Best Cast Iron Fireplace Grates

Three fireplace grates sitting on a concrete factory floor

Best Cast Iron Fireplace Grates

Fireplace grates are primarily made from one of two materials: either steel or cast iron. Most people prefer cast iron because it retains heat exceptionally well and it tends to be more durable than steel.

If you’re in the market for a new fireplace grate, you may have come to the conclusion by now that cast iron is your best bet. There remains a question, though:

Which grate should you get?

At HY-C, we manufacture five lines of cast iron fireplace grates under our Liberty Foundry Co. name:

  • The G500 Sampson Series
  • The Franklin G Series
  • The GT SAF-T-GRATE Series
  • The G800 Series
  • The G1000 Series

In this guide, we’ll take you through each line of cast iron fireplace grates. We’ll include sizes for each of our five lines and some stand-out features of each grate to help you find the right cast iron fireplace grate for your fireplace.

G500 Sampson Series Cast Iron Fireplace Grates

The Sampson G500 fireplace grate integrates a self-feeding design to keep your fire going. As logs burn, they roll down the sloped sides of the grate to ensure that hot logs on the bottom feed fresh logs on the top.

The angle of the slope is adjustable, too, to help you burn wood at the best possible pace for your fire and fireplace.

Perhaps the best part of the G500 Sampson fireplace grates is that they’re adjustable. You can buy the size you need, and you can buy additional eight-inch sections that can be added to (or removed from) your grate to ensure it fits your fireplace perfectly — no matter what.

The G500 Sampson Series is Liberty Foundry Co.’s most versatile size-wise, with five different sizes available (all styles feature a leg clearance of 2.75”):

StyleDimensions*Weight (pounds)
G500-20-BX18″ x 14″ x 15″ x 7.5″22
G500-24-BX22″ x 18″ x 15″ x 7.5″27
G500-28-BX26″ x 22″ x 15″ x 7.5″33
G500-32-BX30″ x 26″ x 15″ x 7.5″35
G500-36-BX33″ x 29″ x 15″ x 7.5″41
*Dimensions are measured as front width x back width x depth x height

Franklin G Series Cast Iron Fireplace Grates

The Franklin G Series traces its name back to Benjamin Franklin himself. The Founding Father invented the metal-lined fireplace in 1743, and they came to be known as “Franklin stoves”.

Franklin G fireplace grates are relatively straightforward basket-style grates. They’re designed with a narrow depth to be used in smaller fireplaces.

Perhaps the most stand-out feature of the Franklin G Series of cast iron fireplace grates is that that three of the four sizes — the G17-BX, G22-BX, and G27-BX — come with four-inch leg clearance options (instead of the standard two inches) to facilitate additional airflow to help logs burn hotter and longer.

The four sizes in which Franklin G Series grates are available are as follows:

StyleDimensions*Weight (pounds)
G16-BX15″ x 15″ x 9″ x 5″12
G17-BX**17″ x 13″ x 12″ x 5″15
G22-BX**22″ x 19″ x 12″ x 5.25″20
G27-BX**27″ x 21″ x 13″ x 5.25″25
*Dimensions are measured as front width x back width x depth x height
**Indicates that sizes are available in a 4” leg clearance option

GT SAF-T-GRATE Cast Iron Fireplace Grates

Like the G500 Sampson Series, GT SAF-T-GRATE fireplace grates feature a curved, self-feeding design that allows burned fuel to roll toward the center and bottom of the grate while new wood is set on top.

The SAF-T-GRATES (as their name implies) are designed a bit more robustly than their G500 counterparts — all in the name of safety. As wood burns and shifts around, the sturdy, cast iron SAF-T-GRATES keep wood from rolling out of your firebox and into your living room.

Aside from that, each model features three inches of leg clearance. It’s not quite the four inch ventilation offered in some of the Franklin G models, but it still provides plenty of airflow to the logs as they burn.

