Modern life gives us so many options, and small wood stoves are no exception to this rule.
Things we dreamed of just a few years ago are now available in every shape, color and size. There is no one size fits all.
Even though it can seem at times that there is just too many choices with too many options. This is nothing new though, and it is easy for us to lose sight of the fact that so many products have been produced to fill niches since the beginning of human civilization.
Wood stoves that are smaller in size compared to an average stove are one such product. Every producer of wood stoves had to have a version if their product line was to be considered complete.
These small stoves provided scalable heat of homes and applications that would have been overwhelmed by wood stoves designed to heat the whole house. Let's take a look at some small wood stove options for every budget.
The first wood stove I was around that was used regularly was a Jotul 118, the original style with no reburn chamber and plates on top to remove for cooking on.
It was in the tack room of a farm that my family kept our horses at. I always lingered a bit longer in the tack room than I needed to in the wintertime, walking close to the stove with my saddle before I brought it out to my horse.
Come to think of it the horse probably appreciated that stove as much as I did. A warm saddle pad and saddle placed on a cold back in the winter sounds comforting.
Even then I knew I was experiencing something special, that warmth was something we never quite got around the fireplace at home. Our Waterford wood stove at home sat in our living room off limits to my younger self and only used during power outages or holidays because it sat in our formal room. So I reveled at the warmth of that Jotul 118 every chance I got.
I am certainly not alone in my fondness for the Jotul 118. The current Black Bear model is considered among the best small home/ small space stoves on the market.
It was one of the early stoves to utilize reburn technology and as such is one of the first stoves to be produced for efficiency. This makes sense though because small wood stoves are all about economy and efficiency in their function and floor space requirements.
Truly there is a wood stove made for every application. The Josef Davidssons Viking 30 is a new and extreme take on small wood stoves.
At less than a foot wide and needing only 2 inches of space to noncombustible surfaces this stove has a tiny footprint and could even be installed between counters.
With a top plate for cooking, glass front and better than 80% efficiency, this is a modern take on a high efficiency multipurpose appliance, making it an expensive option in the competition for the most versatile small wood stove.
It's perfect for small homes, trailers, and as a small seasonal appliance for any home in need of additional warmth.
Another high efficiency wood stove that is also designed to occupy a small space is MF Fire Nova wood burning stove while taking up just 22.5” x 19.5” it is designed to heat a 1500 sq. ft. home.
It's 79% efficiency rating beats the 2020 EPA standards. It offers simple aesthetics and a ceramic glass front for viewing your fire. That is a lot in a small package, showing that the modern high efficiency small wood stove is very different from the small wood stoves of the past.
Thankfully with modern refinements and improved manufacturing processes there are small wood stoves to fit almost any budget.
While the previous two stoves are on the higher end of the price range there are small wood stoves available for people who are looking for something more economical.
The Hi-Flame Shetland HF905U extra small wood burning stove is a top rated stove designed to quickly bring living areas up to 800 square feet up to a warm and comfortable temperature.
This small wood stove with a ceramic glass front, combines small size, good looks and convenience.
Another economical unit is the Pleasant Hearth 1,200 square foot small wood burning stove. It is a little bigger than the Shetland, providing heat for up to 1200 square feet of living space. It also has a glass front and simple good looks.
Modern refinements and standards have improved the potential of small wood stoves. They are now capable of so much more than just warming a small room, but at their heart they still fill the same niche.
Providing a safe and refined heating source for full time or part time use while also offering extra utility for cooking.
I remember talking to a wood stove dealer in 2000 and they were lamenting that the new standards would change the industry and all the large stoves would be a thing of the past because they could not hope to meet new standards.
Yet here we are, after another standard change that clearly shows how inefficient the old generation of stoves are. As our modern wood stoves continue to develop into this newest generation of high efficiency models, we can see that the concerns of some in the industry were simply unfounded.
While most industries have received a boost from new methods of production and materials or technologies, wood stoves have received a boost from fundamental technology developments in design and flow manipulation, really just the refinement of reburn and air metering technologies.
If you are looking at replacing a current wood stove or getting one for a new application it is worth your time to do some research.
Even if your space is not small, you may find what you need in a smaller package than you expect. Packed with technology and highly efficient, small wood stoves can provide the modern super insulated home with all it needs to stay warm through the worst winter can throw at it, and that is a good thing.
Small highly efficient homes are becoming increasingly popular, and it is great that wood stove producers have worked hard to increase their technology to match, but even if you have an older home you still owe it to yourself to research whether a small wood stove is right for your application.
You might just be surprised, the small stove might just free up space while producing more heat, efficiently.
With all the options that modern life offers, sometimes it can be short on substance.
Rarely does our modern quality match up with the durability that many of us want. That is just not the case with many of the newer offerings in small wood stoves.
They more than match the quality of the older cast iron wood stoves, while now providing more heat than ever from a smaller space.