WhatStove?

Review of Churchill 8 stove

Chirchill Stove

Terance Chuah 6 years ago

I had this stove installed end of May 2012. The stove itself is elegant with its curved glass door gives it a rather sleek and contemporary appearance. It is well assembled and welded, and has a smooth semi-matt finish. I had difficulty opening and closing the door at first, it seized up on a few occasions and I had to jiggle the handle a few times before it opens again. According to the installer this is due to the new seal around the door and will eventually get easier after lighting the stove a few times, which it did... but the nut and bolt that holds the handle loosen with use thus having the need to tighten it up whenever needed otherwise the handle just drop with dead weight. The "cool touch" handle gets hot after a while of burning, and so does the sliders to the primary and secondary airflows.

When I tried to empty the ashes I noticed the ash pan was not sitting evenly and left a small gap on one side. Upon closer inspection of the ash pan I realised that it is warped, with one side welded higher than the other(see photo):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9894031@N06/7401258036/in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9894031@N06/7401255666/in/photostream

The back of the stove has a canopy sheltering the third airflow (six 4mm holes that cannot be closed off); the canopy itself is also warped and corrugated. Unfortunately due to the high updraft of my twin wall flue system, the five holes whistle like "pigs to the slaughter" during high wind and gust. Although there is no mention of this side effect on the manual or installation guide, I only learnt of this after contacting the installer and manufacturer (See photos and videos):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9894031@N06/7401257066/in/photostream

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-x4iQwS1os

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iSgXv0Rojc

Apparently a damper is required to remedy this. Having spent more money recently on installing a damper, the stove still whistles during high wind and gust, even with the damper at the closed position. I had to cover the six holes with nails to stop the whistling, thus rendering the third airflow useless.

The stove throws out a lot of heat and the three airflows achieve optimum burning efficiency in very little time, this also means higher ratio of wood burning. But with the third airflow blocked I have no idea what the performance will be like. So is Churchill any better than some of the Chinese stoves? Well it is nearly double in price by comparison, although cheaper than most of the British made stoves.

A few days ago I noticed patches of rust inside the box already (the stove was installed only 7 weeks ago - see photos):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9894031@N06/7583385868/in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9894031@N06/7583394044/in/photostream

I do believe the Churchill requires tighter quality control to make it a good value stove. If anyone may be interested in purchasing one, I seriously recommend a close inspection before committing to it.

Stove expert replied: I would not recommend blocking any air vents that do not have controls on as this may be dangerous.

Overall rating:

3 flames

Build Quality 3 flames (avg 2.5)
Quality of finish 4 flames (avg 3)
Value for money 3 flames (avg 2)
Ease of use 3 flames (avg 3)
Ease of lighting 4 flames (avg 3.5)
Firebox size 4 flames (avg 3.5)
How well does the airwash work 3 flames (avg 2)
Controllability 2 flames (avg 2.5)
Handle operation 3 flames (avg 2.5)
How likely are you to buy it again? 1 flames (avg 1)
What is your overall satisfaction? 2 flames (avg 1.5)