Who makes the largest wood burning stoves?

katsJuly 28, 2006

For 20 years we've enjoyed our wood stove. It's old enough I don't remember the manufacturer, but I do know it's done everything we've ever needed it to do. Now that we're building a new 4600 sq ft. home, DH wants another wood stove. Though we'd probably only worry about heating the common rooms at about 2600sq feet, we'd like the "largest looking stove" available because of the rather large wall area it will be placed at.

We've looked at Vermont Castings and like the looks of their Defiant stove. Does anyone know of another large stove manufacturer that we should look at?

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I would personally recommend three (3) stoves:
-Buck Stove Model 90: 4.4 cu ft box w/ cat burn - rugged steel stove that won't breaker your bank account - long, even burns http://www.buckstovecorp.com
-Blaze King Model 1107 King: 4.3 cu ft box, also cat model,
steel stove w/ very long, efficent burns, but cost more.
-Pacific Energy Summit Classic Model: Large burn box, non-cat stove w/ EBT long burn technology. Available w/ porcelain finish. Most expensive of the three.

Hope this helps....

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:39AM
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Thank you so much for the links. I couldn't find the Buck Stove 90 (only the 80) but just skimmed the site so I need to go back to all of them and do my homework! :)
I do have one question....I've heard that cat stoves are sold to help manufacturers meet EPA requirements in a cost effective way. That there can be problems with the cats even having to change the converter out after a few years. I don't know if this is correct or not, but it makes me wonder if the catalytics are like a high tech item vs. a simple item where there are no bell and whistles to break. As I mentioned, we've had our basic stove for 20 years with never a single issue.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 11:28AM
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Oops!! I meant Model 91. It comes available as a freestander or fireplace insert.You'll find it on the "next 10" page link.
Catalytics?? Depends upon how you intend to use your stove.
If you want to use your stove as a 24/7 heater, I think it
is the best way to go - long, even & clean burns - 12+ hrs
depending how much wood you pack-in & what type you use.
On the down side, you need to use well-seasoned wood & have
a good drafting chimney, otherwise your element will get all
gunked-up. You will also need to get your stove up to temp.
before engaging the cat.
About Non-cats: they depend upon high-temp. & proper oxygenation to achieve optimal burn. Unfortunately, most non-cats don't operate too well as large firebox burners.
Either you'll get chased-out of the room trying to keep the
proper burn temp for a clean burn (and thus a shorter burn time) or you'll get a "smoker" (dirty chimney). Pacific Energy although does have a non-cat (Summit) that does use
self-controlling air flow (EBT) to achieve optimal burn (not as much operator intervention required) and thus does
have respectable burn times.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 12:00PM
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Thanks again for the Summit suggestion.

We've always used our stove as our main source of heating in our common rooms (like the bedrooms cooler). Our lot is at a 4300 elevation. Temp's average in the high 20's with snow to high 40's from about Jan thr mid May. Sometimes it's run all day long, other times only in the evening. Usually we get a mix of starter fuel like pine plus eucalyptus, oak or maybe ash for main burning.

You will also need to get your stove up to temp. before engaging the cat.
So is this like a switch or something?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 1:57PM
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You will also need to get your stove up to temp. before engaging the cat.
So is this like a switch or something?

Until the woodstove reaches the temp. in which the Cat
will lite (usually above 500 deg.), it is necessary to
bypass the wood exaust around the Cat. Once the light-off
temp. is reached/passed, a lever is typically moved that
then forces the smoke through the cat element, causing
the exaust to ignite a much lower temp (normally some elements of wood smoke won't burn until temps well over
1000 deg are achieved) than would normally be required.

What state do you live in?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 2:32PM
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sounds easy enough. I live in the mountains in SoCal.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 3:10PM
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Largest Wood burning stoves are built by a Heater Mason.
Not manufactured or Mass produced; custom made.

see example at www.virginiaradiant.com

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 5:38PM
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Thanks for the link woodinvirginia.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 6:34PM
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Tulikivi period.

High efficiency soapstone fireplace from Finland. You can see mine here: http://halfbarnranch.photosite.com/tulikivi

We chose the optional bake oven. The main firebox is 85% efficienct wood burning, the bake oven is 88% efficient. Ours weighs 10,000 lbs. The same model as ours, though larger at 12,000 lbs puts off heat for 3 days from one fire.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oregon Firesides

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 9:46AM
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Thanks halfbarnranchjake,

Wow... now that's BIG. The efficiency is impressive. I'll pass the link along to DH.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 11:58AM
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Interesting to read the comments about different wood burners.
We have a large free standing Cozy Comfort wood burner, with a deep fire box, which we used for some 27 years.

We are looking for a replacement and find the Blaze King Model 1107 most suitable. It has a large and deep fire chamber, which prevents ashes from spilling, and will hold a large amount of firewood.
Also, ashes do not need to be taken out so often. I would think that a layer of ashes or/and hot coals in the chamber will keep the heat better, while ashes will protect the bottom of the stove.

Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 12:22PM
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Word of caution on Masonry Heaters:
Yes, they do give outstanding efficiencies,
and can look visually appealing.
-They are very, very heavy & big.
Special attention must be given to the
foundation/structure where it is to be placed.
-They are very expensive - upwards of $20k installed
You can buy a lot of heat for that much money!

In my opinion, a masonry heater is best utilized
in a new house construction, where it is designed
into the house & has the lifespan of the house to
return its investment.

My 2 cents worth...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 11:06AM
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Rob is entirely correct.

Our Tulikivi is set on an engineered, steel reinforced concrete support with a heat shield on a nearby wall for good measure. We knew we were going with this fire stove before we broke ground.

It is definitely investment grade, but there are smaller, less ornate/less customized models that are more affordable.

Clearly this is more appropriate for some parts of the country than others.

We have been advised with our model / specifications to burn no more than 80 lbs. of wood per day.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 6:52AM
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Really want to thank everyone posting here who has given us choices to research.
The masonry heaters look quite amazing. Being in SoCal (even in the mountains) we won't get the temps many parts of the country gets. So, I think we've decided to go with something like I orginially talked about, the Vermont Castings or the Blaze King type stoves.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 10:14AM
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You might want to look at the thermal mass radiant stoves made by Fred Seton in Montana. They are big stoves which have a considerable amount of refractory material in them for thermal mass and cleaner burning. We were interested in his newer stove with what he calls the Turbo top which has a circuitous smoke path with an afterburner like those found in masonry heaters or tile stoves.

These are essentially 'portable' masonry heaters to an extent. My wife wasn't crazy about the looks but I know you can get his stoves with tiles on the outside. We were looking to put soapstone tiles on both for looks and for more mass. This might work for you.

I only wish we could get some of the European stoves like the Topolino which is another thermal mass stove which is more or less portable but with excellent styling and looks. Rika and Max Blank are other European stovemakers with droolworthy products but no North American distributors.

Here is a link that might be useful: Montana Stove Company

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 4:29AM
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