Woodstock Keystone vs. Hearthstone Heritage

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Burnin Up

Member
Mar 4, 2011
9
SE PA
Which would you choose and why? Between the Woodstock Keystone and the Hearthstone Heritage?

I like the idea of the "soft" heat for a small house (1300 sq ft)
I also really like the functional use of the side door on both of these stoves.

The rated difference in the sq footage between the two is huge.
Keystone =800-1300 sq ft. 45K BTU
Heritage = 1300-1900 sq ft 55K BTU

I really like the look of the Keystone, but not looking forward to replacing a CAT every few years.

The Hearthstone draws my eye for the better clearances, larger wood sizes (21 inches)......

Your thoughts???
 

leeave96

Minister of Fire
Apr 22, 2010
1,113
Western VA
Both stove are great stoves. Todd will likely chime in on the Keystone as he has one and replaced a larger Fireview with it.

I have the Keystone and it is a fantastic stove, extremely well made. The cats should last 5 years, but mine crapped out on my after the first year - but to Woodstock's credit, they gave me a free replacement that has a stainless steel structure vs ceramic and should be much durable. The Keystone is one of the finest looking stoves on the market IMHO. With the huge front glass and andirons behind it, the lazy flames coming off the logs make the stove look like a small fireplace. The stove is super easy to control and the cat makes for great low heat clean shoulder season burns. The only thing I wish mine had was a bit bigger firebox. The Keystone has a great ash pan set-up and it is top or rear vent. Mine started out top vent, but with a new liner install, I changed to rear vent. This makes the stove less intrusive in the living room and puts a raised piece of soapstone on the stove top - which adds to the looks. With a heat shield, you can go down to around 14 inches from a combustable wall.

I think the Hearthstone soapstones are some of the finest looking stoves on the market. There is a fellow who goes by Highbeam and I think he has the Heritage so you might want to search some of his posts too. The Heritage will give you a great stove, larger firebox than the Keystone and maybe longer burn times, more BTUs and a front door in addition to the side door. Front door is nice in that it makes wiping down the glass a bit easier.

I take all of these mfg's heating numbers with a grain of salt. My Keystone puts out a ton of heat and the only real heating problem I have with it is not the stove, but my drafty house - which is in need of insulation and windows upgrades.

If your house is well insulated and you got a back-up furnance, give the Keystone a try. I think Woodstock has a 6 month return policy if you don't like the stove. If it doesn't work out, the spring for the Heritage.

Good luck with your purchase.

Bill
 

ddddddden

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2009
1,487
Central Va
I see in your other post: 1300 sq ft, attic insulation only. Leaky/drafty? If you're trying to heat the whole house, layout permitting, I would lean toward a stove larger than the Keystone, possibly larger than the Heritage, or insulate & weatherize the house. Woodstock has a larger stove that resembles the Keystone due out this summer. http://woodstocksoapstoneco.blogspot.com
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,348
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I would not be afraid of the cat stove but I certainly wouldn't try heating an avergage home in PA with a stove that is rated to only heat such a small area.

So to answer your question of which and why, I would choose the heritage since it has a much larger firebox, takes more wood, rated for more SF, and has similar burn times without the additional complication of engaging the cat. A single lever is pretty hard to mess up. Also, aesthetically, the heritage is just a better looking stove to me. The Hearthstone company polishes their stone to a gloss and the castings are quite nice too. The big thing that woodstock has going against them is their clearances to combustibles are way too huge and out of date. I can slam my heritage 7" from the wall. The woodstocks must stick way out into the room and with 1300SF I can guess that the extra space would be missed.

It's a tough decision though since the woodstock line is quite good and your home is small enough that WS has a stove for you. Why not use a fireview? A much tougher decision is between teh fireview and the heritage and I very likely would vote for the fireview in that case.
 

