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5 Best Wood Stove for Heating – Buying Guide & Reviews 2017

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​Wood is a renewable source. Not only it is cheaper to burn woods than gas or electricity, it is also more environmentally friendly. Even if you're not looking to save money, you might still want to try wood stove because people who have tried it agree that wood stove is warmer and more comfortable than other kinds of heat.

If you're not sure which wood stove is the best on the market, we've got you covered. Here are 5 of the better ones that you should consider buying.​

Image

Name

Price

Rating

Link

HQ ISSUE Outdoor Wood Stove

$$

B

Wood Burning Cook Stove La Nordica "Rosa XXL", with Baking Oven

$$$$

A

EcoZoom Rocket Stove – Dura

$$

B

US Stove BSK1000 Cast Iron Barrel Stove Kit

$

A+

Vermont Castings 2461 Catalytic Cast Iron Stove

$$$$$

A+

Our pick

THE BEST WOOD STOVE

Vermont Castings 2461 Catalytic Cast Iron Stove

​It is a highly efficient stove that has several safety features and can heat up a large area. It also is available in three sizes which gives customers several different options depending on their heating needs.

How to Choose a Wood Stove

What do you look for when you go shopping for a wood stove? The size of the stove and its heating capacity will depend on what your needs are but there are other things to consider like durability, combustion technology and heat output. You might think you’re just getting a simple wood stove but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Durability

A wood stove will be made from one of two materials either welded steel or cast iron. They both have the same heating performance but the difference can be seen in the price and appearance of the oven. Cast iron creates beautiful curves and creative relief designs. This does increase the price of the stove as well as the need to rebuild the cast iron stove every couple of years. Doing this reseals joints that are in between the panels to keep air from leaking in and making the fire burn more than you want. Welded steel cost less and are plainer looking.

As far as durability, both materials seem to be about the same. The one area you need to keep an eye on is where they are welded. Cheaper stoves have key parts welded into them and are not created for years and years of use in the winter.

Combustion technology

There are two types of combustion technology, catalytic and non-catalytic combustion. Both are effective but perform differently.

Catalytic combustion has smoky exhaust that passes through a ceramic honeycomb that is catalyst-coated and placed deep inside which produces a long solid heat output. These types of stoves include a bypass damper that is level-operated for starting the fire and loading wood. The operation of this stove is a little complicated when mixed with the stove needing to be hot for the catalyst to become engaged. The catalyst does become damaged over time and will need to be replaced, however, if you use the stove carefully, it can last for at least six seasons but if misused it will fall apart within two years.

Non-catalytic combustion creates combustion in the firebox itself. It uses three things to do this – an insulated firebox, diverted gas flow by a baffle and air introduced around the top of the firebox through small holes. These ovens have more of a peak heat output but they create a beautiful fire which people enjoy. Parts will need to be replaced periodically from the high temperatures.

Emissions

All catalytic wood stoves must meet the EPA mandatory smoke emission limit which is 4.1 grams of smoke per hour and for non-catalytic stoves its 7.5 g/h. You need to make sure the stove you purchase meets these standards as some cheaper wood stoves are not EPA certified.

Heat output

Heat output is measure in British Thermal Units (BTUs) and the most popular stoves range from 25,000 to 80,000 BTU’s. Your average house only requires 5,000 to 20,000 BTUs per hour so don’t think you need one with large output rates, the average stove should work fine.

Heating capacity

Depending on the climate you live in, certain stoves will heat the same area differently, its contingent on where you live. To compensate, manufaturers will give large square footage ranges that the stove will heat. The reason for this is that a stove will heat the same size house better if you live in the United States than if you live in Canada because of the climate difference. Also, an older house may not be as well insulated as a newer home so there will be a lot of heat loss. Another consideration will be the type of wood you are using to heat your home, softer woods like spruce puts out less heat output than harder woods like maple. So, square footage is not necessarily a good indication of a stoves heating capacity. Keep the other factors in mind when deciding if you stove will work in your home.

