Fisher Mama Bear Wood Stove?

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Hexa Fox

Member
Sep 19, 2023
180
West Virginia
Hey guys,

This community has been infinitely helpful so far in helping me make informed decisions. I was hoping it could continue to do so, even though I am looking at other options. I need to solve two problems this year. My chimney is starting to show wear but this community and I concluded that installing a liner would resolve my issue, at least for the time being. The second problem is that I need a new wood stove. The one I have now has been overfired and leaking air and probably all kinds of other pollution into my home. So I was looking at catalyst stoves and I meet the bare minimum requirement for chimney run.

To make a long story short, I may concentrate on getting the liner for my chimney and just compromising on a wood stove this season. So I found what looks like a really nice refurbished Fisher Mama Bear Wood Stove close to me. He said it was done "professionally" and that it was actually cured in an oven. It at least looks like it is in very good condition. I was figuring it would solve my problem for the time being and I would have an opportunity to sell it next year if I do not like it. It sure would save me a whole lot of money too.

Anyway I was hoping you guys could tell me more about this stove? Should I stay away from it since it is a refinished/refurbished stove? Were these trust worthy stoves? It may be perfect for my home because my home is roughly 1,500 square feet and that is exactly what this stove is rated for. I have never had to purchase a wood stove before new or used so I was hoping you guys could tell me what to look out for. That is if I should even consider it? He is asking $1,000 for it. This the actual stove.

Fisher 2.jpg Fisher.jpg
 
That’s a beautiful looking stove and the fishers were great stoves during their time but for $1000 I would save a few more dollarydoos and buy a brand new non catalytic stove that would be far more efficient.
 
Hey guys,

This community has been infinitely helpful so far in helping me make informed decisions. I was hoping it could continue to do so, even though I am looking at other options. I need to solve two problems this year. My chimney is starting to show wear but this community and I concluded that installing a liner would resolve my issue, at least for the time being. The second problem is that I need a new wood stove. The one I have now has been overfired and leaking air and probably all kinds of other pollution into my home. So I was looking at catalyst stoves and I meet the bare minimum requirement for chimney run.

To make a long story short, I may concentrate on getting the liner for my chimney and just compromising on a wood stove this season. So I found what looks like a really nice refurbished Fisher Mama Bear Wood Stove close to me. He said it was done "professionally" and that it was actually cured in an oven. It at least looks like it is in very good condition. I was figuring it would solve my problem for the time being and I would have an opportunity to sell it next year if I do not like it. It sure would save me a whole lot of money too.

Anyway I was hoping you guys could tell me more about this stove? Should I stay away from it since it is a refinished/refurbished stove? Were these trust worthy stoves? It may be perfect for my home because my home is roughly 1,500 square feet and that is exactly what this stove is rated for. I have never had to purchase a wood stove before new or used so I was hoping you guys could tell me what to look out for. That is if I should even consider it? He is asking $1,000 for it. This the actual stove.

View attachment 315921 View attachment 315922
No way would I pay 1000 for an old stove like that. If your going that route find one for a few hundred bucks
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hexa Fox
That’s a beautiful looking stove and the fishers were great stoves during their time but for $1000 I would save a few more dollarydoos and buy a brand new non catalytic stove that would be far more efficient.
No way would I pay 1000 for an old stove like that. If your going that route find one for a few hundred bucks

So I also misread the post. I looked at it several days ago. It is not $1,000 it is $1,400. I'm sure you know this but all the fisher stoves are very expensive. I'm not opposed to it after considering a stove that would have run me $4-$5k. The difference is welcome. I would be open to you guys telling me what used brands to buy or what new catalytic stoves to look at.
 
Okay so two questions. Are there any problems with buying refurbished wood stoves? He said this one was painted with Cerakote V-169 and oven cured at 500 degrees. The paint also looks better than some other stoves that have clearly been painted with a rattle can.

Next up is my configuration with this stove is probably going to require two 90 degree elbows to go into my crock, is that going to cause me draft issues with this stove?
 
