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Your opinions on quality = Englander Stoves versus .......

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by kingston73, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. kingston73

    kingston73 Member

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    In reading another thread here I was 99% convinced I would buy a new Englander stove from Homedepot, looks like I could get the size I need for about $700 and free shipping. I called a local chimney place to ask for estimates to clean the chimney and install the new stove and the owner was telling me how those Englander stoves might give a decent 4 or 5 years worth of life but would then need to be replaced. For about $1100 he said he could get a Napoleon that would last much longer and be overall better. These are my needs and I'd appreciate any suggestions you have:
    1) We only need to heat about 800-900 sq ft
    2) I'm not opposed to getting a used stove and have been regulary checking craigslist and ebay
    3) Our budget is tight so that rules out anything over $1000
    4) I posted a picture in another thread, but our current setup is a brick inner wall with a low (about 23 inch high) thimble leading to an outer brick chimney. If I find a used stove with a rear exit at the same height I am confident I can install it myself, but if I need to make a new, higher thimble I know that is out of my league and ability.

    How good, or not good, are the Englander's? I'm skeptical of this guy's 5 year estimate and don't see any point in buying something I'll have to replace.

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Your local chimney place is mistaken. Englander stoves are fine products. Many here have had their stove for longer than "4 or 5 years".
  3. Fsappo

    Fsappo New Member

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    Thats bull. Englanders are cheap as far as cost goes and maybe not have the fit/feel etc as a higher end stove but Napoleon certainly isnt the Caddy of wood stoves. The reason your sweep is suggesting Napoleon is that brand is whored out to anyone who gets their hands on a distributor catalogue. Hell, you could call a place that distributes them, tell them your a sweep, set up an account and buy one at wholesale. There is no way in hell a Napoleon is going to last "much longer" than an Englander. You want to take a real step up from an Englander, you can look at a Regency, Quadrafire or a Travis product. If you want to spend under $1000, get a decent stove that will probably last closer to 10 years, is made in America and has decent phone support, get the Englander and find a new chimney sweep.

    Keep in mind, as a small hearth retailer, companies like Englander who sell thru big box stores are helping drive small business out of our communities (my opinion) But thats not enough for me to lie about them when a customer is interested. They are flat out a good domestic made product and an excellent value. I just wish they would pull out of the box stores and sell thru us little guys ;).
  4. Mt Ski Bum

    Mt Ski Bum Member

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    +1
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Both are decent stoves. I would say that with proper care, maintenance and running either stove should be still working well 20 years from now. There are design differences and the Napoleon has better convective heat shielding, but at heart they are both steel stoves that should have roughly equal longevity.
  6. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    I'm on the 5th year on my Englander and don't foresee anything but minor maintenance like gaskets for the next 10+ years. Your chimney place is feathering their nest trying to get you to buy a stove from them. I'd talk to a different location in the future.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Beware of dealers blowing smoke. They've been close to the fire for too long. :)
  8. rottiman

    rottiman Minister of Fire

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    Englander stoves= great bang for the buck. customer service can only be described as exceptional. Yup, you can spend a whole lot more if you care to. your stove dealer would love nothing better that upscale your purchase your dollars, your choice
  9. kingston73

    kingston73 Member

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    Thanks for all the quick replys, that's what I love about this site. Y'all have pretty much confirmed my initial reaction. This was the first place I called, I'll call some others and see if I can talk to some neighbors to get some local opinions.
  10. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    The Englander was a bit plain Jane for what I wanted to buy . . . but honestly if someone asked me to recommend a simple, reliable stove that would be inexpensive and would heat the house efficiently (i.e. be an EPA stove) I would recommend the Englander in a heart beat . . . it may not be the prettiest stove with enamel, ornate metal work or beautiful soapstone, but it does the one thing that everyone who buys a woodstove wants their stove to do -- it heats the home . . . plain and simple.

    While there are other stove lines that are also decent, inexpensive and folks have had good reports about . . . such as the Regency and Napoleon line of stoves . . . the one thing that Englanders have that make them a truly exceptional stove company is the incredible support after the sale . . . while you will not be able to get someone to come to your house to look at the stove the phone and internet support (we have a semi-regular member or two here that work for Englander even) is top notch. As an example . . . guy I know in town bought an Englander pellet insert stove at the local hardware store (True Value . . . I would say it's a Ma and Pa store, but in reality it's owned by a brother and sister) . . . found a part was missing . . . called Englander . . . and the next day the part was delivered to his home . . . from Virginia to rural Maine . . . in less than 24 hours . . . can't really complain about that type of customer service.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    When talking to people that are interested, I refer to both the Englander and Nap as a utilitarian stove. It has one job - heat. It ain't meant to be purty, or flashy. It is designed to burn wood. Nothing wrong with that.

