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Harmony 23

Overall Rating:

3.5 flames

based on 21 reviews    (View rating breakdown)
Harmony 23

A cast iron multifuel stove from Nestor Martin

Technical Data
  • Height: 659mm
  • Width: 610mm
  • Depth: 356mm

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Review Ratings Breakdown

Build Quality 4.5 flames
Quality of finish 4.5 flames
Value for money 3 flames
Ease of use 3 flames
Ease of lighting 3.5 flames
Firebox size 3.5 flames
How well does the airwash work 3.5 flames
Controllability 4 flames
Handle operation 4 flames
How likely are you to buy it again? 3.5 flames
What is your overall satisfaction? 3.5 flames

Most Recent Review

  • If you like pain and suffering buy one of these.

    Robert Barron 2 years ago

    I've had one of these stoves for ten years, rarely in those ten years has it ever performed as described. I am a retired perfectionist engineer, the flue was lined, a £300.00 flue cube cowl
    fitted, everything on the draught side was perfect and still I had an under performing stove. Not wanting to inflict such an item on anyone else the stove has been scrapped and a new one fitted, the difference is vast, excellent combustion at all times, around twice the heat output using one third of the wood and a less expensive stove to boot. This is a true record of my experience of this stove, a fortune spent in time and money trying to persuade it to do what it says on the tin.

    Stove expert replied: It does seem strange that an alternative stove can perform well in the same conditions as the Harmony was experiencing, normally if there is a flue draw issue this will be the same whatever stove is using it.

    Overall rating:

    2 flames

Most Popular Review

  • A solid, if a little fussy, burner

    Andy 8 years ago

    We've had this stove since 2007 so have done a few winters with it. It was expensive compared to the others but was highly recommended and we liked the straight-forward looks and large window. We burn mostly wood, getting a flat bed vans worth delivered from the local timber yard twice a year. Log size is 'small' as the firebox is slim and tapers towards the rear. Lighting: Getting it going takes a bit of practice, it needs a good 'run up' before it will 'cruise' and settle down. Lighting settings are 1/2 way between 'A' and 'B' (top and bottom) and set the airflow to 3 (Max) - this provides the most airflow. (Close the door)!!! In our experience, it needs some time at these settings to get going. Good kindling is required to get a good draw, do not put chunky logs on until it's got some heat in the firebox and flue (you'll get to know when this is, after some practice). If you have a large bed of ash in the bottom, dig a hole in the middle of the ash bed with your poker, this provides some air from beneath during this critical time. On really reluctant days you can open the ashpan door and pull the ashpan out an inch as well. This creates a huge airflow and chews up kindling very quickly. Not usually required. General running: We can't get it to stay going on 'A' (top setting) so this setting stays just off 'A' to give a little extra air and the airflow setting somewhere between 2 or 3. Airwash only works after the stove is nice and hot and running well. however it will clear a totally blackened window if you wind it up Heat output is good, with careful stacking you can fill the firebox up (only works on a bed of good embers) If you don't keep an eye on it, this stove can lose momentum and sulk. It can be hard to get going again if this happens. More often than not, this is down to unseasoned wood or feeding it an oversized log that just can't catch. Overall, I would say that it's mildly fussy, needs to be treated nicely and tickled in the right places. Generally it runs very well for us and keeps us warm, however I can see why people might have problems with it. The controls are NOT fiddly and don't really require the special tool to operate (they move freely on our stove). They do however get hot. They are at the bottom left of the stove, only a problem if you struggle to reach that low (fine for us) We've never managed to quite get it through the night on wood only, we can manage it with a dollop of solid fuel and get it good and loaded up before bed. Overall, very happy with it, the extra cost is long forgotten and we're looking forward to another autumn-spring with it...

    Stove expert replied: A good honest review explaining all the good / bad points. The scores reflect this well.

    Overall rating:

    4.5 flames

More reviews for Harmony 23 (page 1 of 3)

  • Very practical stove

    Paul Kellett 3 years ago

    I''ve had an h23 for 5 years. Run it 24/7 Nov-Apr. No problems and no parts required. Burns overnight easily on wood or solid fuel. Uses cast iron liner instead of fire bricks so much more robust
    than most.A little fussier to light than Clearview but easy if you follow the instructions. Expensive to buy but very practical stove.Some quirks. Firebox is shallow so likes thin logs. Controls unusual but logical and precise. Riddle not effective, have to use poker with solid fuel. A lot of cast iron so slow to heat up and cool down. There''s a slumber control underneath that needs careful adjustment but is not in the user manual.

    Stove expert replied: Try alternative smokeless fuels until you find one that suits the stove better as they do vary greatly. This may solve the riddle mechanism not working with the present fuel, some produce a lot of clinker and others more ash which is easier to riddle away.

