Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Wood Stove Review

I have burned, sold and used the Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim for many years. I am very familiar with this model, it benefits and its drawbacks. My goal here is to present both sides to you as best as possible so that you can make an educated decision if you would like to own one in your home.

Resolute Acclaim Wood Stove

Resolute Acclaim Wood Stove

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Stats:

  • Heating Capacity – Up to 1600 Sq. Feet
  • Non-Catalytic Combustion
  • Burn Time – Up to 9 hours
  • Log Size – Up to 16″
  • EPA emissions – 3.4 grams per hour
  • 6″ Flue Collar
  • 425 lbs.
  • More Specs Here

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim “The Bad” –

  • Fairly small firebox for this size group of stove. However the top loader definitely makes up for this in my book.

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Firebox

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Firebox

  • Door handle and latches are small and lots of parts and pieces which is a drawback in my book.

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Door Latch

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Door Latch

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Door Latch

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Door Latch

  • Heat shield is sold separately, which is practically a must unless you have a solid brick wall behind it. Heat shield  retails for about $85.00
  • “Vermont Castings parts” is one of the biggest google searches in the hearth industry. One reason is because the have been around forever, but another reason is that they have a lot of little parts and pieces that need to be replaced over the years. I tend to prefer a simpler, less parts and pieces design when possible. Parts are generally available which is a plus.

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Logo

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Logo

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim “The Good” –

  • Top loading feature!! – With the stove burning, you can engage the flue bypass lever and open the top of the stove without smoke spilling back into the room. This is the absolute best feature about this stove in my book. It makes it to where you don’t have to bend way down and try to fill the wood in the front while it is trying to roll out. Very convenient. In my opinion Vermont Castings are the only ones that actually do a top loader well. The other manufacturers that offer it have not got the kinks out.

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Top Loader

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Top Loader

  •  Vermont Castings brand has been around forever, as I talked about in my Vermont Castings Article.
  • The andirons in the front of the firebox prevent the wood from leaning on the glass which helps keep the glass clean.
  • I would say the glass stays fairly clean when burning properly. About industry average.
Overall I would say it is a good wood stove to own. I would consider owning one myself. Main highlights are the looks, design, and the top loader.
Retail pricing is:
  • $2372 for a matte black, cast iron.
  • Around $2950 for the enamel colors. (Biscuit, Majolica Brown is Pictured, Ebony Black, Bordeaux Red)
  • Warming shelves $126 – $227 per side.

** UPDATE ** The Stove Guy is launching his online store. Click here to save some money on the Resolute Acclaim!

Here is a link to the manufacturer’s site.
If you own or have owned a Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim then I would love to hear any comments or suggestions you have for our other readers!!
Yours Truly,
     The Stove Guy
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26 thoughts on “Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Wood Stove Review

  1. I have had a Resolute Acclaim for about 20 years. I love the top load feature! Nice big window, heats good and can be shut down to a comfortable temp., that is until the internal parts begin to warp. When they warp, they allow more air to leak in and the stove runs hot…causing it to warp even more. I have put many hundreds of dollars into my stove but am giving up on it now. I have had it into the blacksmith’s shop to be welded and am not going to spend the require money to replace all the damaged internal plates and shields, etc. for a third time. I am looking at a Jotul F 50 TL Rangeley for a replacement. It has similar features but fewer cast parts and a lifetime warranty on the firebox.

    • Jotul is not a bad stove, but they don’t have the top loading feature. I think you will be disappointed after using that awesome feature for the past 20 years. I would ask yourself if the new Resolute lasts another 20 years would that be a good value to me? If yes get the VC.

      As far as the warranty goes, in most states a limited lifetime warranty means about 7-8 years. And the warranty does not cover “normal wear and tear” so I would not bank on that too much. Don’t get me wrong I think Jotul makes a great stove but I just think you will be missing the top loader….