So I also misread the post. I looked at it several days ago. It is not $1,000 it is $1,400. I'm sure you know this but all the fisher stoves are very expensive. I'm not opposed to it after considering a stove that would have run me $4-$5k. The difference is welcome. I would be open to you guys telling me what used brands to buy or what new catalytic stoves to look at.
As pointed out in other threads, you don't have to spend $4-5K to get a good stove. The Ideal Steel is half that price. There are good Drolets around $1600. The problem with making this a one-time, must-be-right decision is that it's causing analysis paralysis. We (nor you) can not tell how much you are going to like burning wood or what is going to percolate up as the most desirable characteristics or whether you will get tired of shlepping wood into a basement. You may find that having a nice fire view is the most important thing. You may not like maintaining a catalyst or could be fine with it. For some, this knowledge only comes after trying out a stove for a while.

Going from a state of the art catalytic stove to 1970's technology is a really big leap. It's the opposite of the spectrum. For sure it will burn more wood, but if the aesthetic appeal is more your liking, then perhaps this is your focus?
 
I just bought a fisher to heat my pole barn for $300 and all it needed was paint. The stove I run in my house is an englander 32nc bought for $1200 last year. Another contender would be a Drolet.
 
So I also misread the post. I looked at it several days ago. It is not $1,000 it is $1,400. I'm sure you know this but all the fisher stoves are very expensive. I'm not opposed to it after considering a stove that would have run me $4-$5k. The difference is welcome. I would be open to you guys telling me what used brands to buy or what new catalytic stoves to look at.
Fisher stoves can be ridiculously expensive yes but they can also be found for 500 or less. There is no way I would even pay 500 for an old stove like that.
 
As pointed out in other threads, you don't have to spend $4-5K to get a good stove. The Ideal Steel is half that price. There are good Drolets around $1600. The problem with making this a one-time, must-be-right decision is that it's causing analysis paralysis. We (nor you) can not tell how much you are going to like burning wood or what is going to percolate up as the most desirable characteristics or whether you will get tired of shlepping wood into a basement. You may find that having a nice fire view is the most important thing. You may not like maintaining a catalyst or could be fine with it. For some, this knowledge only comes after trying out a stove for a while.

Going from a state of the art catalytic stove to 1970's technology is a really big leap. It's the opposite of the spectrum. For sure it will burn more wood, but if the aesthetic appeal is more your liking, then perhaps this is your focus?
I thought you would have gauged by now I know no clue what I want lol. So the catalytic stoves were extremely appealing because I am alone now, so waking up to the house still being warm and only having to load the stove in the morning is a enormous advantage in my opinion. It is the literal definition of the word convenient. When I was living with my father we both worked different shifts so keeping the stove going all the time was a chore but we managed it. It was always nice waking up to at least a semi-warm home, especially in constant below freezing weather. Having that said, I have called them all and talked with them. Blaze King has been the most helpful. In pointing out that I am at the bare minimum for the requirements and that other similar setups have caused problems. They obviously told me there is no way to know for sure, just that problems very well could occur with their stoves. The honesty is obviously bittersweet but it really says something about them. Woodstock Soapstone has told me the same thing.

Moving on, I have been feeding this old Huntsman and I am figuring with all the air it is leaking whatever I move to will be more 'efficient' right from the start. I realize waking up to hot coals with this specific stove (Fisher) is probably less likely, especially when compared to a catalytic stove but I can remain hopeful. So I guess I have been "feeding the beast" for many years for lack of a better phrase with this Huntsman. I have learned a lot about catalytic stoves and I have this community to thank for that. One of those things is even if the stove doesn't back flow into the room horribly I may have to keep the air turned up to combat it going out even with perfectly seasoned wood. Many have agreed that can defeat the added advantages that a catalytic stove offers.

Plus as we were just discussing, this is infinitely cheaper and for that reason is a much more "flexible" route right now. If I get it and hate it I can probably sell it for at least close to what I paid for it and go a different route. Just my thoughts.
 
