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

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Which Stove

  • Blaze King Ashford 20 (or maybe 30)

    Votes: 11 52.4%
  • Quadra Fire Explorer II

    Votes: 3 14.3%
  • Pacific Energy Alderlea T4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pacific Energy Alderlea T5

    Votes: 7 33.3%
  • Jotul F45 (or some other Jotul)

    Votes: 1 4.8%

  • Total voters
    21

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,688
San Ysidro, New Mexico
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?

It will be hard to tell you. you best bet is call different places and like i said before negotiate with them. ask what is included in the price, etc. any question you can have. maybe they have a promotion going on, etc. i see with the PE, possibly you will want the fan, that will add to the price also but still, if you talk to them is possible everything.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,326
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Another problem with the BK dealer only philosophy is that you can get price gouged hard. The poor saps east of the Mississippi were paying 1000 dollars more for the same product as guys just on the west side of the river. You aren't supposed to be able to call dealers and shop them as they expect you to use your local dealer.

Call the dealers that you would logically expect to buy from and get prices. Skip the 20. I don't think you'll get any BK out the door for much under 3000$ but you will get a stove that does magical things that a noncat can't do and you will own this stove for decades so be sure to spread that additional cost out over time.
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,688
San Ysidro, New Mexico
You aren't supposed to be able to call dealers and shop them as they expect you to use your local dealer.
What i meant with that was that he can call around in the same area cause can be possible there are multiple dealers. in my area there is 3 dealers, and when they shared the same prices, promotion, etc. I was able to get in my second purchased with the same stored more than $500.00 worth on other items. I tried to bring down the price and he told me that what he can do for me is give me other stuffs. When i got there he told me, look around and take things that you think you have use for it. I went with my wife, to make the story short. she went out loaded.;)
 
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SuperJ

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2017
307
St.Jacobs, ON, Canada
I phoned around, the price difference isn't too bad. The real question now is whether to get the Sirocco 30 or Ashford 20 (about the same price). Looks like the enameled version of the Ashford is out of reach.

HighBeam, I hear you on skipping the 20... but I might have to compromise with my wife and get the Ashford 20. She wanted a cast enamaled stove, so going down to a welded steel Sirocco 30 would be tough for her to accept. A painted black Ashford 20 might be the best compromise, I get my BlazeKing and she gets her cast iron.

Besides the burn time is there really any other downsides to the 20 over the 30? The 20/30 low fire rates look close enough to likely be just a difference in testing, rather significant in the real world.
 
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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Call the dealers that you would logically expect to buy from and get prices. Skip the 20.

Which model 20 did you have? I would have bought the Chinook 20 for my ski cabin but it's only occupied 50% of the time. When it's vacant it goes unheated (unless inside temps drop below 38::F) and I wanted the ability to heat the structure up quickly. If not for that reason I would have gone with the 20. I don't think we have any first hand accounts from 20 users so I'm interested to hear real world experiences.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Besides the burn time is there really any other downsides to the 20 over the 30? The 20/30 low fire rates look close enough to likely be just a difference in testing, rather significant in the real world.

That's a good question that I would like a real world, not theoretical answer to. Because I know the test results don't make theoretical sense. The 20 models all have smaller fireboxes (with the same thickness firebricks). While that does imply shorter burn time for sure, it should also be capable of putting out a few less Btu's on low burn while still maintaining combustor temps due to less radiant losses before the gases reach the combustor.

But I'll wait to hear from those with real world 20 experience.
 

SuperJ

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2017
307
St.Jacobs, ON, Canada
Another thing I noticed. The 20 series have a 6" clearance spec of the corner and the 30 has 4" which means that they both take up about the same space when installed in a corner (like I'm planning on). I had have to do some trigonometry to figure it out exactly.
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,688
San Ysidro, New Mexico
I know in the OP you said the house is 1300 sq ft main floor. what is the total sq ft of the hose? can be possibly if is bigger than that that, the 20 will be running hard most of the time based on the sq ft advertise for it.
 

SuperJ

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2017
307
St.Jacobs, ON, Canada
I know in the OP you said the house is 1300 sq ft main floor. what is the total sq ft of the hose? can be possibly if is bigger than that that, the 20 will be running hard most of the time based on the sq ft advertise for it.
My house is a bungalow.
-Main first floor area 1100sqft
-Main floor addition probably 400 sqft but don't expect much heat to make it here since access is thru a single door off the back of house.
-basement full basement (mirror of main floor) but only half finished. (finished room is under living room where the stove will be )
-i think my furnace is 60k BTU but it's oversized. Since it cycles even on the coldest days and nights.
-main living area around the stove is my open living room and kitchen/dining area is about 500-600sqft.
 