      The Stove Guy

  2. I’ve had an Acclaim for almost 8 years now and if we ever move, I’m taking it with me. It’s the off-white color. Sand, I think they were calling it back then. I bucked up for the warming shelves and I’m so glad I did. First of all, it’s a beautiful appliance. I’ll find my eye wandering over to it even on summer nights while we’re watching TV. It is nice to look at. It’s even prettier with an actual fire in it 😛

    Our house is 1500 square feet and we’re in SE PA. As you can imagine it has no problem heating our entire house. Occasionally, the temps will dip down into the low 20’s and teens and I get to burn the stove as intended. It throws some serious heat.

    The top loading feature is the only way to go. It gives you a bird’s eye view of the firebox so you know right were to place the logs. Open the top….plunk….plunk….plunk…done! The top door is also a cooking griddle. I haven’t used it as such, but it’s nice to be able to put a humidifier on top without having to worry about bitching up the enamel.

    8 years and I haven’t even replaced the gaskets…although I think they’re about ready!

  3. We recently moved into a house and it has a Resolute Acclaim in the living room/dining room area (approx 400 square feet) and it has yet to heat the room to a comfortable level. We’re lucky to reach 66 degrees after it burns all day. The griddle will get up to 400 or sometimes even 500 degrees, but it doesn’t heat the room up.

    The temp on the smokestack never gets out of the creosote level . . . I don’t get it.

    Any ideas? I’m about ready to sell it and buy something else.

    Thanks.

    • You are not getting the fire hot enough. Your wood may not be dry enough.

      Try cutting the wood into smaller pieces and leave the door cracked longer when starting. You should get the griddle up to 500+ degrees, have a good coal bed established, then be able to load the stove up with medium sized pieces. If you are never getting the stove hot enough to close the bypass it will never burn efficiently enough to put out any heat.

      Hope that helps.

      The Stove Guy

    • I know what you mean about the stove getting hot, but the heat not going into the room. We blow a fan at our stove, angled towards the room and it spreads the heat into the rest of the house.

  4. I have had a Resolute III for over 27 years. About 3 years ago I noticed the warping of the interior panels. I took the stove apart and found the inner sections were packed with ash. I suspect my lack of maintenance contributed to the damage. I am thinking about ordering the parts and trying to get another 10 or 20 years out of the stove. This time I will watch the ash build up and try not to let it overheat. I figure the $300 in parts is a lot cheaper than buying a new stove.

  5. Hi I have just got a resolute wood stove wondering if I sent you a pic could you please try and identify the model for me as I would like to try and locate a manual for it thanks

  6. I have 2 resolute acclaims. I think I’ve had them each for about 15 years. They are both blue in color which I don’t think they offer any more. I love the top loading feature. I have a couple of concerns. The damper handle located on the upper right side sometimes flips back towards the rear of the stove which causes the top damper to open fully and the stove to get too much oxygen and the stove to run too hot. I’ve tied a piece of metal wire around the handle and tied it onto the warming tray to make sure it doesn’t open while we’re out or sleeping. I also am concerned that the handle that opens the front door is also going to unlock and that the door will open. It doesn’t seem too secure. Any suggestions on how I can correct these issues? Even when the upper dampers are totally closed and the lower air control slide is all the way to the far left (the minimum amount of air), my stoves tend to run on the hot side hovering around 500-600 degrees. When I set the stoves in this “low” setting I sometimes experience some backpuffing of smoke into the room either coming through the top door (even with a heavy cast iron humidifier full of water on it) or around the edges of the front door. I can fix the backpuffing problem by sliding the bottom lever a little to the right giving it more air but then it starts to over heat with temperatures ranging between 700-900 degrees which concerns me. One of my stoves is partially recessed into my fireplace and vented with a flexible stainless steel pipe that runs up through my chimney and the other is free standing with a direct rear vent into the chimney wall which was built for the stove. Any thoughts about what I can do to fix the top rear dampers from opening on their own, how to adjust the front door lock, and how to eliminate the backpuffing without overheating the stoves? Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jeff
    In addition to posting your reply, please also email me your response. Thanks so much!

