Advice on Insert-Looking at Hitzer 503

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
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Salvaje
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Joined: Mon. May. 12, 2008 11:58 am

Post Tue. May. 13, 2008 4:35 pm

I am new to this forum, and have no experience with burning coal.
In light of the current price situation with heating oil, I am planning to purchase a coal burning fireplace insert to help in heating my 2000 sq. ft. ranch home.
After some research online, I have narrowed my choice down to the Hitzer 503 and the Keystoker 70. I like the hopper feature on the Hitzer but also the simplicity of the Keystoker. Keystoker doesn't have much specific information on their website.
I would appreciate any input from this forum since I am new to all of this. Thanks.

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LsFarm
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Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Tue. May. 13, 2008 7:21 pm

Hello Salvaje, welcome to the forum.. We have several Hitzer owner/operators here on the forum.. Everyone is very happy with their inserts.. Hitzer makes a very good product. The hopper feature is very nice,, it can extend the time between tending the stove from twice a day to once a day during light and moderate burning rates.. The ability to just pour the coal in the top of the stove is a nice feature as well, much faster and easier than shoveling or using a scoop to load a stove through a front door[s]..

I can't remember any members with the Keystoker 70 stove.. but Keystoker is a very reputable company, and make very good products.

Greg L
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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coal berner
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Joined: Tue. Jan. 09, 2007 12:44 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520
Location: Pottsville PA. Schuylkill County PA. The Hart Of Anthracite Coal Country.

Post Thu. May. 15, 2008 11:29 pm

Both are good Qauilty stoves The Hitzer 503 only holds 35lbs of coal pretty small firebox I don't see a BTU's rating on it
The Keystoker 70 will hold about 50lbs of coal and is Rated for 70k to 90k so it will hold more coal it will give you more
heat output and will give you a longer burntime 72 hours low burn comes it has a 5 year warranty with a cook top & top or rear vent either one is a good choice I guess it would come down to price both companies have been around for sometime Hitzer since 1975 Keystoker since 1946 The hitzer has twin blowers the Keystoker has one with a Auto thermostat both are about the same size Keystoker has a bigger firebox so more coal I would see witch one is less and go with that one But I do like the bigger firebox on the keystoker I think it will give you more heat It is a hard choice both
are good units Good luck on your choice you will be happy with either one :)
J.C.

Heating house & water with a 1986 electric furnace man DF520 using buckwheat Anthracite coal

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Salvaje
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Joined: Mon. May. 12, 2008 11:58 am

Post Fri. May. 16, 2008 11:51 am

J.C.
Thanks for that information. I wasn't sure whether the Keystoker had a hopper or not.
I am hoping to get out this weekend and take a look at both units.

Salvaje

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LsFarm
Member
Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Fri. May. 16, 2008 1:05 pm

The hopper in the Hitzer 503 holds 35# of coal,, plus what is on the grate in the firebox allready. So I think the total coal in each is very similar.. I'm going to phone 'davemich' who has the hitzer to verify this.

Edit: I just got off the phone with Dave, he said that he uses almost two full 40# bags to start a fresh fire,, about 40# fills the firebox over his kindling-wood starter fire, then it takes most but not all of another 40# bag to fill the hopper.. So from empty grates to full about 70-75# of coal.. prettymuch the same as the other hand-feed through the front door stove..

Greg L

.
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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