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Clearview Stoves should you buy one?

About Clearview Stoves

Are you thinking of buying a Clearview stove? Are Clearview Stoves the best of the best?

There are certain brands that people migrate toward when money is abundant. “What’s the best?”, they ask. “What do all the other wealthy people have?” Not necessarily a bad strategy – saves research time and there has to be a good reason all the posh people have them? I bought a pair of posh wellies and they leaked within the year – turns out production moved to China - so blindly following the pack does not always work.

Clearview stoves is that “premier” brand in the stove world and the Clearview Pioneer 400 is their flagship stove. Step into the stereotypical, affluent home and you will likely find Aga and Clearview mixing it with Land Rover, aforementioned Hunter wellies and Farrow and Ball.

I have fitted a few Clearview Pioneer 400 stoves, three for the same customer (obviously a fan and, yes, we had the same wellies) and if I fitted down South I might have fitted a few more.

The Pioneer 400 is indeed a good solid stove; heavy, well-made and British: buy a Clearview stove and you’ll likely have many years of use and be very happy with it.

So what’s not to like? Well I am a little disappointed that the Clearview range (at the time of writing April 2017) has stayed pretty much the same for many years, no new models, no new innovations. The Clearview Pioneer 400 is the same as it ever was. At the time of writing (25 Jan 2019) Clearview Stoves are not Ecodesign Ready. Any stove not Ecodesign ready will be banned from sale following 2022.

At the same time the stove market has moved on, firebox sizes have increased, viewing windows have increased in size (widescreen proportions on some models) and there have been some gorgeous and often understated aesthetics. The more “traditional” (old fashioned?) models are gathering dust at the rear of showrooms.

On their website Clearview give some good reasons to buy a Clearview stove:

  • “Super efficient at over 70% efficient”: Times are moving fast: the DG Ivar 5 is 82%, Burley Debdale 89.8%
  • “A Clearview stove can be used in smokeless zones”: As can many of the competitors
  • “Exceptionally large windows”: Hmmm… A replacement Pioneer 400 glass is 28cm by 26cm and I would say that this is on the small side in today’s market. The DG Ivar 5 glass is 34cm by 33cm. The Saltfire Peanut Bignut 5 glass is 37cm x 30cm.
  •  “hot air wash system”: All modern stoves have air wash nowadays. Clearview got in early and built a reputation on the glass staying clean but their competitors are all running clear glass nowadays.
Clearview stove

Anyway, I think you are catching my drift. The Clearview Pioneer 400 is a fine stove, solid, well built and, should one appreciated the more traditional styling, desirable. It is also very expensive. But if you want the Clearview badge then you are going to have to pay for it.

Here is somebody else with similar views:

“…is an excellent alternative to a Clearview stove and having used one – won’t be going back to Clearview. If you are a Clearview convert but need something more modern then this is the stove for you. It would seem sensible for Clearview to produce a more modern range using their stove technology to avoid losing sales to their competition.” Full article here

Other stoves you may like to consider

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I consider the above three stoves to be the finest stoves on the market today. Julian Patrick, author of The Stovefitter's Manual

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The stove above is the DG Ivar 8

A customer's comparison: Villager, Clearview Pioneer and DG Ivar 5

We purchased our Ivar 5 for my mother-in-law as an eightieth birthday present from the family.
She and we her family, are thoroughly delighted with it.
It replaced an old 1980's Villager stove that was either smoldering away (caused a chimney fire a few years back) or full burn, with little control in between and constantly smoked up glass.
The DG Ivar 5 is the complete contrast -
Unbelievably controllable with it's single slide lever, superb clear fire picture and banging out maximum heat on minimal fuel.
We chose the Ivar 5 after researching updated alternatives to the Clearview Pioneer.
I have a Pioneer that has done grand service for the last 10 years -
But the Ivar 5 is a slightly different beast.
To compare our experience of the Clearview Pioneer directly with the DG Ivar 5
They are of equal build quality.
The Pioneer is likely to need firebricks replaced less often as it has a multifuel grate (Ivar 5 has lightweight firebrick base) and steel baffle plate (Ivar 5 has fire board baffle) -
These differences leads to different fire and heat characteristics.
The Pioneer is easier to light.
But once alight...
The Ivar 5 undoubtedly has superior flame picture.
The Ivar 5 puts out a significantly larger percentage of it's heat to it's front - great for sitting in front of, but hotter opening that big door for refueling.
The Pioneer has more balanced heat all around and higher a percentage of it's heat on top - ideal for cooking & kettles. This is due to the Pioneers double glazed front glass reducing front heat and steel baffle transferring top heat.
Mother-in-laws new Ivar 5 is in an old chimney recess, in a sitting room - an ideal situation given the Ivar's superior flame view and front heat characteristics.
Our Pioneer is free standing in a working country kitchen - again an ideal situation given the Pioneer's top heat and more rugged characteristics.
Our conclusion is that the Ivar 5 is a top quality stove at a competitive price - ...

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Julian Patrick author Stovefitter's Manual

Article by Julian Patrick, author of The Stovefitter's Manual. Wood burning stove installer (including solid fuel heating systems). Laid down tools in 2013 to write The Stove Fitter's Manual and open a small shop in North Wales (the Wood Stove Hut). Launched Stovefitter's Warehouse soon after due to fast growth of sales. Own stove is a DG Ivar 5.