Stove Shortlist: PE Alderlea T4, Quadra Fire Explorer II, Blaze King Ashford 20

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Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
Yep, the higher you set the thermostat, the more the burning experience is similar between a cat and noncat. I'm with you on that. The cat stove is still more efficient at all burn rates but if all you ever want to do is run the stove balls to the wall then you might as well have a non-cat.That's why my shop stove is a non-cat. Full output all the time! A little clarification though, after 12 hours your summit is nearly cold right? I know that I can burn up 3.5 CF of firewood in 3 hours in my non-cat, best case is overnight with a few coals left to restart.

The pleasure of the BK is that it can put out heat and flames like a noncat OR can be turned way back to idle along when you don't need eye blistering heat. Wide output range with resulting wide burn time range. The ashfords have almost entirely fixed the dark glass feature that I have with my older princess.
No, at 12 hours, It is still hot, not 650 degrees hot, but plenty hot, warm air blowing out the top, as I run the fans on high 24/7 except for cold starts, re-loading & during shoulder season, and of course during power outages. 12hours or more depending on wood species, size of splits etc, will be either remnants of splits, or plenty of coals. During shoulder season, I can extend another 4 hours sometimes more. I know some don't agree, but outside temps & wind play a factor. But 12 hours is my typical routine.
I reload, and start cranking it down after about 15 mins. Again this is with hard species. If I am burning pine etc, then of course the times is reduced.
 
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Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
We all have different experience and I know how secondary stove works cause I use it before, in fact I still have both just not installed. Including with a 3.2 firebox load it to the grill I was not able to get the same burn times like with BK and smaller box. Maybe the house is not as leaking and bad like I think. For sure I staying warmer with longer burn times and the wood saving is incredible.
There is many BK owners that also going to say different. Some here have both and others come from secondary burn and their experience can possibly match mine?.
Anyway I think that the OP should know also the experience from people that burn both. At the end is up to him. But I feel that BK can be safer for his wife and can make him feel ok about his wife using it.
Stating one is safer than the other is simply untrue. I'll leave it at that. We can agree to disagree on that one.
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,697
San Ysidro, New Mexico
Stating one is safer than the other is simply untrue. I'll leave it at that. We can agree to disagree on that one.
Agreed. It is ok. The point here is to provide the OP with usable information. At the end we all have something in common, we all have passion for our stoves and for the art of wood burning.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,527
Philadelphia
While the BK is def a champ in shoulder seasons, what most BK owners won't tell you, but some have confirmed, is that that higher output you run the stove on, the more the burn times equal out to a non cat.
Hogz, are you getting paranoid? I don't think anyone is hiding this obvious fact, many BK owners have pointed this out, including myself. The beauty of the BK is that you can run it hot and fast like a non-cat... OR... turn it down and run like no non-cat ever will. It is the versatility that we love.

Enough have confirmed that when set on low, there is not much to view, unless you want to lay on the floor and look up at the cat glowing. If you can see it through the soot covered glass.
I think this is only an issue with some of the older designs. It was one of my concerns, when I bought the Ashford 30's. But I have to be honest with you, my glass always stays clean! On low burn, it gets black only in the lower corners, and that burns off when running for 20 minutes on high with the next reload cycle. So, I've heard the black glass stories myself, but it doesn't appear to be a problem on the Ashford models.

Again, not knocking the BK, it is a top of the line burner. Just feel you should know all the facts, aside from the hype of some owners of the "Almighty best stove out there".
The owner loyalty speaks for itself. So does the ire of those who have never owned one. ;lol
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,337
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Stating one is safer than the other is simply untrue. I'll leave it at that. We can agree to disagree on that one.

Right before your wife leaves for work, she tops off the hot stove, packing it full of small splits, and she leaves the house immediately.

Is this safe? Depends what stove you have.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,773
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Stating one is safer than the other is simply untrue. I'll leave it at that. We can agree to disagree on that one.

As an owner of a non-cat in an outbuilding I have to fall on the side of cat stove with thermostat is safer. It is absolutely safer and maybe you don't realize why. See, if I am warming up the non-cat and have to walk away to vomit the non-cat can continue to get hotter and hotter to the point of a damage causing overfire. If I walk away from the BK to vomit and pass out on the floor somewhere, the thermostat will automatically turn down the intake to prevent overfire regardless of what setting I have chosen. Plus, the cat stove actually regulates all intake air where the non-cat can run away on you and go nuclear due to all of the uncontrolled full throttle intake ports.

