Vermont Castings Aspen Wood Stove Review

Vermont Castings Aspen Wood Stove Review. This is Vermont Castings smallest wood stove. While it is made to heat one open room or cabin, I have customers that have used it to do a lot more, although not recommended. The Vermont Castings Aspen does not have the top loading feature that Vermont Castings is typically know for, but I still think it has it’s place when it may be the right stove for you. Read further to learn about what I think are the pros and cons of this little guy and then you be the judge.

 

Vermont Castings Aspen Wood Stove

Vermont Castings Aspen Wood Stove

Vermont Castings Aspen Stats:

  • Up to 600 Sq. Ft. Heating Capacity
  • Up to 5 hour Burn Time
  • 16″ Log Size
  • 4.3 grams per hour (non-catalytic)
  • 6″ Flue Collar
  • 240 lbs
  • More Specs Here.

Vermont Castings Aspen “The Bad” -

  • It is small. With it’s 1 cubic foot firebox, you cannot fit much wood in there. Not necessarily bad for this stove but anytime that you are looking at stoves in this heating capacity they are not going to have a long burn time or fit a large piece of wood. You definitely are going to be worse off if you try to get a bigger stove and keep it choked down all the time.  Read my article on “How wood stoves work”and think about what would happen when the unburnt smoke hits the reburn tubes, and everything is choked down and not hot enough. It would not reburn! Then it would leave you with creosote in the chimney, dirty glass and an unsafe mess

    Vermont Castings Aspen Reburn Tubes

    Vermont Castings Aspen Reburn Tubes

    .

 

  • Handle latch design is not the best, it is kind of flimsy if you ask me, although I have seen them last for a long long time.
  • Small glass doesn’t really let you see a lot of the fire. This is because of another reason though that I will get to in “The Good” section.

Vermont Castings Aspen “The Good” -

  •  It is small, but as I kind of went off on the tangent earlier, sizing properly is one of the most important ways to heat your home safely, see item # 8 in my other article here.
  • Slide out ash pan is really nice and not really a standard feature when you are talking stoves this small.
  • So the small glass is because they designed to stove to load the wood front to back. Or North/South as some people call it. Not side to side. It makes it a ton easier to load and you don’t have to worry about the wood rolling out on fire when you are trying to get that last piece in. I always look for a wood stove that can load this way, OR from the top!
  • They designed a place on the top of the stove to be able to cook on. Not that you couldn’t cook on just about any wood stove it is nice to have a specific spot for it

    Vermont Castings Aspen Top

    Vermont Castings Aspen Top

  • Check out my Vermont Castings article for more information about the manufacturer.
  • Also for the size category I think a 16″ piece of wood is just slightly above average. A small plus for that one.

Overall I think this is a great little stove. Although I have a couple customers that heat their 1200 Sq. Ft. home with it, I would think this would fit better in a cabin, or if you wanted to supplement heat in one main living area, but not blast yourself out with a larger stove. It’s main competitor in the cast iron category is the Jotul 602 and you can find it here. I think the Vermont Castings Aspen is a little better quality, but neither are a bad choice. They are really similar in price and features. I think it comes down to looks between the two, they really do have two distinct styles about them.

Vermont Castings Aspen Wood Stove Logo

Vermont Castings Aspen Wood Stove

Vermont Castings Aspen Retail Pricing -

  • Matte Black Stove Body -

Here is a link to the manufacturer’s website.

If you own or have owned a Vermont Castings Aspen then I would love to hear any comments or suggestions you have for our other readers!! Even if it is an older model, let us know what you thought of it.

Yours Truly,

The Stove Guy

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Review

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Wood Stove Review. I think of this stove as a legend in the industry. It has been made into at least 5 – 6 different models over the years. Gone by the name defiant encore then just encore. It has been made before the EPA standards. Then into a catalytic stove, then into a non-catalytic stove, and now into both in one unit. As far as I know it is the only wood stove that has been EPA approved to burn either with a catalyst installed or without and still pass EPA emissions testing. This I see as a huge benefit to you as the consumer.

Vermont Castings Encore 2040

Vermont Castings Encore 2040

 Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Stats:

  • Up to 1800 Sq. Ft. Heating Capacity
  • Up to 12 hour burn time
  • 22″ Log Size
  • EPA Emissions – 1.2 grams per hour (catalytic mode), 1.5 grams per hour (non-catalytic mode)
  • 6″ Flue Collar
  • 471 lbs
  • More Specs Here

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 “The Bad” -

  • Honestly it is hard to find something bad to say about this stove other than the price. It is more expensive than most of its equivalent sized competitor in the cast iron world. However I think you are getting a great value and what you pay for.
  • The owners manual is a little confusing as Vermont Castings is somewhat known for. I would make sure you have someone or your dealer that is knowledgeable with the product to help walk you through any questions that you have with installation.

