . . I suspect most any product will do . . . I ended up with ICC Excel and I have been very happy with the product.

    Final thought . . . I really don't think you can go wrong with either the Oslo or Fireview providing they fit the style of your home, budget and size needs. At the time I bought my woodstove I was "cat shy" -- didn't trust them -- now I would buy a cat stove without any hesitation. Honestly, this is a time when you really cannot go wrong in my own opinion with whatever choice you go for . . . only negative I could see on the Oslo may not have as long a burn time since it does not have a cat -- the flip side being you will never need to replace the cat . . . counter that with the minimal cost of buying a replacement cost over time and the amount of wood saved . . . in my own mind either choice is a good choice.
  22. fireview2788

    fireview2788 Minister of Fire

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    All I can say is that I am new to the wood burning stove game and we fell in love with the Fireview. I have found it VERY easy to work and empty, even for the rookie.



    fv
  23. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Gyprat.

    Sorry for not posting earlier but was away from home. Just returned from the Woodstock factory. This was our second time to be there and I'm just as impressed or more so now than I was at first. But on to your questions.

    The Fireview does indeed have no ash pan. This is our first stove without an ash pan and I was a bit afraid it would be a problem. That has not proved to be true and we love it. It is so much so that our next stove also will have no ash pan. It is really simple and quick to empty the ashes. Wait until you have some of the coals burned down and then shove them to one side (we just use the poker). Scoop out part of the ash and then slide the coals the other way and clean the other side. We usually leave around 2" of ash in the bottom at all times.

    The Fireview is easy to maintain. We clean the cat usually twice per year. That consists of just a light brushing with an old paint brush. The total time to do this is from 2-5 minutes although I am certain it could be done in less than 2 minutes but we try not to hurry. The first time to remove the cat you must remove 2 shipping bolts. Those need not be replaced so that then when you clean the cat this is the process: 1) Open top lid (no latches; just open). 2) Reach in with one hand and lift the cat out. 3) Take cat out on porch and brush with old paint brush. 4) Replace cat and close lid. End of process.

    fwiw, the best part of the Fireview for us is that we now burn only half the amount of wood we used to burn with the old stoves and we stay a whole lot warmer. We did buy a new steel cat while at Woodstock and are anxious to see it in action as we have gotten several reports of the good results. Seeing the steel cat at Woodstock and seeing how quickly they engaged the cat after putting wood in was amazing. These cats should last a lot longer than the older ceramic cats too so that is a plus.

    Still the biggest part of any stove is the fuel you put into it. We try to never burn wood that has not been drying (after being split) for 2 years or more. While at Woodstock, we took some wood that was cut and split in 2002. That wood got put into their stoves (Progress and Fireview) during the party and it burned just as nicely there as it does at home. However, if you do not dry your wood at least a year, you will have problems in any stove. So do yourself a favor and get your wood before you get your stove!

    Good luck.
  24. pteubel

    pteubel Feeling the Heat

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    You'll find out soon enough that this is a Ford/Chevy issue. :bug:

    Just from my experience with my Oslo: I empty the ash pan once a day. If I wait 2 days, it's overflowing and messy to remove. Some here claim they empty their Oslo once a week. Don't know how they do it, but it is what it is. YMMV. I can empty the ash at ANY time during the burn cycle, which is a good thing because I burn 24/7. I had a stove (briefly) that had no pan and I found shoveling ash a PITA.

    Some folks don't mind shoveling out their stove. They have is down to a science with various tools and techniques...and have been doing it ALOT longer that I have been burning at all. But personally, I won't ever do it again...period. :coolsmile:
  25. logger

    logger Minister of Fire

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    Thought the Fireview was a cat, but NH Wood's 1st post confused me for a second. Didnt mean to insult anyone, just stated that using a glove isnt too hard to do for adjusting the intake. Not sure why anyone would put down the Oslo with good wood and a good pipe setup.. again, just my opinion.

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