+/- of Jotul Oslo And does a Blower fan Help?

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osteotome

New Member
Feb 8, 2009
6
Central WA
I've had my Jotul now for about a year and overall I'm quite pleased. When I went looking by myself, the local stove guy had me convinced that the Blazeking was the way to go. I may have misunderstood him but I think he said that the Blazeking were originally manufactured locally or maybe in the region--central Washington. When I took my wife down to seal the deal, she swayed me to purchase the Jotul Oslo. They were down to their last floor model and it was on sale for 2-300 off and it was considerably cheaper. Her main reason; however, was that she really liked the appearance of the Oslo and she really disliked the Blazeking.
When I bought it, I was just buying it for "emergency" purposes. Now fast forward a year and so far this year it has become my main heat source. Twice during the really cold stretch in DEC our gas stove was inoperable and for about a week it was our sole sourse of heat. So I was really glad I had the stove. Initially my wife was on board as well and when I came home from work she had the fire blazing (obviously when the furnace wasn't working), but lately she's gotten lazy and it's not too uncommon for me to now come home and hear the furnace running as I walk through the garage. In any case our heating bills so far are NOV $12.00, DEC $19.00 which is kind of funny because by mistake I got our neighbors gas bill and I didn't realize it until I was in a state of shock and disbelief at seeing the $255.00 bill before I figured out it was the neighbors bill. Again as the wife has gotten lazy our JAN bill was $65.00. If I had to do it over again, I think I would go with the Blazeking, but in the end I still don't think my wife would allow it?

The negatives of the Oslo as have been stated here too many to count: 1) the ash will spill out if you open the front door, 2) the sticky air control lever. So overall not much to not like. It may be nothing more than buyers remorse but I'm intrigued by the amazingly long efficient burn times with less wood etc with the Blazeking.

We live in a 2 story somewhat open house of around 3600 ft. With several ceiling fans running we can pretty much keep the house comfortable except for our rec room at the end of the house above the garage. I must say the seasoned apple wood (living in the heart of Washington apple country) really cranks out the BTU's!! How much benefit would a fan/blower give me with the Oslo. When I bought the stove the local stove rep (who tried to get me to buy the Blazeking) said that with the "radiant" heat of the Oslo a blower/fan wasn't needed. Does anyone have any experince with a fan and the Oslo?

Jotul Oslo 500
Stihl 056
Apple wood, Tamarack, Red Fir (Douglas Fir on the West side), Lodge pole, some Pear and Cherry
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,415
South Puget Sound, WA
Blaze King and several other stoves (Quadrafire, Lopi, Avalon, Country) are made in WA state, The BK is made in Walla Walla.

Your Jotul Oslo is an excellent stove, but it sounds a bit undersized for the big house. It gets cold east of the Cascades. If considering an upgrade, I'd go for at least a 3 cu ft stove for longer burn times and more reserves in the cold spells. My guess is that the wife would approve of the Jotul F600 or the Quadrafire Isle Royale without a problem. For winter burning, there won't be a lot of difference in burn times between these stoves and the Blaze King. It's in the milder weather where the cat stoves really impress with the longer burn times. FWIW, take heart, my wife wouldn't let a Blaze King get closer than the garage. That's why we have the big Alderlea.
 

Bigg_Redd

Minister of Fire
Oct 19, 2008
4,153
Shelton, WA
osteotome said:
I've had my Jotul now for about a year and overall I'm quite pleased. When I went looking by myself, the local stove guy had me convinced that the Blazeking was the way to go. I may have misunderstood him but I think he said that the Blazeking were originally manufactured locally or maybe in the region--central Washington. When I took my wife down to seal the deal, she swayed me to purchase the Jotul Oslo. They were down to their last floor model and it was on sale for 2-300 off and it was considerably cheaper. Her main reason; however, was that she really liked the appearance of the Oslo and she really disliked the Blazeking.
When I bought it, I was just buying it for "emergency" purposes. Now fast forward a year and so far this year it has become my main heat source. Twice during the really cold stretch in DEC our gas stove was inoperable and for about a week it was our sole sourse of heat. So I was really glad I had the stove. Initially my wife was on board as well and when I came home from work she had the fire blazing (obviously when the furnace wasn't working), but lately she's gotten lazy and it's not too uncommon for me to now come home and hear the furnace running as I walk through the garage. In any case our heating bills so far are NOV $12.00, DEC $19.00 which is kind of funny because by mistake I got our neighbors gas bill and I didn't realize it until I was in a state of shock and disbelief at seeing the $255.00 bill before I figured out it was the neighbors bill. Again as the wife has gotten lazy our JAN bill was $65.00. If I had to do it over again, I think I would go with the Blazeking, but in the end I still don't think my wife would allow it?

