A wood-burning fire on a chilly winter night can warm the soul as much as your toes. But to properly build that flame and care for your fireplace, an understanding of your fireplace tools can be essential. We’ll review how to use fireplace tools from a poker to the bellows so you can enjoy every night by the fire.
A Purpose for Everything: How to Use Fireplace Tools
While your fireplace tools can be a nice decorative touch to your hearth, each one was created for a specific purpose. We’ll answer what are fireplace tools used for so that fire-building and fireplace care is faster and easier.
If you’re wondering what fireplace tools do I need, a poker can be first on your list. The fireplace poker is a fireproof iron rod that’s used to move and adjust burning logs. Adjusting the logs increases oxygen to the fire so it burns longer and is a necessary part of fire maintenance. Consequently, the poker serves the essential purpose of moving the logs without burning yourself. Here’s what to look for in a fireplace poker:
- A longer poker for larger flames
- An insulated handle for additional protection against burns
Spade or Shovel
Knowing how to use fireplace tools involves understanding how to properly use your spade or shovel. This essential tool enables you to move small coals and ash around the fireplace and remove ash all together. Removing ash and coals is also essential to maintaining oxygen to the flame. When looking for high-end fireplace tools like a good shovel we suggest these tips:
- Look for a longer spade to keep your hands further away from flames
- Find a spade with a thick or textured handle for easier control
The best fireplace tools will typically include a set of tongs. Similar to a poker, tongs are used to move burning logs around. However, they enable you to actually pick logs up and place them down in a new spot. We recommend tongs that are strong enough to handle even large logs but easy to flex with one hand. If you have a big fireplace, we also suggest tongs that are long enough to protect your hands from a larger flame.
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Broom or Brush
Understanding how to use fireplace tools like a broom or brush helps keep your fireplace clean of buildup from ash and wood. After ashes are scooped out with a fireplace shovel, the brush is typically used to sweep the hearth. While smaller, round brushes can get into corners and crevices more easily, larger brushes can sweep up more ash. Other qualities of a good fireplace brush include:
- A full, thick brush head
- A brush head that’s the same size as your shovel so they can easily be used together
- A long handle for ease of use
In thinking about what to look for in fireplace tools we suggest starting with items that are essential. While bellows aren’t essential to starting and maintaining a fire, it can certainly make the job easier. A bellows works by providing concentrated puffs of air to specific parts of a fire. This is helpful in stoking a smoldering fire or starting a new one.
To operate a bellows you typically pull the handles apart to fill it with air. Squeezing the handles back together pushes the air through the nozzle towards the area of the flame you want to increase. Bellows come in several shapes, sizes, and styles and are one of those fireplace accessory ideas that can add a decorative touch.
We hope our tips for how to use fireplace tools helps you care for your wood-burning fireplace and build a fire more efficiently. As the premier fireplace dealer in Atlanta, The Fireplace Place is happy to answer any questions about this focal gathering place in your home.