The GT SAF-T-GRATES are available in three distinct sizes:

StyleDimensions*Weight (pounds)
GT-18-BX17″ x 14″ x 12″ x 6.5″21
GT-22-BX23″ x 18″ x 16″ x 8″26
GT-30-BX30″ x 26″ x 16″ x 8″38
*Dimensions are measured as front width x back width x depth x height

G800 Cast Iron Fireplace Grates

The G800 Series of fireplace grates are made in a very similar basket style to the Franklin G Series grates. One of the main differences is that the G800 grates are made a bit wider for bigger fireboxes (and therefore tend to be a bit heavier).

The G800 grates also come standard with a four-inch leg clearance height, meaning they offer maximum ventilation at all times.

Aside from that, they’re very straightforward cast iron fireplace grates with just three sizes available:

StyleDimensions*Weight (pounds)
G800-20-BX20″ x 16″ x 15″ x 7″23
G800-24-BX24″ x 21″ x 15″ x 7″26
G800-27-BX27″ x 23″ x 15″ x 7″28
*Dimensions are measured as front width x back width x depth x height

G1000 Cast Iron Fireplace Grates

Finally, the G1000 Series of fireplace grates is designed with the best of both worlds in mind: these are curved, basked-style grates that help ensure that burning wood rolls toward the middle and bottom of the grate.

The G1000 Series comes in two sizes that are made for bigger fireboxes, and both sizes are available with either two-and-a-half or four inches of leg clearance depending on how high you need the grate to be.

With the lightest models weighing in at 30 pounds, the G1000 Series of cast iron fireplace grates are about as robust as Liberty Foundry Co. makes them.

They’re available in two sizes (and each size is available with an optional four-inch leg clearance):

StyleDimensions*Weight (pounds)
G1024-BX**24″ x 20″ x 15″ x 6.5″30
G1028-BX**28″ x 24″ x 15″ x 6.5″34
*Dimensions are measured as front width x back width x depth x height
**Indicates that sizes are available in a 4” leg clearance option

Which Cast Iron Fireplace Grate Should You Get?

If you’ve read this far, you’re likely set on a cast iron fireplace grate. And that’s good news, because it means you’ve started to narrow your search — after all, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of fireplace grate options out there.

Each of the five Liberty Foundry Co. series of fireplace grates has something unique to offer. The Franklin G Series is designed for narrow fireboxes. The SAF-T-GRATE offers the best in safety. The G500 Sampson Series provides the most versatile size options.

And maybe size is what will drive your purchase. But whatever the deciding factors, make sure you consider what you want out of your fireplace grate in the long term.

Because if you make the right choice now, you’ll end up with a cast iron fireplace grate that should last you for many falls and winters to come.

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A close-up of chopped, stacked firewood

Best Firewood: Top 10 Types of Wood Fuel to Burn

There’s more to burning wood than you might expect. Whether you’re using an outdoor fire pit, your fireplace, or a wood burning furnace or stove, different woods burn differently from one another.

And maybe you just buy whatever firewood is available at your local store. But have you ever stopped to ask, “What kind of wood is this, anyway? Do certain types of wood give off more heat than others? What type of wood should I be burning?”

The type of firewood available to you often depends on what kind of trees are native to your area. But, given the choice, some types of wood are better at some things than others. We should know — we’ve been through the process of getting a wood burning furnace approved by the EPA, and that involves dozens of burn tests with many different kinds of firewood.

In this guide (and with the help of data from Utah State University), we’ll cover 10 different species of firewood. We’ll tell you how much heat each species puts off, how much a full cord of each species weighs, and more insights to help you find the right wood to burn.

Firewood BTU Chart

The following chart covers basic information on ten species of wood common in North America. Depending on where you live, some species of firewood may be more readily available in your area than others.

SpeciesHeat per Cord (Million BTUs)Weight per Cord (Dry)Ease of SplittingSmoke
White Oak29.14,200 poundsMediumLow
Black Locust27.94,020 poundsDifficultLow
Maple25.53,680 poundsEasyLow
White Ash24.23,470 poundsMediumLow
Black Walnut22.23,190 poundsEasyLow
Elm20.93,020 poundsDifficultMedium
Birch20.82,990 poundsMediumMedium
Douglas-fir20.72970 poundsEasyHigh
Green Ash202,880 poundsEasyLow
Sycamore19.52,810 poundsDifficultMedium

The second column indicates how much energy (in British thermal units, or BTUs) a full cord of each species of wood will radiate when burned.

