Your Stove's Biggest Flaw(s)... and Best Features

mnowaczyk Posted By mnowaczyk, Jan 11, 2010 at 8:52 PM

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  1. tfdchief

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 24, 2009
    Tuscola, IL
    OK, I know I am going to get bashed here but my old buck is family :)

    Pros: I love everything about it. It has heated my house for 28 years. It has given me more pleasure than I could ever expected for the 900 bucks I paid for it.

    Cons: OK, it isn't as efficient as the new stoves so I pollute (I try real hard not to)
  2. Dix

    Minister of Fire

    May 27, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    Pros : Easy operation. Does an awesome job, even with out the blower. Long burn times.

    Cons : Bigger firebox would have given me longer burn times. I can be gone for 9-10 hours. It's just not enough when it's 0 °F outside. Luckily this does not happen often.

    If I had it to do over again in this house, I would go with a free standing stove with a bigger box.

    There's always next time ;-)
  3. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin
    Minister of Fire

    Nov 20, 2005
    East-Central Wisconsin
    Ditto here....

    Pro's - Very efficient & fairly easy to get secondary burn show

    Con's - smallish firebox & excessive hearth requirements
  4. SolarAndWood

    Minister of Fire

    Feb 3, 2008
    Syracuse NY
    Blaze King King

    Pros: big firebox, exceptional burn times, burns well at both high and low burn rates, thermostat makes operation very simple, simple rugged construction

    Cons: industrial look, fan noise, east coast dealer nonsense
  5. KB007

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 21, 2009
    Ottawa, Canada
    Napoleon 1450

    Nice large square firebox - goes both ways
    Single control lever - easy to use
    Simple flat black - no bells, no whistles
    Price is right - included the blower for free

    Would like a bigger lip in front to keep coal/ash in
  6. fossil

    Accidental Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    Bend, OR
    I have two pretty cheap, one pretty notso. See my sig. I'll rate them both together, since I feel pretty much the same about them.


    - They're both sized right for what we need them to do

    - No-nonsense, butt-ugly steel plate step-top construction

    - Nothing but steel & fragile baffle parts or cats

    - Easy to operate, clean, and maintain

    - Easy to sweep from the bottom up without climbing on the roof

    - Very effective airwash keeps the windows mighty clean (unless I load some stupid wood in a stupid way)

    - The doors both open from the correct side

    - My wife likes them, as do Charlie and Rascal


    - Ummm...I'll have to get back to you

    Attached Files:

  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart LLC Mid-Atlantic Division
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    Pros of the 30-NC: Kicks Bigg Redd's stove's ass for heating for a grand less. And after four seasons I don't have to wonder if it will crack in season three. :lol:
  8. Dix

    Minister of Fire

    May 27, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    Me thinx Charlie & Rascal have the final say.

  9. Bigg_Redd

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 19, 2008
    Shelton, WA

    You payed $900 28 years ago! Holy sh_t! That's like a million in today's money.
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 19, 2008
    Shelton, WA
    You know the 30 is over 50% bigger than my Spectrum, right? And the plain model Summit is only a few hunj more than your soulless cube.
  11. Jags

    Moderate Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    Northern IL
    Quad Isle Royal
    Pro: Very well built cast iron heat machine.
    3.0 cuft fire box
    trouble free operation for many seasons.
    I got doors that go left, right and up/down.
    its got an ash pan and grate system that REALLY works.

    Cons: its not a 3.5 cuft fire box
    firebox has a taper in the far back - should be square.
  12. Wet1

    Minister of Fire

    Apr 27, 2008
    I'll add the following:

    Pros: It's the stove Big Redd wishes he had.

    Cons: Glass gets a little dirty if run at low setting, especially with less than dry wood.
  13. Bigg_Redd

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 19, 2008
    Shelton, WA

    Not completely untrue
  14. gorrie16

    New Member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Somers, CT
    VC Defiant

    PROS: Easy to heat myself out of house, even sometimes to hot for the wifey
    Comes up to temp fast
    Burns any quality wood
    Good wood consumption for a smoke dragon

    CONS: Damper is either open or closed, would like additional settings
    The oil man hates me and my once a year delievery of 125 gallons a year (oil fired hot water)

  15. Wet1

    Minister of Fire

    Apr 27, 2008
    I know, that's why I had to rub it in! :cheese: In all seriousness, your stove looks a lot better...
  16. fredarm

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 28, 2008
    Eastern Mass
    PE Vista Insert.

