The rating system below is on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best and 1 the worst. Even though a stove got the highest or lowest score, it does not mean that there aren’t many other stoves that could perform better or worse.
For each of the five criteria, we had numerical data from the testing and the lowest scoring stove always got a “1” and the highest got a “5.” We then set ranges, such as 1-20, 21-40, 41-60, 61-80 and 81-100. If several of the stoves fell into the 61-80, for example, they both got a “4.” In one of the scoring areas, no stove got a “2”, and three stoves got a “5.” A rating of “5” does not mean its five times better than a “1” and it may not even mean its twice as good, depending on the scoring criteria.
We chose these five criteria to assess because we could objectively test the stoves in these areas. We did not try to assess stoves on reliability, ease of operation and other important characteristics because we either did not have enough data or we felt it became too subjective. Other areas that we measured or discussed, but did not include in our five-point rating were hopper size vs. claimed hopper size, length of burn and cost, all of which are important and should be considered in purchasing decision.
We took many precautions to ensure that our comparison testing and measurements were fair and accurate. We make a number of disclaimers, however, to remind readers that we only tested one stove in each model line, not multiple ones. We also only tested with a single brand of pellets, and different quality pellets would likely produce slightly better or worse results in some of the categories. Click here for more on disclaimers.
Click here for a list of stove attributes, warranties and prices.
Summary of ratings