Review of Contura 51L stove

Contura 51L

6 years ago

Beautifully built stove entirely cast iron but very heavy at 128kg. It is a convection stove so the outside surface temperature is a lot lower than non-convector models and can therefore be placed closer to the surroundings as a result. It very easy to light, one firelighter and a few pieces of kindling will get it going, ready for a log in about 5 minutes. We only ever put one log on at a time as the heat it belts out is sufficient to heat the day room and the kitchen both 3.6 x 4.5metres as well as warming the bedroom above on the 1st floor (I was surprised at this as most people seem to think the upstairs will be unaffected) One log last between 30mins and 1 1/2 hrs depending on how much air you give the stove. We are constantly trying to achieve the slowest burn without it going out as the stove seems very efficient.

The title seems incorrect as it is rated at 5Kw not the higher rating in the title, but I was told by the shop that due to the generous size and weight of the stove, they have found it to give significantly higher outputs if necessary, as I said we just try to keep it as low as possible.

The Air wash system seems very efficient and only blackens if you damp it down too much and it burns off as soon as it is burning correctly, we wipe the glass down every few days to stop it building up at the corners.There is so little ash produced we only empty it every 3-4 weeks even though it is running all day just burning one log at a time. We had the external air kit fitted to reduce drafts as the house has enough already and the connection is completely invisible underneath the stove as it is encased in black insulation. The handle gets hot so you must use the glove most of the time unless it has really died down before adding another log. We use mainly Ash logs but it burns well with pine, birch and even the old hardwood from the French doors we removed. Consumption is about 2 barrows/week running full time.

If the house is freezing you can put 3 or 4 logs in and it will be chucking out about 60% of its output in under half an hour.

Downside- I wish I could get it to run even lower than its minimum 2kw rating.

All in all a very efficient and well made stove, a bit pricey but worth every penny.

Stove expert replied: Please do bear in mind that a stove should not be set on a low setting for prolonged periods as this will allow tar deposits to be produced that can lead to chimney problems, short periods of fast burn (15 - 20 mins) at least twice a day should be undertaken to maintain a clear flue plus regular chimney sweeping. If the stove is producing too much heat perhaps a smaller output model would have been a better option in your circumstances.

Overall rating:

5 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 5)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Value for money 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Ease of use 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Firebox size 3 flames (avg 4.6)
How well does the airwash work 5 flames (avg 5)
Controllability 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 4.3)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 4.4)
What is your overall satisfaction? 5 flames (avg 4.9)