Harman Mark II or Vermont Casting VIGILANT II Coal Stove

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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Sundin67
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Posts: 17
Joined: Wed. Oct. 29, 2008 1:39 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 30-95

Post Wed. Oct. 29, 2008 1:48 pm

I am tring to decide between the two above stoves. The Vermont Casting says it does 2,000 sq. ft. but is only capable of 50,000 btu, the Harman is 72,000 btu, but states it only heats up to a 1,900 sq. ft. house, one of these calcuations is wrong, any ideas?

Also, I know Vermont Casting does good work with wood, but they do not have much of a history with Coal, from my readings, I see they had kits that converted wood stoves to coal. How is there coal rep.?

With the Harmon, it says electric is required fr the fan blower, does the stove produce the same amount of heat without the work of the blower?

Thanks for your help.

PS anyone interested in a surdiac gotha 713 with bad cleaning plugs, and heat exchanger?

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LsFarm
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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 Wed. Oct. 29, 2008 2:00 pm

I would not hesitate to buy the Harman, if you have one available to you, buy it.. the Harman will produce less heat without the fan, probably about what the Vigilant does..
The Harman is a COAL stove, and it works very well with few issues.. When I hear that you need a 'kit' for a stove to burn coal,, I know it is a compromise situation..

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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Freddy
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Joined: Fri. Apr. 11, 2008 2:54 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Wed. Oct. 29, 2008 2:14 pm

The Harman doesn't have a mitton dryer. :)

Tough call, but I'd bet the Harman does a better job with a bit less work. The Vermont Casting does look to have a longer flame path, maybe get's a bit more heat out of it per pound of coal? But, that flame path makes a place for ash to collect & needs to be cleane dout now & then. You can load the Vermont from the top, and also the exhaust can be changed from out the back to out the top if that's a help to you.

The Harman looks a bit deeper & less wide. Coal likes deep.

Maybe it would come down to price & looks. If you like the style of one over the other, or there's a big price difference, get the one you like.

I had a VC for a week. Sold it to a friend. It's all cast iron and well built. He hasn't fired it yet.

I'd be betwizzled to pick between them! OK, Iv'e decided... get the Harmon.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

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Sundin67
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Posts: 17
Joined: Wed. Oct. 29, 2008 1:39 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 30-95

Post Wed. Oct. 29, 2008 4:51 pm

Thanks so much, I ordered the Harmon, they told me I should have it by the end of December. If I have it in Jan. I think I will be lucky.

I am going to add another post about installtion, when I can get pictures.

I had time to review this site, and it seems this was not the first time someone asked this question.

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oliver power
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Posts: 2266
Joined: Sun. Apr. 16, 2006 9:28 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II), D.S. 1600 Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Location: Near Dansville, NY

Post Wed. Oct. 29, 2008 9:18 pm

Harman! Hands Down! It will way out perform Vigillant.

BM-80
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Posts: 49
Joined: Mon. Oct. 20, 2008 8:43 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 983 insert
Location: N.E. Connecticut

Post Sat. Nov. 01, 2008 11:38 pm

I had a used Vermont Castings Vigilant (in a previous house) for a couple of months...I now have a Hitzer that I fired up for the first time last week. I have better "luck" with the Hitzer in the first two days than I ever got with the Vigilant ever. I know, I know, you did say Harman and not Hitzer, and I have never had a Harmon... but I hear very similar things about the two because they are both COAL stoves. The Vigilant was designed as a WOOD stove, then converted to burn coal. I never did get the Vigilant to burn coal properly - I ended up burning wood in it. The best thing I liked about the Vigilant was that it was top-loading....I really liked that feature.

Also, if you compare the construction of each stove you will find that the Vigilant, though very ornamental, is not very heavy duty...as a matter of fact if I remember correctly it is built in sections which are the.n held together by 1/4 inch threaded rod. Get the Harmon.

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bigbld
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Post Mon. Nov. 03, 2008 12:11 pm

BM-80 - I see the Harman has a front load, and the Hitzer has a top loader, do you still like the Harman?

BM-80
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Posts: 49
Joined: Mon. Oct. 20, 2008 8:43 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 983 insert
Location: N.E. Connecticut

Post Mon. Nov. 03, 2008 12:51 pm

Hello Bigbid...
Well, I'm trying to be fair... I LOVE my Hitzer, and I've never had a Harmon. I was basically trying to answer the "Vigilant vs Harmon" question and I HAVE had a Vigilant but I NEVER had a Harmon. I should also explain that My stove is an insert, so I CANNOT have a top-loader. I Definitely prefer a top-loader if I could have one, though.
So my personal decision was which INSERT was best, which is not what Sundin67 wanted to know. As far as my decision about which insert (Harmon or Hitzer) is best, based on what I could find out, they both make very good high-quality inserts. I chose Hitzer because the company is easier to access (as far as calling the factory directly, or resolving warranty issues the Hitzer guys win hands down). Also, I'm not Amish but have a little experience with Amish people, and I have a great deal of respect for them. It's kind of like the slogan for Hebrew National hotdogs..."they have to answer to a "higher authority". The price was a little better for the Hitzer as well, but that wasn't the most important thing. Let's just say that I'm happy with my decision.
Bob M

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