Jotul F 400 opinions?

Stinkpickle

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2015
479
Iowa
Howdy, I have my eye on a new, clearance Jotul F 400 single door (matte black version) to possibly replace my old Kingsman smoke dragon. Anyone have any experience with these units in their configuration just before they were discontinued? I’ve read a few reviews saying they commonly experience draft issues. I currently have about 15’ of chimney, straight up, on the Kingsman, and it draws fine. I’m 50/50 on the idea of replacing the old stove now, but I might be able to snag the Jotul for a helluva price. I only heat about 1200 sq ft with it, and that’s supplemental, so I’m already used to not having overnight burns. Running small, hot fires in the Kingsman doesn’t allow for that anyway. I’m just not quite sure the aesthetic improvements and efficiency I might get from the Jotul would be worth it, if it ends up being finicky. The Kingsman is hungry and ugly, but it’s an absolute tank and workhorse. I’m having a dilemma...
 

dvellone

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2006
472
I've been heating my 720 square foot cabin in climate zone 6 with an f400 for about 12 years. Easily keeps this very drafty place toasty warm even on the coldest winter nights with temps well below zero. When outside temps are above the teens it's tough not to overheat the house, and did I say it's drafty?

No problem with overnight burns when using hard maple or beech (hardest species on my property).

As far as draft, as with any modern efficient stove well-seasoned wood is critical.
That said, my setup is good - 22' straight off the top of the stove through house center to the cap, which is 3' above my peak. No branches or obstructions of any kind within 50' of the pipe. 1st floor pipe sections are sealed between cleanings.

If the wood isn't well seasoned the draft is terrible. In my experience this is not a stove that you can get away with less than seasoned wood without a lot of effort.
Well seasoned wood and the stove performs absolutely beautifully. No in between, although there really shouldn't be for any stove for the sake of efficiency and cleanliness, but this one will let you know it ain't happening.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,470
South Puget Sound, WA
What model Kingsman do you have? Some of those are large beasts. What diameter flue is it connected to?

I had the F400 on a 20ft. straight up 6" flue, it worked very well. 15 ft straight up should work, but few extra feet wouldn't hurt if possible. Where you need more height is if it is rear-vented. It isn't that finicky a stove to run, but it has a large door and shallow E/W firebox. That gives the opportunity for smoke spillage in milder weather burning if the draft is not strong. Typical burn time with softwood was 4-6 hrs and 6-8hrs with hardwood. Do they have any other Jotuls like the F50 or F55 that they are clearing out?
 
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Stinkpickle

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2015
479
Iowa
Fortunately, my current setup is top vented with no bends, and my Kingsman already uses a 6” flue. The first four 18” sections are single wall, but I would probably replace those with double wall sections. As for the F50 or F55 availability, I haven’t checked. My wife much prefers the look of the 400, and she said that would be a necessity if we were to replace a perfectly functional wood stove, although old, before she gets her kitchen remodeled. ;)