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 wasnâ€™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 weâ€™ve barely had to clean it. We havenâ€™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 doesnâ€™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:
Itâ€™s always pretty easy to light, my dadâ€™s house has always had a stove so itâ€™s never been much of a problem. Thereâ€™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 thatâ€™s the downside with this type of compact stove, but it just means clearing it a bit more on the days itâ€™s used regularly.
Build quality is very good, and the installer assured me heâ€™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 fatherâ€™s stove, but I do like a roaring fire.
So far on the whole were very happy with the Principal, Iâ€™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.