Stovax Huntingdon Review

In this video get an overview of the Stovax Huntingdon wood burning and multi-fuel stove range from The Tortoise - an independent reviewer of stoves and fires. See how easy the Ecodesign Huntingdon is to light and control, how clean it is, how long it burns, and final thoughts.

The Tortoise’s Review of the Stovax Huntingdon 30 wood burning and multi-fuel stove:

This is the Stovax Huntington 30, the all-new Ecodesign recreation of an old faithful. Stovax make their stoves in their new state-of-the-art factory in Exeter, and this one is no exception. It’s made from steel and dressed with these fantastic cast iron outer panels. These are convection panels that not only increase its effectiveness but also lower its distances to combustibles. Then, they have this extra heat shield for shielding the back of the collar which lowers the distances even further. It comes with direct air as standard and you can get it in this multi-fuel version with this little grate that riddles from the outside or an empty box version which is entirely focused on burning wood.

Is it easy to light?

Okay, let’s light it. We should all be experts at this now. Same old same old. As long as there’s lots of gaps, and sort of stuff all over the place, you haven’t got it too far wrong. And then trusty fire lighter, oh somewhere around there. That’ll do. And we’ll put a match to it. Okay, on this stove air from below is if you push the lever over to this side and then on this one, I shut the door. See how we get on. All up to temperature in about an hour, and halfway through I switched from air below to air above, and at this point I’m going to bring things down a little bit. This is about sort of two thirds three quarters closed and it’s a good cruising speed.

About the stove

What hasn’t changed is that you’ve still got this traditional cast iron aesthetic. You can get those fantastic arch traceries which the Huntingdon was known for so well. You can get it in gas and electric which I’m hoping to try out soon as well, and this one has a nominal 5kW output although they are going to bring out different versions as well. Finally, it’s still enjoyable to use.

How efficient is it?

This is another area where we’ll find some positive changes. It now runs at just short of 83% efficiency, it’s obviously DEFRA approved Ecodesign ready, and it’s A+ on the rating scale.

In terms of clean glass, before I actually learned how to use the stove, I made the mistake of having the air come in from below the fuel which is on this side. And whilst that was you know running relatively clean it did actually haze the glass. When I mixed in air from above the fuel then keeping the glass clean was no problem at all. Obviously I then tried to run it overnight and I couldn’t do it but it wasn’t far off. This is obviously the multi-fuel version and I have no doubt that with the wood-only version you’re not going to struggle at all to achieve this and keep the glass clean.

Is it easily controllable?

Okay, so well the first thing to say is that Stovax come with probably the best stove gloves we’ve ever had, and you get two of them. Normally when you get like a nice glove, you only get one. Thought it was worth mentioning all right. Then we get, as I’ve already mentioned, a relatively stay cool handle, then we open it up and obviously if we’re reloading at a sensible time, no issue with spillage or any smoke issues or anything like that. It’s just absolutely great. We get their smart tool for riddling the grate which works really well and obviously if you get a wood only version then you don’t need that but this one comes with an ash pan as well which is just you know sensible and nicely set out. And then we get to the control itself.

Now if you get the wood-only version it’s slightly different because you start on the sort of right hand side bring it down into the middle and that’s the nominal position and then flick it all the way over to the left-hand side and that shuts it down, but because this is the multi-fuel version it’s very very different. So actually from all the way up pointing to the right, we’ve got fully open for wood burning and as we come down to the centre we shut it down and then when you’re burning coal base fuel it’s exactly the same but fully open on the left-hand side and then again you bring it down to the center to close it down. And obviously we’re just getting this fuel initially going but if I go from fully open to fully closed, we calm it straight down, actually it’s really effective and this is with DEFRA approval.

How economic is it?

So we’ve got the stove burning mellow, we’re testing fuel economy, and as you know we test fuel economy by getting the stove up to operating temperature burning a single net of kiln-dried logs on it and then seeing how long it will stay at operating temperature and obviously the aim is to keep it at the lower end and try and you know extend it as much as we can. This time we got 9 hours out of the stove, it’s 8 to 10 hours, mostly we get more than eight perhaps 9 to 10 but it was a good score either way. This stove isn’t sort of you know when you control it down it doesn’t sort of switch right off but actually when you’ve got it fully closed it’s really nicely damped and ran sort of at a really even temperature. It was quite easy to keep right at the lower end of operating temperature and I tended to just nudge it open just a touch and then you get these lovely rolling flames. Burns right down to that fantastic red charcoal. Chuck another log on, leave the vent where it is, just ran at that perfect temperature all the time.

Final Thoughts

Because of the way the air is managed on this stove even if I’m burning coal-based fuel, once it’s taken and going, I want to move from air below to mixing in air above because the truth is it just runs cleaner like that and I didn’t struggle to keep it going. It still worked well. I generally think that this stove is focused on sort of more evening and weekend use rather than sort of chugging all day or night. That said, this is the reimagining of an old favorite and the ironing out of the chinks in the armor in the old model has been done really well. This is now made from steel and cast iron. This really increases its reliability and it’s much higher efficiency. It’s much cleaner burning, it’s got that fantastic stay cool handle. I mean I don’t think it’s even advertised as a stay cool handle but I’ve been playing around with it just with my bare hand and I’ve never burned myself so far. It’s got a simple grate but most of us are burning mainly wood anyway and the design to be fair to it does maximize wood burning efficiency whilst retaining some fuel flexibility. This stove really has brought an old favorite, a traditional and decorative piece of furniture into the modern era.

So if you’re looking for a traditional style, you like the reliability of steel construction but want to retain that wonderful characterful look and even heat from cast iron body panels, there’s a lot of confidence taken from the fact that Stovax is the biggest stove manufacturer in the country. You want high efficiency, those pretty flames, a potentially stay cool handle that I’m sure perhaps isn’t officially stay cool but certainly works for me, then I really think it’s worth checking out the new Stovax Huntington. We focused on mostly using it for evening and weekends for the look and for that piece of furniture in the room for the evening, and it just does that job beautifully.

Find Your Retailer

Ignite your inbox with exclusive content!

Sign up to our newsletter and receive the latest news and updates, including product launches, offers and promotions, exclusive giveaways and competitions, as well as seasonal tips and advice.

Subscribe Now!