What Brand of Stoker Stove Is Best

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
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patrickhanss
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Post Mon. Jun. 30, 2008 2:21 pm

I am looking to burn coal this year and have decided that a stoker is the way to go. Every stoke manuf. says their stove is the best. Who is telling the truth? I am leaning towards Harman DVC-500. I live in the Adirondack region of NYS. Everyone burns wood or #2 oil, so I don't have any local folks who can give me much insight. Any help for a novice would be appreicated.


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Richard S.
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Joined: Fri. Oct. 01, 2004 8:35 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Mon. Jun. 30, 2008 2:49 pm

"Best" is subjective. You need to get the appliance that fits your needs, budget , circumstances etc. If you buy one from any of the manufactures here in PA that have been making them for decades or in some cases better than half a century then you won't have any complaints. They are all well made and built to last.

The biggest problem you will have with getting any answer to this question is no one is going to tell you they bought a piece of junk. You may get some responses where they wish they made a different purchase but that really comes down to making a poor decision as opposed to not getting the "Best".
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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Devil505
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000
Location: SE Massachusetts

Post Mon. Jun. 30, 2008 3:01 pm

I think you best bet is to just read some threads here &, like Richard said, you can't go to far wrong sticking with the major brands most members like here. I would avoid going to the Big Box home improvement stores or even your local hardware store. You may find a good stove there but odds are much better with a the appliances you'll find people here like. Harman is a great name as are Alaska, Keystoker & many others.
War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
Winston Churchill
Shaking & Poking The TLC2000 Video

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stoker-man
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Posts: 2063
Joined: Mon. Nov. 19, 2007 9:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

Post Mon. Jun. 30, 2008 3:45 pm

Advanced Energy Systems P.O. Box 680 Warrensburg 12885 (518) 623-2090

This man has used quality stokers. He is in your vicinity.
‹(•¿•)›

patrickhanss
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Post Mon. Jun. 30, 2008 9:33 pm

Thanks for all the insights (and especially the contact info for Warrensburg). I know "best" is subjective, just being out of an area where coal (and support) is common, I want to get a very sturdy, well built appliance.

syncmaster
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Joined: Sat. Apr. 19, 2008 1:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: harmanVF3000 Coal/oil option
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: VF3000
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman VF3000
Location: long Island,NY

Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 6:17 am

Another good stove is Leisure line , the one thing that it has that the others don't is the control-a-tron.
That is a very nice device that allows you to just set a thermostat in the room where the stove is for the room temp you want (like 70 degrees) and the control-a-tron will adjust the stove automaticly.

I have read that owners of other stoves buy the control-a-tron and try to adapt it to their stove, so that tells you it must be a good idea.

Another thing the leisure line has and it is a brand new option is automatic ignition. They install a electric element in the stove and when you want to light the stove you just push a button.

here is a link to one site( just google and you will get lots more):
http://valleystoveandfireplace.com/products/

P.S. make sure you have a supplier of rice coal in your area before you buy a stove.

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e.alleg
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520
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Post Tue. Jul. 08, 2008 4:32 pm

The best is EFM. I can't think of a better built unit on the market today for any price. I also think Chevy trucks are the best and Pepsi is the best cola, and Ski-Doo makes the best snowmobiles and Honda makes the best motorcycles. If it is made in Pennsylvania it is good, if it's made in China forget about it.
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
"Good enough" is not good enough.

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Matthaus
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite
Location: Wilkes Barre, PA

Post Tue. Jul. 08, 2008 7:31 pm

e.alleg wrote:The best is EFM. I can't think of a better built unit on the market today for any price. I also think Chevy trucks are the best and Pepsi is the best cola, and Ski-Doo makes the best snowmobiles and Honda makes the best motorcycles. If it is made in Pennsylvania it is good, if it's made in China forget about it.


Axeman-Anderson, Dodge trucks, Coke, Arctic Cat, and BMW of course I do agree about being made in PA is good! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Matthaus
Leisure Line Stove Company
http://www.leisurelinestoves.com/


stokin-railroad
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Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
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Location: NY./PA.border I 81

Post Wed. Jul. 09, 2008 1:53 am

everyone has there opinion of what is THE BEST!richards advice is straight up.buy what you can afford that meets your needs and find a supplier for coal.any one of the stokers that you read about here will heat you house well and should last for many years with some basic upkeep.good luck deciding and keep reading the posts here lots of good advice from helpful people

Dans58
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Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K DV
Location: Ithaca, NY

