Vogelzang Highlander Wood-Burning Stove with Blower, Model# TR003
A Good Little Stove
We purchased our stove 7 years ago and it is still beautiful and running great! We use it as our only source of heat so we run it non-stop. We have had to replace the blower once and repaired the second one. That's why it only got a 4 is because the blower doesn't last long. All blowers on stoves are loud in my experience! The key to a good fire and good temps is the kind of wood your burning. If it's green forget getting a good fire, however our woods burned up a couple years ago from a wildfire so we have been slowly cutting down and burning that wood and it is awesome. It's like burning with charcoal. Messy, but what a great source of heat. Oak is definately the best. This fire does need to be checked on in the middle of the night, but I'm usually up anyways and it's no big deal to have to throw a log or two on it. If your home is properly insulated then you shouldn't get that cold at night. We could definately see a huge difference in our home after we replaced all windows and doors and insulated. It's been a great source of heat for us and I would buy another one if I had to.
January 12, 2012
A waste of time and money
We have been using this stove for over a month. We bought it because of the claimed 6-8 hr. burn time which is impossible to achieve on this stove; maybe if you burn petrified wood. I get no more than 2-3 hrs max burn time. It is impossible to control the burn rate on this stove. It either burns Extremely hot where you go through your full load in an hour, or too low; where the fire just smolders and you get no heat out of it.
During the 1st week of ownership. The door hinge pin fell off and the door came off in my hand with a fire blaring. I managed to put the door back on, luckily I had thick fire-proof gloves on as I was adding yet more wood to the fire, but not before I cinched my eyebrows.
The blower stopped working, which is fine by us since the thing is way too loud. Don't expect to carry a conversation in the same room with the blower on high. Also, the air control knob broke off; it's a welded piece so I was not able to put back on.
After a month of fighting with this thing, I called the company and they gave me the ok to return the piece of cr@p to the store.
I did a lot of research online and found on one of the forums (hearth.com) that the Pacific Energy Summit is highly recommended. I bought the PE Alderlea (same size as Summit) and it's an incredible stove that does everything the manufacturer claims (It was pricey but well worth the extra money).
Like other posts explained here; if you want temporary, occasional heat out of a poor quality stove, the Highlander may be ok for you, if you have a small house or only want to heat ONE room. But If you want something that works reliably, get another brand.
January 11, 2011
Easy to Install, maintain, and keep clean indoor
Small yet powerful with warmth for the entire house
Only tricky part is adjusting the airflow to burn efficiently
Fun and romantic to be able to see the fire burning
August 30, 2010
Not what it is cracked up to be
I bought the Highlander 3 or 4 years ago. I use the stove as my primary source of heat and have to say that ever since I started using the Highlander I have regretted not buying a different stove. The blower is very noisy, the worst part about the blower is the bearings, they are of very poor quality requiring re-greasing every week or two. The bearings are not sealed so the grease comes out during normal use. I have had to buy a new blower assembly each year for $150.00 since because Vogelzang does not sell a bearing kit. Also the burn time is about 3 hours which is not even close to the burn time listed when I bought the stove (which is one of the main reasons that I bought this stove. The unit does not have an ash hopper which makes cleaning more difficult but is in my opinion one of the lesser problems with this stove. The stove does look good and does produce heat but only for a limited time. If you want a stove for occasional burning and for burning for short periods the highlander will work fine, but if you want a stove for a primary source of heat so you can save on gas like I did you do not want the highlander. The reason that I am writing this review so long after purchasing the stove is that I am looking for a replacement stove that will do what I need.
April 15, 2010
Do not purchase Highlander TR003
We purchased this wood stove a few months ago and we are VERY disappointed. The blower is so loud even on the lowest setting you cant even hear the fire and have to crank up the TV. The damper design does not let enough air flow to the fire. We have to leave the door cracked open a bit so that the fire gets enough air. Also the gasket around the door already fell off and had to be reattached. We wish we would of had this information before we installed this wood stove. Don't make the same mistake we did.
