Steel Vs Cast Iron Wood Burning Stoves – Which One to Choose

cast iron stove sceneChoosing a wood burning stove isn’t an easy job. There are many things to consider before making the final decision and the material from which the stove is made is one them. Fortunately, there are only two materials to choose from – steel and cast iron. But which one is best?

If you ask wood burning stove owners which is not a bad idea considering that users have no reasons to exaggerate, you will get very mixed responses. Those who are happy with their stove will tell you to choose the one they have, while those who aren’t as satisfied will recommend you to choose the other version. In reality, however, it doesn’t matter which one you choose in terms of durability and performance. Of course under condition that you choose either a high quality steel or cast iron wood burning stove. Let’s see why.

Cast iron was for a long time the preferred material for wood burning stoves because the steel versions were notorious for warping. Cast iron, on the other hand, can’t warp but low quality versions can crack. Many people are also unaware that the quality of steel has improved dramatically in the last few decades and if you choose a high quality steel stove, there is no need to worry about warping. There are, however, a few differences between the two types of stoves that are worth to consider before making your final decision.

Since cast iron stoves are made from thick molten metal, they take more time to heat up in comparison to steel versions. If you come into a cold house and want to heat it up as soon as possible, steel stove will enable you to achieve that a lot sooner than cast iron version. On the other hand, cast iron retains heat much longer due to the large mass of metal. As a result, it will keep your home warm for hours after the fire has extinguished. Steel also radiates heat after the fire is down but for an incomparably shorter period of time.

Aesthetic appeal is another thing that should be considered when deciding between steel and cast iron wood burning stoves. Since the body of cast iron stove is made from molten metal that is poured into moulds, these stoves often feature decorative details that make them more appealing. Steel stoves, on the other hand, have clean, smooth lines which complement contemporary homes.

Bottom Line

Whether to choose steel or cast iron wood burning stove is a matter of personal preferences. Think about what is more important to you – to heat your home as soon as possible or to keep it warm long after you go to sleep. Also, think about your furnishing and décor because a stove that matches your home’s style will further enhance its beauty. Just make sure not to make any compromises when it comes to quality regardless if you are thinking about picking steel or cast iron stove.