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Question for everyone that wants to answer. Oh boy this will fire a lot of people up.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by kinsmanstoves, Sep 15, 2011.

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  1. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    South of the beloved Patriots
    reliability
    Value
    Customer support
    availability of parts
    etc.......

    These are the reasons I chose to buy a Englander over Harman or Quad....there was no "settling"

    PS... my other 2 stoves are Quads, I wish they had the same Value.

    Mike, keep up the EXCELLENT work!

    This may be one thing that the "Big Box" stores have over the dealers.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Messages:
    708
    Loc:
    Rumford, Maine
    We have had ZERO problems with the dealer we bought our Harman from.
    This past Summer I called to have a couple of things looked at.
    Dead spot on temp control knob and noisy combustion fan.
    They looked up our warranty and wanted to get the control board in BEFORE
    the warranty was up. The service folks(same ones who installed the stove in '08) were still friendly.
    They installed the new control board and checked both fans.

    There are some very good Harman dealers and I guess we have one in this area.

    Even though the Harmans were pricey, we went with it based on input from Harman owners.
    My Wife also liked the looks. I guess this is like the Ford vs Chevy question.
    If the stove you bought runs well and you have a dealer who cares, then you will be happy.
  3. badabing

    badabing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Loc:
    NH
    Another flip side, I went with the Harman P35i insert based on weeks of research on the internet. The next step was to compare products locally and listen to the dealers and installers feedback. The Harman had the best combination of efficiency, build quality and looks in my opinion. I'm fortunate enough to have 5 dealers within 25 miles of me and chose the dealer based on the time and effort spent with me prior to purchase. Install date set for mid October and to this point I couldn't be happier.
  4. photogame

    photogame Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    northern ct
    I thought I would toss my 2 cents in with my story.

    2005ish was designing and building a 28x48 addition on my house, basically doubling the size. Now how to heat this new space, huge new family room, master bed and additional bedroom. Pellet stove for the family room, exsisting furnace for bedrooms. To the dealer, what are my choices, wife and I fall in love with Harmon xxv, end of (re)search. First yr out for this stove, even has one of those # plates on back, that makes it a collector item, lol. Flawless, more or less , performance since day one. The price I paid has been worth every cent.

    2008ish, Oil goes nutty. Lets get pellet heat in front original house. Buy a lesser quality/performance/price pellet burning box. Yes , I was a bit spoiled with the no need to tinker with my Harman. This lil pellet burning box ate through pellets like there was no tomorrow. I gave up mid winter. Spring 2009 I am surfing craigslist, wow, used Harman xxv $800. They are two items that the day I sell this house I will be taking with me.

    Do I fully understand the why the OP asked his question, yes. Have I done much research or talking to dealers about pellet stoves, no. Did I have some great dumb luck with finding a stove that is built to last, perform, and keep my family warm, yes. Do I have a hopper that needs to be filled at least once a day, sometimes even needs another topping off on those real cold days, yes. I call it my winter workout. Will I bash that lil pellet burning box I bought, no way, it put me in a spot to get a xxv for $800. Plus the guy who bought the lil pellet burning box, $400, got a great deal and was happy as heck.

    take care, enjoy your winter. The wife almost had me fire up the stove the other day, so I imagine it won't be long before its heating season again.
  5. opus74

    opus74 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    59
    Loc:
    Coello, IL
    Well, when I bought mine way back when, Whitfield was all he carried.

    I'm still happy.

    No more $400 electric bills/month !!
  6. WOODNUT358

    WOODNUT358 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    RI
    I went with the Harman 3 yrs ago.I was lucky that a shop was getting some XXV's by the end of Dec that yr. The bottom line was quality.You get what you pay for.From the research I did,the stove should last for years,and with minimal problems. it has burned any pellet that I have thrown in it,soft,hard.I do not have an OAK on it.The stove burns super,and I just clean it once a week(which is the easiest stove in the world to clean) Time will tell all.Down the road,we will learn what stoves will still be running,and the amount of problems different brands had.By no means do I feel that I have made a mistake buying this stove.
  7. burrman

    burrman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    michigan
    poor people gotta start somewhere..haha .i got my first stove on Craigslist $650 bucks.us stove 0551 used way to much fuel on low, very warm house85 deg on the norm on setting 1 then sold it for 650 and got an osburn hybrid-45 on Craigslist for 600..house is comfortable at 70 on setting 2-3 way less fuel used...love it....
  8. Pelleting In NJ