  7. My husband and I are thinking of buying an acclaim by we can’t decide if we want an enameled one. How does the enamel hold up?

  8. I have a Defiant. Now after 20 years (burning it 6 months a year) the catalytic unit has disintegrated. This past year I used the stove w/o the unit it still worked great however I burned a little more wood. Other than kicking out a little more pollution how important is it? I live in north Idaho my nearest neighbor is about 10 miles away and they said they do not smell any smoke when I am burning. Appreciate your feedback.
    Rich

  9. For the replacement of the gaskets there are only instructions for the door but not the top or the other parts. I replaced the gasket on the top with the kit but I see a large gap now. Also where do the other gaskets go that are in the kit for the resolute acclaim? I would appreciate your reply, and/or a video site for all the replacements and not only yhe door. Thanks

    • I am refer in to the kit for the resolute acclaim vermont wood stove that contains several gaskets. The one for the top door seems to be too thin. I can see the flames through the wide gap.

  10. Resolu.te Acclaim Wood Stove, how much is a heat shield for this stove from you? it is a dark blue enamel Stove

    Thanks

    Steve

  11. We have a 6 year old Resolute Acclaim. We have loved its efficiency and the amount of heat it puts out. Just at the end of last burning season, the primary air control lever got very, very stiff and had to be forced over to the right (start position). This season the stove never gets hot enough to close the damper or adjust the primary air control. Although the stove keeps our home comfortable, it’s not very cold outside. Last year if we ran it all day we’d be opening doors and windows because it got so hot. Not this year. If we had just bought this stove I’d be wanting to return it. Something must be wrong somewhere in the stove but I can’t figure out what!

  12. We installed a Resolute Acclaim when we build our house in 1999. I never found it to be as good as the Vigilants and Defiants from back in the late 70s & early 80s. I would agree with everything in the “the bad” part of the review. Handles, knobs, etc. had to be replaced or had broken within two years. The iron was poorly cast and our front latch broke clean off- you could see the air bubbles in the casting. My experience with Vermont Castings products of the late 90s is that they are poorly made and the craftsmanship is extremely poor. The damper mechanism fell apart within ten years. In addition to my Resolute Acclaim being a poorly made product, it also has several parts that need to be replaced periodically as “general maintenance.” This include the firebricks and combustion chamber. Replacing these parts can run into several hundred dollars.
    Although the stove heated well, and had a good ten to twelve hour burn time, I think that it was an outrageously overpriced product. When the damper assembly fell apart, I decided to replace the stove with a 1977 Defiant model in near mint condition. I paid less for the Defiant than it would cost to refurb the Resolute Acclaim and I am an much happier. The Defiant has a minimum of moving parts, no bricks, and for my situation just an all around better stove. I feel the same way about my 1980 Vigilant I have upstairs. Both the Vigilant and the Defiant together cost me less than half of the cost of a new Resolute Acclaim, and I think the are better products despite the fact that they are over 30 years old. I would not recommend the Resolute Acclaim unless you are only interested in its aesthetic appeal. Its functionality id unacceptable for me.

  13. I have a Vermont castings resolute
    Wood burning stove I purchased in
    1983-84. I used it up until 2007 when
    I had a remodel.
    It has been a wonderful stove , with heat shield, mitten warmers, dragon shelves on the top, new gaskets and it always burned very well, as I had an excellent draft
    I would like to use it again. Do you think it would still pass the EPA standards for both Oregon & Washington?
    Would this stove still qualify for the EPA standards in Oregon or Washington?
    How could I find out?
    H

  14. Dear stove guy, i have a resolute acclaim 2490 that im repairing…the main damper is either wide open or competely closed…no inbetween…is this normal?

    • The Bypass is only wide open or completely closed, but that is separate from the damper. The damper or draft control will be able to slide and adjusted in between wide open and closed.

      The Stove Guy

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