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Woodburning stove reviews and stove comparison sites

By Eoin
May 2nd, 2013

Stove Review Sites

I see yet another woodburning stove review site appear on the web….and groan. What I would love to see doesn’t seem to exist, a review site of woodburning stove installers!

Herein is the fundamental problem, woodburning stove review sites allow the public to compare stoves and hardware that is crucially dependent on its installation for performance. The end result of this is

  1. Where the customers expectation of the stove was too high to start with, even if well installed…..poor review
  2. Where a stove is simply badly installed, regardless of its cost, performance suffers…..poor review
  3. Any well installed stove, whether 50 quid or 5000 will impress with performance…..good review

If you are going to compare one stove with another, a stove comparison site isn’t going to help. It will tell who has had a stove properly installed because notably they rate the stove on its performance more often than not.

A Few Pointers to Compare Stoves in Online Reviews

On online stove review sites, choose a statement someone has written and compare it by asking questions. Especially be suspicious of where the word “Only” is used. If a development or construction technique is a quantum leap forward, you can bet your bottom dollar it will be copied, so if a stove is the “Only” one of its kind, in any respect….ask why!?

Look out for claims in “Inverted commas” text. The web is almost designed to discredit these!  Highlight and then “Copy” the text in statement, then “Paste” into your google search box. If the only results you get are from the manufacturer, or his appointed retailers…….be suspicious!

Industry Professional Logos in Reviews

Don’t accept professional qualifiers as badges of honour. eg, if a stove is HETAS approved, then the results of that approval are published on the HETAS website. Go there and read the reviews there.  Ditto DEFRA approval. You’ll soon realise that not all stoves are the same and the quality of “Approval” varies from product to product.

How to compare stove retailers and installers

Ask a retailer to justify his choice of product to you. Then go along the street to someone who sells something else and ask the same of them.

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