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Review of Jotul --- Black Bear -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - into masonry chimney
Date Reviewed: 2006-02-04 21:54:08

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): | House Size (Sq feet): 935
Bought in 2005 , Price Paid: l.300
Location : , IL , united States
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Alton stove and fireplace

Likes: Its an interesting looking stove if you want something other than the usual fireplace type. Pretty well constructed. Cigar type burn to a degree, the EPA air system interfers with that to some degree. Once its going and has coals it will relight in very short time. Once set the fire is very dependable. The flashfire feature is great, relights extremely fast when its in use. Only EPA stove that allows for shutting off the secondary air. I found it to burn wood for up to four hours on ocassion, with lots of coals after 6-7 hours overnight. But in the coal stage your not getting much heat. Plan on adding wood about every two to three hours in cold weather. You'll have to burn down the coals with a small piece or two of wood in order to get more wood in.

Dislikes: The rated output would not heat my home sufficently in weather below 30. Coals though handy, make adding wood very difficult. firebox is small to start and the EPA baffels make it even shorter, particulary in the rear. Couple of times I added a log which caught fire, then it wouldn't clear the rear baffel. Inside is only about 11 inches which makes for very small wood. Holds one medium size piece surrounded by two or three smaller ones. The primary air control is so tiny you can hardly see it and it gets red hot in use. Push it with a stick or something. It was my first stove without an ash pan and I found it impossible to keep ashes off the furniture even with daily dusting. Thats from empting it into a covered bucket once a day with a shovel.

Comments: Purchased stove because I liked the look. Dealers all said it would heat my size home. But the rated output didn't hold up in cold weather. I have had to replace it after two months. If I had a room or was using it for extra heat I would have loved it. But as an only heat source I wouldn't recommend it unless your extremely well insulated, or have a very small home or cabin. Every stove seems to have its good and bad. I replaced it with a larger stove of a different brand. It heats well. But I miss some of the things about it. Too bad the design didn't work for my application. I called Jotul about the problems I was encountering and they were very polite, but that didn't solve the issue.

* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004