Review of Morso Squirrel 1412 smokeless stove

Pretty much flawless

Tom 8 years ago

After trialling an old Morso 1410 in my kitchen/diner/living room last year I decided to take the plunge and get a new 1412 installed. I built up the hearth myself, and had a HETAS engineer install a 904/316 flue liner. I insulated the first metre above the register plate, but intentionally left the rest of the flue liner un-insulated.

The chimney is internal to the building so doesn't get cold, and by not insulating the liner the chimney stack warms up nicely, acting as a low level storage heater in the bedroom above the stove.

The Morso Squirrel 1412 is very well made, nice to look at, and performs its job perfectly with no fuss. I mainly burn wood, but also burn smokeless fuel from time to time.

When fed well seasoned wood the stove lights very easily. I run it very hard for the first 30 mins of a fire to get the body temperature of the stove up, and feed it plenty of wood to get a good charcoal bed built up. After this, I tend to feed new logs on every 60-90 mins, but with a good charcoal bed, the stove will stay in for hours.

A bucket of smokeless fuel will last all day, though some brands do cause a misty haze to develop on the glass (which is easily removed).

Overnight burning is trivial with smokeless fuel - one load will last up to 14 hours when burnt slowly. It's also easy enough with wood, provided you know how. You need good dry hardwood, (softwood is great for normal burning, but not for overnight burning). An hour before bedtime, put a full load of wood on your stove, as much as it will reasonably take. Let it burn down normally, until it is just glowing charcoal. At this point, shut both spinners off fully and go to bed. The hot charcoal will burn slowly for up to 8 hours or so. In the morning, put a few dry logs on and open both vents. Within a few minutes, they'll have caught.

When doing this, it's important to wait until the charge of wood has burnt down to charcoal before shutting off the spinners, otherwise you'll get smoke, soot on the door, and gunk in the flue.

The stove easily heats the room it's in, and most of the house too. It is lit every day, sometimes kept in overnight on cold nights, sometimes kept in for days on end. The central heating was hardly needed this winter, and my monthly dual-fuel bill is now down to £30. My wood is all free. If I were paying market rates for delivered logs, it'd work out very expensive, so keep this in mind if you think a stove will save you money. Mine will pay for itself within about 7 years as long as I am able to maintain my wood supply.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with it. I boil water on the top of it, and cook stews. Putting a cast iron casserole dish on the top of a stove damped down for an overnight burn gives you a wonderful ultra slow cooked stew.

Stove expert replied: Insure that you give any stove two short periods of fast burn in every 24hours (15 - 20 mins max draw) this will help to keep the flue clear but make sure that the flue gets swept at least once for smokeless fuels and twice for wood in every season.

Overall rating:

4.5 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Value for money 4 flames (avg 4.6)
Ease of use 5 flames (avg 4.8)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Firebox size 4 flames (avg 4.4)
How well does the airwash work 5 flames (avg 4.3)
Controllability 4 flames (avg 4.5)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 4.4)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 4.9)
What is your overall satisfaction? 5 flames (avg 4.8)