Neither technology is dangerous when operated per the manuals but I know (and I suppose the wife knows) that we have full control of the cat stove and the thermostat is a safety device too.
 
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SuperJ

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2017
307
St.Jacobs, ON, Canada
As an owner of a non-cat in an outbuilding I have to fall on the side of cat stove with thermostat is safer. It is absolutely safer and maybe you don't realize why. See, if I am warming up the non-cat and have to walk away to vomit the non-cat can continue to get hotter and hotter to the point of a damage causing overfire. If I walk away from the BK to vomit and pass out on the floor somewhere, the thermostat will automatically turn down the intake to prevent overfire regardless of what setting I have chosen. Plus, the cat stove actually regulates all intake air where the non-cat can run away on you and go nuclear due to all of the uncontrolled full throttle intake ports.

Neither technology is dangerous when operated per the manuals but I know (and I suppose the wife knows) that we have full control of the cat stove and the thermostat is a safety device too.

I think thermostatic control over air is a great feature both from a safety perspective and a consistent output. There must be some non-cats that have thermostatic control.

Another question about non-cats... is the manual air control lever linked to primary air only, or does it control the primary and secondary air?
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,697
San Ysidro, New Mexico
BK has only a single intake. and that is the one that the thermostat controls. All the air going into the firebox, goes thru one intake.
I heard from other members mentioning other models of stoves that has thermostat but never heard that has the same performance as BK. I think BK has a combination of CAT,DESIGN and ENGINEERING. All put together give you a awesome product.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,773
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I think thermostatic control over air is a great feature both from a safety perspective and a consistent output. There must be some non-cats that have thermostatic control.

Another question about non-cats... is the manual air control lever linked to primary air only, or does it control the primary and secondary air?

No other stove has a working thermostat system, some VCs tried but since they are VCs they are off of my recommended list! Not even the other major cat stove brand Woodstock uses a thermostat.

Most wood furnaces are noncat and use a type of thermostatic control over the intake system. Most of them are crude on/off but still effective and significantly safer when the wood burner is operating without supervision. They also have safety temperature sensors that will shut off the intake if the furnace gets too hot. They almost all use electricity to open and shut the damper.

Even with a non-cat you will usually be able to slam the intake completely shut or develop a known setting that consistently delivers the desired burn rate. The batch of wood burns pretty predictably after that point so you can confidently walk away and vomit or sleep or whatever. So lack of thermostat is not a deal breaker.

The PE T5/super is the only stove I'm aware of that has a linkage to partially close the secondary air when you partially close the primary air control. There is a linkage and this is probably why the T5 has such long burn times. It's a pretty good stove design.
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,337
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
As an owner of a non-cat in an outbuilding I have to fall on the side of cat stove with thermostat is safer. It is absolutely safer and maybe you don't realize why. See, if I am warming up the non-cat and have to walk away to vomit the non-cat can continue to get hotter and hotter to the point of a damage causing overfire. If I walk away from the BK to vomit and pass out on the floor somewhere, the thermostat will automatically turn down the intake to prevent overfire regardless of what setting I have chosen. Plus, the cat stove actually regulates all intake air where the non-cat can run away on you and go nuclear due to all of the uncontrolled full throttle intake ports.

Neither technology is dangerous when operated per the manuals but I know (and I suppose the wife knows) that we have full control of the cat stove and the thermostat is a safety device too.

How come my hypothetical stove operator leaves the stove to go to work, and your hypothetical stove operator leaves the stove to vomit and pass out? ;)
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,773
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
How come my hypothetical stove operator leaves the stove to go to work, and your hypothetical stove operator leaves the stove to vomit and pass out? ;)

Because this hypothetical stove operator never misses a chance to paint a fun mental picture. I also love comparing the weight of a stove to a number of dancing fat chicks!
 
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Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
Right before your wife leaves for work, she tops off the hot stove, packing it full of small splits, and she leaves the house immediately.

Is this safe? Depends what stove you have.
That is a ridiculous scenario. Anyone using a wood burning appliance, should know how to operate it in all facets. Hopefully, you already know that.
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
As an owner of a non-cat in an outbuilding I have to fall on the side of cat stove with thermostat is safer. It is absolutely safer and maybe you don't realize why. See, if I am warming up the non-cat and have to walk away to vomit the non-cat can continue to get hotter and hotter to the point of a damage causing overfire. If I walk away from the BK to vomit and pass out on the floor somewhere, the thermostat will automatically turn down the intake to prevent overfire regardless of what setting I have chosen. Plus, the cat stove actually regulates all intake air where the non-cat can run away on you and go nuclear due to all of the uncontrolled full throttle intake ports.

