Jotul 602 expectations?

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New Member
Dec 27, 2022
Hi All,

I've used a big ol Osburn for decades until the insulation was shot. Bought a VC Dauntless last year, without due research, and I hated it's chronic smoking and super annoying process to get a good fire going. I want to replace it. I'm thinking Jotul 602. While the 602 is a different beast than my old Osburn, my stove usage is changing. I'm moving past my tree cutting and log dragging days, so I'm also using a spiffy mini split. My wood stove goal is to cut down on some of the electricity costs of the mini split and to have reliable heat in a power outage. We live in northeast Maryland, the house is 1080 sq.ft. with only about 800sq.ft. usually heated. The walls are 10" thick and well insulated, so I'm thinking the 602 can do the job. Does that seem reasonable? My main concern is how labor intensive it may be to heat the 800sq.ft. with a 602. We have two double sliding doors facing due south which generates a lot of passive solar heat on sunny days and it is typical to not build a fire until the sun is setting. So most days I'm starting with a cold stove. I'm looking for a stove that, unlike the VC Dauntless, can get up to speed quickly,
The 602 is a great little stove. Sounds like it could be a good fit for you. My 602 CB seems to be an easy breather and comes up to temp fast. It throws a lot of radiant heat for such a small stove and heated my 600 sq ft log cabin with 200 sq ft loft pretty well here in NW Wis. I ended up changed it out for a F45 for longer burns and put the 602 in my work shop.
Second that is a great little stove. We had one of them in an attached 4 season sunroom in a previous house and it really put out the heat for such a small stove.
How is your draft? I love my 602, it works very well for me, but with only 13.5 ft total flu height, the stove would appreciate a few extra feet to improve draft, most especially during cold starts and during the shoulder season. If your issues with the VC had anything to do with chimney set up then that will factor in regardless of what stove you choose. For the heating demand you are describing though it sounds to me like the 602 could handle it.
The chimney is over 14'. I'd have to drag a ladder up to the deck to get an exact measurement, Both the dealer and my chimney sweep have approved the chimney height. Currently the dealer is saying that an outside air source is the answer. I don't buy it. The Osburn had no smoking issues. The stove sits next to a sliding door and I have tried opening the door a few inches to provide outside air when reloading the stove and it does not help stop the smoking, tho' it does help vent the smoke spillage. But it is a second smoke issue that concerns me more: after the stove is hot (per STT) and I close the damper which engages the cat, I gradually get a smoke smell in the house. It's more like the "smokey fragrance" of the wood burning. I can't find smoke leaking from anywhere, but the smell continues. Could carbon monoxide be leaking as well? Wondering if I should make a separate post about this issue?
Yeah probably the stove. Those down draft VC stoves can be pretty draft sensitive and finicky to run. The 602 will be easy peasy to run. Maybe even look at the new F35 from Jotul, that would be a good fit as well imo.
The Jotul F602 or a Morse 2B will work. The burn time will be short, 2-4 hrs typically, but that may be enough for a morning and evening burn if the space holds the heat a long time.
Another option would be the Drolet Nano. It's a N/S loader with a bit larger firebox. In between is the VC Aspen C3.
I’m 1100 sq ft in the northern part of NC. Probably not too terribly different from your winters. I’ll say my VC Aspen seems pretty solid after my first season with it. I downsized from a beast if a stove for my space, and overall, am glad I did. You can scroll through a pretty lengthy review I did with indoor/outdoor temps and burn times over in the VC forum here.

It might not be right for everyone, but I like it. I tried to keep the review unbiased and just the facts. You’ll see me grumble some and be happy some.