WhatStove?

Review of FDC 5kw

for the money, you cant really go wrong!

Brett Woollacott 4 years ago

where to start?

build quality: probably one of the best I have seen in the price bracket. solid steel plate body, cast door (as they all are).

fit and finish: very good, everything lines up as it should and due to this the air sealing of the unit is great. all of the controls are well built and sturdy in use. the main lower air control can sometimes squeak when the turned, but only when the stove is cold.

value for money: I paid just under £600 for the stove and fitting kit. after looking at other stoves in the same price bracket (£5-700) this came out on top.

my house is fitted with an electric combi boiler and from Oct 2014 until march 2015 it saved me approx £350 on my electricity bill.

bear in mind, I have a supply of free wood...

ease of use: perfectly easy to use! top and bottom air controls are a decent size and easily manipulated, even with gloves on.

getting it going: easy peasy! 5 pieces of scrunched up news paper, good handfull of kindling. open up the lower air control all the way and the top one half way. light the news paper and wait a couple of seconds for it to get going, then shut the door. the fire then roars in to life! once its well caught and the stove is starting to heat up (you'll hear it pinging as it gets warmer) then start to add your wood.

this sequence has not failed me yet!

size of box: a good size given the compact nature of the unit. i cut my logs to around 12 inches and these fit perfectly. i can usually fit 2 or 3 in lengthways and they burn well.

airwash: does exactly what its supposed to, as long as you remember to either A- burn seasoned wood, or B- run the fire very hot to burn off soot.

damp wood will blacken the glass on even the most expensive of stoves....

controls when lit: this takes a bit of trial and error at first, but you will soon get to become confident in the way it acts when its burning. different types of wood require different air flow to burn and this stove is more than capable of providing the ability to fine tune that air flow.

it also allows you to go from a roaring fire to no flames at all in just a few seconds.

(tip, when it gets really hot turn the lower air control all the way to closed and leave the top one open VERY slightly. it will give you an amazing colour in the firebox and providing a slow 'licking' effect with the flames)

handle: works well, isnt stiff and the finish has put up with my ruff treatment and still looks like new. if, like me, you like it hot and you run the stove to capacity then expect the handle to get hot. shouldnt be an issue though as FDC supply insulated gauntlets with the fire...

buying again: would i buy again? yes! even after 8 months of use its still as good as new. if i ever needed a stove again i wouldnt hesitate in buying another FDC 5.

Overall rating:

5 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 4.4)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.5)
Value for money 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Ease of use 5 flames (avg 4.7)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.6)
Firebox size 5 flames (avg 3.3)
How well does the airwash work 5 flames (avg 3.9)
Controllability 5 flames (avg 3.8)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 3.8)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 3.8)
What is your overall satisfaction? 5 flames (avg 4.3)