The negatives of the Oslo as have been stated here too many to count: 1) the ash will spill out if you open the front door, 2) the sticky air control lever. So overall not much to not like. It may be nothing more than buyers remorse but I'm intrigued by the amazingly long efficient burn times with less wood etc with the Blazeking.

We live in a 2 story somewhat open house of around 3600 ft. With several ceiling fans running we can pretty much keep the house comfortable except for our rec room at the end of the house above the garage. I must say the seasoned apple wood (living in the heart of Washington apple country) really cranks out the BTU's!! How much benefit would a fan/blower give me with the Oslo. When I bought the stove the local stove rep (who tried to get me to buy the Blazeking) said that with the "radiant" heat of the Oslo a blower/fan wasn't needed. Does anyone have any experince with a fan and the Oslo?

Jotul Oslo 500
Stihl 056
Apple wood, Tamarack, Red Fir (Douglas Fir on the West side), Lodge pole, some Pear and Cherry


I love the BKs and they are made locally in Walla Walla.


When you made your original purchase you were buying a supplemental heater and the Jotul is a way better sometimes heater (based on looks alone).


Fortunately it makes a great primary heater too.
 

grommal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2009
487
Eastern PA
osteotome said:
The negatives of the Oslo as have been stated here too many to count: 1) the ash will spill out if you open the front door, 2) the sticky air control lever.

The ash spilling is indeed an irritating design defect. Have you tried using the side door instead? We stopped using the front door after only a couple of ash dumps from it, and now use the side door exclusively, including for initial startup.

We also had the sticky air control lever after a short period of time. I lubed the cast slide under the "doghouse" with powdered graphite, and it has been smooth ever since. I don't know how long that will last, but it's already lasted 2x as long as the original (unlubricated?) condition.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,593
Unity/Bangor, Maine
osteotome said:
I've had my Jotul now for about a year and overall I'm quite pleased. When I went looking by myself, the local stove guy had me convinced that the Blazeking was the way to go. I may have misunderstood him but I think he said that the Blazeking were originally manufactured locally or maybe in the region--central Washington. When I took my wife down to seal the deal, she swayed me to purchase the Jotul Oslo. They were down to their last floor model and it was on sale for 2-300 off and it was considerably cheaper. Her main reason; however, was that she really liked the appearance of the Oslo and she really disliked the Blazeking. For the record, I agree with your wife . . . I keep looking at the BK as I love the numbers that actual users are reporting in terms of heat, burn time, etc. but every time I take a look at the BK website I just keep thinking, "what an incredibly ugly looking stove" . . . I mean, I'm not one of those guys who is all about the way things look, but the BK is just so darned fugly . . . of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder . . . and it may be ugly, but it does have some impressive stats.When I bought it, I was just buying it for "emergency" purposes. Now fast forward a year and so far this year it has become my main heat source. Twice during the really cold stretch in DEC our gas stove was inoperable and for about a week it was our sole sourse of heat. So I was really glad I had the stove. Initially my wife was on board as well and when I came home from work she had the fire blazing (obviously when the furnace wasn't working), but lately she's gotten lazy and it's not too uncommon for me to now come home and hear the furnace running as I walk through the garage. In any case our heating bills so far are NOV $12.00, DEC $19.00 which is kind of funny because by mistake I got our neighbors gas bill and I didn't realize it until I was in a state of shock and disbelief at seeing the $255.00 bill before I figured out it was the neighbors bill. Again as the wife has gotten lazy our JAN bill was $65.00. Perhaps mention that the gas bills are increasing . . . this may be some motivation . . . or find out if there is anything about using the woodstove she is not liking (i.e. having to go out and get the wood, the mess, etc.) and then see if you can "fix" these issues (i.e. having a filled woodbox near the stove, trying to keep the hearth cleaner, hiring an illegal immigrant to keep the woodstove going while you're not around, etc.) might help the situation . . . if nothing else, you're still saving money and keeping the house as warm, no? If I had to do it over again, I think I would go with the Blazeking, but in the end I still don't think my wife would allow it? Hmmm . . . Blaze King or the wife . . . Blaze King or the wife . . . I think you made a wise move by deciding to go with the Jotul and keep the wife ;) :)
The negatives of the Oslo as have been stated here too many to count: 1) the ash will spill out if you open the front door, 2) the sticky air control lever. So overall not much to not like. It may be nothing more than buyers remorse but I'm intrigued by the amazingly long efficient burn times with less wood etc with the Blazeking. Ah yes, same here, same here . . . that nagging thought that maybe, just maybe you could get a better stove with longer burns . . . but then again I realize like you that there really isn't much I can complain about with the Oslo . . . most of the minor issues are just that . . . minor issues. By the way, try taking the doghouse apart and using some graphite powder (found in any hardware store) . . . trust me, you'll be happy you did!
We live in a 2 story somewhat open house of around 3600 ft. With several ceiling fans running we can pretty much keep the house comfortable except for our rec room at the end of the house above the garage. Consider me impressed . . . 3,600 square feet for the Oslo . . . very impressive . . . I would think this stove would be a little under-sized for this space requirement. I must say the seasoned apple wood (living in the heart of Washington apple country) really cranks out the BTU's!! How much benefit would a fan/blower give me with the Oslo. When I bought the stove the local stove rep (who tried to get me to buy the Blazeking) said that with the "radiant" heat of the Oslo a blower/fan wasn't needed. My dealer said the same . . . and truthfully I haven't missed the blower . . . I do use a fan or fans to move the heat around to the rest of the house. Does anyone have any experince with a fan and the Oslo?

