Vermont Castings Dutchwest Stove handle design is safety risk

Readers Colleen, Don, and Eric confirm that Vermont Castings needs to do a better job of wood stove handle design.

In an earlier article I showed why the new fall-away handles are frustrating and dangerous.  You have only one fragile ceramic handle to open four different doors with and the handle has to be inserted each time you open the door. When you have a log in your hands, you do not want to be scrabbling for a handle that has rolled under the stove.

Stovehandle2_1When the handle is down on the floor or under the stove, there is a tendency to grab the stubby little handle socket and try to use it to open the door.  It looks like this and is very hot. I burned myself on it more than once.

Someone had the bright idea to save the company some money and never field-tested the design.

I finally designed a replacement handle that you can see below and wrote an article about it so you could do the same, but that should not be necessary. Vermont Castings needs to wake up and recall all of the faulty handles they have been shipping before someone gets seriously hurt.

Stovehandlerev2_1For those of you who are considering buying a Vermont Castings wood stove with fall-away handles, I suggest you insist that your dealer provide you with the older wood handles before they deliver the stove.

A single Dutchwest stove keeps our 3 bedroom house warm and toasty during weeks of 19 degree weather. We absolutely depend on it, but the original fall-away stove handles were a design disaster.

Here is what a safe version of the stove with sturdy spring handles looks like. These are the handles I designed and built.

Unfortunately, Vermont Castings is not providing these yet. Let your dealer know that you want the original and safer wood handles on each door.

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