If you could "test drive" 3 different stoves, what would they be and why?

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
264
California redwood coast
Reading about all the different and interesting stoves out there, I can't help but to wish I could "test drive" other stoves. So I tease myself and wonder what stove, I'd like to try. ( Too bad stoves aren't easier (and cheaper) to swap, as you could just keep your quiver of stoves in the garage and switch them out every winter. )

Given that I have a T5 (non-cat), here's my list and reasons, although not in any particular order.

(1) MF Fire Catalyst: It'd let me try out a cat stove and and explore how high tech and stoves can work together.
(2) T5 LE (epa 2020): I'd like to see if the EBT2 makes much of a difference on the T5 and contrast my pre-epa2020 to its epa2020 equivalent.
(3) BK Ashford 30: You hear so much about the BK's, I can't help to wonder how that long slow burn would fit into my lifestyle, house, and climate.

If I had a 4th choice, it'd be a hybrid stove. Perhaps a WS Absolute Steel or a Kuma. I'm unsure, however, if they differ much from a regular cat stove, but that's another conversation.
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,784
South Jersey
All depends on house size, location, insulation etc.
My top 3: Buck 91, Regency F5200, BK Ultra.
 
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blacktail

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2011
1,413
Western WA
1. Lopi 1750. It's the bigger version of my 1250. Easier NS loading than what I have.
2. PE Super. Due to its reputation for good burn times while not being a huge stove. Also NS friendly.
3. Maybe a Kuma Alpine. They're not the most common brand but have a good reputation.
All would be inserts and pre-2020.
 
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Geoff C

Member
Oct 29, 2011
71
PA
The new hybrid Hearthstone Mansfield.

Woodstock Ideal Steel

Any Blaze King but they don’t have any rear flue so I couldn’t actually run any of them
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
539
SW Missoura
1. Blaze king ashford or sirrocco 30 series for the burn times obviously. I intend on getting one or the other eventually.

2. Buck 91 even tho its way too big. Just like to see what it could do.

3. Any woodstock or kuma. Maybe the ideal steel.
 
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sprawlnstall

Member
Jan 15, 2018
119
Minnesota
J.A. Roby Ultimate- How much heat can this beast really put out?

Fischer Grandpa Bear- How much wood can this smoke dragon consume?

Quad Adventure III- The electronic heat setting would be interesting.
 
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Gearhead660

Member
Dec 20, 2018
220
WI
Any BK stove. Hear so many good things.
Ideal Steel. Was on my list when I was looking for a new stove recently.
Jotul has some good looking stoves, would like to see how they perform.

Anyone know if they is anything like a "woodstove expo"? Would be cool to have something like that where manufacturers could all get together with their products and let people see and actually run their stoves.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,024
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Stoves:

Woodstock IS.
A 30 box BK to see if it would work on my 12' stack. Ashfords look best but gasket problems.
T5 or T6 from PE just in case catalyst elements start getting to be too expensive or if I had a nice furnace installed and became a part time burner.

Pellets:

One of those harmans. Pellets are cheap here and work well in our mild climate.

Furnace for the shop:

The biggest drolet wood furnace (Heatpro, heatmax, ehatever they call it at almost 5 cf)
Windhager pellet boiler for my infloor radiant heat.
Maybe a kuuma furnace but they are sooo expensive and no window.
 

UrbanBrnr

New Member
Nov 25, 2019
31
Milwaukee WI
1. Lopi 1750. It's the bigger version of my 1250. Easier NS loading than what I have.
2. PE Super. Due to its reputation for good burn times while not being a huge stove. Also NS friendly.
3. Maybe a Kuma Alpine. They're not the most common brand but have a good reputation.
All would be inserts and pre-2020.
The PE Super LE says it has EBT Extended Burn Time. Does anyone own one? Is that just marketing hype? Efficiency is only 71.3 % with 1.8 g/hr.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
Anyone know if they is anything like a "woodstove expo"? Would be cool to have something like that where manufacturers could all get together with their products and let people see and actually run their stoves
The annual HPBA show is as close as one gets. Not all stoves will be burning though, and a lot of the show is BBQ and patio stuff like pizza ovens. It's normally open just to the trade, so you may need a friend in the stove biz to invite you.
 

EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
302
SE North Carolina
Oslo V3. I’d like to see the cat in action and see what it would do vs my Castine.

PE Summit LE insertI’d like to how a big insert performs.

and a BK Princess insert. Is it that good? I’d like to find out.

evan
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,640
Ottawa, ON
Any catalytic coal stove
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
We're pretty happy with what we have but I've always wanted to run an Isle Royale for awhile. It was my choice before we got the T6. Unfortunately, it would be a challenge for clearances in our present stove location. For entertainment, it would be fun to heat with a Wittus-Twin Fire. Hwam makes some interesting stoves too. Their smart control tech is pretty good.
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
264
California redwood coast
Besides Jotul, I didn't even think of European stoves. Lots I haven't heard of. Reading posts about the auber thermometers and people loving their BK thermostats, I'd think there's an unawaken market for high tech stoves.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,146
Fairbanks, Alaska
This is a good thread idea!

Item zero for me would be a BK Princess. No test drive required, do want.

My Ashford 30.0 is just a little on the small side for my needs. OTOH we haven't seen daytime highs above -20dF for a couple weeks now, looking for -55 with wind chill tonight. We are running spruce with 18MBTU per cord at about 2/3 swoosh with the deck fans on about medium and loading three times daily. If the BK King is the battleship and the Princess is the heavy cruiser the A 30, besides long low slow burn times, is a light or heavy cruiser not to be confused with a destroyer The A30 is a big stove and mine is more than happy to run at over half throttle for weeks and weeks. She got big guns just like the Princess, just a smaller fuel tank.

i would like to test drive a BK King. An upgraded chimney would set me back about $6k installed and my wife would probably divorce me over the aesthetics, but I would love to load the stove in shoulder season and come back like three days later to reload. I would never again worry about no -55dF windchill again either.

I am itching to play with a Boxer 24. I was kinda sorta gently working on Chris to let me beta test one. I think I could handle the learning curve pretty quick, though shoveling the ashes out since there is no drain plug would have me dusting the living room right regular. I suppose Chris crossed me off the beta list since my wife wasn't on board.

Englander NC 30. If we have a big disaster up here I am going straight to Lowes-Depot for an Englander NC -30 while my neighbors are at the gas stations using a bicycle to get gas for their generators. I got 40 gallons of stabilized gas in my garden shed and the pipe I would need to hook an NC30 up to my boiler's chimney already in the garage. That stove is head and shoulders above everything else in its price range year after year. I am not in a hurry to have a big natural disaster up here, but I would like to run one of those some day.

Bonus item: VC Defiant. Looks stunning during the summer time with whore house red enamel on it.
 
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RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,060
Whitmore lake, MI
1: Ashford 30
2: enviro Boston
3: PE T5
 

charger4406

Burning Hunk
Dec 25, 2011
237
southern Quebec
1: WS Progress Hybrid
2: PE T6
3: Regency F5200
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,052
Unity/Bangor, Maine
1. Woodstock Progress Hybrid: I like the look and would be intrigued to see how it does on wood consumption compared to my existing stove. It's really been the only stove that "turned my head" in the past 12 years, but my Oslo has been quite good and so I remain faithful to her.

2. Blaze King Ashford 30: Many of the older BK stoves looked quite ugly in my opinion, but had great stats in terms of BTU and heat. The Ashford looks pretty decent and gas the good stats. If I was ever to get on the BK band wagon it would most likely be with an Ashford.

3. Tie: Jotul Oslo version 3 to see how well (or not well) it performs against my version of the Oslo . . . or the F600 for those handful of times in the winter when I wish I had just a dite more heat.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
The annual HPBA show is as close as one gets. Not all stoves will be burning though, and a lot of the show is BBQ and patio stuff like pizza ovens. It's normally open just to the trade, so you may need a friend in the stove biz to invite you.
BeGreen is correct. Hardly any of us mfg's burn outdoor at the annual Expo. We are permitted to burn gas products indoors, as we did last week in the Las Vegas at the IBS Expo. Some of the industry affiliate events have some burning, but usually it's grills just like Expo.

Stop by Walla Walla, we have plenty of wood units burning!
 
