Review of Morso Owl stove

The Owl...

John Clark 12 years ago

We've had our Owl since winter 2006, and we are very pleased with it. It does what we need although in hindsight we should have purchased a lager stove given the volume and 'lossiness' of the area it is in (a 10kW would have been more appropriate, and in the future we may move the Owl to our front living room (which is smaller) and add a larger stove in the back living area instead).

What we've found is that it's nigh on impossible to get a proper overnight burn with the Owl - I think the firebox is just too small, or perhaps it is our chimney. This is when burning with either wood (oak mainly) or anthractite briquettes. With the briquettes and some care it is almost possible to have the slightest hint of warmth about the stove after eight hours (from very hot at say 10pm, closing down on either lever, to trying to get the stove going at 6am). Therefore, if there's a knack to doing an overnight burn with the Owl I have yet to discover it (and would love to know how). It may be that the tertiary air control is fixed at the rear and cannot be adjusted, thus preventing a full shut-down.

On the plus side, it's exceptionally well made and even after five years of moderate usage (autumn->spring only) it is still almost as new. We enjoy the flames and find that although occasionally difficult to light (usually due to not being able to squeeze enough wood in there to guarantee a cold start up to temperature without a fresh load) once it is up it is great.

I'd probably give the stove a 4.5/5 if I could, but I've rounded down due to the few little quibbles I've mentioned.

Stove expert replied: Just as this Owl owner predicts the secondary air cannot be fully shut down. It is one of the reasons why it is a Defra Exempt stove. In fact forget trying to overnight burn in almost any Defra Exempt stove. On the plus side this stops inefficient burning which will tar up your chimney (increasing the risk of chimney fire) and producing lots of smoke. Perhaps it is time for us to consider removing the 'overnight burning' rating as it doesn't really apply to many stoves these days.

Overall rating:

4 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.7)
Value for money 4 flames (avg 3.9)
Ease of use 4 flames (avg 4.4)
Ease of lighting 4 flames (avg 4.6)
Firebox size 4 flames (avg 4.3)
How well does the airwash work 4 flames (avg 4)
Controllability 4 flames (avg 4.2)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 4.6)
How likely are you to buy it again? 4 flames (avg 4.5)
What is your overall satisfaction? 4 flames (avg 4.5)