Knowing what to look for in a used wood stove is essential if you want to get the best cast iron or steel wood stove for your money. If you just go by price, or what the seller tells you, you may be quite disappointed. Everyone has different needs, tastes and budgets so there is no quick and easy answer when you use wood heat; find out more…
How to buy a used wood stove—considerations
- Price range of your used wood stove
- Purpose—what will you be heating?
- Size requirements—based on what you will be heating
- Cast iron or heavy gage steel?
- Wood supply—type of wood, price of firewood, storage space, etc.
- Used wood stove price range
Once you do know your price range, the options are more clearly defined. You can spend anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars on a good used wood stove, so it is important to know what you are looking for. Price is not the only issue, but is obviously important.
Purpose for your used wood stove
You must determine what you want the wood burning stove for. A hunting camp stove is one matter, a fireplace wood stove is another, and heating your new home is yet another. You may be looking for a good cast iron wood stove, or a pellet stove insert, all require special knowledge.
How big of wood stove do you really need?
Finding the right size stove is critical to having a successful heating experience. If your Fisher wood stove heats you out of the house, you are not going to be happy. On the other hand, you may buy a used Jotul cast iron wood stove that is just too small for you needs, you will not be happy with this either.
First determine the cubic feet you are going to heat and compare this with the wood stove specifications provided by the manufacturer. Also consider the type of wood you will be burning, as dry hardwood will certainly heat a larger area than lower quality wood.
Type of used wood stove—cast iron or heavy gage steel
Should you buy a cast iron or heavy gage steel used wood stove? This depends entirely on your personal preference and budget. Most people consider cast iron superior to steel, but steel works well in many stoves.
Then there are the newer pellet wood stoves that many people find very efficient and easy to use. They are very low maintenance and require little storage for the wood.
Cast iron tends to take longer to heat up, and longer to cool off. Steel heats up very quickly and will take the chill off a room faster than cast iron. Cast iron generally lasts longer and is not likely to warp, while the heavy gage steel is likely to discolor and warp. The heavier the stove, the better it is, generally.
Quality cast iron wood stove manufacturers
Leading cast iron makers include Jotul, Vermont Castings, Morso, Hampton, and The Woodstock Soapstone Company. All of these stoves are beautiful and highly efficient.