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)

Seeking stove advice: HS Manchester vs. Jotul F 55 vs Firelight vs ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by VTWoodburner, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. VTWoodburner

    VTWoodburner New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Vermont
    I am replacing an old Morso 1125 (From 1978 or so) and I am looking for some advice. The stove is the primary heat source. The house is ~2200 sf, with an open floor plan downstairs, regular ceiling height, and the stove is at the N end of the house. The following are the parameters that I am looking for:

    - Large size stove
    - Not too deep of a stove (the hearth pad is all brick, but is only 33" in depth. I have a copper sheet for a spark protector, but it would look a little weird if the stove hung out beyond the 33" brick pad.
    - Not just steel
    - Viewing window
    - Non-cat

    I have been eyeing the Hearthstone Manchester, as it is ~20" for a depth. I also like the Jotul F 55 Carrabassett (and its price), as well as the Firelight. I am looking for thoughts on these three, as well as other recommendations. I have found very little info on the Manchester, so if anyone has burned one of these stoves, your thoughts are what I am looking for in particular. I know Jotul's are solid all the way around, so I don't need to be convinced of their virtues at this point.

    Any and all opinions are appreciated, including other stoves I should include on my short list.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,448
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Well, all three of these stoves really fit your criteria. We happen to have a local dealer who's a Hearthstone AND Jotul dealer, and they quietly told me they'd never buy a Hearthstone over a Jotul, unless they were going for soapstone. I believe the F55 is the deepest of the three stoves you listed, at 26.9" (p.5 of install manual), but the Firelight is mighty close at 26.5" (p.12 of install manual).

    I'm partial to cast iron stoves, and am very pleased with Jotul, so it would have to be the Firelight for me. I am curious, though... why no cat? While cat stoves may not be for the masses of Friday evening ambiance burners, they undoubtedly offer the best performance for those wanting to use a stove as primary heat. Did you fall for the half-truths spouted by a salesman who only has non-cat stoves to sell?
    alforit likes this.
  3. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,573
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    I saw the Manchester cooking away at the Hearth show this spring in Orlando and we have an enamel one in the show room. It is a very impressive stove. Hearthstone made some nice improvements to it over the Bennington. It has incredible casting detail and quality! I find it hard to believe the dealer would be more comfortable pushing a stone stove over the Manchester. :rolleyes: It will be a fine stove, so will the Firelight. I'm not to fond of the F50/55, i'm not big on the cast panels that hang on the sides. Kinda hokey if you ask me.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,038
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    With that shallow hearth, you will need to be paying close attention to rear clearances and require a stove with ember only protection in front of the hearth where you have the copper. Cast clad sides work great, actually better in installations with close clearances and where one does not want a highly radiant stove. And with a welded steel body the long term maintenance is lower. That said, I would also look at the Lopi Cape Cod and the Quadrafire Isle Royale.
  5. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,573
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    The Cod is all Cast Iron, no cladding.

    The thing I don't like mostly about the Jotul is that the cladding is just hanging, if you bump it, it rattles. Or if the floor has any movement from foot traffic it will rattle.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,038
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I know, so is the Isle Royale. Didn't know the F50 rattles, it shouldn't. The PE Alderleas don't do that.
  7. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,573
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    I agree it shouldn't and I bet it could be remedied once it's set up.
    I've always liked the Alderleas, I've just never had the opportunity to get one yet.;)
  8. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Messages:
    483
    Loc:
    New York
    The local dealer here who carries both told me the same thing.
  9. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    597
    Loc:
    SE CT
    Hi VT- Having sold both HS and Jotul, unless you have to have soapstone- I'd go with Jotul too. I have Enviro in my house, if you're talking steel, great choice. The Boston (Enviro) is a cast over steel too, but very deep (the 1700C). If it were me, the firelight would be my choice. I think the Alderlea is a nice choice too, but it may be deeper, not sure. Good luck, its fun looking isn't it??
  10. VTWoodburner

    VTWoodburner New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Vermont

    The only clearance I am super concerned about is off the front (so depth). All sides around the hearth pad are brick (The chimney is behind the stove) except the front, so I am not concerned about the combustible clearances, just what is best for air circulation. Do you think the Isle Royale is big enough? I think it is rated at ~65,000 Btu's. I do like the look of that stove. Is it a cat?
  11. VTWoodburner

    VTWoodburner New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Vermont

    I am a big fan of trying to support local folks, and as Hearthstones are made 30 mins from my house, and the cast iron for Jotuls is cast in southern VT (and assembled in Maine), these two manufacturers got higher consideration than some of the other brands. But I am not limited by this go local characteristic, just something that would be nice in the scheme of things.
  12. VTWoodburner

    VTWoodburner New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Vermont

    Yeah, I love the hunt. The obsession runs deep right now. The Alderea's are too deep for my stove location, so I had to rule it out, unfortunately.
  13. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,573
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    I
    I agree with this for the old hearthstone cast stoves, but the Manchester is a huge improvement over the orhers in my opinion. It's definitely worth a second look!
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,038
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Yes, that is why I didn't suggest one. It's about 29", but if you ever wanted to add a blower that would push it to the edge of the hearth.

    Paging Jags to the front desk. Yes, it's big enough. It is the same size as the Firelight and Manchester.
  15. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,293
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    So true. The salesmen of non-cats will always tell you to choose a non-cat. They are either ignorant or sleezy.
  16. VTWoodburner

    VTWoodburner New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Vermont

    So which cat stoves would you add to this list?
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,038
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Lopi Cape Cod (it's a hybrid), Woodstock Progress Hybrid

    caveat, these are new stoves so there may still be some bugs to work out.
  18. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Loc:
    Northwest Ohio
    my search & circumstances ,such as brick underneath and depth are also my same concerns.

    I much appreciate the help I receive on my search here

    I have found my front load compliances are not up to today's standards

    may need to learn to be a brick layer before I'm done

    one room (fisher) no problem, but the other is cutting into a main entrance path

    hope this thread keeps going

    thanks OP
  19. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,573
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    That is something to keep in mind. I was comfortable giving the Cape Cod a try because of the way it's built. The air tubes come out easily and it has the same proven cat that is used in the FPX products.
    The only issue I have had is a warped baffle that is made from Stainless Steel, It just lays ontop of the tubes. Lopi said to remove it, beat it back to flat and re-install. It sounded odd to me, but I did it and it has remained flat so far.
    It has the finest fire of any stove I have tried out to date!:cool:
  20. jotulguy

    jotulguy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    339
    Loc:
    central Pa
    The sides on that unit can be tightened down with an allen key. I think some were not fully tightened and it can cause that rattle. The two I have done this to have totally stopped the rattle you are talking about.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,038
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Thanks jotulguy. I thought that seemed out of the ordinary and un-Jotulish.
  22. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    597
    Loc:
    SE CT
    x2 for jotul rattles- it normally just doesn't happen. Hey anyone wanting a cat stove- more power to you- we just don't sell them, that means nothing other than we don't sell them, but everybody cannot sell every mfr. I tend to like the steel stoves for ease of operation, cast stoves for their aesthetic appeal, but in the end the customer hopefully makes the choice for all of us.

Share This Page