Seriously considering the Hearthstone Manchester wood stove

izzyq

Member
Dec 27, 2012
53
Long Island, NY
OK went and saw the Hearthstone Heritage and Manchester-WOW! Beautiful stoves. Nothing like the old VC my parents had when we grew up.

I really liked both (although they have a different look and feel to them) but we are leaning towards the Manchester. I know they are only on the market about a year but I was hoping someone here had some real life experience burning one. Just looking for any thoughts or problems (or raves! :) LOL)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
We don't have a lot of data on this stove yet, but it looks like a strong follow up to their Bennington with some improvements.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,909
Indiana
I have had a chance to look the Manchester over and have seen it burn. I think it's a strong heater! I don't see any issues that could arise with realy, it doesn't really have any new technology in it. They took a proven combustion system and did a few upgrades to it.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Welcome to the forum izzyq.

One suggestion is if you like the Heartstone line, and we did too the last time we bought a stove, I would suggest you look at the Woodstock lineup. You can see them all here: www.woodstove.com

We came close to buying a Hearthstone stove and also the Lopi Leyden but have never been sorry (especially when reading a few bad reports on those 2). We bought a Woodstock Fireview, which is smaller than the Manchester. However, the Woodstock Progress would certainly serve you well. These can be purchased directly from the manufacturer and they give you a six month guarantee on the stove. If it does not suit your needs, you get your money back. Also, the Progress has a cooktop which works very well and it is one of the cleanest burning stoves on the market.

Good luck.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
That Manchester should make you a great looking heating beast with that 2.9cf firebox. 515 lbs of cast iron firebox with soapstone lining will hold heat for a long, long time.

Pic for those that haven't seen that big beauty.

manchester_brown_majolica_1.jpg
 
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Hardrockmaple

Feeling the Heat
Nov 26, 2010
324
Nova Scotia
That is one fine looking stove, now I have to go find a dealer in my area.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
That shows off their casting refinements nicely. It also has a novel, left or right side loading door too that's designed to capture ash and bark crumbs.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,158
Southern IN
That Manchester should make you a great looking heating beast with that 2.9cf firebox. 515 lbs of cast iron firebox with soapstone lining will hold heat for a long, long time.

Pic for those that haven't seen that big beauty.
I've seen one in brown at a local stove shop. Looks even better in person. :cool:

I say buy one today. We need more input on how this stove runs. ==c
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
If they would just put that damn door latch on the proper side. :mad:
 

Toploader

Burning Hunk
Sep 28, 2013
190
Nova Scotia
I had a conversation with someone last week when I was seriously thinking about this stove. He ran the stove the latter part of last year. I would really like to have the Manchester myself but I decided it's a tad big for my set up.I hope this helps:

-It is an excellent stove.

-It is very easy to use - one air control in front, starts very easy. I leave the door open a crack for extra draft due to our house being very tight but that should change this year due to just hooking up the outside air kit this weekend

-Burn time: I had a HearthStone Mansfield as our last stove. It had an amazing long heat output due to full soapstone construction, in the morning I would still have plenty of coals to get a new fire going. With the Manchester, I still have coals to start with in the morning also, but the outer surface is not quite as warm as the Mansfield. The outside is still warmer than an all cast stove for sure. I do notice there is more complete combustion in the Manchester (Mansfield seemed to build up a lot more coal/ash no matter how hot I ran it).

-Radiant heat: since the Manchester is both cast and soap, it's still warm near the hearth, but not enough to get things hot (not nearly as hot as the Mansfield did). Also, the convection of this stove is amazing, my whole house seemed to be a relatively even temperature, as we have 1/3 floor open to the small second floor which has an open staircase back down to the first for good circulation, not to mention a very open cabin style floor plan. You can hang out near the stove without stripping down.

-size: I love the firebox size. I can squeeze enough thru the side load (24" logs) to get a good size fire, of course your last log on top can't be huge in any stove.