Stoves come in three different sizes – small, medium and large – and keep in mind the firebox’s shape does affect it’s volume so this can alter the following parameters some.

  • Small – firebox volume is less than 2 cubic feet and should be fine to heat one large room or a small cabin.
  • Medium – firebox volume is between 2 and 3 cubic feet and can heat up a small or medium sized house.
  • Large – firebox volume is larger than 3 cubic feet and should be able to heat a large house with an open floor plan or houses that leak heat.

Best Wood Stove - Reviews

1. HQ ISSUE Outdoor Wood Stove

This wood stove is great for camping as well as outbuildings. It not only heats but also cooks keeping coffee and pans hot for cooking bacon and eggs plus it can bring water to a boil. It’s also portable with detachable legs, nesting pipes and the entire set up can fit inside itself so that it is easy to storage and move.

Features:

  • Heat-resistant black finish that can with stand high temperatures
  • Includes five 15.5"l. stove pipes that are 3.375" diameter
  • Cast iron door that is front hinged and includes an air vent that is adjustable
  • The top platform of the stove is great for keeping coffee hot and pans warm
  • It heats an area of up 14' x 20'
  • Nesting pipes and there is easy storage and transport as the entire stove set up fits within itself
  • This stove is only for outdoor use and you must use proper ventilation
  • Overall measurements are 17 3/4" x 11 3/4" x 16 1/4", 7'10"h. including pipe
  • Weighs 47 pounds
  • This stove is great for a walled tent. It is made of thick steel and has a ¼ steel plate door. It’s easy to assemble and the pipe sections are made of heavy-gauge steel so it’s very durable.

What we like:

  • Great for keeping food and coffee hot
  • Easy to transport

What we don't like:

  • Only for outdoor use and proper ventilation is required

2. Wood Burning Cook Stove La Nordica "Rosa XXL", with Baking Oven

This is a great value for the money and is one of the brands best sellers. It has a simple design and is durable and powerful. It is a cast iron stove with double glass doors on the firebox that can withstand high temperatures. It includes a wood drawer with two burners to cook on with a stainless steel trim. This stove comes with a large oven for baking that is almost 3 cubic feet. It has a great burning efficiency at 85% and has double air control.

Features:

  • Huge, enameled baking oven
  • It is 85% heat efficient
  • Cast iron frame, hearth, doors and rings and plate
  • Includes a wood drawer
  • It measure 42.3"w x33.9"h x26.3"d in size
  • Footprint measure 36.7" wide by 25" deep
  • Weighs 444 pounds
  • Heats an area of 8616 ft3
  • Thermal power equals 34000 BTU
  • Consumes 5 pounds of wood hourly

Customers have reported that it is an excellent stove, great quality and very sturdy. One customer mentioned the oven degrees thermometer does not measure correctly. Otherwise, the oven browns well but space is limited. Great stove for the price and definitely something people would take with them when they move.

What we like:

  • Great value for the money
  • Large oven for baking
  • Heat efficient

What we don't like:

  • Price can be high for those looking for an inexpensive heat source

3. EcoZoom Rocket Stove – Dura

EcoZoom’s Dura rocket stove not only burns wood but other dry solid biomass as well. The Dura is great for either camping or living off the grid and it’s even durable enough for developing countries where a wood stove would be need on a daily basis. It has an insulated combustion chamber that is abrasion resistant and pushes gases in to mix with the flames when it is in use. This reduces dangerous emissions by utilizing great burn efficiency. It has a metal liner that boosts the stove’s life by improving its combustion efficiency.

The stove also has a metal door frame that is reinforced for added durability plus it includes sockets in the door frame that holds the support system together. The Dura boasts a newly created cast iron top that is three-pronged that will reduce the opportunity for the stovetop to chip but still offers your pots and pans stability. The handles are made of durable stainless steel that gives you assurance when you move the stove. They are also covered in silicone to help them stay cool while the stove is on.