The third column indicates how much a full cord of each species of wood weighs after it’s been fully seasoned and dried out.

The fourth and fifth columns indicate how easy (or difficult) each type of wood is to split and how much smoke each species of wood tends to give off, respectively.

How Much is a Cord of Wood?

A full cord of wood stacked in the middle of a field with a sign reading "ONE FULL CORD" on it

A full cord of stacked firewood measures 4 feet high, 8 feet wide, and 4 feet in depth (for a total of 128 cubic feet). A full cord usually contains between 600 and 800 logs.

You may also see the term “face cord” used; this is about ⅓ of a cord, or 4 feet high, 8 feet wide, and 16 inches in depth.

A half cord of wood measures 4 feet high, 8 feet wide, and 2 feet in depth.

How Long Does it Take to Season Firewood?

The best way to season firewood is to stack it on a log rack and let it sit anywhere from 6 months to a year. This allows moisture to evaporate from the logs.

A piece of firewood may contain up to 50% of its weight or more in water. Waterlogged firewood won’t burn well. The goal is to get the moisture content to 20% or less (and you can test the moisture contents of a piece of firewood by using a moisture meter).

Because it takes so long to season firewood properly, most people buy their firewood a year in advance. When seasoning firewood, leave it outdoors in the open at least a few feet away from walls or other obstructions to facilitate proper airflow. Cover the top with a tarp to keep the wood safe from precipitation (but leave the sides uncovered to allow air to circulate).

Is Oak Good Firewood?

One full cord of dry, properly seasoned oak firewood will put off 29.1 million BTUs of energy, making oak one of the most efficient species of wood to burn. Though it’s heavy (with a full, dry cord weighing in at around 4,200 pounds) and not necessarily easy to split, oak wood puts off relatively little smoke when seasoned correctly.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 29.1
  • Weight per cord (dry): 4,200 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Medium
  • Smoke contents: Low

Is Black Locust Good Firewood?

At 27.9 million BTUs of energy per cord, black locust wood is nearly as efficient as oak. It maintains a comparable weight at about 4,000 pounds per cord. It also puts off relatively little smoke, though it is pretty difficult to split if you’re cutting it on your own.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 27.9
  • Weight per cord (dry): 4,020 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Difficult
  • Smoke contents: Low

Is Maple Good Firewood?

Maple is one of only three species of firewood on this list to put off over 25 million BTUs of energy per cord burned. It’s quite a bit lighter than oak or black locust, averaging about 3,700 pounds per cord. It’s also very easy to split, and it puts off very little smoke.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 25.5
  • Weight per cord (dry): 3,680 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Easy
  • Smoke contents: Low

Is White Ash Good Firewood?

White ash is a great middle-of-the-road firewood option in terms of millions of BTUs per cord at 24.2. A dry, seasoned cord of white ash firewood weighs in at around 3,500 pounds, and it produces relatively little smoke. It’s not the easiest type of firewood to split, though, so keep that in mind if you’re cutting your own wood.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 24.2
  • Weight per cord (dry): 3,470 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Medium
  • Smoke contents: Low

Is Black Walnut Good Firewood?

Black walnut is a relatively efficient firewood, offering about 22.2 million BTUs of energy per cord. It’s pretty light for its efficiency, with a full cord clocking in at around 3,200 pounds. It’s also easy to split, and it puts off very little smoke.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 22.2
  • Weight per cord (dry): 3,190 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Easy
  • Smoke contents: Low
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Is Elm Good Firewood?

At about 3,000 pounds per cord and with an energy rating of about 20.9 million BTUs per cord, elm is a good middle-of-the-road firewood. Be cautious, though — it’s pretty difficult to split, and it puts off quite a bit more smoke than oak, black locust, maple, white ash, or black walnut.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 20.9
  • Weight per cord (dry): 3,020 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Difficult
  • Smoke contents: Medium

Is Birch Good Firewood?

