WhatStove?

Review of Burley Wakerley stove

Perhaps needs another 1000 or so years design work?

Andy Keely 2 years ago

Don''t get me wrong... once this fire is up to temperature I''m in love with it. But there are so many basic design flaws that it''s hard to rate it highly. The manufacturers advertising ramble describes the Wakerley 9112 as the product of 1000s of hours of design & development work. It sounded impressive! That, plus the film of the swirling ''vortex'' flame had me hooked. I bought one. I also paid the extra £70 or so for the kit to isolate the fire from the room it was installed in. That btw, was money well spent... no more draughts at ankle level across the lounge and a very noticeable warming of more rooms than just the one where the fire sits. It has to make sense not to suck air that the fire has heated out of the room & up the chimney.

I''ve run woodburners for more than 30 years. This one has been installed for the last 12 months, so I consider I know it well now.

Lighting it from cold is a pain in the butt. Until there is heat in the flue & convection takes effect there is no ''draw'' at all unless the door is left open on the latch. Any attempt to open the door within 30 minutes of lighting results in a room full of smoke. Once the fire is finally up to temperature the door handle has to be pushed to one side during closing. This is presumably because the door is so darned wide that the frame of it expands at a different rate to the fire''s body. The fire is narrow in depth meaning that logs have to be stacked on top of each other. This invariably leads to a fall of ash & embers from the front of the fire when opened because the dog grate has not been built tall enough. Why the h*ll not... such a ridiculous design flaw!

Within two weeks of use the large rear fire brick had broken in half. I looked on line to order another only to see that it now comes in two halves. I couldn''t bring myself to make the purchase. Perhaps Burley would like to gift me them as they obviously now accept that the brick size was simply too large.

I see other reviewers complaining that the thin perforated top plate is flimsy & burns through in no time. Despite running the fire very hot on occasions I''m delighted to report that mine remains intact & functional.

Well that''s about it from me. Would I buy another? Maybe, but I''d look long and hard at what else was out there first.

Finally, a question for you ''fire expert''... If ash finds it''s way outwards through the holes that supply air to the base of the fire, how can it be removed? Presumably, your answer will be that the natural flow of air will be inwards so it shouldn''t happen? I''m not so sure & reckon that a blast of compressed air will be about the only way to shift any accumulation & potential blockage.

Stove expert replied: The stove will have been thoroughly tested before going to market, so the holes that are referred to should not become blocked during normal usage.

Overall rating:

3.5 flames

Build Quality 4 flames (avg 4)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.2)
Value for money 5 flames (avg 3.8)
Ease of use 2 flames (avg 4)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.2)
Firebox size 3 flames (avg 4.6)
How well does the airwash work 4 flames (avg 4.3)
Controllability 4 flames (avg 4.5)
Handle operation 3 flames (avg 4.3)
How likely are you to buy it again? 3 flames (avg 3.9)
What is your overall satisfaction? 3 flames (avg 3.9)