Nothing like a warm toasty wood fire...
As far as home heating solutions are concerned, wood stoves are a classic. They have been around for centuries and their perfect combination of aesthetic appeal and functionality make them a great addition to any home. So whether it is a centerpiece for your rustic themed living room or a functional piece for those chilly winters you can rest assured that it will be a worthy investment.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and just need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
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The Best Wood Stoves In The Market For The Money!
Pleasant Hearth Wood Burning Stove
This cast iron beauty is the model you go for when you are looking for full value for your money from an all-rounded performer. It features a brick-lined furnace for heat retention and more effective combustion of the fuel. Due to its design, it has a high output of 77,000 BTU as well as a high efficiency of 85%. The efficiency rating makes it an energy-saving model which means you do not have to go broke investing in fuel to keep it running.
The Pleasant Hearth stove also has an impressive 2200 square feet capacity measure. It can therefore very easily warm up large spaces in your home whether it is your large living room or the entire ground floor. It especially comes in handy as a complement for central heating during the winter.
The furnace can accommodate a lot of wood fuel with an impressive log capacity of up to 20 inches. With this, you get to enjoy between 8 and 10 hours of heating. This is honestly a bit disappointing especially compared to the time you get from other models.
Other amazing features to look forward to include the ceramic window for easy monitoring, the ash clean-out door for maintenance and the amazing aesthetics.
- It is easy to operate.
- It is EPA certified thus safe.
- It is easy to maintain.
- It looks great with the smooth iron finish and ceramic window. - It is affordable especially considering the features.
- It allows you to control heat intensity through draft control.
- It is very large and requires a lot of setup space.
- The burn time offered is on the lower end of the spectrum compared to other models.
Vermont Castings 2461 Catalytic Cast Iron Stove
The Vermont Castings 2461 stove is an aesthetic masterpiece if you ever saw one. It straight up looks like something from 18th century-based films. It has a unique colonial era exterior design with a classic black finishing to the iron body. This is complemented perfectly by the see-through mirror meant for monitoring the fire. These all give the unit a nice rustic look which is ideal if you are going for a vintage theme in your home décor project.
In addition to being an interior décor gem it is one of the best catalytic stoves. The catalytic combustion system makes it an eco-friendly and energy-saving option. In fact it has an efficiency rating of 75.9% which though not the best is still very impressive.
It has a heating capacity of 1600 square feet and maximum heat output of 40,000 BTU. One full load of fuel will give you at least 9 hours of burning time before you have to add more wood. All these put the unit slightly above average when it comes to performance for wood stoves in its price range. These details also make it an option worth considering for smaller homes or cozier setups. You might therefore have to compromise a little in terms of performance for the sake of aesthetics and environmental consciousness.
Finally, it comes in 3 different sizes allowing you to pick the best literal fit for your home.
- It is eco-friendly.
- It is aesthetically appealing.
- It is energy efficient thus uses less wood.
- The same design and features are available in multiple sizes.
- It is expensive.
- It offers little burning time.
- The catalyst burner makes it challenging to operate.
HiFlame FF-905 Shetland Wood Stove
One challenge you have to live with as a wood stove owner is that of financially sustaining a steady supply of wood. The energy efficiency on this model makes it very cost-effective to operate as it uses much less wood fuel than many other models. It has an efficiency rating of an impressive 90% which is made possible by a unique combustion mechanism that uses pre-heated air to burn the fuel. This ensures that the wood is completely burned and as much heat energy as can be extracted from the wood is released.
It has a heat output level of 21000 BTU and a capacity to heat 800 square feet of space around it. The heat output and capacity are not very impressive compared to other models reviewed on our list of best wood burner stoves.
However, where it lacks in these two aspects it more than makes up for with burning time. The HiFlame offers up 24 hours of heat production from one full load of fuel which is very convenient. It is also a very affordable unit which makes it a great option if you are shopping for a stove on a tight budget.
Finally. The unique contemporary European design makes it the perfect subtle aesthetic addition to any living space.
- It is highly efficient.
- It is small and requires little setup space. - It is affordable.
- It is not a great choice for heating up large spaces.
- It takes long to heat up.
How To Choose The Right Wood Stove For You
As with any other major purchase, shopping for a wood burning stove requires that you take several factors into consideration. This is truly the only way to ensure that you settle for a unit that will not disappoint you. Below are a few of these factors and understanding their implications will help you make the best possible choice.
