Review of --- 520 -- other burning Wood/Coal
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Satisfaction Ratings from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst)
Satisfaction with unit = ✰✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with dealer = ✰✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with manufacturer = ✰✰✰✰✰
Other Information about the Home and Stove
Room Size (Sq ft): 400 | House Size (Sq feet): 1800
Bought in 2017 , Price Paid: 3300
Location : Edgewood, New Mexico 87015, United States
Purchased from: Stove Dealer - Obadiah's
I purchased the Heco 520 from Obadiah's In the fall of 2018. I have absolutely no regrets about purchasing this stove. With all the choices out there, I think we got the best stove for the money.
There are some things about the stove you should know. First and foremost it is an incredible heater. I was a little skeptical about the thermostatic damper control, but, I can tell you first hand that it is an amazing feature. The stove brings in air from the bottom rear. As the stove heats up this damper feature will slowly close. This is really nice if you are leaving the house after stoking your fire. There is nothing to worry about because the stove will not get hotter than what it is set for. That said you can always set the damper full open and burn it wide open (no real need to ever do this though).
I believe there have been design changes to the stove since Woody posted his videos. More specifically, the smoke path on my stove has a larger, more direct path to the chimney pipe (when not using the oven) than the one on Woody's video. This is a good thing. When the oven is engaged it works just as shown on the videos. I believe this change also has the effect of heating the surface of the stove more quickly. I will say that when I received my stove, this design difference confused me, and I wasn't sure if there had been a mistake made. But I can tell you it works and works well.
The stove itself is covered in sheet metal much like a modern oven. Some of the sheet metal is removable (like the side panels). This is what makes the stove much more attractive (my opinion) than other stoves like the Kitchen Queen. Make no mistake though, underneath the sheet metal is thick plate steel. If you buy this stove, you need to have a plan for moving it into its final location because it weighs a ton (well almost half a ton...)
Something else about the video...Woody likes to light his wood with a torch.
If you look closely at the video the smoke just pores out of the firebox when he does this (almost kept me from buying it). I light my stove with kindling stacked on top of those little fire starter bricks (cut in 1/4's) like you can find at Tractor Supply. The firebox is HUGE. With the rear damper open the fire catches like a forge receiving forced air and gets hot quickly. This is by far my favorite feature. To be honest, the stove will smoke some if you open the firebox door before the wood is caught, but what stove doesn't do that?
As far as cooking and baking goes, I am glad I purchased the porcelain top. It fits tight and there is no smoke. I also like the fact that when it comes to cleaning out the top of the stove I will have easy access. I know Heco is making some of these stoves with a solid polished steel surface that even have the round pull outs on the top if you want to use a wok. Again I think this was made possible by the design change. The oven thermometer on the door is useless. There is a 100-150 degree difference in what the thermometer reads and the actual temperature. Keep that in might before you bake that first batch of brownies. That said, I love the oven (slow cooked pot roast...yum).
I haven't had the stove long enough to worry about having to clean it, however, with the clean outs in the front and the removable top, it will be a cinch.
A couple of other things. We bought the glass firebox door. It stays relatively clean. We just keep the top air intake open all the time. The control for this is located on the left top side (if you are looking at the front).
My one criticism of the stove (you know there had to be at least one) is that it is designed with a shaker grate that allows ashes to sift into the ash pan, BUT, you can't use it if you are burning wood because you are required to put a plate in the bottom of the firebox otherwise the stove burns to hot (think voided warranty). So instead of using the shaker handle, you have to rake the ashes through a cut out in the bottom plate, or just shovel them out. Heco provided us an tool to rake the ashes through the slit in the plate, but I can't help wishing I could just shake them down using the shaker handle.
Like I said in the first paragraph, I love this stove and would without a doubt buy it again. I wanted to give a thorough review of it because, from what I could find, there wasn't much written about it from actually buyers.
P.S. Obadiah's was very professional with lots of questions answered and updates on delivery. Don't hesitate in buying from them.
* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004