    Overall rating:

    4.5 flames

  • Decent Stove

    Jared Dempsey 3 years ago

    I bought the stove ''hardly used'' second hand. The previous owners complained that it was too powerful for their small room and was difficult to light. I have one without the remote fancy controls
    . Anyway I have put in a big airy room (old house) and have the flue going out of the top (previous owners had it going out of the back), and I have had no problems in getting it lit, or staying lit - though I haven''t tried to keep it going overnight. I think it''s a good looking stove and have had no problems with it. Also spares are available. No complaints here, apart from the handle getting ridiculously hot.
    Overall rating:

    4.5 flames

  • Very dissapointed

    4 years ago

    Have another Harmony without the fancy air controls and this works fantastic even without a liner in the chimney , so when we bought the 23 and had it professionally installed with a liner too
    we expected big things , unfortunately it's no where near as good as the cheaper version . It's as if there simply is not big enough air intakes for the 23 , my kids light the simpler one without any issue and hardly needs any kindling , the 23 needs kindling through out the day , it will never get going and get the thermometer into the Orange or red without opening the ash pan door , I have read the entire manual and watched the video about switching off under air when kindling is glowing and not worrying about it going out , however it just blacks up and then the thermometer drops way down which will cause the chimney to clog , even leaving for an hour it doesn't come back to life and so you have to keep under air open on the slide . One day after getting a good inch of glowing charcoal in the base I closed the ash pan door and tried to run with only top air but even kindling would not catch and eventually gave in and opened ash pan door as normal. Strangely the thing can be virtually out and you can chuck a large hardwood log on and providing you open ash pan door it will roar away , hence I believe the problem lies in the air control system not opening enough . It will not burn over night either , even if you have a massive glowing ash base and shut the controls down to lowest setting , so the pre heated air works in that it will always burn logs out , however the fancy air control is rubbish , save your money and get the simpler one which will have the added bonus of allowing full size logs , this one is so shallow in the bed I am having to chainsaw all my logs in half
    Overall rating:

    2 flames

  • Oval riddling grate poorly designed

    Richard Pare 6 years ago

    I have been using this stove for some time, so these remarks are based on familarity burning both wood and solid fuel. The chief design problem with this stove is that the riddling mechanism is connected to an oval grate. There is no way that this is going to remain free, using either wood or solid fuel. However carefully you clear the ashes, as soon as any material, (ash, cinders,fuel residues of any kind), accumulates in the gap in which the oval plate is supposed to agitate. Of course as soon as it fills up any motion becomes impossible which means that the only way to riddle the stove is to use the poker with the door opened. This creates a lot of dust that settles everywhere. This is such an elementary design fault that I am astonished that the manufacturer could have issued such a compromised design. Another problem, also a result of poor design, is that the draft control, attached by a very small Allen bolt, constantly comes loose and then comes off with the universal tool used for opening the ash door and draft adjustment. It is fiddly to get the allen key in to tighten it up. Should not even be necessary to have to do so. As noted by other reviewers the airwash system does not seem to be effective, the cast iron grill behind the door to hold the fire appears to obstruct the airflow. An open back to the ash collection drawer would make emptying a good deal easier. As it is, if the ash drawer gets overfilled, the surplus material drops over the back as the drawer is removed and then causes a blockage that prevents the drawer returning to the maximum position and so prevents the ash door from closing. You then have to fiddle about with a small shovel to clear the remainder. Generally the major structural design of the mechanical parts seems poorly resolved.
    Overall rating:

    2 flames

  • Practice makes perfect!

    Chris Murphy 6 years ago

    My chimney goes through 2 floors. I have no additional fresh air venting (which is a building regulation requirement over 5kW) but I do live in an old drafty house. No problem with draw on the
    stove.
    Overall rating:

    4.5 flames

  • Eventually we have a working Harrmony stove

    AndyMac1973 8 years ago

    Moved into a house with a Harmony stove which the previous occupants raved about, burning smokeless fuel and reducing their heating bill considerably. Unfortunately for us this stove was the most stressful part of the house move. Sometimes it would burn badly, if at all. The house smelt of smoke, the glass was black and we had cracked hands from constantly washing the soot off! Spoke to Euroheat who suggested a chimney sweep. £900 later, a brush stuck up chimney and a new chimney liner and it works like a dream. So some tips: if it won't light, for £ 40 get a sweep in. Don't burn house coal like our previous occupants who had set fire to the chimney and ruined the liner. Overall it seems to be doing the job, burning well and even the glass is staying clean,

    Stove expert replied: Household coal is not recommended on a closed appliance, smokeless fuels should be used instead.

    Overall rating:

    3.5 flames

  • Fantastic Burner but Practise makes Perfect!

