Home & Garden

The 5 Best Wood Burning Stoves – [2019 Reviews]

As one of the easiest ways to quickly heat your home, a wood burning stove uses logs rather than the synthetic materials often found today. However, not every product is made to the same level of quality.

That’s why we’ve spent the last month or so reviewing countless products to bring you a comprehensive guide of the best wood burning stoves on the market today. Also see Wood Burning Stove Buyer’s Guide.

Best Wood Burning Stoves

 Drolet Wood StovePleasant Hearth Wood Burning StoveVogelzang Defender EPA Wood Stove
editors choice
BTUs95,00077,00068,000
Efficiency Rating78%85% 77%
Dimensions4 x 28.1 x 34.4 inches29 x 30 x 38.8 inches21 x 23.5 x 28 inches
Customer Ratings
4.8 / 5.0 Stars3.6 / 5.0 Stars4.4 / 5.0 Stars

Also see: Best Wood Burning Stoves Comparison Table


Quick Answer: The 5 Best-Rated Wood Burning Stoves – [2019]

  1. Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove 95,000 BTU HT2000
  2. Pleasant Hearth 2,200 Square Feet Large Wood Burning Stove
  3. Vogelzang TR001 Defender EPA Wood Stove
  4. Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove
  5. Vogelzang TR007 Ponderosa with Blower

Wood Burning Stoves Reviews

#1- Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove 95,000 BTU HT2000

Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove At A Glance:

  • BTUs: 95,000
  • Efficiency Rating: 78%
  • Dimensions: 4 x 28.1 x 34.4 inches
  • Reach: 2400 square feet
One of the consistently best rated wood stoves available today, the Drolet High-Efficiency model will give you everything you need in one efficient design.

The well-insulated small wood stove is one of the most well-insulated we’ve seen, requiring just 19 inches of space in the rear and sides of the unit, so it’s easy to install just about anywhere.

With a 95,000 BTU rating (as the title states), it’s powerful – capable of heating up to an impressive 2,400 square feet. This means that it can easily keep an entire home warm, even on the most frigid of days. Just remember that it’s not to be used in mobile homes.

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What really made this wood stove stand out was its ability to “self-clean”. You’ll find a good-sized ash drawer on the pedestal, which is also one of the biggest we’ve seen in comparable models.

The ash heads straight into the drawer automatically, so all you have to do is empty it out once a week or so, depending on your usage.

You’ll be able to utilize logs up to 22 inches in length, which is also a bit bigger than what most allow for. The heavy-duty cast iron door is made to last, featuring an air control lever right above it to give you even greater amounts of control.

Finally, you’ll find a thermostat included with your package, to give you the flexibility you need to control the fire as much as possible.


#2- Pleasant Hearth 2,200 Square Feet Large Wood Burning Stove

Pleasant Hearth 2,200 Square Feet Large Wood Burning Stove At A Glance:

  • BTUs: 77,000
  • Efficiency Rating: 85%
  • Dimensions: 29 x 30 x 38.8 inches
  • Reach: 2200 square feet
Easily one of the most efficient wood stoves we’d had the pleasure of using, the Pleasant Hearth 2,200 Square Feet Large Wood Burning Stove comes EPA-certified and ready for safe use inside your home.

With an EPA rating of 85%, it’s much higher than the industry standard of 75%, but that’s not the only thing that impressed us.

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At first glance, you can see that this is a highly attractive stove, giving a rustic look to just about any environment.

You’ll find a cast iron door, chrome handle, and a ceramic glass viewing window which instantly warms the mood of the room. However, this log burning stove is much more than just looks.

Giving only 3.6g/h of emissions, the stove will make the most of your wood fuel. Capable of handling up to 20” logs, it’s pretty good-sized, to boot.

With a 77,000 BTU rating and with the help of an included blower, it can easily heat up spaces of up to 2,200 square feet, making it perfect for many cabins and homes.

When you take a look inside, you’ll find the interior firebox lined with brick, along with an ash catcher to make cleaning a breeze. The draft control on the front lets you control how much air enters the small wood stove, too.

While we appreciated the 5-year warranty that comes with the US-made product, we weren’t huge fans of the curing time.

While this isn’t necessarily a rarity with these models, it does take around 3 fires for it to be fully cured and unnatural-fume-free.


#3- Vogelzang TR001 Defender EPA Wood Stove

Vogelzang TR001 Defender EPA Wood Stove At A Glance:

  • BTUs: 68,000
  • Efficiency Rating: 77%
  • Dimensions: 21 x 23.5 x 28 inches
  • Reach: 1200 square feet
The Vogelzang TR001 Defender is a bit less powerful than the predecessors on our guide, with a BTU rating of 68,000 and a reach of 1,200 square feet. However, if you don’t necessarily need the most powerful model out there, then this best log burner is an excellent selection.

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Comprised of 3/16” reinforced plate steel, it’s definitely one you’ll be able to keep around for many years to come.

The firebrick lining insulates very well and features a big ceramic glass window to let you get a full view of the beautiful flames. With adjustable legs, you’ll easily be able to position it just about anywhere you need it to go.