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summit

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2008
1,900
central maine
Both are good stoves, but I agree w/ Den in that you might wanna think about going larger.
I think for both the Keystone and the Heritage, USABLE firebox size and performance will be about the same.
It mostly goes towards which look you want, but more importantly, price.
I see you can get a Keystone right now for @2200, free shipping.. we sell Hearthstones, and a new Heritage is gonna cost you @ 2700-3100 (depending on color).
Maintainence costs will probably be similar over the long run. Wayy back in the day, our store sold woodstock, but then they went strictly "mail" order. We still have an account w/ them for parts, and they reference us sometimes when a customer in the area needs a rebuild on a woodstock. I've been into a couple Palladians and Keystones, as well as several Fireviews. It takes about as much effort to tear those down and put back together as it does a Hearthstone stove. The Keystone has a CAT, and don't let anyone tell you different: you will replace it eventually.... Now, before every CAT owner that somehow has the "Magic CAT" that they've never replaced in 2 decades chimes in, (yes all two of you) a counter point: the Heritage has a ceramic baffle. You will replace it eventually.
The Keystone has a better latch system. The Heritage has 1 thick stone construction, vs the double (yet thinner) layers the Keystone has. The Heritage has a better seal to the stones (IMO) because of the steel splines and refractory (vs the cast and gasket system of the Keystone), but the H.S. seals require more digging and delicacy to replace. The thicker stones of the HS means it holds better against cracking than the inner firebox stones on the woody, but a crack in the HS means a crack all the way thru, vs (mostly) just the inner stone layer on the woodstock. That being said, I've seen some stoves of both brands go years with a hairline crack and never miss a beat, so take it as you will.

In the end, They are both pretty equal, and the look and price and looks will probably determine it for you. If you get a Hearthstone, then you can probably find a dealer that can offer service and wtty coverage at your home, vs the call and ship method of woodstock, but WS's people are top notch, so if you don;t mind diggin in solo they will help you with tech support: HS tells you to contact a dealer.
 

Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,246
NW Wisconsin
Looks like you received some great advice. I'll just add a few things.

I think the Woodstock sq ft heating stats are very conservative unless you live in a sieve. I heat my 2000 sq ft with my Keystone basement install til the temps dip down into the single digits or have high winds then the other Keystone kicks in to help out. I think Highbeam measured his Heritage fire box and came up with 1.5 verses the Keystones 1.4 so they are very close just like Summit stated. You won't be burning either stove at the max stated BTU's, if you do, you need a larger stove. Most burn in the low to medium range.

The Keystone will give you a longer burn, I can get consistent 12 hour burns with my Keystone if I turn it way down which is great for a smaller home in the shoulder seasons. Pretty impressive for a small box.

The rear clearance of the Keystone may be double the Heritage but the front clearance is only 1/2 of the Heritage at 8" so the hearth requirements are about the same.

I like the looks of both but I'm a big fan of cat stoves. Just seems you can control the heat output more, save on wood and the extra step or maintenance, which isn't much doesn't bother me. Woodstock has also replaced the ceramic cats with stainless steel cats that should last longer. If the cat doesn't last they are under warranty and Woodstock will replace them free of charge the 1st couple years, then pro rated another 4 years after.
 

Mt Ski Bum

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2011
516
Dillon, Mt
The big thing I don't like about Woodstocks is that they don't have a front door- side &/or top loading only. Otherwise, they seem like a good company, although I personally like Hearthstone's looks better than Woodstock's (still drooling over that Equinox ;))
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Rather than compare the Keystone and Heritage, you would get a much better comparison of the Fireview and Heritage.

When we bought, the Heritage was toward the top of our choices of stoves and it is a beautiful stove. I have been happy as I've heard of several problems with the Heritage and the Fireview is great. We were against a cat stove at first but now am very happy we did go with the cat stove. So we have to replace the cat every now and then. With all stoves there will be maintenance costs. And let's just say the cat lasts only 5 years. That is $20 per year; is that too much cost?
 

snowleopard

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2009
1,495
Another voice chiming in to agree that comparably-sized-to-Heritage Woodstock stove is the Fireview. I looked very hard at the FV, and think highly of the stove and the company, but last minute veered towards Heritage, and am very happy with my choice.