    Pros: Easy to use, single lever control, well built, looks good with the gold trim (I think), throws a lot of heat for its size, keeps us nice and warm evenings and weekends.

    Cons: Its size. I'd love to have longer burn times and be able to load N-S with something longer than 8-inch splits. (I load E-W, only the miscellaneous short stuff goes in N-S). But, I was limited by the size of the fireplace and there was no room for a hearth install, so it is what it is. Generally, I'm pretty happy with it
  17. Battenkiller

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 26, 2009
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    VC Vigilant "1977"


    - Great heat from a 2 cu.ft. box; constant 70º-74ºF (day and night) in every room in the house
    - Top loading
    - Three modes of burning: updraft, horizontal and open door
    - Surprisingly economical considering how hard I run it
    - Solidly built and relatively simple to run
    - Unconcerned about quality of wood
    - Handsome good looks
    - $300 EC; used, with better part of a cord of 3-year old mixed hardwood thrown in
    - No glass to worry about


    - Very sensitive to ash build up; runs best if cleaned daily
    - No glass to see the Borealis through
  18. summit

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 22, 2008
    central maine
    someone has probably already said it, but here it goes:
    PE Summit:
    Pro: Clean Glass
    Long Burns
    burns all types of wood well
    awesome fireview

    w/ the fan, its a sneaky heater, due to the side heatshields (as they block the initial blast, but once it gets to temp on a full load), you load it up w/ out all the radiance of my old Jotul (which radiated quite immediatley), takes a 1/2 hr, but all of a sudden you are roasting... this good for the mid winter,but in the shoulders, you gotta know how it works to tune it in... that being said, its 1700 sq ft w/ a heater rated for 3000

    P.S: you all wish U had one...
  19. laynes69

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 2, 2006
    Ashland OH
    Caddy Wood Furnace Pros:
    Less wood
    Good burn times
    Large Firebox (3.5 Cu. Ft.)
    Clean Burning
    Thermostat control
    EPA Certified
    Well Built
    Heats whole home
    Large glass door

    Needs well seasoned wood
    Ash pan sucks if theres alot of coals in the firebox ( I use a shovel and remove some each morning)
    Requires involved installation

    BB, as far as the furnace burning cleanly when it doesn't call for heat it does a good job. Theres a hole in the middle of the damper to allow for primary air to enter, also the front and rear doghouses that allow air to enter. I've loaded the furnace for the night, and when I would check it 2 hours later, the firebox would have blue flames dancing above the wood. Depending on the wood, you can tweak the primary to be open a hair when closed. One thing I found I was afraid of burning the furnace hot enough. I was scared of the secondary burn feature and thought I would melt the furnace. While it doesn't keep the house 80 like the old beast, I can set the thermostat for 72 and it will keep it there in the home when its 30 or under. I'm getting a liner here in the spring for the old chimney and I will get ahead on wood so next year will be better.
  20. precaud

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 20, 2006
    Sunny New Mexico
    Quad 2100 ACT
    Outrageous efficiency.
    Easy 12+ hour burn times (with secondary air mod).
    N/S burning.
    Quick warmup - Quads burn hot!
    Loves big pieces of wood - which means less splitting.
    Lifetime warranty.
    Removable baffle makes it easy to clean.

    Door handle/latch design isn't the best, showing signs of wear 3 seasons in.
    The inside steel piece that forms the airwash warped quickly, and required some tweaking to realign.
    An inch or so on either side of the glass gets dirty, but cleans up easily with just a damp cloth.

    Nestor Martin X33
    Huge glass stays clean and gives wonderful view of fire.
    The best air systems and air controls design I've ever used on any stove.
    Excellent ash pan.
    Remote control of primary air from anywhere in the room.
    A really well-thought-out design that looks great and is a joy to use.
    Removable baffle makes it easy to clean.

    One outer panel warped quickly, requiring a minor repair.
    Seal around the glass wasn't the best, additional gasket solved it.
    No local dealer.

