Wood Stove Product Comparison: 4kW Size

March 7, 2019

The 4kW size is one of the most popular sizes for small wood stoves. For larger RVs and full sized buses in moderately cold climates and medium sized tiny homes and cabins, a stove in the 4kW range can provide plenty of heat through the Winter without taking up too much space. A stove that’s just the right size will allow you to burn longer, cleaner, more efficient fires, and can make it possible to burn your stove earlier in the Fall and later in the Spring without overheating your space.

In this article, we provide an apples-to-apples comparison of small stoves in the 4kW range, (approximately 11,942 – 15,354 BTU/hr).  Because the BTU claims of some manufacturers vary wildly relative to their actual performance (why?), we've grouped stoves based on which ones work best for small spaces within this BTU range (according to the Tiny Wood Stove BTU Calculator), regardless of the manufacturer's claimed output.

Wood textures and wood stove provide warm feel.

Warning: Most BTU calculators are designed to overestimate your heating needs, which can result in a stove that's so large, you can't burn it without overheating your space.  If you're not sure which size stove you need for your small space, run through the Tiny Wood Stove BTU Calculator, which is specifically designed for sizing wood stoves for small spaces.

  • Price: $895, free shipping on orders over $1,000
  • Dimensions: 19.5” H x 12” W x 9” D
  • Flue: Standard 4″, Top or Rear Exit
  • Weight: 100 lbs
  • Construction: Welded steel body, cast door and fire box, refractory firebrick
  • Claimed BTU Output: 4kW 13,648 BTU/hr
  • Air Controls: Separate Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Controls
  • Glass: 7.5″ W x 8.25″ H
  • Firebox Dimensions: 8″ H x 10″ W x 8″ D
  • Available Accessories: Direct Air, Tall Legs, Wood Storage Stand, Spring Handle
  • Finish: Painted Flat Black, Optional Enamel Door, Optional DIY Paint Colors
  • UL/CSA: No
  • EPA: No
  • Notes: Three separate, tight air controls allow for unusually long burn times for this size, up to 9 hours with the upside-down fire method.  Rectangular profile (wider than deep) provides the largest fire viewing window available in this size.  Current version has drilled/tapped mounting points on sides and back for heat shields or other custom accessories.
  • Manual: Download here

The Hobbit

hobbit-small-stove
  • Price: $1,100
  • Dimensions: 18.1” H x 11.9” W x 10.7” D
  • Flue: Standard 4″, Top or Rear Exit
  • Weight: 110 lbs
  • Construction: Cast Iron
  • Claimed BTU Output: 4kW 13,648 BTU/hr
  • Air Controls: Combined Primary and Secondary Air Control, “Secondary” Air Wash
  • Glass: 6.1″ W x 7.1″ H
  • Firebox Dimensions: 7″ H x 8″ W x 8″ D
  • Available Accessories: Direct Air, Wood Storage Stand, Sea Rail, Stainless Cook Top, Back Boiler
  • Finish: Painted Flat Black, Optional DIY Paint Colors
  • UL/CSA: No, but has a CE certification
  • EPA: No, but SE model has UK DEFRA listing
  • Notes: The SE model air controls are purposely leaky, so low/slow burning can be difficult.  Because of a trademark dispute, the Hobbit is often referred to as the Salamander in the United States.  As of this writing, we don’t know of any distributor for the Salamander Hobbit in North America, so you may need to import it yourself.
  • Manual: Download here

The Kimberly

kimberly-small-stove
  • Price: $3,995 – $4,245
  • Dimensions: 25.5″ H x 10″ Diameter
  • Flue: 3″ Rear Only
  • Weight: 56 lbs
  • Construction: Over 100 Laser-Cut Stainless Steel Parts
  • Claimed BTU Output: 40,000 BTU (?!)
  • Air Controls: Single Damper Controls Combustion and Air Wash
  • Glass: 7.3″ H x 3.3″ W
  • Firebox Dimensions: 6″ x 11″
  • Available Accessories: Outside air intake available
  • Finish: Stainless Steel, optional black finish
  • UL/CSA: Yes
  • EPA: Yes, and WA State
  • Notes: One of the few EPA/WA State certified small stoves available.   The manufacturer recommends using 3″ pellet pipe for installation of the Kimberly, but requires the pellet pipe to be sleeved inside a 6″ UL listed Class A chimney system through the roof penetration to the chimney cap.  Only roof exits are allowed—there are no “approved” wall exit configurations for the Kimberly.
  • Manual: Download here

Little Cod

Flat Black No Window
  • Price: $1,550 plus shipping
  • Dimensions: 11.375″ H x 18″ W x 13.75″ D
  • Flue: Oval 4″, Top Only
  • Weight: 55 lbs
  • Construction: Cast Iron
  • Claimed BTU Output: 10,000 – 28,000 BTU (?)
  • Air Controls: Single Sliding Damper, Pipe Damper Required
  • Glass: Optional
  • Firebox Dimensions:
  • Available Accessories: Pipe and Fittings, Alcohol “Drop-In” Burner, Stainless Shielding
  • Finish: Plain Iron or Optional Porcelain Enamel
  • UL/CSA: Yes
  • EPA: Yes, and WA State
  • Notes: One of the few EPA/WA State certified small stoves available.  Because these stoves are made individually by hand, lead times can be long, so plan ahead!
  • Manual: Download here

Shipmate Skippy

Blue Custom Paint + Upgraded Trim
  • Price: $955 – $2,195 plus shipping
  • Dimensions: 13.5″ H x 17.75″ W x 13.75″ D
  • Flue: Oval 4″, Top Only
  • Weight: 45 lbs
  • Construction: Cast Iron
  • Claimed BTU Output: 9,000 – 28,000 BTU (?)
  • Air Controls: Single Sliding Damper, Pipe Damper Required
  • Glass: None
  • Firebox Dimensions:
  • Available Accessories: Deck Irons, Smoke Hoods, Single-Wall Pipe
  • Finish: Plain Iron or Optional Porcelain Enamel
  • UL/CSA: No
  • EPA: No
  • Notes: Top-loading firebox is accessed by removing one of the burner plates.  Available in an oval or a rectangular shape.
  • Manual: Download here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top