Take a good look at the spot you plan installing the stove. If clearances are an issue, you need to think through the size required for both stoves, and how you'll access the loading door(s). And while operating a wood stove is not rocket science, if you have a houseful of teeners (and their friends) who will be doing some stove tending, be aware that the cat requires a little more finesse and awareness in using. I also like the big front door, for loading, cleaning, and fire watching (and yes, I sometimes load through the side as well. If looks are an issue, take a look at the whole room and the whole house--they are both beautiful stoves, but as to which one will fit better in your house, it's a personal choice. From my point of view, my house is more hobbit hole than rivendell hall, and I think the Heritage is a better visual match. I also had a dealer nearby with an excellent reputation, and that was another factor.

Whichever stove you go with, this would be a good time to start accumulating and seasoning firewood. Just cut it to the size of the smallest stove you think you'll get. Think through how you'll store it once it's seasoned, and the logistics of getting it into the house, and whether you'll want to build a woodshed. I know that I was more concerned about the stove during the shopping process, and in retrospect I wish I'd done more to get ready in terms of wood.
 

pring7

Member
Jan 2, 2011
57
Eastern NC
I narrowed my stove selection down to these two brands also. The determining factor for me actually was the cat. I have never had a stove with a cat. I previously used a late 1800’s-early 1900’s Victory potbelly stove and a Fisher Mama Bear. I see the big advantage with the cat is that I can dial down the heat pretty low for the shoulder season when I just want to take a little bit of the chill out of the house. I went with the Palladian and will install it this summer.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,348
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Todd said:
I think Highbeam measured his Heritage fire box and came up with 1.5 verses the Keystones 1.4 so they are very close just like Summit stated.

The rear clearance of the Keystone may be double the Heritage but the front clearance is only 1/2 of the Heritage at 8" so the hearth requirements are about the same.
The way I measured the Heritage is a condition of that small volume. I measured normal usable firebox and got much less than the advertised 2.3 CF for the Heritage. I would have to measure a Keystone the same way to make a real comparison.

On the clearances. There is no such thing as a front clearance. The hearth must stick out farther in front of the Heritage but that is usable floor area in a home. The huge area required behind all woodstock stoves is forever lost to dust devils. Unusable by humans and the stove will be way out "in" the living space. Woodstock needs to get with the program on this, not everybody is trying to stuff a stove into an old fireplace.

I appreciate the huge front window on the heritage but I almost never open that door except about 4 times a year for a good cleaning. All loading, firestarting, and glass cleaning is done through the wonderful side door. A wide (E/W) stove without a side door is poorly designed.
 

Mt Ski Bum

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2011
516
Dillon, Mt
Highbeam said:
I would not be afraid of the cat stove but I certainly wouldn't try heating an avergage home in PA with a stove that is rated to only heat such a small area.

So to answer your question of which and why, I would choose the heritage since it has a much larger firebox, takes more wood, rated for more SF, and has similar burn times without the additional complication of engaging the cat. A single lever is pretty hard to mess up. Also, aesthetically, the heritage is just a better looking stove to me. The Hearthstone company polishes their stone to a gloss and the castings are quite nice too. The big thing that woodstock has going against them is their clearances to combustibles are way too huge and out of date. I can slam my heritage 7" from the wall. The woodstocks must stick way out into the room and with 1300SF I can guess that the extra space would be missed.

It's a tough decision though since the woodstock line is quite good and your home is small enough that WS has a stove for you. Why not use a fireview? A much tougher decision is between teh fireview and the heritage and I very likely would vote for the fireview in that case.
about that picture... I didn't know Hearthstone made cat stoves! :p
 

Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,246
NW Wisconsin
Highbeam said:
Todd said:
I think Highbeam measured his Heritage fire box and came up with 1.5 verses the Keystones 1.4 so they are very close just like Summit stated.