Amount Of Setup Space Available
Before you go our shopping you need to ask yourself where you intend to set up the stove. What amount of space are you willing to sacrifice there? Understanding these dynamics allows you to make the right decision based on dimensions. Trust me the last thing you want is a unit too big for the room that affects not only aesthetics but also comfort. To be on the safe side, identify a potential site, take measurements and get to searching with those parameters in mind.
Heating Capacity, Output & Efficiency
This is without a doubt the most important set of factors to consider when shopping for the best wood stove. The heating capacity refers to the area in square feet that the stove will warm up when in use. The average range is between 500 and 2000 square feet. However there are a few high capacity models like the Pleasant Hearth stove capable of heating up to 2200 square feet.
The heat output on the other hand is pretty self-explanatory. It is simply the intensity of heat produced by the unit and is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). The average range for decent stoves is 5000 to 25000 BTU but can be as high as 80,000 with high output models.
Finally, the heat efficiency is a measure of the stove’s energy-saving capabilities. High efficiency units use much less fuel to produce heat and are therefore more sustainable in the long run.
A good wood stove should come fitted with safety features. These include features to prevent overheating and to avoid fire outbreaks. They should also have features that make it safe to handle different parts of the unit while it is hot. This includes things like insulated handles that allow you to open the wood shelves to add more fuel.
Wood stoves might be designed for heating but this does not mean that they cannot serve as home accessories. This is especially the case with indoor burners. The last thing anyone wants is an ugly bunch of metal taking away from the intricate décor in the living room or even bedroom. Get a unit that not only serves you well but also contributes to the aesthetic appeal of the room.
Indoor vs Outdoor use
You need to figure out when and where you intend to use the stove. This is especially the case with outdoor units. In this case, weight, dimensions and overall portability are very important. You don’t want to be dragging a 500 pound beast around with you as you go on your expeditions and camping adventures.
Price vs. Value For Your Money
A good wood burning stove will not come cheap. It is therefore very important to ensure that you choose something that is worth every penny spent. You should also do a lot of research to figure out what is available on the market. This will help you narrow things down to a price range you are comfortable with especially if you are shopping on a budget. After this all you need to do is find the best models in this range and get yourself a stove.
Ease Of Operation & Maintenance
Wood stoves are a little more hands-on than electric and gas burners. You therefore need to find one that will not give you too much trouble when it comes to monitoring the fire and adding wood. Wood burners with detachable ash trays are also significantly more superior as they make your life a lot easier when it comes to cleaning up.
Stoves are usually made of either iron or stainless steel. These materials are great at containing the heat within the furnace therefore avoiding loss and promoting efficiency. In terms of aesthetics, iron has a classy and traditional rustic feel whereas Stainless steel is more modern and edgy. When making your decision, it is important to also not that both have their shortcomings. While iron is succeptible to rust and corrosion, stainless steel is less aesthetically appealing. It is up to you to choose what you are willing to live with or without.
Combustion Mechanism- Catalytic vs. Non-catalytic
Catalytic stoves feature a special design that passes the gaseous byproducts of combustion through a ceramic catalytic converter. This special design helps prevent heat loss through the gasses and reduces toxic emissions in the smoke produced. This makes them highly efficient, high capacity burners and eco-friendly. Non-catalytic stoves might not have this design but they are every bit as effective. They are also a lot more affordable and much easier to operate.
Finally, you need to consider how much time you will be getting from your burner with one full load of wood fuel. It is an especially important factor to consider if you want long-term heating in your home. A decent stove will offer you up to 20 hours of continuous heat production before you have to reload. Some models go the extra mile giving up to 30 hours of burning time. They are often the more high-end options but worth every penny in the long run.
Each and every model reviewed above has something special to offer. It therefore boils down to your requirements, priorities and preferences. If your number one priority is aesthetics then the US Stove and the Vermont Castings are great options to consider. The former is especially useful if you do not have too much space. For outdoor use, try the Guide Gear for heat and the Wealers for cooking. The La Nordica would be ideal for setting up in the kitchen due to its multipurpose function. Finally, if you want full value for your money with an all rounded model then simply settle for our top pick which is the Pleasant Hearth model. You will not be disappointed.
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