Choosing a stove to replace my Vermont Castings Dutch West

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chefinstefan

New Member
Oct 31, 2020
6
Colorado
Hello Hearth.com Community! Thanks in advance for your help! We've lived in our home for 2 years. The wood stove is my first experience primary heating with a wood stove. I love the concept, and our alternative is baseboard heat which is expensive. That said, the large cast iron stove is not very efficient. The baffles have deteriorated in the back of the stove, and it doesn't burn as long as it did when I first moved in, or near as well as I'm sure the new models have. My friend installed a choke/valve on the chimney, and that helps a little bit, choking the fire down, but I still go through insane amounts of wood, and I feel that the stove should be able to heat for longer and more efficiently (overnight 10-12+ hours) or all day while we're away at work.

I did some research online, and found the Lopi Endeavor looked like an awesome replacement. It has next gen, which is a much more efficient system, and is not catalytic, but seems that it gets much of the same results through burning the gases thoroughly, resulting in a longer/cleaner/more efficient burn. When I called the dealer, he explained that for primary heat, I should look into cast iron/soap stone and stay away from Stainless Steel. He recommended a Hearthstone Manchester for our square footage (1900 sq ft - single level home) and use. I like the idea of using 20"+ logs, as that is what I have cut and have ready for this season. I don't like that this stove is $1600 more than the Lopi I was looking into, and upon looking further, the Hearthstone appears to have issues with the loading/side door. I'm not sure if this has been addressed, but I found several reviews online from customers who were unhappy with their purchase for this reason.

I have another friend who recommended a Quadra Fire, which seems similar to a Lopi, it's a modern, EPA friendly Stainless design. I have also heard good things about Napoleon, but it seems they have greatly reduced their line to 1 or 2 stoves. I will need legs on my stove, as it will sit on a rock enclave in the middle of our great room, so it's not a consistent/flat surface. I also saw some reviews on these Forums, recommending Blaze King, again a Stainless manufacturer.

Seems that many companies have started making Stainless, and that from their messaging, the advanced technologies result in a great burn time, great amount of even heating and very efficient appliances. I am hoping for some advice from someone who knows more than me, and is not trying to sell me a stove over another based on price. Can someone who has lots of experience please be kind enough to help us get the right stove for our home?

Budget - 2-3k (preferably lower end) - I can go over this, for the right appliance that is going to save us energy and time harvesting wood, but ideally would like to spend less $

Stoves we're interested in:
- Lopi Endeavor - $2k
- Heartstone Manchester - $3500 (Sales person recommended this stove)
- Quadra Fire - King or Princess - Haven't gotten quotes on these yet, but they seem similar to the Lopi
- Vermont Castings Encore or Defiant - $3200 - $3600

Or do you recommend something else, and why? Woodstock stoves?
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
Welcome. Sounds like you may be experiencing information overload. You are mixing up terms and brands. The Princess and King are Blaze King stoves, not Quadrafire. They sell in the $2800-3800 range. What do you mean by a stainless stove? Do you mean a welded steel stove?

Describe the house. How large is it? Is the floorplan open or closed off?One or two story? High ceilings? Insulation good or not so good?
 
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chefinstefan

New Member
Oct 31, 2020
6
Colorado
Welcome. Sounds like you may be experiencing information overload. You are mixing up terms and brands. The Princess and King are Blaze King stoves, not Quadrafire. They sell in the $2800-3800 range. What do you mean by a stainless stove? Do you mean a welded steel stove?

Describe the house. How large is it? Is the floorplan open or closed off?One or two story? High ceilings? Insulation good or not so good?
Hi Begreen - Yes information overload. The home is a single level log home, about 2000 square feet, and it's all log, so generally really well insulated. We try to use the stove as primary heat source, with baseboard heat throughout the house on programed thermostats for baseline. The stove is right in the middle of the main room, that is the living area, kitchen and dining area - so most of the house is all surrounding the stove, and the ceiling in this area is a large vaulted ceiling. We live in the mountains in CO, and it gets very cold here. For the last two seasons, I've gone through 5-7ish cords of wood per season, and all the work that I have to put into wood, I want to get something that is more efficient so I don't burn through as much.