Birch’s energy capacity is comparable to elm at 20.8 million BTUs per cord. Its weight per cord is also comparable to elm at around 3,000 pounds. Like elm, it puts off a medium amount of smoke, and while it’s not the easiest wood to split on your own, it is easier than elm.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 20.8
  • Weight per cord (dry): 2,990 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Medium
  • Smoke contents: Medium

Is Douglas-Fir Good Firewood?

Douglas-fir firewood is on par with elm and birch in terms of energy efficiency; it puts off about 20.7 million BTUs per cord. It weighs in at about 2,970 pounds per cord and it’s easy to split. The biggest caveat with douglas-fir is that it probably puts out the highest amount of smoke of any firewood on this list.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 20.7
  • Weight per cord (dry): 2,970 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Easy
  • Smoke contents: High

Is Green Ash Good Firewood?

Though every type of firewood on this list is very efficient, green ash does come in second-to-last at just 20 million BTUs per dry, seasoned cord. It is relatively lightweight; at just 2,880 pounds per cord, it’s about 1,300 pounds lighter than oak. It’s also easy to split and emits a low amount of smoke.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 20
  • Weight per cord (dry): 2,880 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Easy
  • Smoke contents: Low

Is Sycamore Good Firewood?

Sycamore has the unfortunate distinction of being the only firewood on this list not to crack 20 million BTUs per cord, just missing the mark at 19.5. It puts off a medium amount of smoke, too, and it’s relatively difficult to split. It is the lightest, though, with a properly seasoned cord of sycamore weighing about 2,800 pounds.

  • Heat per cord (in millions of BTUs): 19.5
  • Weight per cord (dry): 2,810 pounds
  • Ease of splitting: Difficult
  • Smoke contents: Medium

What Type of Firewood Should You Get?

As you can see, there’s more to burning wood than you may have expected. Thermal efficiency can vary by millions of BTUs per cord and weight can vary by thousands of pounds. There are also big variations in how easy each species is to split and how much smoke each species emits.

So — which firewood should you get?

In a lot of cases, this simply depends on which wood is native to your area. You may not have many options.

But, if given the choice, oak, black locust, and maple are high on the list in terms of heat per cord. Green ash and sycamore may be less energy efficient, but they’re very lightweight if you plan on hauling the wood yourself.

Whichever type you choose, be sure to store and season your wood properly. That way it will burn efficiently and cleanly, keeping you warm through the fall and winter months.

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Thumbnail images of a smokeless fire pits from Blue Sky, Solo Stove, Duraflame, Breeo, and Flame Genie against a transparent cord wood background

Best Smokeless Fire Pits of 2023

Smokeless fire pits are becoming more and more popular with each passing cold season. These cleverly-designed heating devices utilize a unique, double-walled airflow system to burn away smoke particles, greatly reducing (and even eliminating) smoke from your outdoor wood burning experience.

As great as smokeless fire pits are, there are several models on the market today, and that can make it tough to know which one to buy.

There are a lot of questions to consider: what type of wood fuel do these fire pits burn? To what extent are they customizable? How much do they cost?

At HY-C, we know a lot about smokeless fire pits; in fact, we manufacture one. And we want to share what we know about them with you to help you find the perfect smokeless fire pit.

In this guide, we’re going to consider five top-selling smokeless fire pits on the market today. By the time you’re done here, you’ll know everything you need to know about each model, from their material to how much they cost — and everything in between.

And though we make one of the fire pits on this list — the Flame Genie Inferno — we’re going to remain as objective as possible to help you find the right smokeless fire pit for you.

So, in no particular order, here are the top five smokeless fire pits on the market today.

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

A Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 sitting ablaze on the corner of a wooden patio with a forest in the background and wood fuel beside it

The Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 at a glance:

  • Price: $224.99
  • Diameter: 19.5”
  • Height: 14”
  • Weight: 23.3 pounds
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Suggested fuel: Firewood

Solo Stove is without a doubt the most popular smokeless fire pit brand around today, and their Bonfire 2.0 is their best-reviewed model by far. It’s available in eight different colors, and you can even get one personalized with your favorite NFL or college football team’s logo.

