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I’ve been using firelighters for the last 20 years, firstly for lighting my charcoal BBQs, although I’ve since upgraded to a Char-broil gas BBQ, which is fantastic. I still use firelighters in my fire pit and chiminea when we can get some good weather, which is not too often living in the UK but getting a decent pop up gazebo helped with this.
However, over the last few years since I’ve had my wood log burner installed, I’ve been using firelighters almost every day over winter to light my Burley log burner. I get lots of free logs from my family’s garden centre, so I use my cordless chainsaw or, more recently my Stihl mini chainsaw to cut the logs before splitting them with my Forest master log splitter. This was when I started taking more consideration into what firelighters I use as I wasn’t happy with the white block type firelighters. What a game-changer this turned out to be!
Firstly, I used to use the white chemical-based firelights for years, you know, the type that makes your hands a mess and gives off that awful petroleum smell.
Over the last three years, I’ve been burning firelighters indoors and became a little concerned about the chemicals and the awful smell they give off – can’t be good for you! With this in mind, I’ve tested several of the best firefighters over the past few years. I can’t believe what a difference some of the alturnative firelighters make, especially when used with the upsidedown firelighting technique.
If you’re looking for the best firelighters that burn cleanly, create an intensely hot flame, and last more than a couple of minutes, then the best by far I have found is the Twizzler type pictured below and more specifically, these Log Barn Eco friendly wood firefighters pictured below.
These are the wood wool firelighters soaked in wax. I’ve tried a few different brands of this type of firelighter, and the problem is the size and how tightly wrapped they are. So firstly, some are much smaller than others, often half the size. Let me give you an example, I purchased one brand to try, and they were a decent size. The next time I ordered them, they were literally half the size, half the weight and get this, a few quid more expensive. Not the best experience! I tell this story because it’s true but also because they’re not all the same.
I recommend these Eco-friendly wood firelighters by The Log barn. You can see a bunch of them in keep in a basket above.
I’ve ordered over seven lots of 200 now (see Amazon screenshot above), and they are reasonably consistent and a decent size. You get a few smaller ones, but compared to other brands I tried, they are the most consistent, and I know what I’m getting. I’ve used these for lighting my kindling on a daily basis and my firepit. They do an excellent job. They light very easily and create a nice intense flame as you can see in the picture below. I have found they burn for around 7-8 minutes, plenty of time to get the kindling going. I only need one or two for this, which does the job. They are also made from eco-friendly FSC Sustainable sources, so you’re also doing your part to help the environment.
This year, I’ve also used them to light my charcoal BBQ to test them using a BBQ firestarter. This is why I switched to gas a few years back; getting the coals going always took too much effort. Let me say what a difference using these Eco-friendly wood firelighters makes. I put a small handful, maybe 4 or 5, in a small bundle, put a match to them, added a small bag of coals to the firestarter and placed it over the firelighters. In around 2 minutes, it’s roaring away.
Overall, I have kept using these as they are some of the best fire lighters I’ve used. I am on my seventh box now. I have used around 1200 of them in total and don’t use anything else. I think they probably have the longest burn time and offer the best value for money. You can’t go wrong with these!
Other firelighters I have also been happy with were the Ecoblaze Natural Firelighters. However, I still felt the Log Barn Natural Eco Wood Firelighters offered better value for money and were more consistent in size. If the log Barn ones were out of stock, I would default to these for sure.
One other firelighter I was impressed with was these Woodcycle Natural Firelighter Bags, but I’ve only used them once. Again, they were super easy to light, created an intense flame and surprisingly burnt for a good amount of time with no smells. These were great for log burners, but my personal choice is still the wood wool ones. These were easier to store as they are flat like a tea bag and take up less space but still have a decent burn time. It’s worth considering if you’re not keen on the wood wool firefighters for some reason.
What out for poor-quality firelighters
Something to be aware of with the wood wool type of firefighters is how tightly woven they are. I’ve tried a couple of other brands which I’ve not included. The reason for this is that they shred their wool fibres in the box. This means that there was more loose wood shaving in the box instead of tightly woven together on the actual firelighters.
I’ve tried a few others, which I also review in the detailed reviews below.
Fire Lighters Reviews
1. The Log Barn Natural Eco Wood Firelighters
I’ve used these Natural Eco Wood Firelighters by The Log Barn for over three years now, and they are both efficient and good for the environment. These are my go-to firefighters and, I think, probably the best firelighters overall. I’ve found they are odourless, burn cleanly and create an intense hot flame. One or two under my kindling in the stove and the fires going in minutes. I’ve even used them more recently to get the Charcoal going in a firestarter for my charcoal BBQ, something that isn’t always easy to do. I might add that the charcoal was even a little damp being store in the shed, but these firelighters still got the coals going quickly.