    Pelleting In NJ Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    279
    Loc:
    Central NJ
    I really wanted a Quad Edge-60, well made, but WAY too expensive, $5200 PLUS the front trim $1200. I can't imagine they sell many of those. I would have paid up to $3500 for the Edge, but no dealer wanted to even sell me their floor model for that. I liked the Harmon stoves quality too, but they don't make a contemporary styled unit. Next were contemporary stand-alones (Ecoteck, Thellin, Wittus, and the Enviro Evolution & Maxx/Omega). I was about to pull the trigger on the Enviro Evolution ($2400), but then found a great price on the Ecoteck Elena, and bought that. Although the Ecoteck was still on the expensive side ($3690 including shipping and no sales tax), I was willing to pay for the more sophistcated controls, stainless steel burn-pot and heat exchanger, quietness, and the top-notch fit-and-finish. I am a total do-it-yourselfer, so the "value-added" support of a dealer has no value to me.
  9. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    304
    Loc:
    NorthShore, MA USA
    'Settling' is indeed relative.

    In 2006 I was walking thru Lowes and found the Englander 25-PDVC on mark down clearance for less than $700.
    Sold.

    I cant imagine spending much more than that.
    I know these things are prone to auger jams - I've had a few - un-jammed it and continued burning.
    I burn about 2-3 tons per year.
    I have not (knock on wood) had to replace anything in 4 seasons - going on 5).

    It can go without cleaning for a few days on low burn as the auger eventually pushes the ash out of the way.

    Add to the overall cost the $200 I spent on the pellet vent kit (also on mark down) and for about an even grand I walked away happy on the total price point.

    Englander says made in America - and no thats not corny to me with high unemployment numbers.
    If more Americans BOUGHT American rather than China we'd be in better shape.
    You know something is awfully wrong when my 9 year old asks me - why does everything say CHINA on it ?

    At the time I bought the 25-PDVC I could have scored the next size up from Englander for $1200 but as this was my first time pellet stove I figured I'd just go for the smaller and if I didnt like it - give it to my mom and dad.

    Are there better stoves ? No doubt. But I usually opt for the best bang for the buck. Three kids + mortgage forces the 'settling' component.
    I've noticed on ebay one can add a hopper extension to increase the capacity from 40lb to something more respectable. I might give it a try.

    Good thread - good question - enjoyed reading all the comments.
  10. Rooscooter

    Rooscooter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    Spokane, WA
    I settled on Bosca's for a number of reasons.
    One was that the components in the stove are very common and readily available.
    Second was construction quality.
    Third was cost and this was a big one as I paid around $1,600 each for two stoves including installation. No one would touch that or even come close.
    Fourth was efficiency, footprint and BTU's. We needed smaller footprint stoves that would put out heat in our 4,800 SF open plan home 3 level home. The Bosca's had the smallest footprint and were very efficient.
    Fifth was aesthetics. As an Architect, I usually gravitate to clean lines and lack of ornamentation. Finding a stove that doesn't take it's design cues from a 100 year old trash burner is difficult...almost as difficult as finding one that doesn't have shiny gold doors.....


    Quadra-Fire and Bosca are somewhat local brands in Spokane. Bosca's US importer is local and Quadra-Fire is located about 60 miles north of Spokane. There are a lot of dealers in town that know both very well and the consensus was that Bosca was a very good stove and especially so for the money.

    This will be my 4th burning season with the Bosca's and I couldn't be happier. Absolutely no problems to date. Great heat and not that finicky with pellets either. They just work. I don't regret my decision one bit.
  11. Cozy Old Coot

    Cozy Old Coot Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    84
    Loc:
    Maryland's Eastern Shore
    The Englander 25PDVC is a great little stove for the money it cost :) .

    They don't have all of the bells and whistles as some other makes do, but once you have gotten the pellet feed & air settings set right on it you are ready to heat.

    You may have to make your own repairs, but if you have a problem you can always contact Englanders service department for assistance.

    The service/assistance that the people at Englander provides to their customers is second to no-one :exclaim: .

    The hopper extension you are referring to on eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1500-Pellet...410?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4156b855d2) will increase the pellet capicity from 1 bag (40lbs) to 2 1/2 bags (100lbs).

    We put one on our 25PDVC and are very satisfied with it.
  12. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    This thread should be mandatory reading for dealers & MFG's alike. It seems the balance is almost 50% customer pre & post service versus pricing, looks, brand.

    From a MFG point of view we have learned the hard way. When we started making pellet appliances 6 years ago we didnt think we would encounter the 'teething' issues we would be faced with. After all a pellet stove is nothing like a wood stove. Customers will not put up with components issues no matter what price they paid.

    That's why we shifted to bottom feed, quieter components and starting this year rather than launch a new product 'cold' we give 50 units to dealers across the country to beat up for a year. Dealers may not sell the unit, they must torture test it - throw the worst pellets, let it burn 24 hrs a day etc... and report back to engineering every month to work out any kinks. Hopefully, this will provide a better experience and confidence for consumers right from the start.

