All About Firewood: Everything You Need to Know

Fire is a resource that man could not live without. There is very little that is not made with the help of fire, or with heat. Fire is a significant part of the history of human beings; the determining factor in the intelligence of early man is his ability to create fire, and it is this which separates us from other animals. The time that fire was discovered by man is unknown, though it is fair to say that it is the discovery of fire that got us where we are today.

Fire is something that can also be incredibly dangerous, which is why you mustn’t handle fire until you are of a reasonable age, and you certainly mustn’t play with fire. Fire is not something to be taken lightly. However, fire is not just dangerous, but it is very useful, helpful, and can be a lifesaver. We have become incredibly used to convection ovens, microwaves, and gas stoves that we have forgotten quite how difficult getting fire might have been for our ancestors.

In this article, we are going to tell you absolutely everything that you might ever need to know about firewood. Firewood is wood that is used to burn, whether for an oven, stove, or simply for pleasure. There are several reasons that one might want to use firewood, so this is the page for you, whatever your reason for using firewood is.

Here is everything that you need to know about firewood.

Acquiring Firewood

Getting firewood is perhaps the easiest part when it comes to dealing with firewood. There are many ways that firewood can be attained, but most people, rather than gathering it themselves, go and buy it directly from a store. Buying firewood in bulk from a store is certainly the easiest solution and without a doubt the best way for you to acquire it, and while it is not cheap, it saves you from having to spend hours laboring in a forest with an ax, finding deadwood, and cutting down trees. Not only that but if you were to get it yourself, you would have to wait for it to become mature, whereas when you are buying firewood in bulk, it is already matured. According to the wood suppliers from, pre-dried firewood is of the highest quality and ready to go straight away. Seasoning your wood can take a long time, so buying it ready seasoned can be a life-saver.

However, if you do live in the woods, or nearby to the woods, and you want to go and do it yourself, you certainly can. Make sure you find only the highest quality firewood and wood with no rot. You will also have to ensure that you properly season the wood and do not use it until it has been seasoned.

Different Types of Firewood

When it comes to buying, gathering, or acquiring firewood, you must ensure that you can determine one type of firewood from another and that you can tell the differences between them. Firewood varies from wood to wood, and one wood is not the same as another. Knowing this is crucial when it comes to buying firewood and burning it. Different types of woods offer different results. To always find the best wood for your project or whatever you need it for, you must know the difference between the main two types of wood; hardwood and softwood. The names, however, are deceptive, because wood that is hardwood is not necessarily harder, nor is softwood always softer. The difference between softwood and hardwood is in their usage and reproduction, rather than the way that they appear.

Hardwoods are generally much denser than softwood, which means that they burn for longer, produce more heat, and are less sticky, while softwoods often have the opposite attributes. For getting the maximum heat output, you should consider the 5x Boxes of Kiln Dried Logs. As these are kiln dries so have less moisture and give more heat output. Here are some of the best woods to buy in each category:


Softwoods tend to be the favorite firewood for many outdoorsmen who burn wood in on a pyre, mainly because of their lower density. Because of their lower density, softwoods are easier to set aflame and emit more smoke, which makes them not very good for indoors, but awesome for outdoors. Burning softwood indoors can have your chimney block up and the interior of your home becomes a smoky mess. Softwood is best used for campfires, kindling, or other outdoor purposes. Softwood, however, is not as widely distributed and available as hardwood, though you can pick up some types, not all, from your local hardware or outdoor store. Here are a few types of softwood you can use:


Pine is a personal favorite of mine, mainly because of the sweet, resiny smell it imparts after you burn it. Pine is one of the most diversely spread trees in the entire world, and they can be found virtually everywhere. Pine is a very light wood that burns incredibly quickly when compared to other types of softwood. With that said, it also extinguishes incredibly quickly, which means it needs to be refueled often. Pine can only be burnt outdoors because of its resin and sap content – it also smells incredible. The resin for pine is usually used as incense. If you go out to the woods and cut down a pine tree, you may get in trouble, so you may have to resolve yourself to spending a few hundred on a sack of pine wood.


The cedar tree is another tree found in many places that emits a pleasant smell when it is used for firewood. Cedar, unlike other types of softwood, can be burnt when it is unseasoned, and when burnt unseasoned, will provide a long-lasting fire with a gentle flame. Cedar crackles, which is why it is one of the best trees for campfires. It can be bought in cords, or it can be acquired out in the wild, depending on how you want to go about it.


Larch is one of the hardest softwoods that can be purchased or sourced. Larch is actually harder than many hardwoods, but it is its density that makes it a softwood. Larch has to be very hot to burn and it must be seasoned properly. Some people mix hardwood and larch together for indoor stoves, despite the smoke that it can produce.


