VC Defiant Flexburn compared to other stoves

John Kuhn Posted By John Kuhn, Dec 29, 2017 at 10:53 PM

  1. John Kuhn

    John Kuhn
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 29, 2017
    18
    2
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Well, today I ordered my new stove, sooner than originally planned. The crack in the top of my 20 year old Defiant 1910 is growing noticeably, and now I'm concerned I won't make it through the heating season. Expected delivery for it's replacement is the second half of February, so here's hoping we'll make it on the old one another month.

    The Woodstock Soapstone Progress Hybrid is the one that made it to the top of my list No doubt the BK Ashford has the longest burn time, but from what I've read it works best with the fan kit, and I prefer it be just radiant like my current stove. And also I don't have power at that location. I think the Progress has a superior ash removal system, and I prefer the side loading over front loading. Looks like the catalyst is impressively easy to service, and love the soapstone and overall styling. Feature wise, I like the VC Defiant Flexburn as well, but just can't get comfortable that it will be as durable, easily serviceable, and long lasting as the Progress. And the folks at Woodstock have been excellent at answering my many questions. I will let you know how the install goes.

    Meanwhile, I suspect the old stove will end up as scrap unless somebody has a better idea. It would require an investment of around $500-$600 to get it where it should be, and that's with a flat black top because I don't think enamel is available anymore. The refractory box is fragile, and any new user would probably want to start with a fresh catalyst, and those parts are all available. Otherwise, it's been a workhorse.
     
    Joyboy likes this.
  2. Joyboy

    Joyboy
    Member 2.
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    Jan 22, 2017
    124
    40
    Loc:
    Wyoming
    Congratulations! I think you will love it. With the advice from others, I ordered an extra ash pan with lid for mine. It makes it handy.
     
  3. RandyBoBandy

    RandyBoBandy
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 25, 2015
    485
    93
    Loc:
    Whitmore lake
    Holy cow that PH is a heavy stove. Hope you have some good friends willing to help. Just don't tell them it's an 800 pound stove until after it's in the house.
     
  4. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 4, 2013
    105
    24
    Loc:
    Northern CT
    I think you made a good choice moving away from VC. I, like many around here, thought VC stoves were the best thing ever for wood burners. In my previous house I had a VC Intrepid 1. It seemed to work well, but that was because I had it figured out. They are temperamental to say the least. The wife didn't like it because it took forever to get the house warmed up with it. After that I bought a Resolute 1, which was a disaster of epic proportions. That stove was just plain awful, would constantly die out on me, took even longer to get that stove up to temp. I was beyond shocked that the house was even colder with that larger stove. I disassembled it twice making sure things weren't blocked, but nothing I could do would make that piece of crap stove burn anywhere near what my friend with his newer stove would do(I think he has a newer Jotul).

    I was just about to say the hell with wood burning all together thanks to VC. Someone would have to pay me significant money to run one again.....like $1000 a day.
     
    bholler likes this.
  5. Rearscreen

    Rearscreen
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 21, 2014
    375
    94
    Loc:
    Vermont
    Good choice you won't regret it, check back as there is a learning curve operating a cat. A friend of mine did handy work for a woman in Ridgefield Ct (super wealthy town) and she had a pretty much little used Defiant her colonial 1700s kitchen. She passed and I inquired about the stove. "Being sold with the house" so grabbing it was off the table. A few months after the closing I was hired to dismantle a fence on the property. I look over and in the garden the new owner took the stove out to the stone patio and used it as an outdoor heater. Rusted and ruined. Maybe you could take yours and do the same thing?
     
  6. John Kuhn

    John Kuhn
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 29, 2017
    18
    2
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Hopefully my experience using the cat on the old stove will be useful and comparable. A shame to hear about the little used Defiant being destroyed. I actually thought about the outdoor wood heater idea, but guess we wouldn't use it much, and my wife wouldn't want an eyesore hanging around.

    My experience with VC wasn't at all like Bootstrap describes. I'd still give them an A for features, a B for ease of use, and a C for durability/reliability. The cracked top is disappointing, but otherwise in 20 years only replaced refractory box and catalyst once. And I think I put a new gasket on the ash door and griddle at least once, but that's it. It's been our primary heat source for all 20 years, burn 3-4 cords per year.
     

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