-I absolutely love this thing so far and find no negatives, unless you want to count some ashes falling out the front door IF you open it. But that's mainly because the logs are sideways against it when I side load. Personally I think the Manchester is under priced compared to equal sized stoves.
 

cighon

Member
Mar 11, 2008
34
Northern NJ
We have the Manchester, got it black friday last year and got and extra $200 off that day. Indstalled it 2 weeks later, was running 3 days after that when it passed town inspection. Have it hooke up to a SS chimney (worst part about the whole experience-seeing that silver line up the side of my house). Stove works great. One note, it does like lots of air. Need to open a door/window when starting or the draft wont get going, smokes up the basement. With running it 3 months last winter the 6" chimney has very little ash in it. At first laughted about the ash pan, thought it would be just as easy to shovel out the ash through the big stove door (lots of glass to see your efforts). But i must say that i use the as pan with opening up the grates at the bottom to remove ash.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,909
Indiana
We have the Manchester, got it black friday last year and got and extra $200 off that day. Indstalled it 2 weeks later, was running 3 days after that when it passed town inspection. Have it hooke up to a SS chimney (worst part about the whole experience-seeing that silver line up the side of my house). Stove works great. One note, it does like lots of air. Need to open a door/window when starting or the draft wont get going, smokes up the basement. With running it 3 months last winter the 6" chimney has very little ash in it. At first laughted about the ash pan, thought it would be just as easy to shovel out the ash through the big stove door (lots of glass to see your efforts). But i must say that i use the as pan with opening up the grates at the bottom to remove ash.
Your issue with the stove smoking up the basement isn't the stove, but rather your chimney system.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Chimney could be ok but it does sound like he is fighting negative pressure and should hookup an outside air kit.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes an OAK is next on my list of stove to do's. No problem with smoking tonight.
If you are on the cusp, intermittent sources like a kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan, or a dryer running can make a difference. Sounds like an OAK will be helpful here.
 

Wise Guy

New Member
Oct 12, 2013
30
Talmage, Pennsylvania
OK went and saw the Hearthstone Heritage and Manchester-WOW! Beautiful stoves. Nothing like the old VC my parents had when we grew up.

I really liked both (although they have a different look and feel to them) but we are leaning towards the Manchester. I know they are only on the market about a year but I was hoping someone here had some real life experience burning one. Just looking for any thoughts or problems (or raves! :) LOL)
Hi izzyq:

I just today joined this forum, in part to learn from others what I can about wood stove heat and how to better use it. I inherited a wood stove, a stove made by Haughs, from my grandparents years ago. It became obvious even to me that it needed to be replaced. I stumbled upon this website a month or so ago, and I decided to join to ask questions. Your post offers one of the more obvious places for me to launch into a few issues because I decided to go with Manchester as a replacement stove for the one I had. I have had fire in the box only twice, but already I have a few things I don't like about it. There are some things I do like about it, but I'll get to that in a moment. To me the cons are as follows: 1)the ash pan design with an open end in the back where ashes are easily spilled out as you pull it out is something I think most users will find less than desirable. If you aren't careful, you are likely to spill the ashes out of the back of the tray. 2)The wood handle. It's not really the wood handle so much as that extra inch or so of cast iron that one is very likely to grab in addition to the wood handle that makes this somewhat less than desirable. In other words, if you aren't careful, you might grab that inch or so of cast iron while intending to grab only the wooden handle. You might get a burnt trying to open the door. 3)the so-called 2.9 cf of firebox. It will take a some tricky maneuvering to get the wood to burn in such a way that it doesn't fall into the window. I didn't get my tape measure out, but I think you can safely ignore the .9 part of the equation. 4)I don't know why, but the "safety label" really just sort of dangles there under the stove. I think a better design could have helped to better tuck it away. The manual states this, "After final positioning of the stove the label may be stored between the cable end and the bottom as shown in figure below." The bottom of what? The picture is no real help. But what would help is for there to have been created some sort of clip/s for the label to slide into. 5)There are all sorts of warnings in the manual about not overfiring the stove. However, there are no real criteria given to determine overfiring, i.e., no concrete temperature beyond which you should go or you will overfire the stove. The only information given about temperatures comes with the "Initial Firing" guide. It states, "Manufacturers have selected Stove Bright (R) brand coatings because the product has been proven durable, colorfast, and beautiful at temperatures to 1200 (degrees) F." It goes on to say, "Slowly bring the stove to a medium burn, about 400 (degrees), for about 45 minutes" and then adds, "Increase the burn temperature to a hot burn, about 600 (degrees), for an additional 45-60 minutes."

Ok now for what I think are the pros. I do think the cast iron construction with the soapstone liners is a winning combination. On our initial start up, it took about 20 minutes to feel any real heat coming from the stove, but from there after, the stove did not disappoint us with how it produced heat. 2)The side door load feature is a real benefit for me, and I like it that the front door has the hinges on the right. We also like the large view offered by the window. 3)I did like waking up in the morning to feel a warm stove, and a warm house too, and yes there were some hot embers that I could have used to rekindle a fire. That was after putting wood in the stove at 11pm and waking up at 630am. 4) I like the addition of the leg levelers. My hearth is not exactly the most level place, and the levelers helps smooth things out.

