The Clock Blithfield ‘a time-saving masterpiece’

These beautifully crafted stoves come in their own category for the simple reason that I’ve not seen anything else quite like them. Combining in-built thermal mass, lightweight bricks and exquisitely crafted air jets and air wash, this stove’s flame pattern is beautiful and burn time very hard to beat.

The past was dominated by heavy-duty, often cast stoves and range cookers, where the larger ones could take up to 2 hours to get up to temperature to gassify wood efficiently. Though these beasts have some benefits such as long-lasting, less intense heat, they munch through wood often with people resorting to coal to cope in winter. During the last 30 years or so these have been replaced largely by stove grade steel stoves with lightweight bricks. Fast-forward to the last few years and the birth of the latest generation of low emission eco stoves. Here the addition of clever baffling and air jets have enabled the better-designed stoves to gassify wood after 10 to 20 minutes of use, burn the majority of particulates and result in cleaner air, and beautiful flame patterns. This recent step change in technology has produced a marked increase in overall efficiency, even more so for those who only light a fire for a few hours in an evening.

As it has become abundantly clear of late, humans may not have been able to reinvent the wheel, but reinvent the fire they certainly have.

The Clock Blithfield – in a field of its own

The Clock Blithfield is a chunk of a machine in terms of weight, toughness, and thermal mass – a nod towards the cast monsters of the past. However, it is made from stove-grade folded steel and lightweight reflective bricks surround the fire, thus it can get up to temperature and wood gasification starts quickly just like any other well-designed modern machine.

So how is the Blithfield different?

Well yes, other stove manufacturers have added mass on the outside in the form of soapstone tops and side etc. but this reduces the heat coming out, so really isn’t the silver bullet – in fact far from it.

Like a good dance floor filler, it’s all about the base.

In the foundation of this machine, you will find a grate so thick, heavy, and strong it will probably outlast most modern houses, maybe even the human race. Longevity of the 15mm thick grate and log retainer is not its finest trick, however. The magic comes from its ability to hold and store heat right at the heart of the fire which, in turn, contributes towards an efficient and long burn time. What’s more, the stove will stay hot for hours and hours after the flames have gone out.

The Blithfield 8kw we’ve got on display in our home (much to the disappointment of my wife, I change the stove around once a year so I can properly test them) gives off warmth for well over 8 hours from a single load from cold (which includes kindling, small logs and larger logs at the base). A single load is perfect for Autumn days, saving fuel, levelling out heat spikes and providing lovely background warmth all day. If the stove is already up to temperature, then a new load will last and last.  We’ve had one overnight burn here on the 8 – atop hot embers, a single load of hardwood was placed. The stove top fan whizzed for over 14 hours and the stove was too hot to hold your hand on 15 hours later. The stove was warm to touch by the 18th hour with a few small embers glowing inside – which is absolutely amazing for a stove this size. Overnight heating is a breeze. This stove can also be loaded before going to work and be rekindled upon return – thus with the invention of the ‘Clock’ finally we have a time-saving machine in an increasingly busy world.

Some other features worth mentioning include:

*The hotplate/top is big on the standard 5 and 8 and hot enough for an instant boil or slower simmer when the stove is in tick-over.  Very few of the new eco stoves have direct flame contact with the underside of the stove top and those that do would struggle to match the heat generated on these – 10/10 for cooking.

*Extremely low running costs due to minimal replacement parts required over time

*The current versions do not smoke into the room when refuelling which is an issue with many of the new breed of eco stoves – the odd smoking issue was raised with mk1, but radical changes inside have completely sorted this out.

In summary
We at last have a machine which ticks most boxes and, best of all, they are not that expensive.  In comparison to the other top brands out there, these are close to the bottom of the price bracket and when you consider what goes into them this is pretty astonishing. Our 8kw version weighs 145kg!! The 5kw can is also BIG, weighing in at 116kg and can be used in large rooms requiring 6.5kw without issue.
We do stock stoves that will beat the Blithfield on some fronts, but not all. So it may not be the stove for you – for many however, it will be an ideal choice.

TEP/Clock also manufacture:

The Blithfield DS (double sided) is an exceptionally good machine. Most double-sided stoves struggle due to excessive cooling of the 2 glass doors. Not the Clock Blithfield, this is a belter of a stove, both in single and double form.

The Sudbury is the wood-burning version. It’s not as heavy as the Blithfield as it has a brick base which also means it heats up more quickly. It has a super easy open magnetic door catch and stay-cool handle, making it extremely user-friendly especially for those wanting an easy life.