The door and firebricks can also be removed to make it more easily transportable to move it to another room or up some stairs, for example.

The design of the primary inlet at the front of the stove is great if you’re brand-new to these stoves, helping to facilitate the lighting process.

The secondary inlet at the back of the stove feeds air through a triple set of ignition tubes on top of the fire so you’ll get excellent heating and usage of the wood logs.

With over 75% efficiency, you can count on it warming up your entire home all day and all night long with no issue.


#4- Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove

Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove At A Glance:

  • BTUs: n/a
  • Efficiency Rating: n/a
  • Dimensions: 21 x 10.5 x 14 inches
  • Reach: 1000 square feet
The next small wood burning stove on our guide is the Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove, which is even smaller yet. If you don’t need the strength that the others offer, and are looking to save some cash, then this is also a great budget choice.

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Despite being so affordable, you won’t find any skimping on quality, with heavy-duty galvanized steel and a high-temperature finish. The cast iron hinged door will last through consistent use for years and comes with easy-control vent holes.

Capable of warming up spaces of up to 1,000 square feet, it’s nice for smaller spaces and perfect for camping! Simply remove the detachable legs and pipes nest and place them inside the stove, and you now have a mobile heater!

As it only weighs 47 pounds, you should have no issue carrying it with you or stowing it in the back of your vehicle when not in use. You can place your coffee or pans on top of the unit to keep them nice and hot, or even cook some delicious pancakes and eggs in the morning!

While it’s not necessarily a “downside”, just remember that this model is made for outdoor use only, and places with excellent ventilation. This isn’t the one to purchase if you need one for overnight use in your home.


#5- Vogelzang TR007 Ponderosa with Blower

Vogelzang TR007 Ponderosa with Blower At A Glance:

  • BTUs: 152,000
  • Efficiency Rating: 87%
  • Dimensions: 34 x 24 x 33 inches
  • Reach: 2600 square feet
Last but certainly not least, we have the massive Vogelzang TR007 Ponderosa, which is your go-to if you want the biggest, most powerful mini wood stove.

Made with tough 3/16” plate steel and lined with firebrick, you can rest assured it will last through heavy use throughout intense winters.

Not only that, but the door is made from a heavy cast iron, complete with an air-washed ceramic glass window for stunning views of inside.

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Pushing a max heat output of a whopping 152,000 BTUs per hour and an efficiency rating of 87% it’s one of the most efficient models money can buy.

With a continuous burn time of up to 14 hours, you can easily use it overnight without having to wake up to chuck more wood in. Accepting logs of up to 22” long, it can heat up to 2,600 square feet with no problem.

The included adjustable high-speed blower helps distribute heat well, making it ideal for large rooms, barns, garages, and so on.

Something really cool about this log burning stove, is that it can even operate as a humidifier when used in conjunction with a water steamer or fragrance diffuser!


Wood Burning Stoves Comparison Table

Best Wood Burning Stoves PriceBTUsEfficiency RatingDimensionsCustomer Ratings
Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove 95,000 BTU HT2000$1,279.9995,00078%4 x 28.1 x 34.4 inches4.8 / 5.0 Stars
Pleasant Hearth 2,200 Square Feet Large Wood Burning Stovefrom $699.0077,00085%29 x 30 x 38.8 inches3.6 / 5.0 Stars
Vogelzang TR001 Defender EPA Wood Stove$789.4468,000 77%21 x 23.5 x 28 inches4.4 / 5.0 Stars
Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove$119.99n/an/a 21 x 10.5 x 14 inches4.4 / 5.0 Stars
Vogelzang TR007 Ponderosa with BlowerPrice not available152,00087%34 x 24 x 33 inches3.7 / 5.0 Stars

Wood Burning Stove Buyer’s Guide

Wood stoves are somewhat of a rarity in this day-and-age, but they’ve never ceased to be effective or give a sense of nostalgia to those huddled around it.

best wood burning stoves review guide

Now that you’ve had the chance to read thoroughly about all of the best small wood burning stoves available today, which one have you decided is right for you? If you’re still on-the-fence about your choice, there’s no need to worry.

We’ve gone ahead and created the comprehensive buying guide below to ensure that by the time you’re done reading it, you’ll have no doubt which is the perfect product for you.

Coverage

Before you do anything else, you should first determine the size of space you’re going to need to heat. While there’s sure to be a model that can suit your needs, it’s important you select one that’s neither too powerful nor too weak for the surface area you have in mind.

The models on our guide range anywhere from 1,000 square feet to 2,600 square feet, which is quite a big difference so if you’re in doubt, better to measure it.

Are you planning on using your small wood stove for camping? Then you shouldn’t need anything more than 1,000 feet anyway. This is to save you money as well as for safety reasons.

Firebox Capacity

It’s a good idea to check the size of the firebox of the model you’re interested in, as this directly correlates with the amount of wood it can hold.

Not only that, but it will affect the size of the wood logs that you can place in it. The largest that we’ve seen a small wood stove capable of handling is 22-inch-long logs, to give you an idea.

Are you planning on using the stove for short periods of time, or are you looking for something that can heat your home all day/night long? A larger firebox will also equal a longer continuous runtime.