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buc74

Member
Oct 16, 2012
81
Fort Atkinson, WI
We have a PE Summit in our current home, a Buck 74 at our place upnort, and ran Napoleon 1400 in our previous home.
All great heaters for us. I'd likely want to try a Cat stove next, a Kuma would be my first choice and then the BlazeKing. Just to see what these stove are about.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,048
Southern IN
2. Buck 91 even tho its way too big. Just like to see what it could do.
One thing it can do when it's crankin' is burn your hand in about two seconds, if you hold it in front of the top blower vent, where the cat is. The side vents are blowing some pretty good heat, too.
I had mine at my MIL's house, stove in the solarium at one end of the layout, glass on three walls, the long wall of glass had aluminum storms. Rest of the house on that floor had 9.5' ceilings and clapboard siding with no wall insulation. I think it was around 1800 sq.ft. mighta been 2000 with the solarium. She kept two back corner bedroom doors closed most of the time, but one had her washer/dryer, so was open sometimes. The upstairs had only bi-fold doors and a curtain closing it off, so some heat went up there I'm sure.
Anywhooo...I was only running two 12-hr. loads a day over there, but it was still keeping it in the upper 60s. Tossed big heat but with only 3 cu.ft. loadable, I really needed 8-hr. burns to kick that place's arse.
older BK stoves looked quite ugly in my opinion, but had great stats in terms of BTU and heat.
From the BTU/hr numbers I saw, the Mighty Buck will leave any BK on the floor in a molten pool of formerly-rusting steel ==c, even vs. the larger box on the King. The Chinook is the coolest-looking BK, to me.
As an aside, I'm seeing lower BTU/hr. ratings on some of the 2020 versions vs. their 2019s. Not sure if that's from burning the non-cats hotter to attain the 2020 req. but I noticed that the BK 40 King is also lower. There's been some discussion that testing methods have changed, but I'm unclear on the details of that. It'll be interesting to see how the Woodstock straight cats' BTU will test out, whenever they get around to it..

That said, I'd like to burn a BK 30-box to see how much the thermostat would open the air on the coals at the end of the burn. With my Keystone I can choose the amount of air I supply, and I can stir some ash down through the grate and send air to any place in the coal bed that I want, since it feeds a little air up through the grate from the ash pan housing.
I want rear-venting into my fireplace, so the BKs are out as far as a purchase goes.
I'd like to try a Woodstock AS to see how the hybrid works, and to see how long a low burn I could get running low. It is a possibility here but I'd have to get under my low lintel somehow..
I'd also like to try a 2019 Jotul steel box, one of the few steel stoves that rear-vent and would be a possibility for me here.
The PE Super LE says it has EBT Extended Burn Time. Does anyone own one? Is that just marketing hype? Efficiency is only 71.3 % with 1.8 g/hr.
I don't know if they just added the EBT to the Spectrum, over my SIL's 2019 T5 with no EBT, or if they are feeding more primary air as well. That would shorten burn time, but I don't think just the EBT would, and the 2019 is said to burn long for a non-cat.

Soooo...how "urban" of a burner are you in Milw? I met my wife when I lived near N. Pierce St. and Chambers St. for a time..."Riverwest." I burned some other flora there, but no trees for heat. ==c
 

byQ

Minister of Fire
May 12, 2013
517
Idaho
I would like to be in the building process and to test drive these 3 mass-type heaters,

1) German Kachelofen - This masonry heater has a metal firebox surrounded by mass, and has 'brains'. It is used to heat water, and it adjusts itself to burn more effieciently during the burning process(?). How is this wood burning machine doing all of this? How is it all hooked together? I would like to dissect one of these things. How have they integrated electronics into the burning process and water heating process and tied it all together by burning firewood?

2) Austrian built masonry heater. Very different from the German approach. How exactly do they build those hidden air channels in the firebox such that the air flows 360 degrees around the fire? It probably isn't that complex but I've never seen one built. One of the best firewood burners in the world.

3) Cabin Stoves - a small single skin masonry heater with a cook top. This could be a good wood burner in small spaces and in countries where bigger more complex mass heaters are overkill. I would like to see the cook top in action and see how fast this thing cranks out heat, and how much heat?
 
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