10 MUST-HAVE TOOLS AND GADGETS
For many years the wood stove burned hot, providing heat for warmth, food and security. It was my primary choice for heating the home. I enjoyed the comfortable temperature, the savings on my energy bill and I welcomed the benefits of exercise. But most important, I enjoyed the pleasures of spending time in the great outdoors, all while harnessing this natural resource we call wood.
It was never really a chore to saw, split, transport, and stack the firewood. It was well worth it when it came time to burn. No matter for warmth or simply the aesthetics, I’ve learned from the many fires I’ve started. And even better, I’ve been blessed with valuable wood burning skills because of it. Listed below are the tools that were essential in helping me burn efficiently and safely.
Below is my ‘shortlist’ for the necessary tools that help with heating your home with wood.
You’ll also notice I’ve included clickable links for all the products mentioned. Feel free to check them out – especially if you’re interested in more detailed information or maybe to purchase. Of course, all my suggested tools and gadgets listed are Amazon best sellers, most with 5-star reviews and free shipping. They’re great products and I really have used all of them when burning wood, especially for heat. I highly recommend. Keep in mind too, some of these products are actually required by insurance companies when heating your home with wood.
HERE’S THE LIST OF MUST-HAVE TOOLS FOR WOOD HEATING
1. Fireplace/Woodstove Tool Sets – Including an Ash Bucket.
If you’re burning wood in a fireplace or woodstove, you cannot do without these tools. Eventually the burned wood turns to ash, and you’ll need to clean it up. The stoker and the tongs help situate stubborn logs and the brush and shovel cleanup the ash. A good metal bucket is also required for removing the ash. My current toolset is ancient compared to the better products available today. CLICK HERE for a best-selling TOOL SET.
Below is my choice for the ash bucket. It actually comes equipped with its own shovel. Convenient. I use the short-handled shovel for removing ash in the woodstove and the long-stemmed shovel from the toolset for the fireplace. ASH BUCKET HERE
2. Firewood Racks and Holders
A sturdy firewood rack is definitely a ‘must’ for storing your kindling and larger sticks of wood. Whether you’re looking for elegance in your home or a tough-looking design for the outdoors, this is the rack you want for storing your supply. It’s like no other. Of course it’s Wood Burner Pro’s own TFH-1. Learn more about The TRANSPORTABLE FIREWOOD HOLDER HERE.
3. Woodstove Heat Gauges
I’ve always used 2 thermometers, one on the stove ‘top’ and the other on the stove ‘pipe’. The one for the top of the stove is a great indicator not just for over-heating, but also to gauge the temperature for cooking on the woodstove. Since the pipe is capable of over-heating also, it’s good practice to place one on there too. Here’s a good set, inexpensive. Checkout the thermometers HERE.
4. Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Alarms
Safety first, right? Never underestimate the energy of a fire. Smoke can be just as dangerous. Having the correct fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide smoke alarms is imperative for homes where wood is burned. These items can save your life. You should have a few of these alarms installed throughout your home and at least one fire extinguisher appropriately located for easy access. Click to see the carbon monoxide alarms and home fire extinguishers.
5. Ash Vacuum
Where there is wood, there will eventually be ash. And depending how much you burn, you’ll be stuck with a lot of it. Get an ash vacuum. They work well for sucking up all the dirt in and around your stove or fireplace. I bought my ash vacuum because of the ash that accumulated on the stove pan and what fell onto the floor. It sucks it right up. A broom or hand brush only spreads the dirt. Plus, when you need to give the inside of the firebox a thorough cleaning, the ash vacuum is your only choice. Trust me, it’s better to use the vacuum than to shovel the ash. Less dust!
Tip: Don’t use a regular shop or sweeper for ash cleanup. You will clog the filters and hoses quickly. Although I must say, my hand-held shop vac is perfect for cleaning up all the wood chips and splinters that accumulate around the home. I use both vacs often. ASH VACUUM HERE and just as important, HAND-HELD SHOP VAC HERE.
6. Fans for Circulation
Using a woodstove or fireplace to heat your home does come with a few drawbacks, one of them being heat circulation. The topic of circulating the heat throughout indoor space and rooms is complex and deserves much more attention than I will write here. But for now, let me say that you definitely need to circulate the heat, and fans are a tremendous help.
TIP: Ceiling fans work great for stirring up the air. Depending on where they are installed, reversing the direction of the fan should be considered (do you need to ‘push’ or ‘pull’ the air?). I’ve also used a variety of small floor and pedestal fans too. Anything to get the air flowing. Here’s a cool gadget that doesn’t require electricity to power it…the heat from your wood stove does. It’s a great conversation piece too! COOL GADGET HERE.
7. Temperature/Humidity Gauges.
It’s always nice to know exactly what your indoor temperature is, especially in rooms other than where the wood heater is located. The heat and lack of humidity affects your skin, eyes, wooden floors and furniture among other things. Since burning wood produces a dry heat, sucking up the moisture, the gauges accurately let me know when it’s time to adjust the heat or humidity. I own a few of them, placing them in various rooms. They’re an inexpensive and invaluable tool for home heating. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE GAUGES.
8. Clothing Racks
From late Fall to early Spring, you’re shoveling snow and clearing it off your wood piles. Or an unexpected rain falls exactly at the time you need firewood in the house. Your clothes are wet. Your kid’s clothes are wet. You have a ton of wet clothes. You also have a woodstove that’s kicking out a lot of heat. Don’t waste the heat – use it to dry your clothing! Get yourself a clothing rack and your clothes will be dry just in time for the next snowfall! CLOTHING RACKS HERE.
9. SAFETY GATES FOR FIREPLACE AND WOODSTOVE
This is a must-have item especially if you’ve got a baby, toddler or pet in your household. Fire and intense heat can be dangerous, and safety fences are good for keeping your family and guests from getting too close. But there’s a bonus too…this same fence can also be used as a room divider, sectioning off space for your child or pet. CHECK IT OUT HERE
10. Firewood Carriers
You need a means to transport your firewood from where you’ve stacked it outdoors, to inside your home for burning. Yes, you can carry a few logs in your arms but there’s always those darn wood splinters that stick to your clothes. I’ve used all sorts of canvas log totes and the best ones have 4 sides on them. That is, they aren’t open on the ends. A decent carrier has enclosed ends, which is good for collecting all the dirt and loose wood splinters. If you are planning to buy a firewood carrier, I would suggest this one…FIREWOOD CARRIER HERE.
TIP: Instead of using the canvas carrier type I listed above, maybe you want to try my own ‘go to’ method for transporting wood to your woodstove or fireplace…5 gallon buckets.
1. I can carry more wood with one trip.
2. It’s easier to pick up and carry a ‘balanced’ load.
3. The buckets make for easy storage. No need to re-stack the wood again indoors.
4. The buckets collect the dirt and loose splinters from the logs. Easy to dump the debris.
Of course there are tons of tools and gadgets that help make the whole wood burning experience easier and more enjoyable. I’ve only touched the surface with this article. Keep an eye on The BZ Blog for more posts revealing the latest gadgets that help make burning wood for heat, food and fun easier and more enjoyable.
What tools and gadgets do you use for your wood burning in your home? Please feel free to share your thoughts for our wood burning audience.
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