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lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,688
San Ysidro, New Mexico
Ok I see. Then can be possible that the 20 work for you. But if possible go for the 30s.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,326
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I phoned around, the price difference isn't too bad. The real question now is whether to get the Sirocco 30 or Ashford 20 (about the same price). Looks like the enameled version of the Ashford is out of reach.

HighBeam, I hear you on skipping the 20... but I might have to compromise with my wife and get the Ashford 20. She wanted a cast enamaled stove, so going down to a welded steel Sirocco 30 would be tough for her to accept. A painted black Ashford 20 might be the best compromise, I get my BlazeKing and she gets her cast iron.

Besides the burn time is there really any other downsides to the 20 over the 30? The 20/30 low fire rates look close enough to likely be just a difference in testing, rather significant in the real world.

The firebox is really small on the 20, it's low output is higher and the high output is lower than the 30. Loading and starting fires in the 20 will be harder due to the size. The biggest problem is the huge burn time penalty. Even if you assume the same low output rates for both stove, the 30 burns 50% longer! That's huge. The difference in low burn output favoring the 30 is really just evidence that there is no valid reason to prefer the 20 to the 30 except for the small cost of the upgrade. Many times folks will assume smaller stoves make less heat. Call it a wash if you must but nobody can ignore the fuel capacity difference.

I would find a way to get the 30 ashford (drink less beer that month) but if the choice is 20 ashford vs. a non-cat then get the 20. It's still pretty dang good and your home appears to be within it's capabilities. The 20 owners that are on this site don't kick themselves every day for the decision or anything.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,717
Philadelphia
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.
I know how to operate my stoves. I've burned 50+ cords in six years, with very consistent results. But accidents (namely distractions) do happen. Have you never experienced one?
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,717
Philadelphia
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.
If I were buying a non-cat today, it would be a PE T5. Of course, cat stoves are so superior that I'd never do that, but in a theoretical world where cat stoves were banned...

I paid $6k for two BK Ashford 30's with two fan kits. I think they gave me the second stove near cost, but there it is. Definitely more than a PE, by the numbers given above, but sooooo worth it for us working folk. I set that thermostat for whatever time I want it to run, from 6 hours to 36 hours, based on my work and sleep schedule. No more being slave to your stove, as I was with the Jotuls.

I start off the fall with one stove running on 24 hour reloads, and the other on 36 or 48 hours (I can only maintain active cat for up to 36 hours). No PE will ever do anywhere near those times. In the cold of winter, I step it up to 24 hour reloads for one stove, and 12 hour reloads for the other. The beauty of the BK is it gives me this flexibility.

I believe a T5 can do 12 hours, but nowhere near 24 hours. What would I do to manage my heat if I owned a non-cat, have multiple short fires per day?
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
I know how to operate my stoves. I've burned 50+ cords in six years, with very consistent results. But accidents (namely distractions) do happen. Have you never experienced one?
Not one that was dangerous, or anywhere near dangerous. Seems you have decided to take things personally. Must have hit a nerve. Oh well.
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
If I were buying a non-cat today, it would be a PE T5. Of course, cat stoves are so superior that I'd never do that, but in a theoretical world where cat stoves were banned...

I paid $6k for two BK Ashford 30's with two fan kits. I think they gave me the second stove near cost, but there it is. Definitely more than a PE, by the numbers given above, but sooooo worth it for us working folk. I set that thermostat for whatever time I want it to run, from 6 hours to 36 hours, based on my work and sleep schedule. No more being slave to your stove, as I was with the Jotuls.

I start off the fall with one stove running on 24 hour reloads, and the other on 36 or 48 hours (I can only maintain active cat for up to 36 hours). No PE will ever do anywhere near those times. In the cold of winter, I step it up to 24 hour reloads for one stove, and 12 hour reloads for the other. The beauty of the BK is it gives me this flexibility.