    I'm personally not a huge pellet fan. I have to fix them too! However, I'll put our Alterna pellet furnace against anything in the market. The new bottom feeders are rock solid entering their second season.

    We watch these threads closely since it give us a 'pulse' on what consumer expect. Thank you for your input.
  13. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I am only a consumer, But would have liked a chance to abuse one of the Drolet ECO-65.
  14. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    no begging.
  15. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Maybe I'll retire from pellet reviews and start reviewing stoves? At their expense of coarse! :)
    jjs777_fzr likes this.
  16. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

  17. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Notice I'm not biting? :)
  18. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Sorry, Had to ask! I would definetly give it a diverse diet.
  19. hailfire

    hailfire New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northern NJ
    I couldn't find a Harman stove in Pink... :)
  20. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403

    I will make you a pink one.

    Eric
  21. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    FaceBook request has been sent.

    Eric Kacvinsky
  22. steamguy

    steamguy Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    113
    Loc:
    In the windy Columbia Gorge, WA
    Had an Austroflamm insert for a dozen years and were spoiled by it. Ours was an early model from Germany. Whisper-quiet operation, great reliability, but utilitarian looks.

    Okay, about the two you mentioned here:
    Looked at Harmann, and they were expensive for what you got, like a $500 premium for a PLAIN BLACK STOVE; the one dealer who carried it was shall we say "less than smart" about Harmann inserts. We were told that Harmann did not make a stove with any kind of style that would fit with our decor like the Enviro Empress we eventually ended up with. Wife was tired of "the stove that resembles an old pickup truck" look and wanted something more stylish.

    Looked at a Quadrafire castile, were initially impressed, but it required a wired thermostat and that was part of the deal-breaker. Our fireplace is in the middle of the wall and has a number of decorative elements around it. No place to easily run thermostat wires to the correct place without busting into walls or tearing apart the mantlepiece. The thing that really killed it all was the Quad smoked into the room on startup. Maybe there was actually something wrong with its install in the showroom, but the guy swore it was working right.

    The Empress started the way it was supposed to, the guy was reasonable on the price, and although it was louder, we decided to accept it as it was and purchase.

    Hope that helps your research.
  23. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
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    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    I researched stoves extensively for a couple of years and wanted to get a Harmon. There was a guy I worked with who could pick it up for me when he went back to visit his folks in NH. No sales tax from ripoff NY sweet deal. Then I got in touch with them on the phone and they said they wouldn't sell without installing it. No way! I do most everything myself and don't need a dealer to hold my hand. Not with the directions you can get off the net today. So that was out especially when I learned it was the company policy of Dealer Install Only. Forget it. I went and mail ordered a Countryside from across the country and had it in for about $1900 total. That's about half "what a Harmon would have cost installed and it's multifuel so I burn either corn or pellets as price dictates. I don't need all the fancy bells and whistles and consider them just complications ( except the remote thermostat). I also like the fact that parts for the Countryside are pretty much common off the shelf parts that I can get online. The Countryside has the grinder style which I don't really like but it worked until I removed it and made my own burn pot that was much thicker and deeper. For me and my desires the cheaper made Countryside was just simply the better deal, and I don't like having dealer installation (or anything else) shoved down my throat. There are plenty of people out there who want and need installation just not me.
  24. quickrch

    quickrch Member

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    Northern, VA
    My better half didn't like the guy at the harman dealership and their prices were out of range with a required $1500 install. Also, we wanted a free standing, with a big hopper, bay front, silver trim, and the avalon astoria seemed like right stove. One neighbor has a Harman, the other a quadrafire. Both love their stoves too. My house is the same floor plan as one house and the other is very similar. All are happy and warm but the harman puts out a little less heat (smaller unit 40 or 38k) and they use some electric in the coldest of winter. Other than saving money and getting one that looks like we want and holds 2-3 bags I think the others would have been good too.
  25. slangtruth

    slangtruth Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Western MA
    Fall 2008 was when oil shot up and we went looking for a supplement. We decided we wanted a furnace and it was really down to either Harman or St. Croix. Harman looked to be on 4 month backorder according to the closest dealer. St. Croix Revolution was also on backorder, but it was only six weeks. Went with the Rev, probably could have used the slight extra BTU output from the Harman, but the dealer seemed uninterested in pursuing anything he couldn't sell right away and didn't even have any lit available. The St. Croix dealer at least had a SCF-050 so he could show us about what it would look like, and promised to deliver a Rev before the snow flew, so he got the sale.
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