Hardwood trees take considerably longer than softwood to grow, which is why they have such high densities. Hardwood is darker in pigment, think oak, and they generally tend to burn slower, which makes them great for indoor cooking, or fires. They can be very hot when burnt. Hardwood is a good wood to use in your home, and many of them produce very little smoke. Here are a few types of hardwood that you can use:


The birch tree is a tree that can be found virtually everywhere – it is a tree that is widely distributed and available, it can be found throughout the globe. Birch burns very quickly, even unseasoned. There are different types of birch that you can find. Birchbark is also used to ignite flames. You can combine birch with oak and cedar – a cord of birch can cost upwards of two hundred dollars.


Ash is another widely found wood that burns well on its own. Ash has a long flame, that is very bright, and can be very hot, as well as burning for a very long time. Ash can cost quite a lot for a cord and has similar prices to birch. It is a wood best used indoors.


Oak is a tree that has a lot of cultural significance to Western Europeans. It is a tree that some consider being magical – it is also a great option for hardwood. Oak takes a very long time to grow, and a long time to season, but burns for a very long time. If you need a fire to burn overnight, then oak is a good option, but it does cost a fair bit of money for a cord.

Industrial Wood

Industrial wood is another good option for your fire. Industrial wood is a lot cheaper, easier to find, and there are many options with regard to it. It can actually be a lot better than many hardwoods and softwoods, and it can keep you very warm through the winter months.

Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are wood chips that have been kiln-dried and have been compacted together with sawdust. Coincidentally, they can actually be sold as cat litter. Wood pellets burn in pellet stoves and burn quickly, though they can be used in an ordinary wood stove if you do not own a pellet stove. They can burn quickly, which means you will have to refuel often.

Wooden Bricks

Wooden bricks are composed of the same materials used to create wood pellets, except that they are compacted together into a brick. They burn very efficiently and often better than firewood.

Firewood to Avoid

Some types of firewood are just best avoided and should not be used in your home. The reason for this being that there can be some negative side-effects of burning the wrong types of wood, which follow:

Painted Wood

Wood that has been chemically treated or painted can release arsenic or chemicals into the air, which in turn, can make you and people around you sick. Speaking from experience, inhaling the smoke of painted wood is enough to send you to the hospital – it is absolutely disgusting. If anyone has asthma and is around painted wood, they can be hospitalized. You should never burn wood that is painted, nor chemically treated. Just discard it.

Foreign Wood

Foreign wood, as in wood from foreign regions, should be avoided. The reason for this being that pathogens can be carried on the wood and can introduce themselves into your local area, contaminating and affecting your trees and local ecosystem with bacteria, disease, or insects. Scientists say that a single infected log could potentially kill an entire forest.


Driftwood that has been floating around in a lake or a river should never be used for firewood. It can be brimming with bacteria, will have a high salt content, potentially chlorine, and pathogens which can make you sick. Avoid any stagnant wood, whether it is driftwood or deadwood.

Fresh Wood

Wood that has been freshly cut will have a high sap content, which is why you have to season it before using it. You cannot use fresh wood, for overtime, it will burn unevenly, and will not create a good fire. Avoid burning fresh wood and only use properly seasoned wood.

Thick Wood

Wood that is thicker than five inches must be cut before using. You cannot expect to have a successful fire, no, large bits of wood and logs will not burn properly, they will simply blacken and turn to ash.

Be Safe

Burning wood can actually be very dangerous if you do not do it properly. You must be as safe as possible and as cautious as you can be when you are burning wood so that you do not hurt yourself or anyone else.

When burning wood:

  • Keep flammable items, like fabrics, paper, books, newspapers, or clothes away from your fire burning stove or appliance;
  • Never use kerosene or gasoline to start a fire inside your home;
  • Only burn wood unseasoned that can be burnt unseasoned, research first;
  • Use wooden bricks with hearth fireplaces only;
  • Build the hottest fires that you can and never use damp wood;
  • Keep your fireplace’s doors closed, unless adding to the fire, for you can find harmful chemicals can be emitted from fireplaces, such as carbon monoxide;
  • Keep water or an extinguisher close to putting out the fire just in case it were to spread.

Being cautious and safe when you are burning fire is very important, for not being cautious can result in you being taken sick, or worse, somebody you love or a relative falling sick as a consequence of your fire.

Firewood is a very complex subject – so you should not think you know it all just by reading this page, there is far more for you to read if you want to become an expert in the subject. Building a fire is something that can be very enjoyable if you do it safely, so heed our advice and have fun.

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