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 “The Good” -

  • The top loader is an amazing feature. I would buy this stove simply because of that feature. There are a couple other manufacturers that make stoves with top loaders in the industry. And none of them work as well as this unit. When installed and burned properly you will get almost no smoke into your home when you open up the top of the stove to drop the wood in. This makes it extremely convenient to load and operate

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Top Loader

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Top Loader

  • The non-catalytic and catalytic modes in the same unit is also an excellent feature. It is the only unit I am aware of in the industry that has this option. It gives you the ability to use the catalyst when you have dry good wood to get higher efficiencies and longer burn times. (Both benefits of a catalytic stove.) But it also lets you pull the catalyst out, (which takes less than 30 seconds with just your hands.) if your wood is a little wet and not performing well with the catalyst installed

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 with back plate off to show where catalytic converter sits.

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 with back plate off to show where catalytic converter sits.

  • Check out my Vermont Castings Article for more about the manufacturer.
  • It has a huge firebox for this size class of wood stove. Rated for 1800 square feet, but it will take a 22″ piece of wood. That is awesome

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Firebox

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Firebox

  • It has a 6″ flue, the old Encores used an 8″ oval to round adapter off the top which made the chimney cost a lot more. This is a lot more economical to install. Don’t worry though if you have an old one you are replacing you can get a replacement flue collar for about $99 that will match up to exactly what yours is now.

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Back of Stove

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Back of Stove

Overall I would give this stove one of the highest ratings in the cast iron category. It is packed with features. It is not the cheapest stove out there but I think if you don’t mind paying a little more for quality and some excellent features this may be the perfect stove for you. Highlights are the top loader, cat vs. non-cat convertible and large firebox.

Vermont Castings Encore Retail pricing is:

  •  Classic Black Unit is $2934
  • Enamel (Biscuit, Majolica Brown, Ebony Black) – $3412
  • Bordeaux Enamel – $3527
  • Warming Shelf Classic Black – $126 Each
  • Warming Shelf Enamel – $150 – (Bordeaux) $224

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

Here is a link to the manufacturer’s website.

If you own or have owned a Vermont Castings Encore then I would love to hear any comments or suggestions you have for our other readers!! Even if it is an older model, let us know what you thought of it.

Yours Truly,

The Stove Guy

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

Vermont Castings Wood Stove Review

Vermont Castings is probably one of the best known names in the wood stove industry.They are still available and going strong today. They have been around for over 30 years. Vermont Castings has actually adapted to the new laws and regulations arguably better than any other manufacturer out there. A large majority of the wood stove manufacturers closed up shop when the EPA laws started going into effect in the late 1980′s. Vermont Castings was not one of them, they have continued to adapt, continuing to exceed the requirements put forth.

They have many models to choose from and many pros and cons to each. This article is meant to give you a general overview of pros/cons for the Vermont Castings in general and more specific models to come.

Vermont Castings Pros:

  1. Their wood stoves have a top loading feature, which for the most part works better than any other top loader in the industry.
  2. The new Encore / Defiant series is capable of burning either as catalytic or non-catalytic within the same unit (I am not seeing a huge benefit in this feature but very unique.)
  3. Beautiful cast iron designs, I think they are probably the only company that rivals Jotul for their design and detail.

Vermont Castings Cons:

  1. Their warranty is hard to get taken care of. VERY IMPORTANT that you deal with a very longstanding dealer with a good reputation so they can push issues through if you have any.
  2. The design of all their stoves has a lot of little parts and pieces. Just look at a door latch for example. As anyone who has owned one for any length of time can tell you it will have two nuts, three pins, and two washers. This is not a deal breaker in my book but anyone who has sold Vermont Castings stoves before knows that there is a huge parts business later on.
  3. The catalytic models have the maintenance cost that I don’t really think is a great idea. Catalytic converters average $200 – $300 and typically need to be replaced every 2 – 3 years.

BOTTOM LINE:

If I was buying a Vermont Castings Wood Stove I would stick with the non-catalytic models. Because of the top loading feature, the efficiency, and my wife thinks it’s pretty I would consider owning one of these in my home. The main thing I would say is to buy this from an experienced dealer with a great reputation so you can get the service from them because you most likely won’t get it from Vermont Castings.

Here are a few pictures of the most popular models.

Vermont Castings Defiant 2n1 Wood Stove
Vermont Castings Defiant 2n1 Wood Stove
Vermont Castings Encore 2n1 Wood Stove
Vermont Castings Encore 2n1 Wood Stove

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Wood Stove

Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim Wood Stove

Yours Truly,
     The Stove Guy