February 24, 2010
Should have bought something else
I bought this stove and have used it for 2 full heating seasons. I have been trying to heat approx. 1100 sq. ft. with it. It is a nice looking stove, and once it gets going heats well. However, the firebox is undersized and I find I am refilling it every 3-4hrs. I noticed that many ppl complained about lighting it. I installed an automatic damper on the stovepipe which took care of the problem. In addition, having to shovel out the firebox daily is a pain too.
I am planning on trying a Durango woodstove and hope that I can get at least 8 hrs burntime out of it. In the right situation, the highlander might be ok. So I guess I dont want to say its a bad stove, but it was bad for me!
November 29, 2008
Highlander - Almost a Great stove
This is a wonderful stove with exceptional features. It's also Beautiful! The catalitic feature works perfectly and you have to look hard to see if there is any smoke coming out of the flue. The only feature the Highlander lacks is an ash clean out box. This is so common on good stoves these days, it's hard to understand why it isn't included. So, if you don't mind the old shovel & ash bucket routine, this is a full 5 star stove.
That said, I'll now explain why I had to return my Highlander and the simple problem that Vogelzang should have figure out immediately. As you'll see in a few other reviews, my stove would barely light and didn't draw and would only get to about 200 degrees. I talked to the stoves designer 3 times and all he could come up with was more flue and opening a window. I added 4 more feet of triple wall pipe and went up to 18 feet, as it didn't help when I went up to 15 feet. He thought opening a window might help. No change. So, reluctantly, I arranged to send the stove back as defective. Northern was wonderful to me and even paid return shipping. When the new stove (the dismally designed "Mountaineer" - see other reviews) arrived and I took apart the Highlander, I decided to see what might have been wrong internally as so many people liked this model. The problem was so simple it makes me mad, now, just thinking about it.
The air couldn't escape the firebox because a ceramic insulating blanket slid forward in transit and was blocking the air passage at the front top of the stove. I called Vogelzang again and the engineer confirmed my discovery. The blanket is supposed to go up the back of the stove about 2-3 inches and leave that much space in the front for escaping air. Why couldn't that blanket been attached?! It simply jigged forward and blocked the air flow. Why couldn't Vogelzang's engineer and this stoves designer known about this problem after 4 years of production?!
So, I slid it back where it was supposed to go and reconnected the flue - and it burned wonderfully. Don't hesitate to buy the Highlander. Just check the position of the white ceramic blanket when you install it. You'll be very pleased with this advanced stove. Northern - 5 stars! Vogelzang - 00
March 3, 2008
Vogelzang Highlander Wood-Burning Stove
I have purchased this stove for all the unique features it has. It has a great wood capacity, fan blower, venting for both exhaust and intake. I have had it cranking with a few logs and bio bricks and I will say the heat is excellent. I have purchased a magic reclaimer also and between both blowers it does a great job. I would recommend this stove to the average home owner or business individual without any thinking twice. I love it !!
January 16, 2008
This wood burning stove is spectacular. It has the charm of an antique, but the features anyone would need in a new product. The appeal is captivating. We can sit and watch it for hours (even the children). We have not even installed a TV in the room because our family loves spending time around the fire. Our friends cannot believe the great value either. Thank you for offering great products and amzing prices.
January 14, 2008
Second winter... ready for another
The summer of 2006 me and my father installed the Highlander into the den of my house. Over all I am very pleased with its performance. However, there are a few things to watch out for. One, the chimney must be at least 15 feet high. This is the required minimum height from Vogelzang and they mean it. Not 14 feet, not 11 feet, 15 feet OR more. Mine is 16 feet. I have good draft (now) and the glass stays much cleaner. Two, the “z” bar will rest above the front air feed. This requires some time on your back with someone holding a flashlight and a bit of patients… but you can slip it into place and the fire bricks will rest on top of it. Once the bar is slipped into place over the air feed, it will not fall (anymore). Third, if I get to rough cleaning the glass or removing ashes, the fiber glass door can be knocked loose. For this, I keep a container of chimney “fine grit” mortar repair handy. I also purchased a stove pipe thermometer and placed it 18 inches about the stove so I could see operating temperate. The fan is loud, very loud. Not much I can do about that. All-in-all, I would buy another one! Price wise, I have not found anything that comes close to the style and functionality of this stove in my area for under $1000.00! I’m enjoying “sticking it to” the utility companies!
December 3, 2007