I thought you would have gauged by now I know no clue what I want lol. So the catalytic stoves were extremely appealing because I am alone now, so waking up to the house still being warm and only having to load the stove in the morning is a enormous advantage in my opinion. It is the literal definition of the word convenient. When I was living with my father we both worked different shifts so keeping the stove going all the time was a chore but we managed it. It was always nice waking up to at least a semi-warm home, especially in constant below freezing weather. Having that said, I have called them all and talked with them. Blaze King has been the most helpful. In pointing out that I am at the bare minimum for the requirements and that other similar setups have caused problems. They obviously told me there is no way to know for sure, just that problems very well could occur with their stoves. The honesty is obviously bittersweet but it really says something about them. Woodstock Soapstone has told me the same thing.

Moving on, I have been feeding this old Huntsman and I am figuring with all the air it is leaking whatever I move to will be more 'efficient' right from the start. I realize waking up to hot coals with this specific stove (Fisher) is probably less likely, especially when compared to a catalytic stove but I can remain hopeful. So I guess I have been "feeding the beast" for many years for lack of a better phrase with this Huntsman. I have learned a lot about catalytic stoves and I have this community to thank for that. One of those things is even if the stove doesn't back flow into the room horribly I may have to keep the air turned up to combat it going out even with perfectly seasoned wood. Many have agreed that can defeat the added advantages that a catalytic stove offers.

Plus as we were just discussing, this is infinitely cheaper and for that reason is a much more "flexible" route right now. If I get it and hate it I can probably sell it for at least close to what I paid for it and go a different route. Just my thoughts.
You don't need a cat stove to burn overnight at all most good medium or large non cats will easily burn for 8 hours. Which is all I get out of the Princess during the cold months of winter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hexa Fox
You don't need a cat stove to burn overnight at all most good medium or large non cats will easily burn for 8 hours. Which is all I get out of the Princess during the cold months of winter.
Do you believe this Fisher Mama Bear is potentially one of those stoves that could achieve that?
 
Do you believe this Fisher Mama Bear is potentially one of those stoves that could achieve that?
Yes it could but in the process it will put lots of creosote in the chimney and go through lots of wood compared to a modern non cat. I was referring to more modern non cat stoves.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hexa Fox
FWIW, we never wake up to a cold house when our non-cat stove is running. And I don't get up in the middle of the night to feed it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hexa Fox
Plus as we were just discussing, this is infinitely cheaper and for that reason is a much more "flexible" route right now. If I get it and hate it I can probably sell it for at least close to what I paid for it and go a different route. Just my thoughts.
I'm confused. That was put down emphatically as not an option in the other thread.

If that is the new option, then get a Drolet, try it out for a season, and then decide if it is one to keep or to upgrade.
 
The fisher will put out tons of heat, and can hold a ridiculous amount of wood to do so and get you overnight burns. It will also go through an absolutely ridiculous amount of wood compared to a modern non catalytic stove to do so.

I have a similar house setup to yours, with my first floor being half underground which is where my stove is located. I’m not sure how high your chimney was stated to be, I think you said 12? I would definitely get it lengthened to at least 15’ minimum. Anyway, my Englander 32nc has no problem heating my 1600 sqft house to 75 and maintaining coals when I wake up and when I get home from work. The key is you MUST have seasoned wood or it will be very finicky to run.

The old fishers command a high price because of how good a stove they were back in the day. Please, please do not spend $1400 on that stove when you can have a brand new modern stove for less.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hexa Fox
No glass door = NO Go.
You will definitely want to see the fire. 100% pass on the fisher.
Keep looking. Used jotul f400, used jotul f500 and many other options are what you should be looking at, if u don't want the drolet or the other inexpensive new options
Glass door and secondary combustors are a must. (if you don't go with catalitic.)
 
No one mentioned this stove is not UL Listed.

