If you have an open fire, wood stove or log burner, you’re going to need some tools to help maintain the fire within it. Whether you go for modern sets or a classic, antique collection, it’s important to know which tools you are going to need.
The Purpose Of Tools
All tools are used to control the fire, either to make a small fire larger or reduce a larger fire down to a small one. In the old days, the ability to control the size of the fire was important as this was often the main source of heat for cooking, but nowadays you’ll control the fire for your own comfort.
There are wide range of tools available so we’ve put together this quick guide so you know which tools you’ll need as well as how and when to use them.
Andrion (Dog Iton)
This is a pair of horizontal bats that help support the logs, allowing air to pass underneath them. It can help reduce the amount of smoke generated in a room with an open fire and also prevents logs becoming so compacted they can’t burn properly. Remember to get this tool in place before you light your fire as it is impossible to move it once the flames are roaring.
Whether you use long matches or a rechargeable lighter, having the right tool to get your fire started is critical. It’s much easier to use a long lighter than you can insert into your wood rather than trying to put a burning firelighter in the right place.
Once your fire is alight you’ll need to keep feeding it during the course of the day/evening. To save having to go to and from your log store, use a log holder and kindling bucket to keep all your essentials next to the fire. These log holders are also ideal for storing briquettes to pop on the fire and keep it burning for longer, so you can simply relax.
Tongs are used for moving hot logs, coals and briquettes in your fire to change the level of the flame. There are traditionally two types of tongs. French tongs are unhinged and have to be pulled open or pushed closed to fit your logs. They are stiff but this can mean a better grip. English or Dutch tongs, on the other hand, are hinged so are easier to manipulate but require a little extra care when moving logs to ensure their position doesn’t shift. You can also get a variety of modern log movers if you are looking for something more contemporary.
The poker shifts wood so more oxygen reaches the heart of the fire. Some pokers have a hook on them as well so you can open the hot lid of a wood stove or log burner. Whichever type you choose make sure they are long enough to reach into the fire without leaving you with singed fingers.
Both of these tools give extra oxygen to the fire. Bellows have to be pumped and are best used on the fire in its early stages. Blow pokes are a hollow tube that let you blow a concentrated blast of air deeper into the fire, so are better for a hotter, older fire.
Brush & Shovel
Once your fire is out you need to sweep the grate to remove the old ash and prepare it for a fresh build. Using a brush and shovel set makes it easier to transfer your ash to an Ash Bucket. You can then use the ash to fertilize your garden or add some of it to your compost bin.
If you have small children or pets, using a fireguard is a good way to help them stay safe. As well as stopping them from getting too close to the fire, a guard also prevents any hot sparks escaping on to your carpet or rug if your wood is prone to popping.