    As far as build quality - I am not an owner of one, but have had my head stuck inside of a few of them. Nothing wrong with the build quality that I have ever witnessed. How long will it last? I would give it an honest 20 yr life time as a guess.
  12. Jbird560

    Jbird560 New Member

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    Well done. Way to step up.
  13. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    I got the same answer when I was shopping for stoves to replace the Englander (hindsight, I love the T6 but not sure I gained anything other than a prettier box and more convection), eveery place railed on them about how cheap and crappy they were - with no supporting information. Those places I ireplied with "thanks, I think it's an inexpensive quality product that seems well-built, but I'm just looking for something different. That attitude tells me all I need to know about your store, I'll look elsewhere". It's funny but I notice the same thing when looking at handguns - I have a couple Hi-Points that I love; solid, cheap, well-made, but heavy and ugly. But try shopping for one and see how many stores try to trash them so you buy the nice S&W or Sig instead. I'm much more likely to buy an expensive product later from a store that's honest about both their brands and the competition's.
  14. kingston73

    kingston73 Member

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    Thanks for putting it in terms I'm familiar with. I have a Hipoint 9mm that's ugly as sin but it's never malfunctioned, while a Sig I bought is about as picky as a gun can get. If the Englander brand is as reliable as Hipoint that is good enough for me.
  15. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    Ha! Yep, got the 9mm handgun and the 9mm carbine. Both reliable and shoot straight. The carbine is a perfect around-the-house or out-in-the-woods gun, good for varmints and cheap to shoot (sorry, off-topic). But like Hi-Point, with the Englander you're not getting worse quality; just less refinement, less aesthetics, and fewer bells and whistles. Good luck!
  16. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Here's a viewpoint for you to ponder.
    I have an older Ashley steptop stove. The Englander 30 looks similar. Both are welded steel boxes. My stove is over 25 years old, and aside from a weld that popped due to a previous owner WAY overfiring the thing, it's still cranking along (after I got it fixed).
    Quite well, at that.
    That dealer has a vested interest in steering you toward something that perhaps he sells, not something he doesn't. Kind of like going to a Chevy dealer and asking about buying a Ford. Guess what kind of response you'll get.
  17. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

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    I had 5 Hi-Point sidearms/carbine - now only 4. Like all of them except .45 auto. I traded it for a NOS 1986 Kent Tile Fire. 3 pounds of steel for 300 pounds of steel. LOL

    Oh yeah - Englander. I've looked them over at Lowes...sure would buy one if in the market. It's function over form.
  18. 48rob

    48rob Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for giving an honest opinion.

    If you were an option in my area, I would spend a little extra to support your business.

    Rob
  19. kingston73

    kingston73 Member

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    After reading a lot of your posts here and reviews in other places I've decided one of the Englander's makes the most sense for me financially. The wife and I have only been in our place for a little over a year now and we most likely will spend the next 10 or 20 years here, so buying a cheap used stove just seems like it's asking for too much trouble compared with getting a brand new one. Now the only question I have left is which Englander to get? It's between either the 30 or the 13, looks like about $150 difference in price and about 100 lbs in weight. We have a small house, only about 1000 sq ft. I know a bigger stove can burn less and a smaller stove can't burn more, but other than that is there anything I should consider before making a decision?
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Whew - unless that 1000 ft is completely open, that 30 is gonna run you out of the house. And it may - even if you are an open floor plan. I would probably suggest the 13.
  21. orionrogue

    orionrogue New Member

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    I have a friend that has been heating his home with the 13 for the last 3 years. The stove is in his walk-out basement, and it keeps both the basement and his second floor toasty. Total living space is 950sq ft but that doesn't include the basement. He hangs out in shorts and T-shirts in his basement.

    Lesson: Unless you live in a drafty barn, get the 13.
  22. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Feeling the Heat

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    A random side question, as this is something I have considered:

    What is your chimney situation? I see your point about the brick chimney but is there a liner in there?

    I only ask b/c i have a 20 yr old, "early" EPA stove that vents into my tile lined chimney and does a good job. Had some thimble issues and other problems but overall, it works. Will work better when i have better wood next year.

    I strongly considered buying a newer, more efficient stove and strongly considered it... but, the newer stoves (which i would imagine include englander, napoleon, what have you) seem to be more particular about draft (or so I was told). That means that if on top of a new stove, i'd need to line my chimney. Stove was going to be $1-2K (or less, given HD sale on the englanders) but the liner was likely going to be about the same. At this point, I just can't swing both. If anything, i'll likely get the liner first and use with my existing stove and then later get the new stove.... or save up enough and do both together (hopefully get a deal from the dealer).

    Anyway, you mentioned a pretty hard budget and wondering if you are able to swing both stove and proper venting. Good luck!
  23. kingston73

    kingston73 Member

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    That's something I hadn't thought about. My chimney is an outside brick lined with square/rectangle ceramic (?). Does a new stove mean a brand new liner as well? I'm still learning all this, seems like every time I learn one thing it brings up 10 more new questions I need to research.
  24. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Feeling the Heat

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    Kingston-

    That is a very good question that you should ask around here... hopefully somebody will pipe in.

    When i shopped around for stoves, all of the dealers said that if i bought a stove, they'd all but insist on putting a liner in the chimney.
  25. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Because of the draft in EPA stoves, it is highly recommended that a liner be included in your install. To take that one step further, and INSULATED liner would be the best choice. Not loosing liner heat to the surrounding masonry, keeps the stack temp up, which will fend off creosote production.

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