These firelighters are made from 100% natural wood shaving and recycled wood flour, which burns well and is the dust waste product from wood mills. It’s all compressed and tightly bound together and covered in natural wax. All the wood used is from Forest Stewardship Council-certified forests. That ensures that the trees are planted, looked after and harvested sustainably.
As mentioned, the fire starter is made from natural wax, along with the wood flour. This coats the strands of wood created from the wood flour and enables them to catch fire easily. These Natural Eco firelighters burn for around 7-8 minutes or so, ample time for your kindling or small pieces of wood to catch fire.
These firelighters have a very low moisture content – 8% – so they don’t splutter and spark as they burn.
- Bundles of shredded wood (wood wool) for starting a fire.
- Made from recycled wood flour (beech) and woof wool strands covered in natural wax.
- Low moisture (8%) and odourless, so don’t spark or spit out embers.
- Only need one or two firelighters to start a fire.
- Burn up to 10 minutes. From experience, this is more like 7-8 minutes on average.
- Includes 200 pieces per box; for wood-burning stoves, this could last 200 days.
- Use in stoves, charcoal BBQs, pizza ovens, fire pits, smokers etc.
- FSC-certified wood, so you know you are doing your part for the environment.
If you like your (garden) products to be as beneficial to the environment as possible, the Natural Eco Wood Firelighters are a sensible choice. They keep wood by-products out of the landfills and use wood only from certified forests. I have now used these for around three years and have always been happy with them. There is no smell, they are consistent in size and more importantly, they light easily and have a decent burn rate. These are really the only ones I buy now. If these are available, I would probably default to the Eco Blaze brand I review further down.
2. Woodcycle Natural Firelighter Bags
Woodcycle Natural Firelighter Bags are just that: bags of recycled wood in the form of nuts (I think of them like Tea bags) and recycled wax. The bags are made of plastic-free paper, so they burn cleanly. The combination of these materials allows the fire starters to burn for over eight minutes when you light them, and after testing these, I did find they did burn for 7-8 minutes. This is plenty of time to get the kindling.
You can get as little as ten bags. If this is not enough for your fire-making plans for the summer, autumn and winter, there are additional choices of 50 bag, 100 bag and 200 bag units. I think I purchased the 50 pack, which was good value for the money. I found them to be excellent for lighting my stove, and there was no smell, and they burn well. I place one on top of my kindling, light it and pop a log on top.
And further supporting the environment (as well as using recycled materials), the Woodcycle company makes a donation towards planting a tree for each purchase of this product.
- Suitable for log burners, open fires, fire pits and pizza ovens.
- Bags of recycled wood (nuts) and recycled wax.
- Bag made of plastic-free paper.
- All materials are food safe.
- Only need one bag to start a fire.
- Odour and chemical free.
- Burns for over eight minutes.
- Make a donation to plant a tree with every purchase.
Woodcycle Natural Firelighter Bags are made of food-safe materials. These include plastic-free paper and contain recycled wood pieces and recycled wax in order to create a hot flame for 10 minutes to start your fire. You have a choice of purchase size from 10 bags to 200 bags per purchase, so you can scale up your plans for creating fires during the summer, autumn and even winter months. When I used these are was really impressed with them, they were easy to light. I have no problems with them, but I still prefer the wood wool type of firefighter. Just my personal choice but they are definitely worth considering if your not keen on the wood wool type.
3. Ecoblaze Natural Firelighters – 200 pieces
These Ecoblaze Natural Firelighters are my go-to if for some reason I can’t get the Log Barn Eco firefighters. These are very similar and are made of 100% natural wood. In this case, the wood is recycled spruce wood sprigs and tips from FSC forests. All such wood is grown and harvested sustainably to benefit the environment. The wood is shredded into a form called ‘wood wool’ and then covered in a natural wax to burn crisply and cleanly, producing enough heat to start the smaller pieces of your firewood on fire.
Each one burns for around eight minutes, which is enough time to to my kindling going. The flames and gases are odourless and non-toxic, so I don’t have to worry about anyone, including my kids and pets, from inhaling them.
- Bundles of 100% natural wood wool (shredded wood) for lighting a fire.
- Made from recycled spruce wood sprigs.