    Emma Roberts 8 years ago

    We've had our Harmony 23 for over 8 years now and have eventually learnt through user mistakes and discussions with our supplier how to use it to it's full potential and I now love it!! For the first few years we burnt anything on it from wet sticks, nappies, plastic until one day I returned home to find the house full of smoke as the chimney was completely blocked. After discussing with the supplier, we cleaned the chimney out thoroughly and started afresh with year old seasoned dry sticks and it worked a treat since but then my only bug bear was the constant dirty glass from soot & a tar like substance. I put this down to keeping it in from October until April, only letting it go out for cleaning once every 2 months. BUT after a visit to the supplier early this year and me admiring the very clean glass of the Harmony burner running in their showroom, we worked out that mine wasn't set up properly and I found out that there was another control knob underneath the burner which I believe adjusts the air flow. It's placed to the right of the back left hand leg and turns clockwise or anti-clockwise, I think clockwise increases the air flow and anticlockwise decreases it. So I went home and after adjusting this knob I had clean glass that stayed clean and I could see my fire burning (after 8 years I was so pleased!!). I would warn you though the more clockwise you turn the know to the faster the fire burns and may not stay in overnight for you so it did take us a few day/nights of adjusting it to get it all working perfectly to keep in overnight and keep the glass in. We always turn it down to below 1 to keep in and yes the glass does fog up but as soon as I open it up every morning it clears again. I'm also finding it easier to light now and have got very lazy and don't bother with morning sticks any more, I just open the ash pan door, scrunch up several pieces of newspaper and put of 4/5 small narrowish logs. I keep the ashpan door open until it's caught and then add bigger sticks on top and shit the door. From adjusting the knob underneath, I find that the flames don't roar up the chimney on lighting anymore. Sorry for the long review but I do love my log burner now and here's my summary on how to use it: * Light with level between A&B, control on 3, with some scrunched newspaper * morning (very small sticks) with medium size sticks on top or added when small sticks have caught * Only burn dry seasoned (trees that have been cut down for more than 12 months) logs on it * After lighting it should burn comfortably with Lever on A & Control turned to 2 or less * Adjust knob underneath to run burner more efficiently & cleanly * To keep in overnight, stock up fire with logs until full and turn control to less than 1 before bed. * In the morning restock sticks & move control to 3 until it gets going I WOULD definately recomend this burner to anyone but do take time to familiarise yourselves with the burner & it's controls to get it working perfectly

    Stove expert replied: Early mistakes burning anything on a stove led to a blocked chimney, only burn what is recommended on an appliance. Get the chimney / flue system swept regularly to insure that it is clear and will remove the gases effectively. Top marks given for this appliance from this user!

    Overall rating:

    5 flames

  • Generally fine but..............

    Simon Bromley 8 years ago

    Four years ago we did our research and then bought a Harmony 23. We did think we might run it on wood but despite the instructions telling you to build up a bed of charcoal, we could not get near to keeping it in overnight. We quickly and happily went to smokeless Supertherm and could then easily run it the 24/7 as and when we want, with three refuels daily (can do two) and one ash empty per day so very good to use. My continuing annoyance is I cannot keep the glass clean, no matter where I set the controls. I have tried other smokeless fuels and found no improvements. The other complaint is the door glass frosts up with tiny flecks in the glass itself. I am already on my third inner glass - and these are not cheap items. This last one was fitted in late November and was already showing signs of deterioration a month later. We don't run the fire up the glass and are careful how we refuel and operate the stove. We have a Morso in the other room which we have had for 10+ years, running on the same fuel with no glass problems whatsoever, so I am disapppointed by this problem with the Harmony. The other difference is the ash riddler is almost unuseable on the Harmony so we don't ever use it, but that isn't a big deal.

    Stove expert replied: Crazing of the glass is a sign that the stove is slumbering for too long without short periods of fast burn to remove the gases from the firebox. These gases attack the glass causing a crazing that gradually creeps over the glass. The glass is not compromised when this happens it just doesn't look very nice. Recommend that you give the stove a good blast (all controls open fully) twice a day for 10 - 15mins and this should stop it getting any worse.

    Overall rating:

    3.5 flames

  • Harmony 23 - No thanks!

    Jane Foden 8 years ago

    We bought this stove in May 2012 slightly seduced by the remote control option - just sounded great and perfect for properly controlling the fire. Sadly it just didn't work effectively. The instructions say to turn the air down from the 'lighting setting' as soon as the fire is established to prevent over firing however when you set the remote it puts it straight back up to the firing setting to get to temperature. The stove was OK in the moderate autumn weather however when we got onto winter proper (I live in Central Scotland) it just could not heat the room effectively at all and we were lucky if we would get to 18C after 4-5 hours of burning - basically we lit the fire when we came home from work and it was only really generating enough heat by the time we were going to bed. Over the Christmas period when we were off work we kept it burning constantly and this was better but still not great considering the amount of wood we were getting through - almost 3 cubic metres in two months seemed a bit excessive to me especially as the Harmony is supposed to be more economical with the wood. Euroheat were really good and came to see us at home and gave us lots of tips but the stove still didn't work properly. Our supplier/installer ere fantastic and they agreed to swap the stove for something completely different for us and we now have a warm room courtesy of a Jotul F3CB. My top tip would be that as well as thinking about the size of your room, what you want to burn, looks, price etc that you also carefully consider your lifestyle and how/when you will use the stove. And get a flue thermometer - invaluable piece of kit for a very small cost compared to your stove installation.

    Stove expert replied: Invaluable suggestions in the bottom paragraph, an expensive mistake to make if you get the wrong stove as not all suppliers will be so happy to exchange.

    Overall rating:

    3.5 flames

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