Dealer markup. It's kind of like printer cartridges. Back when I was buying them for the T6 the baffle gaskets were around $11 for a 3 pack. About 4 yrs ago I made a Hogwildz special gasket and have not needed a new one since.the little baffle gaskets on my T5 are a rip off too, about $5 each last time I bought them from my dealer. That was pre covid so now I wouldn't be surprised if they were $8 each. It's basically a rip off but I tend to just see it as the one sacrificial part of my stove I have to replace annually. So in the realm of it all I don't mind it that much. Once I do mind the price, I'll just make my own as others have already been doing for years.
I don't think you are missing anything, but people who are cleaning from below using a soot eater will be taking the baffle out every time they clean. I bought some aftermarket baffle gaskets, I think they were around $3.50 each but they aren't made from butterfly wings like the OEM baffle gaskets so I think I'll be able to get through more than one cleaning from each gasket.I dropped my baffle once and replaced them then. Since then I have been able to satisfactorily clean above the baffle through the collar above. Am I missing something on cleaning the stove? There really hasn't been much up there... a bit of soot builds up as I clean the chimney top down.
Dealer markup. It's kind of like printer cartridges. Back when I was buying them for the T6 the baffle gaskets were around $11 for a 3 pack. About 4 yrs ago I made a Hogwildz special gasket and have not needed a new one since.
That said, I stand behind purchasing OEM door gaskets. There is a big difference in construction from the hardware stove variety make by Rutland, Meeco, etc. The OEM door gasket for the PE is ouch-expensive, $35 the last time I got one, but it lasts for 7-8 yrs. and the others just don't seal right.
For our stove, that is the worst I tried. It was too stiff and could not make a good seal causing it to leak badly. The first test fire with it went nuclear and there was little I could do besides ride it out. The second smaller fire was like the first, dangerously poor control over the fire. Ironically, the Meeco gasket was bought from Sutter Home in Seattle, a PE dealership but they had no OEM PE gaskets. We stopped burning until the OEM arrived a couple of days later from Tom Oyen's Chimneysweep shop. The OEM was a day and night difference in construction and sealing. It performs perfectly still.One of the best rope gasket I got is the : Bronze Rope , from Meeco's Heat Safe, Seatle, WA.