That is a requirement for a new installation in states that have adopted the International Building Code. Your state adopted the 2015 version. Many install unlisted stoves and claim they were existing, hence the used stove market. Many insurance companies require UL Listing even when existing in older installations. A non UL Listed stove should only be selling for a premium if antique or exceptionally rare.

A UL Listed Fisher with glass that you could add your own secondary tubes should be half that price.
 
  • Like
Reactions: weee123
The fisher will put out tons of heat, and can hold a ridiculous amount of wood to do so and get you overnight burns. It will also go through an absolutely ridiculous amount of wood compared to a modern non catalytic stove to do so.

I have a similar house setup to yours, with my first floor being half underground which is where my stove is located. I’m not sure how high your chimney was stated to be, I think you said 12? I would definitely get it lengthened to at least 15’ minimum. Anyway, my Englander 32nc has no problem heating my 1600 sqft house to 75 and maintaining coals when I wake up and when I get home from work. The key is you MUST have seasoned wood or it will be very finicky to run.

The old fishers command a high price because of how good a stove they were back in the day. Please, please do not spend $1400 on that stove when you can have a brand new modern stove for less.
I was going to see if he would negotiate on the price. It would have been a lot better if he would have been asking $1,000 because one could have probably negotiated it to $700-$800 and that would have been fine with me so solve my issue this year. So my chimney from the thimble up is approximately 17'.

I noticed there looks like there is a lot of vertical space in these wood stoves. I would probably not stuff it full at night unless I absolutely knew it wasn't going to over fire the stove. That is what I believe happened to the one I am looking to get rid of now. If we were around at the same time and on a similar schedule he would always stuff it completely full of wood before going to bed.
No glass door = NO Go.
You will definitely want to see the fire. 100% pass on the fisher.
Keep looking. Used jotul f400, used jotul f500 and many other options are what you should be looking at, if u don't want the drolet or the other inexpensive new options
Glass door and secondary combustors are a must. (if you don't go with catalitic.)
This is not a deal breaker for me at the moment. I have never seen the stove we have now with the glass insert. I cannot remember if it cracked or got stained with creosote really bad or what. That is one of the flaws of this stove too. As the door get getting more and more loose and at least one of the mechanisms that helps hold it into place is broken. So it has too many issues to try and solve.

I cannot remember if I posted this but I got an estimate from a highly recommended guy in my area. He was very knowledgeable but I just didn't like his plan. He wants to do heavy modification to the crown, chimney flue and the crock/thimble. I understand getting the crown addressed but the rest of the stuff is neither in my budget nor what I want. He wants to put in a round liner and fill around it with insulation. That leaves about 3/8" or so between two sides of that round liner for insulation.

So with all the modifications I just spoke about, installing a Regency 3500 and the liner he quoted me $9,700. So I am not going that route.
 
I was going to see if he would negotiate on the price. It would have been a lot better if he would have been asking $1,000 because one could have probably negotiated it to $700-$800 and that would have been fine with me so solve my issue this year. So my chimney from the thimble up is approximately 17'.

I noticed there looks like there is a lot of vertical space in these wood stoves. I would probably not stuff it full at night unless I absolutely knew it wasn't going to over fire the stove. That is what I believe happened to the one I am looking to get rid of now. If we were around at the same time and on a similar schedule he would always stuff it completely full of wood before going to bed.

This is not a deal breaker for me at the moment. I have never seen the stove we have now with the glass insert. I cannot remember if it cracked or got stained with creosote really bad or what. That is one of the flaws of this stove too. As the door get getting more and more loose and at least one of the mechanisms that helps hold it into place is broken. So it has too many issues to try and solve.

I cannot remember if I posted this but I got an estimate from a highly recommended guy in my area. He was very knowledgeable but I just didn't like his plan. He wants to do heavy modification to the crown, chimney flue and the crock/thimble. I understand getting the crown addressed but the rest of the stuff is neither in my budget nor what I want. He wants to put in a round liner and fill around it with insulation. That leaves about 3/8" or so between two sides of that round liner for insulation.