    I'm really happy with both stoves, they are quite well suited for the spaces they're heating, putting the damper on my "musical stoves" tendencies this year...
  21. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
    Minister of Fire

    Oct 17, 2008
    Eastern Central PA
    The Cheap Stove $499
    US Stove King Model sold at TCS farm supply stores

    Basically a steel box with a hole in the top offset by a metal baffel that directs flue gasses to the sides of the stove and back to the middle to go up the flue.
    NO primary air control ,just a damper in the flue outlet that can not be closed all the way.
    Easy to move ,about 275Lbs
    Rated at 104000 BTUs probably very exaggerated
    Large glass door ,nice viewing.
    Does throw a lot of heat for a short time as you can not adjust the primary air or close the damper all the way

    Burn time 2 hrs -3 hrs tops ,good for a workshop but not for home heat.
    Smokes like crazy
    Now installed in the workshop

    I almost gave up on wood burning for home heat with this less than stellear stove (the King stove)but thought id give it one more try. since i get the wood for free and need to get rid of it.
    The expensiver stove $1950
    Harman Tl-300
    Long burn times and consistent heat output
    Big firebox 3.0 Cu Ft.
    NO smoke and Very wood efficient ( i swear this use 50% less wood for the same heat than the King)
    Huge glass viewing door with a beautiful view of the fire ,very romantic
    optional cooking and roasting grill ( have one)
    optional fireplace screen for open fire effect (have one)
    optional blower that does a nice job of pushing the heat out the front of the stove,and quiet.
    already had this bad boy burning 27 hours with enough coals left to add wood and let er rip.

    Sorry i did not buy this stove first instead of the King from US Stove.
    Too bad i does not produce hot water.

    Im planning to build a log cabin around this stove,
  22. jadm

    New Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Pro: Large fire box for longer burn times.

    Pro: Heavy cast iron surround that stores heat and radiates into the room.

    Pro: Blowers mounted on front so easy to clean or replace.

    Pro: Very attractive insert.

    Pro: Easy to operate once you get the hang of it.

    Con: Tiny ash lip. (About an inch wide.) If any ashes get near the door they drop out and do not always get caught on the lip making cleaning them up more difficult.
  23. Green Energy

    Green Energy
    Feeling the Heat

    Feb 21, 2009
    Central Maryland (between DC, Balt. Fredrick)
    Jotul Oslo F500 w/ blue-black enamel finish

    Beautiful classic looking stove, especially with enamel finish
    Spectacular front glass view of the burn, light shows, stays clean and clear
    Amazing secondary burn with great heat output, 70K btus
    Heats quick even though it's cast iron (25 - 30 minutes on cold start, 5-15 on restart from coals)
    Rear discharge can be as low as 26" with short leg kit (good for hearth installations with short fireplaces)
    2 CF firebox big enough to have coals for morning restarts
    Simple operations with single primary air control
    Appears to be reliable with only moving part being the primary air control
    Good clearances, much better than my old Dutchwest.

    Nothing big, just nit picky:
    Ashes come out of the front door (no biggy, just use the side door for wood loading)
    Would like a little bigger firebox for overnight burn so I have more/deeper coal bed (again no biggy since I needed the low rear discharge)
    No easy access to heat the rear flue, because of the baffle, to get draft going up (again, no biggy as I just preheat stove with a small portable heater, I may modify the clean out T to make preheating flue easier)
    More expensive than many other stoves (but tax credit is paying for 1/3 of it)

    Like most EPA modern stoves, works much better with very dry wood, i.e., > 20% water content.
  24. Dustin

    Feeling the Heat

    Sep 3, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Quad 4100I

    Decent sized firebox.

    Gets nice and hot, and I can get an 8 hour burn on a load of fir depending on the outside temp.


    Loud Fan

    Terrible window seal design. Goes bad pretty quick.

    Cheap feeling baffle design. I'm not a fan of the burn tubes. You're constantly smaking into them with firewood, and I'm scared to load wood right up against them. I don't care for the "ceramic blanket" eaither.

    The firebox is "shallow" in my opinion. Wide and long, but very shallow.

    No matter what I do, smoke spews in the house during a reload.
  25. djblech

    Feeling the Heat

    Jul 7, 2008
    Bruno MN
    Lopi liberty, 1st season.

    Pros: lots of heat
    blower helps move the heat
    Really well made solid stove

    Cons: To short front to back for 16" pieces. (I think the Endeaver is deeper)
    Window only stays clear if damper is wide open
    Doesn't keep fire all night
    I think it might be to large for family room-way to much heat at times

    In all fairness I am still learning how to use this stove. I had a VC Dutchwest Cat that I really liked and worked for me. These stoves are completely different to operate.
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