- Odourless and covered in a natural wax.
- Only need one bundle to start a fire; burns for eight minutes.
- Includes 200 handmade firelighters.
- Use in stoves, charcoal BBQs, chimineas, pizza ovens, fire pits, fireplaces etc.
- FSC certified wood.
- Sizes can be a little inconsistent.
I purchased these Ecoblaze Natural Firelighters on two different occasions and overall I was happy with them. They are very similar to Natural Eco Wood Firelighters in appearance but are made from shredded wood rather than wood flour mix so I felt they didn’t burn for quite as long but I didn’t time it so not sure. They’re also made from spruce rather than beech so this might have something to do with it. Overall I was happy with them and will be getting these if the Log Barn ones are out of stock.
4. Woodabrix Natural Wood Eco Firelighters – 288 pieces
These Woodabrix Natural Wood Eco Firelighters are bricks made of 100% natural material marked into 288 cubes. The only information available about the materials, even on the manufacturer’s website, is that it is sawdust mixed with vegetable oil. The origin of the sawdust (FSC or not) and the types of wood (beech, spruce, etc.) are not mentioned anywhere I could find.
I did try these a few years back when i first got my wood burning stove and each cube burns for seven to eight minutes. An interesting feature of this fire starter is that they are claimed to start even when they are damp – maybe a good option for taking camping.
If 288 cubes of fire lighter seems to be too much for your fire-starting plans, choose the 96 pieces option instead.
- Bricks of 100% natural materials marked into 288 cubes.
- Made from 100% natural compressed sawdust and vegetable oil, pressed into a fibrous material.
- Odourless and burns completely.
- Lights even when damp.
- Use in BBQs, camping fires, fireplaces, burner stoves and fire pits.
- Burns for eight minutes.
- Use two or three cubes for start a fire.
- Includes 288 fire starter cubes.
- Type(s) of wood used for sawdust unspecified.
- Hard to light.
If you like your fire starter to be a bit more solid that a bundle of shredded wood, these Natural Wood Eco Firelighters are worth considering although the blocks are a little smaller than you might expect. These are compressed blocks of (unknown species) natural sawdust and vegetable oil. They’re odourless, and the cubes burn completely up. And they’re handy for taking camping into the wild as, even if they get damp, they still light.
5. The Original Burner Firestarter – Barrel of 100 pieces
I wasn’t sure whether to include the Original Burner Firestarter. This is a “barrel” of small sachets containing a semi-solid white material. You light one corner of the sachet, and it sets that corner on flame as a wick. Putting the sachet into your wood pile lets it burn completely and start the fire.
My problem is that neither of the sales blurb nor the manufacturer’s website details what the white material is. And I won’t recommend anything that I don’t know the contents of.
However, I eventually tracked down the Burner Materials Hazard sheet, and the white material is Aliphatic hydrocarbons and thickeners. I’m not sure what that is but there are no hazards associated with it recorded on this official document.
So, I’ve gone ahead with this review, but bear all this in mind.
A good point about these fire-lighting sachets is that they still light even if they’re exposed to water and humidity. You can use them as a wick to light a fire in drizzle or even the rain so they are good for outdoors.
- Sachet containing a white semi-solid material.
- Purchase size is 100 pieces/sachet.
- Sachets are odourless and non-poisonous.
- Use for any open fire – fireplace, BBQ, bonfire, etc.
- Sachets have a large surface area and low controlled flame.
- Will light even if exposed to water and humidity.
- Short burn time.
- Small; need to use more than one at a time.
The Original Burner Firestarter has been around for quite a while. It’s a sachet that acts as a wick when you set fire to the corner. Place this in your wood pile near the smaller pieces of wood, and your fire starts. It lights even in high humidity and moist conditions.
It’s easy to find environmentally friendly fire lighters and avoid those with chemicals in them. To be honest, I don’t know why anybody would go for the old-fashioned white block types any more. For the most eco-friendly ones, look for wood fire starters that use wood from sources with Forest Stewardship Council certification.
This is wood from trees that are planted, grown and harvested in ways that benefit the planet. Then look for fire starters that contain wood that is a by-product of a regular commercial wood process – the leftover wood bits (sawdust or dust usually) that are usually thrown away.
And check that any other materials used are also recycled and/or free of any chemicals and toxins. And it’s even better if the company is donating to a tree-planting cause for every product sold, Im a great believer in this!
Any of the fire lighters covered in this review are a good choice but my personal favourite are the Log Barn Eco Firelighters.
Last update on 2023-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API