Review of Esse 300 stove

Good but be careful

Ian Best 3 years ago

I have had an Esse 301 insert stove for about 3 years, I had been very happy with it but some time ago they changed the design of the fire brick and throat plate which they claimed gave greater efficiency. I certainly noticed the heat output, using ovoids, greatly increased however I have also noticed distortion of the front baffle, which the grate latches onto, and the fire brick and plate were completely burned out after about 5 months at a cost of £80 for replacements (inc p&p). I do live on top of a very windy hill but I was concerned regarding fire safety as a result of about 2 cms of forward distortion. I am now going to try a fuel with less heat output. Until this issue I was very happy with the stove, but am now concerned that it will become unusable and need replacing.

Stove expert replied: Depending on what ovoids you have been using then changing to an alternative fuel may be a solution to a certain degree, operating the stove so you have control of the rate of burn though, is key to a long life of any stove, this is more difficult with an inset model as there is not normally a way of adding a flue damper to the system. This gives the operator control on the windy days when the flue draw increases to enable you to close off some of the flue opening thus reducing the rate of burn, not as much air is pulled through the stove when one is fitted.

Overall rating:

4 flames

Build Quality 4 flames (avg 3.8)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.5)
Value for money 4 flames (avg 3.6)
Ease of use 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Firebox size 4 flames (avg 3.5)
How well does the airwash work 3 flames (avg 3.2)
Controllability 3 flames (avg 4.2)
Handle operation 4 flames (avg 4.4)
How likely are you to buy it again? 4 flames (avg 3.2)
What is your overall satisfaction? 4 flames (avg 3.5)