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Review of Clearview 650 stove

Clearview 650 with 40,000 Btu boiler

Adrian Rawlins 7 years ago

The following relates to a Clearview 650 with a 40,000btu boiler which we have had for about six months after owning several stoves over the last forty years. Please note that these comments only relate to this model, since the boiler is likely to make a significant difference to the burning characteristic. The chimney is fully lined and being in a windy position draws strongly.

We use only wood, mostly hard but occasionally resorting to soft, relighting every morning. The stove design is, for the most part, very good and construction is solid and of high quality. This is a practical, clean-burning stove with an attractive view of the flame. Whether by design or not, we appreciate the fact that the ash tray is a very tidy fit in a Charnwood ash-can.

The single problem that we have encountered is with the grate which we have found to be unsatisfactory. This is a flat plate with multiple slots over its whole surface. Air passes up through the slots when a vent positioned on the left side of the stove is opened, required mainly when lighting. When the vent is opened the fire burns more strongly on the left side, i.e. the achievement of a good operating temperature is slowed because the fire does not start uniformly across the front of the stove. A contributory factor is the tendency of the grate to lose ash through the vents, thus reducing the fire’s ability to hold heat. This becomes a more serious issue for low ash timbers, such as some softwoods, particularly where moisture content is up towards 20% and ash replenishment is slowed. For efficient, clean burning, wood needs to be got going quickly and the firebox temperature raised to the point where combustion is smoke-free. This is made more difficult by the large water-jacket which has a significant cooling effect.

We have remedied this by placing a sheet of refractory material over the grate, blocking the slots except for a small area in the front middle. The improvement is very great. The stove lights far more quickly and easily, ignition commencing across the entire stove front. It burns hotter and cleaner, leaving little more than dust on the glass. This was easily done and it has noticeably sweetened the domestic environment.

Overall rating:

4 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 4.3)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.4)
Value for money 4 flames (avg 4.1)
Ease of use 3 flames (avg 4.5)
Ease of lighting 3 flames (avg 4.5)
Firebox size 4 flames (avg 4.6)
How well does the airwash work 5 flames (avg 4.4)
Controllability 4 flames (avg 4.3)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 3.8)
How likely are you to buy it again? 4 flames (avg 4.2)
What is your overall satisfaction? 4 flames (avg 4.2)