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Draft King Universal Chimney Caps: An Honest Review

July 1st, 2024 | 5 min. read

By Louis Greubel

A stainless steel Draft King Universal Chimney Cap installed on a chimney flue against a white background.

One of the toughest parts about finding the right chimney cap is ensuring you have the correct size. From the type of steel the cap is made of to the cost of the cap itself, size is often the driver of many other chimney cap features.

Granted, it’s not too difficult to find the right chimney cap size. In fact, we’ve covered chimney cap sizes at length on this blog. Even still, what if you could take the guesswork out of chimney cap sizes completely? What if there were a one-size-fits-most chimney cap solution that could accommodate virtually any flue?

As a manufacturer with over 75 years of experience fabricating chimney caps, that’s exactly what we at HY-C attempted to achieve with our line of Draft King Universal Chimney Caps. And in this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at them.

We’ll cover the wide range of flue sizes with which these chimney caps are compatible, how much they cost, their unique installation method, and much more.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll be able to decide whether or not a Draft King Universal Chimney Cap is the right choice for you.

Table of contents (click to jump to a section):

Discover the Draft King Universal Chimney Cap

Draft King Universal Chimney Cap Sizes

A 13-inch by 13-inch stainless steel Draft King Universal Chimney Cap next to a 13-inch by 20-inch stainless steel Draft King Universal Chimney Cap.

With a name like “universal” chimney cap, you may expect one cap that fits any chimney flue. But that’s not quite how it works.

Chimney flues can vary widely both in shape and dimensions. While one chimney may have a circular flue measuring just seven inches in diameter, another chimney may have a rectangular flue that measures thirteen by eighteen inches.

It’s tough to design just one cap to account for all of these variables — but we came pretty close. The Draft King Universal Chimney Cap line features just two sizes: one with a screen-to-screen size of 13” x 13”, and another with a screen-to-screen size of 13” x 20”.

Both caps fit a range of chimney flue sizes and dimensions. This table outlines both the minimum and maximum flue dimensions each cap can accommodate:

Model Number

Minimum Flue Tile Size

Maximum Flue Tile Size


7" x 7"

13" x 13"


7" x 14"

13" x 20"

Between both sizes, you can cover a chimney flue as small as 7” x 7” and as large as 13” x 20”.

Draft King Universal Chimney Cap Materials

Four Draft King Universal Chimney Caps: two galvanized steel models and two stainless steel models each in 13-inch by 13-inch and 13-inch by 20-inch.

While the universal caps are available in two distinct sizes, they’re also available in two different types of metals: galvanized steel and stainless steel.

But what’s the difference — and which one should you get?

Let’s start with galvanized steel. In terms of quality, it’s a solid choice. In its raw form, it’s fairly susceptible to rust and corrosion. That’s why every galvanized steel universal cap (and every galvanized steel HY-C chimney cap in general) is treated with a black powder coat. This paint coat helps to guard against rust and deterioration.

As we’ll see in a bit, galvanized steel is also much less expensive than stainless steel. Stainless steel is a stronger metal. It’s more highly resistant to rust and corrosion — especially corrosion caused by close proximity to large bodies of saltwater.

In sum:

  • If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cap for a chimney connected to a lightly used wood-burning appliance, galvanized steel is a good choice.
  • If you need a cap for a heavily used wood-burning, coal-burning, or oil-burning appliance or you’re located within 25 miles of a large body of saltwater, opt for a stainless steel cap.

Draft King Universal Chimney Cap Mesh Sizes

Before diving into pricing, there’s one more aspect of the Draft King Universal Chimney Cap line to consider: mesh size.

Chimney cap mesh serves three major purposes:

  1. To arrest (or “catch”) any stray sparks that may float up the flue
  2. To prevent nuisance wildlife from accessing your chimney
  3. To provide a good draft while still optimally performing the first two purposes

These three purposes are taken into consideration when deciding on how wide (or tight) the chimney cap’s mesh screen should be. At HY-C, we’ve found that a good size to optimize all three of these purposes is ¾” chimney cap mesh.

