Harman Oakwood vs. Jotul Oslo 500

sborsNovember 30, 2005

I am having some second thoughts after placing a deposit on a Harman Oakwood yesterday. While I did like the unit better it is 300 dollars more then the Jotul. The thing that made me second guess my decision was that the Harman is rated at 42,000 BTU's while the Jotul is rated at 70,000 BTU's. Can this be true for two similar units or is the Jotul's numbers inflated? Can anyone comment on the build quality of the two. I know Harman is established, but obviously not as well recognized as the Jotul and is new to the cast iron wood stove market. My local dealer recommended the Harman, but am surprised they did not mention the BTU difference. I have a modern colonial about 3000 sq. ft. Thanks for your input.

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you should buy the stove that will heat the area. 3000 sq ft is double the size of my house. my stove puts out about 42-48k btu, i forget, it is a vc defiant encore. i'd question the ability to heat the whole house with the harmon. now if you are just heating say 1/2 the house then it seems like the correct size.

a stove that heats a house that is 1/2 or twice the size that you intend to use it for will be a problem. the former will leave you cold the latter will broil you!


    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 1:22PM
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Sorry, while it will primarily heat the downstairs half of the home, we found it helps by elevating the upstairs 5-10 degrees as well. We use it more to supplement our homes heat which is 4 zones so pretty economical. I primarily wonder if Jotul's claims are true and how the Oakwood stacks up against it.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 1:48PM
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Jotul's claim are true based on my experience with the stove. (A family member installed a smaller version and it worked very well. I don't know Harmon, but Jotul has a good burn, long holding heat, and good size ash pan.) But only install for the size of space you are trying to heat, otherwise you will not get the most efficient burn and will have creosote problems. This applies to any wood stove.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 2:16PM
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Are there any Oakwood owners here that like or dislike their unit?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 11:16AM
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I have the Harman Accentra and heat about 3000 sq ft. It is the primary heat source and keeps the area around 71 degrees on the coldest days, low teens. BUT, we have a open floor plan and newer construction with plenty of insulation. I would assume the Jotul unit would burn considerably more fuel to aquire the BTU rating. I run through 80 pounds a day burning full tilt. Not familiar with the other unit but can't say enough good things about Harman. Good luck

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 8:46PM
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This discussion is about comparing two different wood stoves, not pellet stoves as the Accentra is.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 2:24AM
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Anyone have experience with the Harmon oakwood? I am considering it vs the jotul oslo. The top load seems useful, but I am leary of the secondary combustion and its stated output of 42k btu is dramatically lower than the jotul at 70k??

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 4:03PM
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Well if your final decision is between a Jotul 500 and a Harman Oakwood . you canÂt make a bad choice. As for Harman being a new company "new", is any company being in business less that 28 years?

Jotul inflates the Buts Lets face it xx amount of BTUs are derived from fire wood 2 cu Ft of fire wood produces the same amount of BTUs Now a stoveÂs efficiency will capture more Btus than a lesser efficient stove. Since the Harman Oawood emits 2 x less particulate matter one can rightfully assume that it is burning up more and producing more heat. The Oakwood is one of the cleanest stoves ever tested by The Epa

A better measure for comparisons is the actual firebox size X capacity holds x amount of wood and will b produce x amount of BTUS. For some reason Jotul does not specify fire box size. But others on my forum Hearthtalk.com have measured theirs and it is about the same size as the Harman Oakwood and Vermont Casting Encore a a little less that 2.5 cu ft. In order for the jotul to obtain 70,000 it must be constantly loaded and fired hard to the point of overfiring the stove The Harman estimates are closer to real world conditions and expectations not inflated.

This might be a factor to consider, all HarmanÂs are made in USA By American factory workers Jotul imports its casting from Europe fine quality castings. But should one crack are you willing to wait 4 months till one is shipped from Europe, Even if out of stock Harman can have a new part cast and delivered in less than a week the distance to foundry is less than 400 miles

Let me explain my knowledge base I an a co owner of Hearthtalk.com forum I have actually visited the foundry and seen these castings made I have witnessed the enameling process. One major manufactures gives me stoves to Beta test them in the field Soon I will be receiving there newest line of inserts to test out. I am also a nationally certified building and Mechanical inspector I have inspected hundreds of there stoves installed Personally I own two top loaders. I find the convience un matched. I feel one can load more wood than any front or side loaders One annoyance to Jotul is the secondary burn tubes hinder its loading capacities CanÂt quite get as much in their stoves as a top loader Cant pack it as tightly therefore less wood to produce BTUS per load..

Getting back to my original statement: There is no bad choice between either stove both are of high quality. As for meeting your heating needs, one has to set realistic goals. Wood stoves are area heaters I would like t0 further this discussion at my other forum to bring in other experts.

Personally my patriotism flavors my choice preference. I support American manufactures and American workers . I feel we already have an import imbalance, why add to it at the expense of more American citizens?

Here is a link that might be useful: Hearthtalk

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 9:34PM
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