So with all the modifications I just spoke about, installing a Regency 3500 and the liner he quoted me $9,700. So I am not going that route.
Don’t waste your money on this stove, just go buy a new one like the other people are saying, epa wood stoves will save you money,, and wood. Ans you be good for a lifetime if you take care of it. Say you buy this stove on this guy you fire it up to find out it has crack seems you’re going to be mad
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hexa Fox
I was going to see if he would negotiate on the price. It would have been a lot better if he would have been asking $1,000 because one could have probably negotiated it to $700-$800 and that would have been fine with me so solve my issue this year. So my chimney from the thimble up is approximately 17'.

I noticed there looks like there is a lot of vertical space in these wood stoves. I would probably not stuff it full at night unless I absolutely knew it wasn't going to over fire the stove. That is what I believe happened to the one I am looking to get rid of now. If we were around at the same time and on a similar schedule he would always stuff it completely full of wood before going to bed.

This is not a deal breaker for me at the moment. I have never seen the stove we have now with the glass insert. I cannot remember if it cracked or got stained with creosote really bad or what. That is one of the flaws of this stove too. As the door get getting more and more loose and at least one of the mechanisms that helps hold it into place is broken. So it has too many issues to try and solve.

I cannot remember if I posted this but I got an estimate from a highly recommended guy in my area. He was very knowledgeable but I just didn't like his plan. He wants to do heavy modification to the crown, chimney flue and the crock/thimble. I understand getting the crown addressed but the rest of the stuff is neither in my budget nor what I want. He wants to put in a round liner and fill around it with insulation. That leaves about 3/8" or so between two sides of that round liner for insulation.

So with all the modifications I just spoke about, installing a Regency 3500 and the liner he quoted me $9,700. So I am not going that route.
His chimney plan sounds like what needs to be done first. You will need a insulated liner if the chimney does not meet the minimum clearances for any stove..
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hexa Fox
His chimney plan sounds like what needs to be done first. You will need a insulated liner if the chimney does not meet the minimum clearances for any stove..
A 17' chimney does not meet minimum clearances? I am hoping to get the liner to extend a little ways above the chimney to get just a little extra but I am definitely not doing anything major.
 
A 17' chimney does not meet minimum clearances? I am hoping to get the liner to extend a little ways above the chimney to get just a little extra but I am definitely not doing anything major.
Yes 17' does. The chimney itself doesn't have proper clearances which is why proper insulation is required
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hexa Fox
A 17' chimney does not meet minimum clearances? I am hoping to get the liner to extend a little ways above the chimney to get just a little extra but I am definitely not doing anything major.
The clearances are not the same as the required height. The clearance is safety requirement, the height is a draft requirement.
An interior chimney requires the chimney have at least 2" clearance from all combustible up through the roof. An exterior chimney requires 1" clearance. In addition to these requirements, there is a performance benefit to an insulated chimney liner. It will provide a stronger draft and a cleaner flue system, assuming a clean burning stove run properly with dry firewood.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hexa Fox
As others have said 32NC or Drolet would be good options that don't break the bank. I have the 30NC which is the older model of the 32NC and it heats my house just fine (2200 square feet) in the winter here in New Hampshire. The only time it needs help from the oil burner is if temps are down in the teens for a long time. Always plenty of coals to start a new fire in the morning if I load it up at night at like 9pm. It is a tube stove, no catalyst to deal with, very simple to run. The old Fishers are great, simple and tough, but do go through a ton of wood and do not burn nearly as cleanly. The clearances are also a problem for many. It's been a while since I read the old Fisher manuals but I believe it's 36"? Wanted to put an older Fisher in a camp in Maine for occasional fires in the winter but the clearances made it a no-go. Plus that's waaaay too much money for an old smoke dragon like that. If you want that kind of stove, you can find one in need of paint and bricks for a few hundred bucks. Several companies produced similar stoves to the Fisher during that time period: Warner, Nashua, Old Mill, All Nighter... They are all solid, dirty, inefficient burners but throw tons of heat.