Review of Nestor Martin IT13 Insert woodburning stove

Great little unit

Andy Maybury 12 years ago

An excellent little stove with superb controls. We have tied one of the air ducts into the output of our Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit and this helps bring the warmth into the room very effectively. The other duct takes air to the bedrooms. This also helps keep the surrounding brickwork cool (although there are slight cracks in the plaster now.)

My only complaint is that it doesn't come in a wood-only version. (We have absolutely no intention of burning coal, which is so carbon-intensive that it ought to be banned entirely.) We have left the ash to fill the ash pan and under the grate and created the nearest equivalent to a dedicated wood-burner.

We also wanted the door hinged on the left but there is no option on this.

It would occasionally be nice to cram a few more logs in … but there's got to be a limit somewhere!

One of the lock nuts on the handle loosens itself and needs repeatedly re-tightening.

It was a bit pricey but we would probably go for the same unit again. The controls are well worth the extra, especially as my work takes me into homes where solid fuel fires are used and many of them are operated so badly that I reckon the best way of tackling this is to have controls that do not allow you to do the wrong thing!

Being small enough to have a zero-ventilation requirement means that we avoided awkward discussions with Building Control and it burns so cleanly that my neighbour wasn't sure whether we actually used it much. (We run it every day for most of the day during the winter.)

We have used about 5m³ or 2½ tonnes of wood over the winter four months and reduced our gas consumption by 300m³ or 3400kWh with respect to the same period last year.

Everyone is very impressed when they see it and we are very pleased with it.

Stove expert replied: Although allowing the ash to build up gives you more control for wood burning it may be detrimental to the longevity of the grate as it may become too hot and distort over time!

Overall rating:

4.5 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 5)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 5)
Value for money 3 flames (avg 3)
Ease of use 5 flames (avg 4.5)
Ease of lighting 4 flames (avg 4)
Firebox size 4 flames (avg 4.5)
How well does the airwash work 5 flames (avg 4.5)
Controllability 5 flames (avg 5)
Handle operation 4 flames (avg 4.5)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 5)
What is your overall satisfaction? 5 flames (avg 5)