Best Log Burner 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

The craze for affordable log-burners and wood-burners has risen dramatically in recent years, particularly in the UK as people seek out safer and more efficient alternatives to open fires and fireplaces.

Wood-burning stoves and log-burners are much the same thing – they are stoves that are typically constructed from cast iron or steel, which burn natural fuels such as logs, pellets and other kindling. They are connected to a flue system that removes the resulting hot gases, allowing your home to benefit from a cosy, warming stove that has a certain rustic charm compared to an electric fireplace.

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Due to their advantages and growing popularity, log-burning stoves are becoming increasingly affordable. Here is our roundup of some of our favourite high quality, budget log-burners under £500, along with a buying guide to help you make the right choice.

A Quick Look at the Top Wood-Burners under £500

ProductImageWeightHeat outputMaterialFuelFeaturesPriceRatingBuy Now
Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW Multi-fuel Stove1-lincsfire-harmston-5-5kw-multifuel-stove57 kg5.5 kWCast ironWood and coalAirwash system
Airflow control
Removable ash pan
£176.959.2/10
AStove 5KW Cast Iron Burning Stove2-astove-5kw-cast-iron-burning-stove59 kg5 kWCast ironWood and coalAirwash system
Secondary burn
Removable ash pan
£179.999.8/10
FoxHunter WoodBurner 66 kg6 kWCast ironWood and coalHigh temperature glass
Air vent control
Pattern on exterior
£209.998/10
FoxHunter Cast Iron Log-Stove4-foxhunter-cast-iron-log-wood-burner-stove95 kg12 kWCast ironWood and coalAir vent control
Airwash system
Ash pan with handle
£319.909.5/10
Lincsfire Branston 12KW 5-lincsfire-branston-12kw-cast-iron-log-burner121 kg12 kWCast ironWood and coalSuper airwash system
Top and rear flue outlet
Removable ash pan
£389.959.0/10

Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW Multifuel Stove Review

Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW Multifuel Stove Review

An efficient and compact stove – perfect for small lounge

We love this cute, small, well-built wood-burning stove from T G Outlet. Due to its size, this would be an ideal stove for someone with a small fireplace who wants to get plenty of heat into their living room. Made from traditional cast iron with a long lifespan, this little multi-fuel-burner has a nice finish and offers great value for money. It would make the ideal first stove for someone looking for a more efficient alternative to a conventional fireplace. Even better, you can expect significantly reduced heating bills.

It’s multi-fuel, which means you can burn coal, should you wish. It has a removable ash pan, making it much easier to empty and clean. Its airflow control function means you can leave it to slowly burn overnight, to keep the house nice and warm for when you wake up in the morning. This stove also has an 80% efficiency level, which makes it a great investment in the long-term.

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Pros and Cons
We Liked:
  • Great build quality
  • Puts out a lot of heat for a small fire
  • Very nicely finished
  • Perfect for a small room
We Didn't Like:
  • Front fire basket could be hire to catch falling debris
Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW Multifuel Stove
92 %

Our Verdict: This Lincsfire Harmston stove has some pretty nifty features that make it a great choice for a small household.

Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW Multifuel Stove Rating: 9.2/10

Specifications & Downloads

Specifications:

  • Weight: 57 kg
  • Heat output: 5.5 kW
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Fuel: Wood/coal
  • Features: Airwash system, airflow control, removable ash pan

Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW Multifuel Stove user manual

Download the Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW Multifuel Stove user manual here.

AStove 5KW Cast Iron Review

AStove 5KW Cast Iron Burning Stove Review

A small, durable multi-fuel stove – highly efficient

You can really see the quality in its construction, from the thick cast iron to the German high-temperature glass. This stove also comes with some handy accessories, such as ash hooks and a removable ash pan for convenient cleaning.

We particularly like the copper casting and fastenings of this multi-fuel stove, which give it a certain aesthetic appeal. Being multi-fuel, you can use smokeless coal to generate heat if you prefer, whatever works out as the right option for you. It’s certainly a weighty appliance, so be sure to have somewhere there to help you carry it when it arrives, and keep the kids at a distance until it’s all professionally set up.