So, what puts the “2.0” in “Bonfire 2.0”? Solo Stove added a new, removable base plate and ash pan, making clean up a lot easier than earlier iterations. You just lift the pan out after your fire has cooled and dump out the ashes.

Each Bonfire 2.0 comes with a carrying case for easy transportation, and you can even purchase one with a stand for just a few dollars more.

Breeo X19

A Breeo X19 smokeless fire pit sitting ablaze on white sand with two beige patio chairs in the background and a gray wooden fence behind them

The Breeo X19 at a glance:

  • Price: $399
  • Diameter: 22”
  • Height: 14.75”
  • Weight: 47 pounds
  • Material: Stainless steel and corten steel
  • Suggested fuel: Firewood

The Breeo X19 features a unique corten steel construction that gives it a rugged, industrial feel. At 47 pounds, it’s the heaviest smokeless fire pit on this list, but for good reason: each Breeo fire pit is durably made in the USA in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

All smokeless fire pits utilize airflow in the base to help eliminate smoke, but Breeo models feature a raised, X-shaped bridge in the bottom that gives the line its name.

While the corten steel offers a distinctive look, those who prefer the full stainless steel presentation will be happy to know that a fully stainless option is available for an additional $85.

Blue Sky The Improved Peak Smokeless Patio Fire Pit

A Blue Sky Improved Peak Smokeless Patio Fire Pit sitting ablaze on a concrete patio with two gray chairs in the background and a brick wall behind them

The Blue Sky Improved Peak Smokeless Patio Fire Pit at a glance:

  • Price: $249.99
  • Diameter: 21.6”
  • Height: 16”
  • Weight: 35.27 pounds
  • Material: Powder-coated steel
  • Suggested fuel: Firewood or wood pellets

Blue Sky’s improved smokeless fire pit is the first fire pit on this list that claims dual-fuel capabilities — either firewood or wood pellets. You can also get your favorite NFL or NHL team logo engraved on one (and even the U.S. Army logo, if you feel inclined).

But what’s so “improved” about Blue Sky’s smokeless fire pit? Like Solo Stove, they added a lift-out ash catch and grate to make cleaning easier. They also extended the bezel on the top of the fire pit to promote air flow, and they even raised the burn chamber to enhance the fire pit’s secondary burn capability.

It also features a unique, twelve-sided rim and faceted body, daring to go beyond the cylindrical look of the four other fire pits on this list.

Duraflame Stainless Steel Low Smoke Fire Pit

A Duraflame Stainless Steel Low Smoke Fire Pit ablaze against a white background

The Duraflame Stainless Steel Low Smoke Fire Pit at a glance:

  • Price: $215.79
  • Diameter: 19”
  • Height: 15.5”
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Material: 304 & 202 stainless steel
  • Suggested fuel: Firewood

You probably know Duraflame for their Firelogs and Firestarters. Turns out they make a pretty good smokeless fire pit, too; their Stainless Steel Low Smoke Fire Pit features both 304 and 202 stainless steel in its construction to resist corrosion and rust.

Duraflame’s smokeless fire pit also includes a removable ring, grate, and ash pan for easy cleaning.

It’s also the lightest fire pit on this list. Weighing in at just 22 pounds, it’s ultra-portable — great if you’re planning on taking your fire pit on a trip (a carrying bag is available to purchase separately, too).

Flame Genie Inferno

A Flame Genie Inferno smokeless fire pit ablaze on a brick pedestal on a brick patio with a white gazebo in the background in a yard at night

The Flame Genie Inferno at a glance:

  • Price: $171.99
  • Diameter: 19”
  • Height: 16.25”
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Material: Powder-coated galvanized steel
  • Suggested fuel: Wood pellets

Rounding out our list of the best smokeless fire pits of the year is our own Flame Genie Inferno. The Flame Genie comes in two parts — the base and the combustion chamber. Both portions stack on top of each other during use, and they fit into each other between use for easy storage and transportation.