Just remember that if you don’t absolutely need a larger firebox, then it’s best for your wallet if you go for something smaller as bigger capacities usually amount to bigger price tags.

 Efficiency

With just about anything you’re buying, the higher the efficiency, the better. With wood stoves, higher efficiency equals to less money spent on wood, which also means less chopping and carrying it inside.

Did we mention that’s also more eco-friendly? Ideally, you’ll want a model which carries a minimum of an EPA-listed efficiency of 70-75% or above.

If you can manage to get one with at least an 85% efficiency rating, then you’re golden. If you need a little bit of encouragement, we should mention that wood stoves which are over 75% efficiency are eligible for a $300 tax credit!

Cleanliness

Before, potbelly stoves were very dirty and unhealthy for people to breathe in.

Thanks to new clean air standards which are working in an effort to lower wood stove smoke emissions to just 2.0 grams/hour by 2020, almost all current wood stoves available on the market today will be illegal to sell.

While this is definitely a good thing, you want to select a model that features EPA listed emissions below 2.0 g/hr. if you can swing it.

Control

When it comes to things that spew fire and ash, you probably want to have a good amount of control over them.

While older wood stoves were just a kind of throw-the-wood-in-and-forget-about-it deal, present-day models give you much more control and variability.

These are much easier to start, safer, and many even let you remotely control the burn!

Portability

While you may just have one particular space in mind of where you’d like to place your new heater.

However, once you get it home you may realize that you’d like to move it into the kitchen while you and your family are gathered around the table, or in your bedroom during the night.

You may even decide you’d like to take it camping! Whatever the situation may be, having the heater be easily portable will really improve your user experience.

Look for adjustable legs, first, as this will give you quite a bit more flexibility. Aside from that, if it’s relatively heavy or has removable parts that can be stowed inside the heater, that’s even better.

That will make it into a shorter, more compact unit that’s easier to haul up the stairs or transport in the back of your vehicle.

Price

How much would you ideally like to spend on your new mini wood heater? If you’re unsure, it’s a wise idea to come up with a budget for yourself, or a range in which you’d like to stay in.

This way, even if you’re 100% happy with your product, you don’t risk experiencing any buyer’s remorse from spending more than you originally wanted.

Keep in mind, however, that although the price tag may be greater, it may end up saving you money in the long run with higher efficiency levels and a longer warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a “break-in” fire?

A: These are consistent, low heat fires that are meant to push out moisture while breaking in parts of the stove like the firebrick, soap stone, and/or cast iron.

What’s so important about this, is that it will prevent cracked and heat-damaged appliances. It’s a good idea to do at least 3 break-in fires before going all out with a big fire.

Q: What are BTUs?

A: BTUs are known as “British Thermal Units”, which are a standard of measurement of the heat value of any type of energy used to make said heat. The higher the BTUs, the stronger the heat will be.

Q: When should I start gathering wood for my stove?

A: Typically, early spring is the ideal time. However, if you’re buying the firewood then you can also do this in the spring so it can be stacked and dried in the summer.

Q: What types of wood should I use?

A: Make sure any one you use is first well-seasoned, correctly cured, and has a moisture level of 20% or less.

Our personal favorites are black/white ash, beech, hard maple, cherry/black cherry, aspen, and walnut. However, there are a few more out there that work well, too.

Tips

#1: If you haven’t used your stove all season, make sure to start it off with a break-in fire.

That’s right, these aren’t just for brand-new wood burning stoves.

At the beginning of the wood burning season or any other time after you’ve gone a long time without using it, you should light one.

Try crumpling up some paper in the bottom, adding a kindling on top.

#2: If your stove has made the air in your home drier, try combining it with a steamer on top.

These can add a solid amount of humidity back to the air, not only making it more comfortable to breathe, but healthier. If you’d like, you can even add in some scented oils.

#3: Avoid using any ammonia cleaners.

The reason why, is that these can actually break down the ceramic glass in the stove. Not only that, but only clean it once it’s at room temperature.

#4: While you technically can use soft woods in your stove, it’s not a good idea.

Soft woods are kind of a hassle, taking about twice the effort to season and giving the same amount of heat output as hardwoods.

Not only that, but using soft woods is going to produce more creosote which means you’ll be spending more time cleaning it.

#5: To distribute heat more effectively through your home, try installing a blower.

Some of the models on our guide even come with included blowers. These will distribute heat more evenly and efficiently, pushing hot air forward.

Summary

Now that you’re practically a wood burning stove pro, which one is the one for you? No matter which one you select, know that you’re getting one of the best products currently available.

Just remember that what’s most important is that you choose the best small wood stove for you and what you’re looking to achieve.

We hope that this guide has helped you do exactly that. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again shortly!


Thanks for reading The 5 Best Wood Burning Stoves. We hope this article has helped you to discover the best heating stove for your needs.

And if you’re shopping for other gear take a look at these related review articles from Outside Pursuits:

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Quality of Construction
Capacity
BTUs

We chose the Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove 95,000 BTU HT2000 as our Editor's Choice for the best wood burning stove.

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Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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