Small wood burning stoves

Small free standing wood burning stoves: battle of the burners

ten_out_of_ten_proWe compare ten small wood burning stoves (all Multifuel, all can burn wood in a smoke control area, all can have a 5″ liner):

For tiny stoves such as the Hobbit see here

Aga Little Wenlock Classic SE
Broseley Hillandale Monterrey 5
Broseley Hillandale Silverdale 5
Carron 5kw
Charnwood C4
Ekol Clarity 5
Morso 04
Saltfire ST2
Stovax Stockton 5
Trianco Newton 5 (also sold as Mendip 5)
Vesta V4

So many stoves to choose from in the stove world! It’s confusing enough for those within the stove industry, never mind those who have just stepped into their first stove shop (or ventured onto the wibbly wobbly web to look at log burners). Well here’s a selection of best selling 5kw stoves from my shop The Wood Stove Hut.

Let battle commence… small wood burning stovesActually, hold on. What exactly defines a little wood burner? Two things spring to mind: physical size and heat output. Logically the two go together.

Sticking to basics the amount of heat a stove gives out is determined by how much wood is burning at any one time.

So the physical size of the firebox determines the maximum heat output of the stove. An 8KW stove will only give out 1KW of heat if you put 1KW of wood into it! To confuse things even more you cannot completely trust the stove outputs of all manufacturers. Manufacturers tell the testers what nominal heat output they want to put in their advertising materials and, as long as the stove reaches this output within one hour, then that is fine (even if the stove reached 4kw in twenty minutes and 8 kw in 45 minutes thenn it can be still designated as a 4kw stove!). This explains why a 5kw stove can vary enormously in size. If a stove has a nominal 5KW rating then all this means is that it can reach 5KW heat output.

Why might a manufacturer want a stove to be advertised as 5KW when he can stoke it up to 8KW? Because stoves 5KW or less often do not have to have an air vent in the room (which is a selling point). Also the efficiency rating is measured at the KW point chosen by the manufacturer. As you can see a manufacturer can play around with the figures – choosing between efficiency/KW output as they desire.

My advice: If you are in a wood stove retail outlet and looking at stoves then take the manufacturer’s stated Kilowatt output as a guide only. COMPARE THE SIZE OF THE FIREBOX WITH OTHER STOVES.

Let’s get to it…

Reviewed! Aga Little Wenlock Classic SE: review here
Summary: Well built, has the Aga badge, but a small firebox may be a concern.

Reviewed! Ekol Clarity 5: review here
Summary: Good quality, thick steel, efficient stove. Needs a soot door in the stove pipe. A lot of stove for the money.

Reviewed! Hillandale Monterrey 5 by Broseley: review here
Summary: Heavy, well built and has a large firebox for a 5KW. Looks good in a traditional or contemporary setting.

Reviewed! Stovax Stockton 5: review here
Summary: Very efficient, large firebox, great door seal and mechanism. Good work Stovax.

Reviewed! Trianco Newton 5: review here
Summary: British and well made, good firebox size, good range of enamel colours.


Charnwood C4 (working on this review week commencing 23rd June) … … …. … … … …

Hillandale Silverdale 5 (working on this review week commencing 23rd June) … … …. … … … …

Carron 04 (working on this review week commencing 23rd June) … … …. … … … …

Saltfire ST2 (working on this review week commencing 23rd June) … … …. … … … …

Vesta V4 (working on this review week commencing 23rd June) … … …. … … … …

Julian Patrick

Julian Patrick

Julian Patrick: Registered stove fitter and retailer specialising within the wood burning stoves industry. Stoves At Home (; Stove Fitter's Manual ( "how to install a wood burning stove"; Stove Fitter's Warehouse ( and The Wood Stove Hut ( I write all of my own articles (many companies use foreign, cheap researchers and you can spot these articles a mile off). Find my phone numbers in the Contact Us section

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