Jotul F602 CB Cast Iron Wood Stove Review

Jotul F602 CB Cast Iron Wood Stove Review

Jotul’s claim to fame with the 602 is that it is the most popular wood stove ever built. With over 1,000,000 stove produced. That may be true and it is a really big bang for the buck. The Jotul F602 is built to heat a small space.

Jotul F602 Wood Stove

Jotul F602 Wood Stove

Specifications:

  • Heats up to 800 Sq Ft (The Stove Guy thinks 600 Sq Ft is more realistic, depending on your climate)
  • Up to a 5 hour burn time
  • Up to 16″ length piece of wood (more like 14″ comfortably)
  • EPA Emissions – 3.4 Grams per hour
  • 6″ Flue Collar
  • Weight: 160 lbs
  • 0.82 Cubic Foot Firebox
  • More Specs

Jotul F602 “The Bad”

  • Jotul typical 15′ vertical chimney requirement. 15′ is sometimes hard to get in a single story house. Needs to be a little longer if you have to use any elbow offsets to get the equivalent draft. Side effects of not having a tall enough flue are, smoke spillage when you open the door, hard to get a fire started, dirty glass and not a lot of heat output. Talk to your dealer about this requirement before you purchase.
  • Short burn time. This is to be expected in this size of firebox, but because of all the EPA regulations the stove does not shut down all the way so that it will burn clean enough to pass the EPA testing. This results in a 4-5 hour burn time. Not unusual for a stove this size but something to be aware of.
  • Wood length – Manufacturer states up to 16″ wood length. This is a stretch. The reburn tubes hang down a little lower in the back and you can’t fit 16″ length in the top pieces. I would suggest cutting the wood to 14″ to not be having to fight to get it in. The Morso 2B and the Vermont Castings Aspen are both a little better in this respect.
  • No ash drawer, but this is a minor detail in my opinion.

Jotul F602 “The Good”

  • Extremely quality construction. Norwegian castings, fit and finish on all the units I have seen is excellent.
  • Price point is extremely good for what you get. Not a Chinese pot metal stove, this thing is the real deal, great quality, will last a lifetime.
  • A lot of people say how efficient it is, and it is true compared to an old technology stove, but compared to it’s current competitors there is really no difference.
  • Very attractive looking little stove. Very unique and enjoyable to use.

Overall, I think the Jotul F602 is a really nice stove. Be aware of the small firebox, so small firewood and short burn time. But for the price you are getting a really quality stove that will last a lifetime.

Competitors to the Jotul F602 are the Vermont Castings Aspen and the Morso 2B, check them out as well.

Yours Truly,
The Stove Guy

Disclaimer: All of the reviews on this site are just my personal opinion from my personal experience. Take them for what they are. If you want to know more about my experience read here. By posting these reviews I am not saying that I have the only correct opinion, only that I am sharing the facts of the item as I see it. I receive no compensation, product or benefit from any manufacturer for writing these reviews. I do get paid when visitors click on advertisements that I have on the site. Thanks for your time.

Jotul F500 Oslo Wood Stove Review

Jotul F500 Oslo Review

The Oslo is offered in two door designs. The clean window or the more ornate window that has the cast webbing. They also offer the stove in three colors. Painted black cast iron, Blue Black Enamel, and Brown Majolica Enamel. The enamel colors are an additional cost. It is comparable in size to the Vermont Castings Encore or HearthStone Shelburn. The Vermont Castings Defiant and the Hearthstone Manchester are both a little larger than the Jotul F500.

