Hand Fired became easier when....
I learned to really "shake, shake, shake" to get as much ash
outta there, and "poke poke poke" just a bit to get the rest
the stove stays hotter, although I burn at lower stack temps,
and I think I am actually burning less coal with the better air
flow helping maximize heat output!
and it's been a loooooooooong winter!
oh, and cold too!