Well that's my initial take on the Manchester, but the real test is forthcoming. Perhaps what I have stated above is of some benefit to you.
 
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BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Sounds like the parts about why ya buy a wood stove are getting it done, no?

Yeah every manufacturer should openly publish over-fire temps and where to measure them. I have given up on it. Only two I know of do it. I think it is a way to weasel on warranty claims for over-firing.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,158
Southern IN
the ash pan design with an open end in the back where ashes are easily spilled out as you pull it out is something I think most users will find less than desirable. If you aren't careful, you are likely to spill the ashes out of the back of the tray.
I guess that's the trade-off for being able to easily slide the ash off into a bucket without creating a big dust cloud.

3)the so-called 2.9 cf of firebox. It will take a some tricky maneuvering to get the wood to burn in such a way that it doesn't fall into the window. I didn't get my tape measure out, but I think you can safely ignore the .9 part of the equation.
Yeah, they all seem to claim fire box volume that in most cases isn't really useable.

no concrete temperature beyond which you should go or you will overfire the stove. The only information given about temperatures comes with the "Initial Firing" guide. It states, "Manufacturers have selected Stove Bright (R) brand coatings because the product has been proven durable, colorfast, and beautiful at temperatures to 1200 (degrees) F." It goes on to say, "Slowly bring the stove to a medium burn, about 400 (degrees), for about 45 minutes" and then adds, "Increase the burn temperature to a hot burn, about 600 (degrees), for an additional 45-60 minutes."
Myself, I probably would try to stay around 600 max. Not sure where you would put a surface thermo to get a reading, with the convective top, but I would just shoot through that with the IR gun and relate that temp to the temp on the surface thermo, wherever I ended up putting it.
 

rideau

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2012
2,168
southern ontario
A member bought one of these last year. Great features of this stove are that it requires only ember protection, and it is narrow front to back so can be used where many other stoves would not fit.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Lattice stove tops are a killer for using stove top thermometers because of air movement in the spaces. Same problem with the Jotul F100. Sometimes cute looks features screw up being picky about stove management. >>

But the heat exchanging value of the extra surface area is worth it.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,158
Southern IN
Lattice stove tops are a killer for using stove top thermometers because of air movement in the spaces. Same problem with the Jotul F100. Sometimes cute looks features screw up being picky about stove management. >>

But the heat exchanging value of the extra surface area is worth it.
I know you're a fan of the big honkin' plain-jane plate steel jobs....but "cute?" C'mon! They don't call it the MANchester for nothing....;lol Great-looking stove when you lay eyes on it.
I think the lattice top is a good design feature to move more air past the fins on top of the fire box and pull more heat off quicker.
A buddy of mine is thinking of putting a stove in next year. They have a pretty big house, but have a separate heat zone on the bedrooms upstairs. The doorway out of the stove room is real wide, so I'm thinking a convective stove like the Manny could handle the lower level pretty well. The Manchester, Isle Royale and Cape Cod are a few that I think may work there....the Cod is only top-vent, so it may be out. Looks like a hearth-mount (or insert) is the way to go over there.
 

D8Chumley

Minister of Fire
Jun 25, 2013
1,830
Collegeville PA
Wise Guy, I had a few of the same thoughts you have. I haven't fired mine yet, I will finish up with the chimney pipe today and it will be ready for that whenever I have time. Talmadge PA, huh? I worked out there for almost a year at the old Stoltzfus Quarry ( I worked for ICM for a year and a half, now back at AAM) if you are familiar with the place at all
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Lattice stove tops are a killer for using stove top thermometers because of air movement in the spaces. Same problem with the Jotul F100. Sometimes cute looks features screw up being picky about stove management. >>

But the heat exchanging value of the extra surface area is worth it.
Looking through the top slot, the Manchester stove top appears to have deep convective finning on the top. Is that correct? If so that is a whole lot more heat exchanging surface area than usual for a wood stove.

Having a trivet (lattice) top that is moveable is a strong selling point for me. Even our old 602's lattice top is removable for cooking. I like to have my stove top thermometer on the stove top. And I like having the option to cook on the stove top.
 
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