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Pros and Cons
We Liked:
  • High energy efficiency
  • Lovely cast-iron construction
  • No smoke leakage
  • Ash tray for easy cleaning
We Didn't Like:
  • We love everything about this model!
AStove 5KW Cast Iron
98 %

Our Verdict: If you’re on the lookout for a super-efficient, durable stove for a small lounge or kitchen, then this cast iron multi-fuel stove sold by AStove could be an ideal purchase for you.

AStove 5KW Cast Iron Rating: 9.8/10

Specifications & Downloads

Specifications:

  • Weight: 59 kg
  • Heat output: 5 kW
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Fuel: Wood/coal
  • Features: Airwash system, secondary burn, removable ash pan

AStove 5KW Cast Iron user manual

Download the AStove 5KW Cast Iron user manual here.

FoxHunter Cast IronStove Review

FoxHunter Cast Iron Log Wood Stove Review

A large-capacity wood-burning stove for heating bigger rooms

If you live in a large house that can be hard to keep warm, then a lovely big stove like this 12 kW monster from KMS Distributions is the ideal solution for heating your home. Large enough to heat more than one room (depending on where it’s positioned), this stove is robust, efficient and attractively designed – see the similar bow pattern to the 7.5 kW model. It would make a great addition to a larger fireplace, kicking out loads of heat in a way that is safer and more contained than an open fire.

Like the other options we’ve reviewed so far, this model works equally well whatever you burn. The ash pan comes with a handle attachment, which makes it easy to remove and clean. This stove also has desirable airwash and air vent control features, which keep it looking good and generating the right amount of heat.

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Pros and Cons
We Liked:
  • Looks great
  • Good build quality
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to use
We Didn't Like:
  • We loved everything about this model!
FoxHunter Cast Iron Stove
95 %

Our Verdict: For a large capacity stove, this is a powerful, high-quality choice – and even betterl, it’s cheaper if you buy it online.

FoxHunter Cast Iron Stove Rating: 9.5/10

Specifications & Downloads

Specifications:

  • Weight: 95 kg
  • Heat output: 12 kW
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Fuel: Wood/coal
  • Features: Air vent control, airwash system, ash pan with handle

FoxHunter Cast Iron Stove user manual

Download the FoxHunter Cast Iron Stove user manual here.

FoxHunter WoodBurner Cast Iron Log-Burner MultiFuel 

FoxHunter WoodBurner ReviewThis small but powerful FoxHunter woodburner is a sturdy little stove which is perfect for in a medium sized family home.

Quiet winter evenings by the fire are hard to resist when the fire is lit, and the intricate design of this burner creates a beautiful finish to any room whilst providing heat throughout the entire home.

As a multi-fuel burner, you can burn either coal or wood, depending on which you would prefer, however you may find that it gets through a lot of wood quite quickly, in which case we found you can simply remove the multi grate to make it last longer.

The burner is cast iron, which means that it is high quality and built to last, so this burner would be a sound investment for the long term.

 

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Pros and Cons
We Liked:
  • Cast iron for durability
  • Intricate design
  • Multi fuel
  • High temperature glass
  • Good vent control
We Didn't Like:
  • Can be fiddly to get used to vent controls
FoxHunter WoodBurner NEW Cast Iron Log-Burner MultiFuel
80 %

Our Verdict: A sturdy an good looking burner, this model would be perfect for medium family homes looking to create a cozy and relaxed atmosphere.

FoxHunter WoodBurner Rating: 8/10

Specifications & Downloads

Specifications:

  • Weight: 66 kg
  • Heat output: 6 kW
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Fuel: Wood/coal
  • Features: Air vent control, pattern on exterior, high temperature glass

 

FoxHunter WoodBurner NEW Cast Iron Log-Burner MultiFuel user manual

Download the FoxHunter WoodBurner NEW Cast Iron Log-Burner MultiFuel user manual here.

Lincsfire Branston 12KW Review

Lincsfire Branston 12KW Cast Iron Log-Burner Review

A luxurious, high-capacity stove for heating a large family home

Available online from Lincsfire, this huge stove complies with the CE standard and has a sought-after contemporary design with bow embellishment on the exterior. Only minor assembly is required on delivery, so you can get straight to enjoying your lovely warm house on a chilly winter evening.