Features:

  • Very highly efficient portable cook stove
  • Not rated for indoor use
  • Dimensions measure 9.5″ x 9.5″ x 10″
  • Weighs 10.75 pounds
  • Perfect for camping and emergency preparedness
  • Strong three pronged top
  • Durable silicone gripped handles that stay cool when the stove is hot
  • Burns wood and biomass – no gas or propane is required
  • Power ring needs to be purchased separately

What we like:

  • Great burn efficiency
  • Silicone gripped handles that stay cool while stove is in use

What we don't like:

  • Cannot use indoors

4. US Stove BSK1000 Cast Iron Barrel Stove Kit Model: BSK1000

The BSK1000 Barrel Stove kit has an an all-inclusive kit that contains everything you would need to convert a 36 or 55 gallon steel drum into a working stove. This kit contains a door, legs, a flue collar plus a damper and all the mounting hardware you will need. The BSK1000 Barrel Stove kit is great for a rustic cabin, workshop or a pole barn. If you are looking for the most basic stove you can get, this is the perfect stove for you.

You can double the size of your stove by using a second barrel stove and creating a double barrel stove. The kit is made with cast iron that is heavy duty for sturdiness.

Features:

  • Converts a steel drum into a wood stove
  • Made from cast iron that is heavy duty for increased safety and sturdiness
  • Can be used with fastening to attach a second barrel to double the size the wood stove
  • Great for cabins, workshops and barns
  • Kit includes door, legs, flue collar and mounting hardware
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easily heats an area of 800 square feet
  • Great for cheap heat

Some customers were not happy with the flue and pipe design as the pipe goes into the flue but hits the damper so it doesn’t sit very tightly and should be attached on the outside to make it stronger. Customers also commented on the handle assembly as it connects with the stove badly and loosens over time which can be a fire hazard.

What we like:

  • Great for those interested in a simple design
  • Great value for inexpensive heat

What we don't like:

  • Assembly is not well designed and some parts do not fit together easily

5. Vermont Castings 2461 Catalytic Cast Iron Stove

The Vermont Castings 2461 is a cast iron stove that heats evenly and has a long cooking life. The iron rarely warps or burn through and does not have “hot spots". It has intricate details on the exterior as only cast iron can giving it a Colonial period feel.

The Vermont Castings 2461 circulates heat throughout its hidden channels to spread heat evenly throughout large areas. There are also optional fans that help increase the speed of the heat spreading throughout a room.

It’s easy to operate with left-side log loading which allows for longer log lengths of up to 25". Stove includes bottom and rear heatshields and easy to clean ashpans. It also includes a built-in gauge that helps create high efficiency burns and incoming air is forced across the window so that it shields the glass from smoke stains.

Features:

  • Comes in three sizes
  • Colonial exterior design
  • Built-in gauge provides catalyst temperature for a highly efficient burn
  • Burn Time is up to 9 hours.
  • Efficiency is 75.90% at 1.4
  • Finish comes in classic black
  • Heating Capacity is up to 1600 square feets
  • Max BTU H (Wood) is 40000

It’s a great value for the money and comes with a ton of features. The cast iron construction gives the stove a long life and even heating. Customers recommended the stove for its durability, dependability and high quality.

What we like:

  • Available in three sizes
  • Highly efficient burn
  • Attractive Colonial style design
  • Great value for the money

What we don't like:

  • Price can be high for those looking for an inexpensive heat source

The Winner

Wood stoves are used for a variety of different reasons but the winner of the Best Wood Stove Roundup is the Vermont Castings 2461 Catalytic Cast Iron Stove.

Our pick

THE BEST WOOD STOVE

Vermont Castings 2461 Catalytic Cast Iron Stove

​It is a highly efficient stove that has several safety features and can heat up a large area. It also is available in three sizes which gives customers several different options depending on their heating needs.

Longer log lengths also make it easier to use without worrying about cutting wood to one specific size. For its ease of use, efficiency and great design, the Vermont Castings 2461 Catalytic Cast Iron Stove is the winner of this Roundup.

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