I believe a T5 can do 12 hours, but nowhere near 24 hours. What would I do to manage my heat if I owned a non-cat, have multiple short fires per day?
I was wondering what the never ending BK yearly thread was like, but never found the need to go read it. Just figured it was a bunch of folks with too much time on their hands, oogling over how superior the BK is. Thanks for the confirmation. I used to have some sort of respect for you & your posts. But alas, my suspicions of being a blowhard are confirmed. I'll leave you to your boasting and move on to better things.

To answer your question, we burners using inferior stoves burn just fine with what suites our needs. No need for little fires unless one wants one. As I have stated many times, I load 2x per day, less during shoulder season. I know, what I could do with that extra times saved, like post how great me & my stove are compared to all the little people running such inferior products.
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
SuperJ, when talking with the dealers, it does not hurt to ask if they are having any specials to include free goodies, fan kits, tools, etc. With any stove it would not hurt to negotiate a free fan kit with it. Try not to be in tunnel vision mode, and see what else they may be willing to do/give to make the sale. Better to ask and be told no, then not ask at all.
 
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SuperJ

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2017
307
St.Jacobs, ON, Canada
SuperJ, when talking with the dealers, it does not hurt to ask if they are having any specials to include free goodies, fan kits, tools, etc. With any stove it would not hurt to negotiate a free fan kit with it. Try not to be in tunnel vision mode, and see what else they may be willing to do/give to make the sale. Better to ask and be told no, then not ask at all.

Thanks. I was wondering do fan kits make a difference? How loud are they typically?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,326
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Weird.

I just wonder why @Ashful wouldn't go for the larger t6? I don't think he's upset about anything. This thread has just turned into one of the annual cat vs. noncat debates but with two really specific stove examples. Two stoves that are at the top of their game!
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,326
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Thanks. I was wondering do fan kits make a difference? How loud are they typically?

On the BKs the fans are excellent. Quiet on low speed (quieter than a refrigerator) and very effective at all speeds. On my other non-cats the OEM fans have sucked. I would recommend the BK fans for use when you want high output and you can always add them later on if you want to save some money today and try it without the fans.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
On the BKs the fans are excellent. Quiet on low speed (quieter than a refrigerator) and very effective at all speeds.

I ordered the fans on my Chinook 30 and they are just regular radial fan blades. Do other models come with squirrel cage blowers? Because those move more air more quietly. With my Chinook I have to turn them super low for them to be quieter than the fridge. At that point they will just be assisting the natural convection slightly. On medium or high they do move enough air but they make quite a loud whoosh. I have a lot of experience with different fans and I know squirrel cages would move the same amount of air at a much quieter sound level. I do like the infinitely variable speed, that's very nice because it allows you to adjust the fan to a precise sound level/quality.
 

Newburnerwisconsin

Feeling the Heat
Jul 8, 2015
484
wisconsin
Does the Blaze King Ashford stove have a cook top? Can you cook with it? How about changing the cat. Any tools required? Is it difficult? How would a Ashford perform in a Wisconsin winter heating a 2000 sq. ft house? ( basement install finished basement)
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,326
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I ordered the fans on my Chinook 30 and they are just regular radial fan blades. Do other models come with squirrel cage blowers? Because those move more air more quietly. With my Chinook I have to turn them super low for them to be quieter than the fridge. At that point they will just be assisting the natural convection slightly. On medium or high they do move enough air but they make quite a loud whoosh. I have a lot of experience with different fans and I know squirrel cages would move the same amount of air at a much quieter sound level. I do like the infinitely variable speed, that's very nice because it allows you to adjust the fan to a precise sound level/quality.

Nope, axial fans. They are quieter than the competition's squirrel cage. Go figure. The BK inserts I believe still use a squirrel cage. There is more to fan design that just axial or squirrel cage, much more. Bottom line is the fans on the BK work very well.

I have the fans on my princess and only use them when I need higher output since I really appreciate the complete silence of a woodburner.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
There is more to fan design that just axial or squirrel cage, much more.

Agreed, I've seen some poorly designed squirrel cage fans that made more of a whoosh than necessary. And I've seen good ones that were incredibly quiet, even when moving a commendable amount of air. So, yes, design is important.

Bottom line is the fans on the BK work very well.

I agree here too, I just wish they were quieter when moving moderate and high amounts of air. They're not terrible but there is room for improvement.



I have the fans on my princess and only use them when I need higher output since I really appreciate the complete silence of a woodburner.

I appreciate a quiet environment too so I'll probably do the same.
 
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