WhatStove?

Review of Jotul F 400 stove

Poor air wash

Fergus 6 years ago

We recently installed this elegant stove into our new sitting room.

Positives

The stove is reassuringly heavy and solidly build.

The door handle is nicely designed and seals the door well.

Ash pan is generous and despite claims by resellers that with wood only burning little ash will be generated regular (weekly) emptying of this is needed to prevent ash spilling out into the room when the Door is opened

Heat output is about right and achieving the optimism heat range is easily achieved

Negatives

During startup it seems necessary to open the ash door to raz the flames. This results in rapid start-up but is a bit approximate and not controllable to much degree

The ash pan in a stove of this price should really be stainless steel rather than cheap galv and design means that any spilt ash within the bay does not allow it to be removed easily. A backless pan would be a better design.

The principal flaw however is the almost non existent air wash system. Initially we changed the fitted US plate for the EURO one believing that our uk geography required this. The manual with the stove was silent on this aspect. Having realised that something was wrong when the glass smoked up within 30 mins we spent an evening browsing the self help pages for an explanation only to discover that the euro plate was for smokeless fuel (thank you Jotul for further lack of clarity on this issue!). Having refitted the US plate the draft was clearly better through the 80 odd holes in the stove roof but the air wash for the glass seems unaffected. I had read that obscuring some of these holes will force greater quantities of air via the air wash and we will try that next. Jotul this would appear to be a design fault and needs rectifying.

The stove seems unable to burn overnight even when almost fully damped and loaded with dry seasoned logs.

These flaws have been overcome by other manufacturers, Clearview stoves do exactly what they say. Their simple twin adjustment with air wash system and raz bezel are a testament to good design. The glass stays clean and even with poor fuel recovers by raising the stove temperature for an hour or so despite the 2kW back boiler! Those looking for a quality wood burning stove look no further than Clearvies.. We've had a clearview for many years and love it. The construction whilst not cast iron is thick and of high quality. The advocates for cast iron stoves ought to be more open minded. Thick carbon steel seems to be perfectly suited to stove manufacture. The reason for changing to jotul for our other room was due to having had good experience with clearview and wrongly believing that a manurfacturer of Jotul's credentials would have reached similar levels of design and capability, also the perhaps rather rustic Clearview designs would be less suited to our more elegant sitting room. Unfortunately we now have an elegant ivory stove with no view of the flames and frankly something akin to a chocolate teapot. The stove suppliers clearly believe the hype from Jotul and are not especially helpful. Having looked forward to having a new log burner in our new living room for a year or so the result is especially disappointing.

Stove expert replied: Disappointing review of the Jotul stove. Is there an airbrick in the room? The flue draw may be an issue and should be checked to insure that the stove can function correctly.

Overall rating:

3 flames

Build Quality 4 flames (avg 3.9)
Quality of finish 4 flames (avg 3.8)
Value for money 3 flames (avg 3)
Ease of use 3 flames (avg 3.2)
Ease of lighting 4 flames (avg 3.7)
Firebox size 3 flames (avg 3.7)
How well does the airwash work 1 flames (avg 2.1)
Controllability 2 flames (avg 2.9)
Handle operation 4 flames (avg 3.6)
How likely are you to buy it again? 1 flames (avg 2.4)
What is your overall satisfaction? 2 flames (avg 3)