Review of Charnwood Cove 3 stove

Cove 3: so happy - it's fantastic.

Andrew 9 years ago

After doing some serious homework before purchasing our first stove (over a 12 month period) we decided finally to go with the Cove 3. I tried and failed to find a review of the Cove 3 anywhere - everyone seems to go for the 2.

Our house is not large - and we were originally worried it would be too much. We had a gas fired stove previously, rated about 6kW, but it was pretty ineffectual in real winter. Apart from that we had wall storage heaters which drink the electric. My idea was to get the loft really well lagged first (last year) and then go for a wood burner. We had to have a tree topped off last winter, so I cut and split the wood and stored in a dry store outside all year (we have mainly sycamore.)

Well, we had the thing installed 2 weeks ago. It's in the corner of our living room, which is open plan to our kitchen - approx 6.5 x 7 m total. Although this is much smaller than recommended for a C3, I wanted to be able to leave the door to the entrance hall open, so that heat could rise upstairs into the cold-sink above, retained by the new lagging. I've clad the stove flue where it goes through my son's bedroom above, but left gaps in the cladding and a space at the top to allow it act as a radiator (but safe.) After a couple weeks of experimentation, we're finding it's magic - my sons room is lovely and warm (he's a 5 year old with athsma so ideal) but the living room is not unbearably sweaty - I light the fire in the upside down fashion, i.e. big logs at the bottom, kindling and paper at the top, and it gets hot very quickly - very little smoke from the flue throughout (this was my biggest concern, with problem neighbours twitching their curtains.) I didnt have a cowl put on top, but left the flue open (cavity sealed tho, obviously.) this was to punch the smoke as high as poss, and so far its doing the trick.

Since I can bring home as many pallets (untanelised timber) from work as I can fit in my car boot, I'm burning a mix - prob 60% pallet wood so far. I've got ash drying but not going to touch it until next year. I dont remove the pallet nails - takes ages. I've found this not to be an issue - the ash I bag up when totally cold and so long as you take care with the nails in it there's no prob. They fall through to the pan readily when the grate is riddled.

We had ours delivered in brown - the flue was sprayed once fitted to match. looks great. A flat bottomed kettle will boil in 10mins, and we have cooked chilli and stews on the top sheet.

Overall, Im delighted - always wanted a real fire, and the Cove 3 has exceeded my expectations. I believe you get what you pay for, and this thing is high quality. Only thing left to get is an electrostatic fan to help push the warm air upstairs, but to be honest, we prefer a cooler bedroom with a thick duvet!

Stove expert replied: Would recommend a rain cap on the chimney to prevent rain from getting in otherwise a very satisfactory out come from installing this stove.

Overall rating:

4.5 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 4.5)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.5)
Value for money 4 flames (avg 3)
Ease of use 5 flames (avg 4)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 3.5)
Firebox size 5 flames (avg 5)
How well does the airwash work 5 flames (avg 3)
Controllability 4 flames (avg 3.5)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 3.5)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 3)
What is your overall satisfaction? 5 flames (avg 3)
  • Andrew Whiston said 8 years ago:

    Update on my initial review. It was a long cold winter, but the Cove 3 was fantastic. I burned a mix of un- tannelised pallet and seasoned sycamore mainly, and never had any problems with it whatsoever. No issue with smoke on opening the door, ever. Very little sooting of glass, unless a fallen log got too close with flames onto the glass. Soot comes straight off with a baby wet wipe dipped in ash. Cooked all sorts of meals on the top plate, especially good for venison stew. My wife made copious amounts of chutney on it too. For us, the 3 has been perfect, not too big, not too small. The stove has the fan on top which helps push heat upstairs. The stove is vented directly to the outside by duct, so no issues with draw or draught. After ten minutes, no smoke from chimney to be seen at all, just heat shimmer. Lack of cowl has been no problem at all, no water ingress noted. I can only assume that the review above mine has a faulty appliance, a bad install, or doesn't know what he is doing. I can't fault mine and would definitely buy the same again.