I called a highly rated store in Evergreen CO, and the guy recommended the Hearthstone Manchester, based on that it is cast iron, and would retain and radiate far longer than a steel stove (Lopi/Quadra Fire/etc.). It's quite a bit more expensive than the Lopi Endeavor that I was calling to ask about. I definitely respect the advice, just wanted to look into it further before I spend close to 4k. Online, I saw that many people are having issues with the side door on that stove. I looked into the newer Vermont Castings, and they are all beautiful, but mostly all cast iron, no soapstone, and again all getting up there in price by the time you get to the ones that would be ideal for my sq ft.

Since I posted this thread, I looked at some of the other stoves that people are talking about on this site. The Woodstock Ideal Steel Hybrid includes soapstone throughout the interior, as well as two large panels on the outside. Seems like a great company and a good deal of a stove, but again - I'm here asking for recommendations.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
You are on the right track. The Endeavor would work for this situation, but I would lean toward a 3 cu ft stove. The Manchester is beautiful and a good radiant heater. If you are used to the heat of the VC Dutchwest, this will be similar. The Ideal Steel has a good track record and is worthy of consideration if the steampunk look is not offputting. Woodstock makes good stoves. A few other stoves to consider are the Pacific Energy Summit Classic, the Jotul F55, Quadrafire 5700 and perhaps the Hearthstone Green Mountain GM80. On the budget end there is the Drolet Legend III which is a good performer and value.
 
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chefinstefan

New Member
Oct 31, 2020
6
Colorado
You are on the right track. The Endeavor would work for this situation, but I would lean toward a 3 cu ft stove. The Manchester is beautiful and a good radiant heater. If you are used to the heat of the VC Dutchwest, this will be similar. The Ideal Steel has a good track record and is worthy of consideration if the steampunk look is not offputting. Woodstock makes good stoves. A few other stoves to consider are the Pacific Energy Summit Classic, the Jotul F55, Quadrafire 5700 and perhaps the Hearthstone Green Mountain GM80. On the budget end there is the Drolet Legend III which is a good performer and value.
I think I'm going to go with the Quadrafire 5700. Looks like a work horse, and even though there is no soapstone, the technology will make the burn and the heating super efficient. Now just to find the best local quote.

Any idea if my Vermont Castings Dutchwest may be worth anything? Should I try to sell on Craigslist or scrap?

Thanks for your help!
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,266
Southern IN
Pacific Energy Summit Classic
I'm impressed by the engineering and quality of the T5 I got my SIL, a couple years back.
When I last talked to my sister, she was going to check out a used stove for her shop. I found out a couple days ago that she bought a new Summit instead. I said "That was an incredibly good move, for someone who knows nothing about stoves." ;lol
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
Any idea if my Vermont Castings Dutchwest may be worth anything? Should I try to sell on Craigslist or scrap?
You could offer it for parts or a rebuild for around $150.
 
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chefinstefan

New Member
Oct 31, 2020
6
Colorado
I’m replacing the old stove with the hearthstone Manchester. Is this as easy as swapping out the stoves, or should I be doing something besides a chimney sweep?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,475
South Puget Sound, WA
If the clearances are good and hearth size and insulation requirements are met then yes, it can be a simple swap, especially if the stove pipe has a telescoping section.
 

WoodBurnerInWI

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2020
264
Madison, WI
I would certainly check out some of the Woodstock stoves that would work for your square footage. I am currently using their Ideal Steel wood stove (rated for heating up to 2,200 sq ft), which materials wise is made from a combo of steel and soapstone. Think of it as a simple steel stove but with large soapstone blocks on the sides (and optional for the interior of the firebox to be lined with soapstone bricks). Burn wise, several Woodstock models including the Ideal Steel use a hybrid method of burning, which simply means it contains both a catalyst as well as secondary combustion. This allows the stove to burn smoke at all stages of the burn. Burn times on these stoves from Woodstock is easily 12 hrs depending on wood type. Price wise, their stove prices sadly but not too surprisingly have risen due to the pandemic and supplier issues but they still have frequent sales and you could probably get their stoves into your price range. Another thing I'll mention about Woodstock is they don't use dealers, you buy directly from them and as such, your stove will be shipped via a freight carrier and you will be responsible for picking it up and getting it to your house. At that point however, a local stove shop should be able to install it for you.

I would also recommend checking out Woodstock's other large stove, the Progress Hybrid.