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Stove thermometer....what to get?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by whotheguy, Dec 25, 2009.

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  1. whotheguy

    whotheguy New Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    Looking to purchase a stove thermometer for my newly acquired wood stove. That's after I get it installed....you can read my questions about the Spectrum in a different thread. Anyhow, for those that use them, what would you recommend and where would I get it?


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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Jul 12, 2006
    Schenectady, NY
    I have a Rutland on the stove and a Condor on the smoker. It used to be on the stove. Both worked well. Find one that you like. Many don't read exact... They serve to give you a good indication of what the stove is doing.

  3. sandie

    sandie Feeling the Heat

    Oct 29, 2009
    West of Boston, MA
    Home Depot has the Rutland stove thermometer that will go on either the stove or pipe. I have one on each which is pretty intersting. seems my pipe is about 1/2 the temp of the stove. One themometer reads a little lower than the other when I put them both on the stove top so not totally accurate but as the previous person said, they tell you what direction the stove is going and if staying steady so that is important. I got one of mine at the Tractor Supply and the other one at Home Depot.
    Good luck with the stove, there is nothing like wood heat warmth.
  4. Frostbit

    Frostbit Feeling the Heat

    Aug 4, 2008
    Northwest Arctic Alaska
    I think all the magnetic spring stove-top units are junk.

    I started with a Rutland when new last year. It lasted about 3 months, then noticed when the stove was shut down it was reading 125 degrees. I had bought 2 Rutlands, so I placed the second on the stove. This fall, I bought a Condor insert for the pipe (double walled), and that, so far is working. At the same time, the dealer gave me one of his store-branded ones, which is an inexpensive Condor. I placed that opposite the 2nd Rutland on the stove top. As of today, they read 75 degrees apart when the stove is running, but both are about the same when the stove is shut down, so I don't know which one to believe.

    Its a crap shoot. Just don't expect much in either accuracy or long life with the magnetic stove top units.

    I wouldn't mind paying more for a good quality unit, but outside of a hand-held IR gun, there appears to be nothing on the market. I really want a surface unit that I can read at a glance that is accurate and stays that way for a long time. So far, I have not found one.

    An IR is nice, indeed, but just moving the attitude of your hand while aiming it in one spot will give readings all over the map. Aim straight down on the stove top, 90 degrees to the top, it has read, say, 500 degrees. Tip the gun to 75 degrees, it may show 400 or 600 aiming at the very precise point same as before.
  5. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

    May 25, 2008
    Western PA
    IR guns, at least the decent ones, are very accurate. Folks do need to read the booklet that comes with them though if they want them to work properly. You need to aim it PERPENDICULAR to the surface you're measuring, that is, a 90 degree angle, at the PROPER distance from the stove. It measures a circular area on the surface that grows or shrinks depending how close or far you are reading from the surface.

    I use mine every day to check the stove, and I find it very reliable. In fact, I'm probably wearing it out.

    Only problem is, like most available thermometers, you're only reading the surface. It's always a guess just what is the temp inside the pipe or the stove.
  6. ControlFreak

    ControlFreak Feeling the Heat

    Jan 15, 2008
    Holden, MA
    Though the magnetic thermometers will not give you a precise temperature reading, they are sufficient for your wood stove.

    Avoid the Rutland ones. They tend to get a little sticky after a while. The Condor units will not stick.
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Jul 22, 2008
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    HehHeh . . . if you decide to buy a Condor Thermometer good luck . . . I hear those "Condor" thermometers are as rare to find as the California Condors are in the wild. You might have better luck finding a Condar themometer though. ;)

    I have two Condar thermometers -- one on my stove top and one probe style for my double wall pipe. I can't determine if the probe style thermometer is accurate or not, but my IR gun and stove top thermometer have always been very close when it comes to comparing temps.
  8. WoodNewbie

    WoodNewbie New Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Eastern MA
    Don't forget that the stove glass is most likely IR treated: i am not sure what a reading through the glass with an IR thermometer means.
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