Best Log Burner 2018 – 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.

The Best Log Burners – Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Lincsfire Branston 12KW
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Lincsfire Branston 12KW
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  • 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
Best Value: Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW
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Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW Multifuel Stove
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  • Weight: 57 kg
  • Heat output: 5.5 kW
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Fuel: Wood/coal
  • Features: Airwash system, airflow control, removable ash pan
Castmaster Dunrobin Wood Burning Log Burner
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Castmaster Dunrobin Wood Burning Log Burner
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  • Weight: 128kg
  • Heat Output: 12kW
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Fuel: Wood, Coal, Briquettes
  • Features: Variable airflow control, delivered pre-assembled, top and rear flue outlets

Best Log Burners

Lincsfire Harmston 5.5KW Multifuel Stove

An efficient and compact stove – perfect for small lounges.

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.

We like

  • Great build quality
  • Puts out a lot of heat for a small fire
  • Very nicely finished
  • Perfect for a small room

We disike

  • Front fire basket could be hire to catch falling debris

Final Verdict

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

+ Specifications

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

+ Downloads

Download Lincsfire Harmston User Manual

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Castmaster Dunrobin Wood Burning Log Burner

Feeling very strong and substantial, this log burner can hold wood, coal, briquettes, smokeless coal and other forms of fuel for plenty of choices.

It comes completely assembled, so all you need to do when it arrives is fit the legs, and you’re ready to go once the flue is sorted. It is fitted with Schoot pyro ceramic glass for extra security, but there is still plenty of heat emitted to keep you all warm.

Cleaning it is made easy thanks to the ash pan, which can be removed and brushed out before slotting back into place. There is a safe to grip handle on it so you won’t struggle to hold it.

To us, it is just as good as some of the much more expensive stove burners we have seen over the years. There seemed to be no warping, and no problems keeping it alight.

We like

  • Well built
  • Handles are all easy to grip and manoeuvre

We disike

  • Gets quite smoky with coal

Final Verdict

A good, reliable option which will keep you nice and warm over the Winter months and is relatively simple to maintain and keep going

+ Specifications

  • Weight: 128kg
  • Heat Output: 12kW
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Fuel: Wood, Coal, Briquettes
  • Features: Variable airflow control, delivered pre-assembled, top and rear flue outlets

Breeze Wood or solid fuel Insert stove, 4 kW

Great for kicking out a generous amount of heat while being very efficient, this stove is well worth the price.

It only uses around 25% of the fuel of an open fire, which will save you money and also reduce emissions. There is an 81% efficiency rating, too, so you’ll feel pretty much every single bit of warmth. A bag of wood goes a long way with it.

An air-wash system produces less ash and by-product than ordinary stoves, which means less cleaning for you. A brick or stone-build flue will be required, with a chimney pot which rises out of the roof, to get rid of the emissions.

Fitting and installation is best if done by a professional which comes at an extra cost, but we liked the little added touch of a free heat resistant glove and pot of touch up paint included in the purchase.

We like

  • Handle keeps the door secure
  • Overall design
  • Not very bulky - nice to save space

We disike

  • Some ash falls out when door is opened

Final Verdict

Ignore the price - it is fabulous, and you can't put a cost on warmth.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 59.5 x 48.6 x 26 cm
  • Fuel Type: Wood or solid fuel

Beldray Wood or solid fuel Stove, 5 kW

For under £200, this is a neat and efficient little stove which gives out a great amount of heat.

The efficiency of this heat is 76%, which you can certainly feel on a chilly evening and is great for the price.

We loved the styling of it, with the contrast of the cast iron black body and gold handles. It looks very traditional and would look lovely in any living room or dining area.

It requires a brick or stone chimney flue, with a pot which reaches out of the top of your property. Complete with purchase is an ash pan, grate and a connector spigot, so you’re pretty much ready to go upon delivery.

We like

  • Design
  • Choice of fuels
  • Nice compact size
  • Price

We disike

  • Door can sometimes feel a bit loose until secured again

Final Verdict

Looks great, works great and is easy to manage - a steal of a price, too.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 58 x 45.5 x 33 cm
  • Fuel Type: Wood or solid fuel
  • Weight: 67 kg

Lincsfire Branston 12KW

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.

We like

  • Airwash system keeps door clean
  • Top and rear flue outlet
  • Vent control
  • Multi-fuel
  • 75% energy rating

We disike

  • Instructions can be vague

Final 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.

+ 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

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.