This Lincsfire model uses a pre-heated airwash system, which keeps the heat-resistant glass doors super-clean and shiny, so you can see the bright flames inside. It has both a top and rear flue outlet, air vent control and also burns coal, as it is multi-fuel. We particularly like the attractive brass handles and the impressive 75% efficiency rating that helps to keep those energy bills nice and low – an important consideration in a big house.

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Pros and Cons
We Liked:
  • Airwash system keeps door clean
  • Top and rear flue outlet
  • Vent control
  • Multi-fuel
  • 75% energy rating
We Didn't Like:
  • Instructions can be vague
Lincs Fire Branston 12KW
90 %

Our Verdict: As the most expensive fireplace in our list of reviews, this is a gorgeous, top-of-the-range stove that would be ideal for a large family household with big rooms.

Lincs Fire Branston 12KW Rating: 9/10

Specifications & Downloads

Specifications:

  • Weight: 121 kg
  • Heat output: 12 kW
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Fuel: Wood/coal
  • Features: Super airwash system, top and rear flue outlet, removable ash pan

Lincs Fire Branston 12KW user manual

Download the Lincs Fire Branston 12KW user manual here.

The Ultimate Log-Burner Buying Guide

Types of burning stove

Log-burners typically come in two variations – radiant and circular. Circulating stoves heat air internally before sending it out into the room, whereas radiating stoves simply generate and radiate heat as they go. They are traditionally made from an outer shell of cast iron or steel. Though not as efficient as a modern boiler, they are a marked improvement on previous generations of wood-stoves.

Pros and cons of having a log-burner

In most places in the world, burner-wood is fairly easy to come by. It is an affordable and renewable resource, and if you do a little scavenging, sometimes you don’t have to pay for it at all. Any that is untreated and free of infestations makes great kindling for your fireplace. And if you want to neutralise your carbon footprint, why not plant a few trees along the way?

The downside with burning wood is that despite being a natural material, you are still releasing a lot of chemicals into the air – carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, etc. It is not a clean fuel, by any means. For this reason, it’s vital to make sure that you buy your wood-burner from a reputable source, who will ensure that your stove is correctly sealed to avoid smoke seeping into your home.

Efficiency

Heating appliances in the UK are now required to meet a minimum efficiency rating of 65 percent. Of course, some are higher than that, and the higher they are, the more efficient they will be. Most fall somewhere between 60 and 80 percent. By comparison, the efficiency of something like an open fire or gas fire is around 30-50 percent, so by choosing a wood-burner you are certainly selecting a more efficient option.

To get the maximum efficiency out of your stove, look for one that has a high efficiency percentage and that uses ‘cleanburn’ technology to help disperse gas and smoke. Some models of log-burner use a catalytic converter – an item which should be replaced every few years – to help make the most out of your fuel.

Choosing the right size

When it comes to log-burning stoves, one size doesn’t fit all. You should choose the size of your stove based on where it will go in your home, and how much space it has to heat. The heat output of log-burners is measured in kW and usually ranges between 3 kW up to 15 kW or more.

Getting a unit that is too big or powerful for your home means you will always have to run it at a low temperature or your house will quickly overheat. This is not the most efficient way to operate a log-burner. The ideal kW output will be determined by the size and layout of the room in which the wood-burner will go, building insulation, the age of your home, and the size and quality of your windows. To get a very rough idea of what heat output is appropriate, try this formula:

(Room height x room width x room length) / 14

Cost savings

In theory, these appliances eventually pay for themselves because your energy bill will be reduced. While there is an initial investment to pay for the stove and installation, plus the ongoing costs of kindling, over time it is possible to make some savings.

Installing your Log-Burner

When it comes to the installation, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional, unless you happen to be one yourself! A log-burner that hasn’t been installed correctly can be a real hazard, both in terms of fire risk and smoke or gases being released into your home. It’s always a good idea to speak to your home insurance company before buying or installing your appliance, to see what their terms are, so you know you’re covered. You may find that your premium slightly increases, but of course it’s worth it should something go wrong.

Wood-stoves should be placed against interior walls rather an exterior ones where possible – this will help to minimise heat loss. Ensure that any leaks or lack of insulation are addressed beforehand, and that you have all the necessary precautions in place to run your burning-stove in a way that is safe and efficient.

Are you thinking of buying a wood-burning stove? Hopefully this article has helped to address some of your questions. Which stove do you like the look of and why? Let us know in the comments.

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