Jotul Oslo 500
Stihl 056
Apple wood, Tamarack, Red Fir (Douglas Fir on the West side), Lodge pole, some Pear and Cherry
 

gpcollen1

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2007
2,026
Western CT
I am not sure how the ash just 'spills out'? I have the Castine, which is quite similar and just a bit smaller, and you can get some ash now ans then but it IMO it has much more to do with how you load the stove and how you open the doors. After all, air should suck in when opening the door so if a bit of ash is there, it should get sucked in. Load your splits so the fire should collapse in if anything and not toward the door. Another thing I do is turn the handle past 'open' and toward the left, which enables cracking both doors open at the same time - and that is the key for me not having ANY ash spill out.
 

osteotome

New Member
Feb 8, 2009
6
Central WA
Thanks all for the comments. I will definitely graphite the sticky air lever as soon as I figure out what the "doghouse" is. I'm assuming its the top cover?

As far as CTwoodburner's comments, I'm glad the Castine doesn't have the same problem of ash spilling out when you open the front door as the Oslo but trust me and every other Oslo owner I've met it happens regardless of what you do.

I may have to break down and use the side entry door but technically as I installed the stove in the corner of the room it doesn't meet the necessary clearance to use the side door. I suppose if I brick or put a protective cover on the wall then I'd be able to use the side door?

Thanks again for all of the comments and suggestions. Lately, I've been tinkering with the idea of puting a smaller stove on the 2nd floor in the rec room or perhaps upgrading but in the end as my wife is pleased as it's greatly exceeded her expectations--we had heat why we were waiting for a part for our gas furnace--it will probably be several years before a change is made.

In the meantime it's also been invaluable in giving my 3 boys something to do (generally against their wishes) other than play video games.
 

grommal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2009
487
Eastern PA
CTwoodburner said:
I am not sure how the ash just 'spills out'? I have the Castine, which is quite similar and just a bit smaller, and you can get some ash now ans then but it IMO it has much more to do with how you load the stove and how you open the doors. After all, air should suck in when opening the door so if a bit of ash is there, it should get sucked in. Load your splits so the fire should collapse in if anything and not toward the door. Another thing I do is turn the handle past 'open' and toward the left, which enables cracking both doors open at the same time - and that is the key for me not having ANY ash spill out.
The design on the Castine is a bit different. The Oslo has a large pocket where the ash collects right above the gasket. It would irritate me if I actually used the front door as the primary access.
 

grommal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2009
487
Eastern PA
osteotome said:
Thanks all for the comments. I will definitely graphite the sticky air lever as soon as I figure out what the "doghouse" is. I'm assuming its the top cover?

As far as CTwoodburner's comments, I'm glad the Castine doesn't have the same problem of ash spilling out when you open the front door as the Oslo but trust me and every other Oslo owner I've met it happens regardless of what you do.

I may have to break down and use the side entry door but technically as I installed the stove in the corner of the room it doesn't meet the necessary clearance to use the side door. I suppose if I brick or put a protective cover on the wall then I'd be able to use the side door?

Thanks again for all of the comments and suggestions. Lately, I've been tinkering with the idea of puting a smaller stove on the 2nd floor in the rec room or perhaps upgrading but in the end as my wife is pleased as it's greatly exceeded her expectations--we had heat why we were waiting for a part for our gas furnace--it will probably be several years before a change is made.

In the meantime it's also been invaluable in giving my 3 boys something to do (generally against their wishes) other than play video games.
Yep, the "doghouse" seems to be what people call that little cover that's inside the stove right above the air level. Easy removal, just 2 bolts.

The Oslo manual simply says that in an alcove or corner installation, the side door cannot be used and should be locked. It says nothing about being able to use it if the wall is protected enough, though common sense says that this should be possible.
 
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