A comparison showing the size difference between a Draft King Universal Chimney cap with three-fourths-inch mesh and five-eights-inch mesh,

However, there are some locations (particularly in California and Oregon) that prefer to place more emphasis on the first point: arresting sparks.

In a dry area, a stray spark can float out of a chimney, find a bit of wilted grass, and start a fire. These fires can spread easily and quickly, causing millions of dollars in property damage and putting lives in danger along the way.

As a result, some localities require chimney caps to have a tighter, ⅝” chimney cap mesh. While this tighter mesh can catch more sparks, it also increases the surface area of the mesh, potentially causing a weaker draft that could cause flue gasses to back up into your home.

With all of this said, Draft King Universal Chimney Caps are available both with ¾” mesh and ⅝” mesh. We recommend using the ¾” mesh except where local codes require otherwise.

Draft King Universal Chimney Cap Prices

We’ve already covered the three primary factors that determine the price of our universal chimney caps:

  1. Size
  2. Material
  3. Mesh Size

Considering there are two possible sizes (13” x 13” and 13” x 20”), two possible metals (galvanized steel and stainless steel), and two possible mesh sizes (¾” and ⅝”), there are a total of 8 models of universal caps. Here’s how much they cost:

Model Number



Screen-to-Screen Size

Mesh Size



Galvanized Steel

13" x 13"




Galvanized Steel

13" x 13"




Stainless Steel

13" x 13"




Stainless Steel

13" x 13"




Galvanized Steel

13" x 20"




Galvanized Steel

13" x 20"




Stainless Steel

13" x 20"




Stainless Steel

13" x 20"


As we mentioned, stainless steel models are more expensive than galvanized steel models.

Universal chimney caps with larger screen-to-screen sizes cost more, too, as they require more raw material to fabricate them.

Finally, universal caps with ⅝” mesh are marginally more expensive than the standard ¾” mesh models.

Draft King Universal Chimney Cap Installation

Finally, the method by which you install your chimney cap is important to understand before making your purchase. And the universal caps feature a very unique installation method.

Most chimney caps attach directly to the chimney’s flue by way of bolts. The universal caps attach to the flue as well, but instead of utilizing bolts, they use an internal anchoring system.

A close-up of the Draft King Universal Chimney Cap's anchoring system. The anchor can be seen holding the cap onto a square flue.

This V-shaped anchor attaches to a crossbar welded to the mesh of the chimney cap. It holds the cap in place by tension, pushing back against the flue tile to provide a secure fit.

It’s this anchor that allows for these chimney caps’ universal fit. Its threaded arms provide precise adjustability, allowing both styles of universal cap to fit a large range of flue tile sizes.

These caps can also accommodate our Universal Chimney Cover Damper Kits. Any chimney flue that can fit the cap can also accommodate the damper.

Should You Get a Draft King Universal Chimney Cap?

From sizes and materials to mesh sizes and its unique installation method, this has been a comprehensive guide to the Draft King Universal Chimney Cap.

At this point, though, you may be wondering whether or not you should get one for yourself.

Depending on the size of your chimney flue, you may be able to save a bit of money by getting a Draft King Galvanized Steel Cap or a Draft King Stainless Steel Cap instead.

Again, depending on the size of your flue, a universal cap may fit, but it may not look aesthetically pleasing, especially if you have a smaller chimney flue.

But if your flue tile is only 1” tall (or shorter), a universal cap may be a good choice. Its flush-mount design is ideal for low flues that can’t accommodate a traditional bolt-on cap.

It’s also an excellent choice if you want to add a damper to your chimney flue. Dampers offer excellent protection when your appliance isn’t in use, locking out outside temperatures and critters alike.

To learn more about chimney dampers, take a look at the guide below. It covers all the basics and will allow you to decide whether or not a chimney damper is right for you.

Louis Greubel

Louis earned a bachelor's degree in English with a focus in rhetoric and composition from St. Louis University in 2017. He has worked in marketing as a content writer for over 5 years. Currently, he oversees the HY-C Learning Center, helping HY-C subject matter experts to share their decades of home solution products experience with homeowners and sales partners across the country.