WhatStove?

Review of Principal 405 Multifuel Stove

I never really liked my high school Principal, but I love this!

3 years ago

I feel enough time has gone by for me to review this stove. I visited my local fireplace shop looking for a log burner and the Principal was of the right size and style for living room. It sits low, so I needed a slabbed and sectioned hearth but this wasn’t a problem for the fitter who completed the job in about 3 hours, as promised. The handle is nice and tight, much better than some of the others I tested in the showroom, and the air wash system seems to work fine as we’ve barely had to clean it. We haven’t been able to burn it overnight which is a little disappointing, but I thought this would be the case for such a compact stove. Another downside is that the handle gets really hot, I know this sounds stupid as it has a fire burning away in it, but surely a stove manufacturer can make a handle that doesn’t scorch the palm of your hand? We probably should have picked up on this when we took out the installation instructions because there was a bright orange glove in there, but never mind.

On to some more important stuff:

It’s always pretty easy to light, my dad’s house has always had a stove so it’s never been much of a problem. There’s two controls like you get with many stoves and have found that leaving them both halfway open seems to do the trick.

The ash tray is small and that’s the downside with this type of compact stove, but it just means clearing it a bit more on the days it’s used regularly.

Build quality is very good, and the installer assured me he’s had no problems with these stoves in the past, then again, he was fitting a bulky 8kW stove the next day so he probably has a natural liking to a smaller and lighter stove.

We're going through a lot of wood, more so than I remember with my father’s stove, but I do like a roaring fire.

So far on the whole were very happy with the Principal, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a decent compact cast iron stove at a fair price.

Stove expert replied: Do make sure that you can shut the stove to a slumber mode and not run the stove on maximum all the time, a good review.

Overall rating:

5 flames

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