Review of Dowling Sumo stove

Good for burning Anthracite

William Fillingham 10 years ago

I think the main thing about Dowling Stoves is that it is properly made from welded sheet steel.... basically after testing many different fuels, I found pure anthracite the best... this is fine in a Dowling, but would destroy any other stove... I have had my 12Kw Sumo since 2010 (after divorce.) and during the harsh winters (-15Deg C) it can be safely loaded up with a huge load of Anthracite... and with the lounge door open keeps most of the house warm.. to the extent I do not turn the oil central heating on...

It can burn anything, but its not the stove you need to worry about, but your chimney installation, as whilst the Dowling stove can cope with a mini-Chernobyl scenario, your chimney still has to be looked after...hence, once going, the air supply must be closed right off. I found Anthracite more controllable in this respect, as it can easily be "turned down", whereas if you burn something more volatile it takes longer to subdue....

I found the perfect fuel combination is to get started with say Taybrite, a small amount to get it warmed up, then dump a load of Anthracite on...with plenty of air.. then when that gets going close the air right off... it will then be fine for the whole evening. The 12Kw version is big enough to get through a whole 25Kg sack in on day during the worst weather..

Overall rating:

4.5 flames

Build Quality 4.5 flames (avg 4.2)
Quality of finish 4.5 flames (avg 4.3)
Value for money 5 flames (avg 4.3)
Ease of use 4.5 flames (avg 4.3)
Ease of lighting 4.5 flames (avg 4.6)
Firebox size 5 flames (avg 4.5)
How well does the airwash work 4.5 flames (avg 3)
Controllability 3 flames (avg 4)
Handle operation 3 flames (avg 3.6)
How likely are you to buy it again? 4.5 flames (avg 4.1)
What is your overall satisfaction? 4.5 flames (avg 4.2)