Post Wed. Jul. 09, 2008 6:22 pm

I've been trying to figure out what brand stoker to buy. I found that most dealers says their brand is better than others. It seemed impossible to sort out the objective information from bias. So, I decided to talk to dealers that sold more than one brand as I thought they would be more likely to give the PROs and CONs of each stove. One dealer I talked to sells: Reading, LeisureLine, Alaska , Hitzer and Keystoker. He had all brands in stock, and openly said that of the brands he sells, Keystoker is the most efficient and the best quality stove. Surprisingly, he wasn't very high on LeisureLine. When I asked about the coal-trol thermostat, he said great device,but it was needed on the LeisureLine stoves. He felt that the coal-trol was how LeisureLine turned a "very inefficient" stove into a somewhat tolerable one. His opinion of Alaska stoves surprised me. I originally had thought about the Alaska Channing III, which he had in stock for $1550, but he cautioned me that "you get what you pay for". He felt the burner design on the channing was not efficient and said that they used more coal than other stoves . If someone was only looking at price, the Channing IIIs were a good deal. In the end, I bought a Keystoker DV90 that he had leftover from last year. It seems that Keystoker was one of the few brands that most people/dealers agreed were high quality. I guess only time will tell.....

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LsFarm
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
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Location: Michigan

Post Wed. Jul. 09, 2008 6:29 pm

I think your dealer was playing salesman... he wanted to sell the Keystoker... the only comment that you wrote that rings true is the comment on the older alaska models, with the early triburner design stoker units..

LeisureLine units are very efficient even without the coal trol,, I've burnt in one,, they are a fine product.. the Keystoker is a good unit, the Alaska is a good unit,, the only one I'd stay away from at retail prices is a Reading...

But all is well, you bought a good stove,, he must have wanted to move that last-years floor model.. I can't understand his comments..

Read this forum's threads on the various makes and models, there really are not any bad units..

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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CoalHeat
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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Baseburners & Antiques: Sears Signal Oak 15 & Andes Kitchen Range
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert
Location: Stillwater, New Jersey

Post Wed. Jul. 09, 2008 6:40 pm

the only comment that you wrote that rings true is the comment on the older alaska models, with the early triburner design stoker units..


Greg, I'm only slightly offended! :x My Tri-Burner is still working perfectly, supplying hot water. :D Just Kidding, of course! :D I can't comment on anything else since it's the only design I have first hand experience with.
Heating a circa 1832 farmhouse with a Harman Magnafire Mark I & a 1959 EFM 350 (heating DHW).
100% Oil Free!
"It's what we learn after we think we know it all that counts."

Dans58
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Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
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Post Wed. Jul. 09, 2008 6:54 pm

Greg, I agree he probably was pushing the leftover. I hadn't heard negative comments about LeisureLine from other dealers. However, I did get pretty consistent Channing III comments (uses more coal, loud motor, great price). I didn't hear any negatives about Reading stoves (which surprised me because the aren't well thought of on the forum). Anyway, I got a good price on the Keystoker, so I hope it works out.

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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Wed. Jul. 09, 2008 7:02 pm

Dans58 wrote:When I asked about the coal-trol thermostat, he said great device,but it was needed on the LeisureLine stoves. He felt that the coal-trol was how LeisureLine turned a "very inefficient" stove into a somewhat tolerable one.


You need to separate the two. The coal-trol will not improve the efficiency of the stove itself. It's going to output X amount of BTU's at a constant setting. What the coal-trol does is improve the efficiency of how it operates preventing overshhoots and other things. Any stove would benefit from this.

I've seen Jerry mention 85% efficiency which is outstanding, you could make it 100% efficient but that's not going to help matters when everyone is dead from CO poisoning.

Edit: I think I have pretty good analogy, take computer fans for instance. Your typical fan a few years ago ran at a constant speed whether the part it was cooling needed it or not. Today most will ramp up or down as needed which has at least two benefits reducing noise and the amount of dust passed through the case.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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Steve.N
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman mkII
Stove/Furnace Model: Axeman Anderson 260 at store
Location: Crown Point, NY East side of the state about 130 miles above Albany

Post Wed. Jul. 09, 2008 8:24 pm

patrickhanss wrote:I am looking to burn coal this year and have decided that a stoker is the way to go. Every stoke manuf. says their stove is the best. Who is telling the truth? I am leaning towards Harman DVC-500. I live in the Adirondack region of NYS. Everyone burns wood or #2 oil, so I don't have any local folks who can give me much insight. Any help for a novice would be appreicated.


Don't feel alone, I drove through Warrensberg twice today chasing U-Haul trucks. Lake Champlain coal in Whitehall will deliver to Warrensberg and there are a lot of us up here that burn coal along with wood, tires, furniture, Ha Ha just kidding. Just because you live in the wildes of NY don't feel left out.

Steve...........Crown Point, NY
Life without oil heat is sweet !


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