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Specifications:

  • Heats up to 2000 sq ft
  • Up to 8 hour burn time
  • Up to 24in log length
  • EPA 3.2 Grams per hour
  • 6″ Flue Collar
  • Weight: 375 lbs

Jotul F500 Oslo “The Bad”

  • I hear a lot of complaints about this stove is hard to get started. While it is possible that can be attributed to people using poor quality wood. In my experience this stove requires quite a tall chimney to work well. Page 5 of the manual states that a minimum 15′ vertical chimney is required to prevent “inadequate draft”. A 15′ chimney does not just happen in most installations. A lot of manufactured homes with shallow pitched roofs only end up with 10′ from the stove collar to the cap. Some stoves are more sensitive to the height of the chimney than others, but this Jotul F500 is pretty sensitive. Some manufacturers don’t put a required minimum, and if they do 12′ is pretty typical. 15′ may not be a problem in your application but it is something to be aware of.
  • Gaskets – Most customers that have this stove complain about the burn times they get. Now these burn times are very subjective based on wood, temperature, how far they shut the stove down. Also what means it is still burning just barely enough coals so you don’t have to light a match or still putting out good heat and the house be warm. I don’t have personal experience with the burn times so I am not going to comment on that. But I do recommend to my customers to replace the side door, front door and ash drawer gaskets every single year. And I always hear of improved performance and burn times. Gaskets are relatively inexpensive.
  • Cost – This stove is the most expensive of the three that I would consider comparable. The Hearthstone Shelburn and the Vermont Castings Encore.

Jotul F500 Oslo “The Good” –

  • Most people that purchase this stove do so for the side loading feature. Which I would agree is a great feature. When you are putting the wood in from the side it is a lot less messy. And that last piece of wood does not keep trying to roll out as you are trying to close the door. The side door is definitely a plus in my opinion.
  • The style of this stove is pretty cool. It is made in Norway and definitely has that Norwegian flare. If you like the look it is pretty unique in the cast iron stove world.
  • Ash drawer is a plus. Some customers complain that it is not really big enough which I understand, but it sure does help get a fire going quick if you leave it cracked. Just don’t leave it cracked for too long or it will warp the bottom ash grate.

Overall, I think the Jotul F500 Oslo is a good stove. But I think most people put too much value on the side door and end up paying a premium for it. The Hearthstone Manchester has a nice side door and you are getting a little larger stove and firebox for less money. Or you could even get a Soapstone Hearthstone Heritage for the same or less money with side door. If you like the look and the price is worth it to you then go for it Just make sure that your chimney is at least 15′ tall otherwise you will probably have issues.

Link to the manufacturer’s site is here.

Yours Truly,
The Stove Guy

 

Disclaimer: All of the reviews on this site are just my personal opinion from my personal experience. Take them for what they are. If you want to know more about my experience read here. By posting these reviews I am not saying that I have the only correct opinion, only that I am sharing the facts of the item as I see it. I receive no compensation, product or benefit from any manufacturer for writing these reviews. I do get paid when visitors click on advertisements that I have on the site. Thanks for your time.

Vermont Castings Wood Stoves Update

Vermont Castings Logo

Vermont Castings is one of the oldest and once was the most well known wood stove manufacturers in the United States. Over the last 15 years or so they have been bought out and sold it seems like dozens of times. The customer service has been horrible, the lead times on new parts has been ridiculous. Vermont Castings has really damaged their customer base and their brand. By all accounts, what was once the world’s largest manufacturer of cast iron wood stoves has lost ground to competitors and suffered quality issues.

But is all that changing?

Vermont Castings purchased by Hearth and Home Technologies

In 2015 Vermont Castings was purchased by Hearth and Home Technologies (HHT) HHT owns and operates big brands like, Heatilator, Heat ‘n Glo, Quadra-Fire, and Harman. One of the main goals in the Vermont Castings Acquisition was to get the VC cast iron foundry in Randolph, VT.

What does this mean for you?

I have been dealing with the new management for over a year now. I have seen the availability, timeliness, and follow through from VC improve dramatically. Parts lead times in the past five years were typically 6 weeks to 6 months. Now almost any part I order has a maximum 2 – 3 week lead time. This goes for a lot of the old items too. This has been a huge improvement. Their quality control has improved tremendously. I have a renewed confidence in promoting the Vermont Castings brand as a whole that they will be able to give my customers a positive user experience.

Pros of Vermont Castings

Cons of Vermont Castings

  • Higher end of the price range
  • Stoves are made up of a large number of small parts

Overall, you can decide. This is a company that has struggled for a lot of years. There seems to be a new excitement and resolve to return the brand to it’s premium status that it once had.

Yours Truly,
     The Stove Guy