Wood Stove Purchase

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Oct 28, 2008
I went shopping for a wood stove today and saw two models that I think would serve me well:

a Hearthstone Castleton


and a Buck Model 21


The Buck is about $1,000 cheaper, but the Hearthstone is better looking and supposedly has longer and more modulated heat because of the soapstone.

Any opinions on these or other choices?

My restrictions are that I need a stove that is about 24" wide and 28" tall or smaller. These foot the bill.
Have you considered Jotul and Vermont Castings? IMO they don't come any better than Jotul.
If you can swing soapstone, get it. Conducts heat better so less goes up your chimney.

Have you been on hearth.com, the BITOG of wood?
Originally Posted By: eljefino
If you can swing soapstone, get it. Conducts heat better so less goes up your chimney.

Have you been on hearth.com, the BITOG of wood?

Originally Posted By: spasm3
I've wanted to add one, but i just don't have a good spot( or one my wife will let me put one.)

I like the look of vermont castings. I like the porcelain stoves.


and jotul


How much square footage? or how big is the room you plan to put it in?

I had a Jotul in the 80s, but I don't find a model that fits my dimensions well.

I'm trying to offset general heating costs with this stove. The ground floor where the stove would be is about 2,000 square feet, but it is open to the second floor.

The main issue is the size of the stove. It can be no taller than 28".
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I'm afraid I haven't had experience with either one.

I have used and found to be good:
Vermont Castings
do you have propane available? i looked at wood stoves to replace my fireplace.the problem was that my 82 yr old mother didnt need to be loading it with wood.

the salesman showed me propane stove that even has fake logs in it.just turn it on if needed. but just the pilot light keeps it warm enough in that room on all but the coldest days
We heat our similar size home with a Vermont Castings Encore Model 2550. It is 26" high and 28" wide. Looks great and has been very reliable to date. Maintenance schedule for me is to replace 1/3 of the gaskets every year. The three year rotation is perfect for our use. This year, the ash door is due. Next year the top griddle and flue collar. Last year the doors. I am sure I could double the maintenance interval with no ill effects, but I like tight control of combustion air. In addition, I clean the catalytic converter every summer. I cut oak and hickory and season it for two years. Perhaps seasoned wood has extended the life of our cat, but it is well past normal life expectancy, and still lights off very well. We are able to run continuous with only water vapor visible. The flue gets one cleaning a year that yields about a coffee can of dry black soot. However, a replacement cat will be necessary at some point and that will cost $2-300.

The first level is also a little over 2000 square foot. On that level we have a Jotul F-100. It is 24" tall and 24" wide. This stove is fantastic, but seldom used. It is very small, but is rated at 5000 KW. It is very attractive, but requires tending more often if you operate at the rated output. Since the boys are gone, we don't heat that level very often. This Jotul operates cleanly with a design that does not need a cat.

As a backup, we have a Jotul 602. It is 25" tall and 14" wide with a depth of 23". This thing is a beast with regard to output. But it is not a clean burner. If necessary, I could switch out the F-100 and the 602 would heat our 4000 square foot home comfortably at an outside temperature of zero degrees F. We have to open the stairwell doors. A couple of small fans help distribute the heat on the second level, but are really not necessary should power be off.

The Vermont Castings is very efficient. I keep the second level ~78 degrees F all winter(happy wife, happy life). At this temperature, the first level is always 55F or higher. We consume two pounds of dry firewood per degree day. Last winter in the Ozarks was a 5000 degree day winter. I burned approximately 10,000 pounds of wood or ~three cords. Two winters ago, consumption was two plus cords during a 3500 degree day winter. Our home is extremely well insulated and resistant to infiltration.

I haven't owned a Hearthstone or Buck, but the soapstone=even heat is marketing hype. The physics governing heat transfer cover that problem well. The Hearthstone is elegant and in the right setting would be beautiful.

I have seven cords cut split and stacked. I can't wait for the first frost to start cutting the 2016-2017 winter's wood. I love being in our woods in the cold culling the poor and less desirable growth. Barring some malady killing the forest, we are in a sustainable situation with regard to heat.

Good luck with your stove. Having owned a stove in the past you are well aware of the wonderful evenings sitting before the fire with the spouse and friends. It is a blessing. Some friends and relatives remark occasionally how they would find it hard to go without TV as we do. After an evening before the fire, I observe their demeanor and wonder if the occasional TV free evening should be prescribed by the Doctor. Rx: "No TV for one week each month. Sit before the fire in the evenings, talk story, pick walnuts, and sip cocoa and cider. See me next fall."
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