Woodford Lovell inset range review:

Woodford Lovell inset range review:

The Woodford Lovell range like the rest of the Woodford range is sold by Flue & Ducting to their installers as a sort of all in one package with the flue and everything. This keeps the costs very tight and making it easy and affordable for fitters and customers like you. The stoves themselves are imported and these particular ones are essentially identical to a few others from more expensive manufacturers that I've seen.

They make these stoves in 3 versions:

The Lovell C400

Lovell C550 (as tested)

Lovell C700

The 400 has a 3 sided frame so is designed to be fitted sat on the floor in a fireplace. The other 2 have 4 sided frames so are designed to be raised up the wall with a frame at the bottom. In my review I had the C550 on the floor so I had to raise it slightly to fit it in.

They all have a full riddling grate and ashpan, direct air is available as standard and they are designed to separate from the outer casing making installation simple, but also generally possible from within the fireplace (without the need to break holes into the chimney breast). They also have a simple to remove DEFRA kit, which is very useful for users outside of the smokeless zones. Removing the DEFRA kit is not only potentially better for the environment it will increase control making the stove easier to use.


Lighting the stove: 8/10

This has a grate and a lower air vent which not only makes it multi-fuel it also makes it very quick and easy to light. Stack it in the usual way and leave the door ajar for a few minutes and off it goes. No problems at all.


Cleanness: 6/10

This stove runs at around 75% efficiency which makes it clean enough for all the modern requirements. It's also a stove that wants to run hot, fast and cleanly generally so keeping things clean should not really be an issue. However if you do use a bit of wet wood, shut it down or just get it a bit wrong, this stove is fairly unforgiving in terms of cleanness. It is also not able to run overnight with just wood (if that was an interest to you). 


Controls & Controllability: 5/10

This stove didn't have any smoke coming into the room when I opened the door (at least in my chimney), which is excellent news. I was also pleased to find that the controls, handle and riddling arm were all cool enough for me to use with a bare hand, mostly because unfortunately this stove doesn't come with a glove. But of course you an buy one on this website, so that's no big problem!

It all did what it should, but none of it was particularly refined or impressive, it all just did a reasonable job, but the finishing or affect of the control was not enough to raise it above an average 5/10.


Fuel economy & Burn time: 5/10

The fuel economy on this stove was also not going to set any records, being an inset it was never going to blow us away with its output. And thanks to its lack of control you ended up controlling mostly by amount of you used, if you put more on it would still burn it in the same time. But of course this is not what they were focused on anyway, it is all about a big piece of glass and a busy flame capturing the whole room's eyes.


What I thought:

Its multi fuel design does give it some flexibility, and makes it easy to light, but with wood it does also make it a bit greedier. I also wish it had been finished with a bit more finesse, and with slightly more effective controls. So that I could leave it for longer than an hour without re-loading it. But on the flip side these very functional complaints are sort of irrelevant to its target audience. This stove was designed to have a big glass, to sacrifice some function to encourage a fantastic look, with big flames and a clean, modern look. And though it won't beat a freestanding stove (of the same size) in terms of output, it did still give loads of heat and captured anyone who saw it.



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