Neither technology is dangerous when operated per the manuals but I know (and I suppose the wife knows) that we have full control of the cat stove and the thermostat is a safety device too.

If you're vomiting long enough to let a stove run away, you best crank the stove down and get to a hospital.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,337
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
That is a ridiculous scenario. Anyone using a wood burning appliance, should know how to operate it in all facets. Hopefully, you already know that.

Everyone using a stove should be a stove expert, sure. And the drivers I dodge on my motorcycle every day should look at the damn road instead of watching cell phones and movies, and doing their makeup.

My wife loaded the stove about twice last year and wasn't terribly interested in the operation lesson in the first place.

My BK is way safer for my house than anything without a thermostat.

As far as "rediculous scenario"... that is how I operate my stove every single day in the cold parts of the winter. It gets reloaded on my work/sleep schedule, not on its schedule. And that is unbelievably nice if you're used to sleeping on your stove's schedule. :)
 
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lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,697
San Ysidro, New Mexico
I work for a large commercial mechanical company, it is possible that my comjpany could order a Blaze King directly?
And what that will do for you?
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,697
San Ysidro, New Mexico
Possibly get the stove at a wholesale price.
I doubt it, but you never know. you can give it a try. You can do better job in that regard if you call around different dealers and negotiate the prices.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,773
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I work for a large commercial mechanical company, it is possible that my company could order a Blaze King directly?

Blaze king has taken the position of supporting their dealing network by "forcing" you to use your local dealer. Mail order blaze king dealers have been shut down. I don't expect that to change before you get your stove installed so you may as well succumb.

You can always try to buy direct using your employer, it doesn't hurt. BK might want to get your employer as a customer so bad that they are willing to send you one.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
898
Rochester NY
To the original poster, for what it's worth I have the T5 and love it, however it's my first stove and honestly have nothing else to compare it to. But what I really needed was a decent sized stove that allowed for closer clearances than a lot of others in it's class that I was looking at locally. I have it corner mounted and it calls for being 4" from back corners to any combustible. A big plus in my book is it's classic styling - it is not ugly to look at. This was also important given the price range I was in. I don't want to pay thousands for something that quite honestly looks stupid.
 

SuperJ

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2017
307
St.Jacobs, ON, Canada
To the original poster, for what it's worth I have the T5 and love it, however it's my first stove and honestly have nothing else to compare it to. But what I really needed was a decent sized stove that allowed for closer clearances than a lot of others in it's class that I was looking at locally. I have it corner mounted and it calls for being 4" from back corners to any combustible. A big plus in my book is it's classic styling - it is not ugly to look at. This was also important given the price range I was in. I don't want to pay thousands for something that quite honestly looks stupid.

Thanks, the PE T4/T5 is still in the running for me. I don't have any price quotes yet on the Blaze King Ashford, if the Blaze King is much more than $800-$1000 more expensive I'm going to have to tap out of the Blaze King club, and go with Pacific Energy. On that note can anyone give me an idea of the what price delta I should expect (between the a decent PE and BK stove) either in dollars or %, I get that my price will be a bit difference being in Ontario, Canada, but the delta should hold fairly closely I think.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,773
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Thanks, the PE T4/T5 is still in the running for me. I don't have any price quotes yet on the Blaze King Ashford, if the Blaze King is much more than $800-$1000 more expensive I'm going to have to tap out of the Blaze King club, and go with Pacific Energy. On that note can anyone give me an idea of the what price delta I should expect (between the a decent PE and BK stove) either in dollars or %, I get that my price will be a bit difference being in Ontario, Canada, but the delta should hold fairly closely I think.

Basic T5 in US dollars is 2600$ at the store.

http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/pacaldert5.htm

I believe you will pay more than 3600$ for an ashford. Not a lot of stove sales in September, but take a look for them now at end of summer fairs.

I would be proud to have either stove on my hearth.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
898
Rochester NY
I paid around that for mine, then installation with double wall chimney and everything else adds up fast. At the time I was so sick of dealing with a house refinance/home inspections that I hardly cared what it cost, I just wanted it DONE. Pretty sure I was up over 6k when all was said and done.
 

SuperJ

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2017
307
St.Jacobs, ON, Canada
Ok, thanks. Any idea of how much more the Ashford is than the Sirocco? And a 20 series instead 30 series.
I'm hoping, I might be able to save $500 going from the 30 to 20 series, and another $500 by going from the Ashford to Sirocco. Basically, is a Sirocco 20 about the same price as a PE Alderlea T5?