The rear clearance of the Keystone may be double the Heritage but the front clearance is only 1/2 of the Heritage at 8" so the hearth requirements are about the same.
The way I measured the Heritage is a condition of that small volume. I measured normal usable firebox and got much less than the advertised 2.3 CF for the Heritage. I would have to measure a Keystone the same way to make a real comparison.

On the clearances. There is no such thing as a front clearance. The hearth must stick out farther in front of the Heritage but that is usable floor area in a home. The huge area required behind all woodstock stoves is forever lost to dust devils. Unusable by humans and the stove will be way out "in" the living space. Woodstock needs to get with the program on this, not everybody is trying to stuff a stove into an old fireplace.

I appreciate the huge front window on the heritage but I almost never open that door except about 4 times a year for a good cleaning. All loading, firestarting, and glass cleaning is done through the wonderful side door. A wide (E/W) stove without a side door is poorly designed.
Jeez Highbeam, you make it sound like an extra 7" is 7'! I don't see the rear clearance as a big deal. Another 7" aint much and I don't think Woodstock would want to change it since you want a little more room back there to remove the cat acsess plate or sweep up dust devils. My Keystone would fit just fine on your hearth but it would just be a little further out front, so what.
 

leeave96

Minister of Fire
Apr 22, 2010
1,113
Western VA
firemedic said:
I narrowed my stove selection down to these two brands also. The determining factor for me actually was the cat. I have never had a stove with a cat. I previously used a late 1800’s-early 1900’s Victory potbelly stove and a Fisher Mama Bear. I see the big advantage with the cat is that I can dial down the heat pretty low for the shoulder season when I just want to take a little bit of the chill out of the house. I went with the Palladian and will install it this summer.
One thing about the Keystone is that it is VERY controllable. The cat works great for low smoldering burns if you don't need so much heat in the warmer weather we are having now. I don't think you can go wrong with either. Both are great stoves and easy on the eyes too.

Bill
 

leeave96

Minister of Fire
Apr 22, 2010
1,113
Western VA
[quote author="Highbeam" date="1303851534] On the clearances. There is no such thing as a front clearance. The hearth must stick out farther in front of the Heritage but that is usable floor area in a home. The huge area required behind all woodstock stoves is forever lost to dust devils. Unusable by humans and the stove will be way out "in" the living space. Woodstock needs to get with the program on this, not everybody is trying to stuff a stove into an old fireplace.

I appreciate the huge front window on the heritage but I almost never open that door except about 4 times a year for a good cleaning. All loading, firestarting, and glass cleaning is done through the wonderful side door. A wide (E/W) stove without a side door is poorly designed.[/quote]

Actually you do loose floor space in front of Hearitage (or any other front loading stove) unless you have a flush to the floor hearth - which from what I read, not so many folks do. I have a flush to floor hearth for my Keystone, so in that case you are right it is useable floor. If you have a small house/room to install the stove a flush install is nice. With our house, we built our hearth to the minimum requirements - 8 inches around the non-door sides because not only did we NOT want stove intruding on the room, we also didn't want the hearth doing that either. We wanted as much carpet around the stove as possible and in the end, it looks great. The hearth's size relative to the stove compliments the stove and room.

As to the huge area required behind the Keystone - that' really not so huge. 14.5 inches is less than the width of a computer's keyboard to give a visual. It's so narrow back there that there is only enough room to set the fire poker and shovel, etc behind the stove. Even the dog has to be carefull when it walks around the rear of the stove. I couldn't fit back there if I wanted to. So again, the rear clearances on the Keystone are very much reasonable.

You are right though that a front door would be nice on the Keystone to make glass cleaning a bit easier. I don't know if the Heritage comes with andirons, but one the attractions of the Keystone are the andirons holding the logs in place during a lazy fireplace burn. Not so sure how that would look against the front glass.

Keystone or Heritage are might fine stoves IMHO.

Thanks!
Bill
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Wow. This dug up an old thread.
 
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