ClearView Pioneer 400 review:

ClearView Pioneer 400 review:

The Clearview Pioneer 400 has been around for a long time, it was top dog from the start and it is still a firm favourite for retailers and users alike. 

Controversially it is not Eco-Design, because Clearview feel that this approval is only required for new appliances, and not in the best interests of both the user and environment. I have to say I agree with them, there are many good things about legislation and approvals, but nothing is perfect. Besides, we all know what they're really about. Money. I don't envy the stick that Clearview are getting for this decision, but I'm glad they're sticking to their guns and prioritising their customers over blind compliance to a particular agenda. 

These stoves are available in lots of different colours, with different height legs, log stores and benches. They're made from steel with a cast iron door, they're British designed and built and multi-fuel. They're also incredibly clean, tough and one of the easiest to light. You can also get different handles, but I liked the standard brass best.


Lighting the stove: 10/10

It was up to temperature in no time. They're multi-fuel with a lower air vent which makes lighting very quick and easy. This also enables you to get away with less kindling and less particular lighting techniques, it really is a breeze.


Cleanness: 2 or 7.5/10 depending on your views on cleanness

You can get this in a DEFRA approved version, but it has to built to order and is obviously not Clearview's first priority. Rather than political and theoretical "cleanness", Clearview prefer the real thing. The glass is always spotless and with full control you can always choose whether to run hot, high efficiency and clean or low and slow which reduces fuel consumption. I've said it before, but it's all very well making something 5% cleaner, but if it uses 20% more fuel then what have you really achieved? According to the modern definition this stove would be a 2/10, but for me its a well deserved 7.5/10


Controls & Controllability: 9/10

There are no issues with smoking coming back into the room like with high efficiency stoves, which is nice. It also means it's more reliable on less reliable chimneys. The controls are crude, tough and accurate, I love them. If you watch the video you can see how much I enjoy the engineering in the air spinner, and every part of it follows that attention to details. It's excellent, very controllable and completely adjustable so it remains excellent for decades.


Fuel economy & Burn time: 10/10

The stove has good fuel economy. It's not the easiest to run overnight, because of the grate. You could allow it to fill with ash which would solve this, but then you lose the really quick lighting caused by the lower air vent. Nothing is perfect, but to be fair this stove does have a good answer for whatever you want to achieve, even if there are compromises to the answer. 

If you bear in mind how well this stove lasts and residual value of second hand Pioneers, on top of the very respectable controllability and burn time this stove has to be a 10 overall.


What I thought:

This stove has a reputation for being over priced, the company of being difficult and for not complying rules, and that's just the good points! 😆

It's also clean, controllable, traditional, gives you choice, the power and options. I absolutely love it! Stoves have been flying up in price and I actually think this stove is well priced now. It was my 2022 stove of the year, and for good reason, it may be old now but it is still excellent, and I'm British we still love an underdog!


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