This two-part design makes for easy cleaning, too. Ashes fall into the base, which can be removed and taken away for disposal after the fire is out.

The Inferno utilizes wood pellets for fuel, ensuring a continuously smoke-free experience. Aside from the Breeo X19, the Flame Genie Inferno is the only smokeless fire pit on this list to be made in the USA. Each model is made in our factory in St. Louis, Missouri.

Which Smokeless Fire Pit Should You Get?

With so many smokeless fire pits on the market today, it can be hard to find the right one to buy. We’ve presented five here, but those are just a sampling. There are dozens of great options to choose from.

So which one should you get?

The best thing to do is to consider how you plan on using your smokeless fire pit, and find one with the features that best match what you want.

Is portability important to you? If so, it may be best to choose a lightweight model. Maybe you prefer a model made in America? Or maybe price is your most important consideration?

Either way, be sure to compare what’s out there until you find the smokeless fire pit that fits your needs. Putting in the time and research now ensures you’ll wind up with a bright, warm outdoor companion that will keep you comfortable for many falls and winters to come.

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Fire Chief FC1000E wood burning furnace shells on wood pallets on an assembly line in a factory

The 4 Best Wood Burning Furnaces of 2023

Buying a wood burning furnace is not something you should do lightly. A wood furnace is a big commitment, and you want to do everything you can to make sure you wind up with a fantastic appliance that will last a lifetime.

But there are so many questions to consider: how much should you spend? How does each model compare with each other? What options are even available in the first place?

In this guide, we want to take as much of the guesswork out of buying a wood burning furnace as possible for you. So we’ll compare four of the finest furnaces on the market today to help you find the right one for your home and budget.

A quick note before we begin — we manufacture one of the furnaces on this list: the Fire Chief FC1000E. Still, we know all four of these furnaces very well, and we’re going to compare them as objectively as possible (in no particular order) to help you decide which one you need, whether that’s a Fire Chief or another one of the great furnaces on this list.

Best Wood Burning Furnaces: Criteria, Definitions, and Methodology

Before we get going, note that all four furnaces on this list:

Also, in order to be as objective as possible (because, again, we manufacture one of the furnaces), we leaned on EPA testing data to gauge each furnace against its competitors. Here are two pertinent definitions for you to understand from that testing data:

  • Efficiency rating: The percentage of heat that is transferred to the space to be heated when a load of fuel is burned. Efficiency percentages are based on the EPA-specified CSA B 415-10 stack loss testing method.
  • Maximum heat delivered: Maximum amount of heat provided to other rooms through ducting at ten pounds per cubic feet fuel loading density over one total burn cycle

With that established — and in no particular order — let’s get into the top four wood burning furnaces.

Drolet Heat Commander

A Drolet Heat Commander wood burning furnace against a white background

The Drolet Heat Commander at a glance:

  • Firebox Volume: 3.6 cubic feet
  • Efficiency Rating: 77%
  • Maximum Heat Delivered: 42,234 BTUs
  • Average Price: $3,999

If reviews from online forums are to be believed, the Drolet Heat Commander is a well-liked wood burning furnace from many a customer’s perspective. It’s made in Canada by skilled tradespeople who know their craft well — they also make EPA-certified wood stoves and pellet stoves, among other hearth products.

One of the best things about the Heat Commander is that it boasts the highest efficiency rating of all the furnaces on this list according to the EPA test data, meaning you’ll get the very best out of each log you put into it.

Drolet’s Heat Commander is also unique in that it offers a limited lifetime warranty for its combustion chamber and cast iron door frame — the only furnace on this list to offer any kind of lifetime warranty for any of its components.

On the downside, it’s a little pricey at $3,999 (relative to other options on the list). It also weighs just a bit over 600 pounds, meaning that getting it set up in your basement (or wherever you want to place it) may prove tricky. Its distribution blower’s delivery rate of 1,135 cubic feet per minute (CFM) is also the second-lowest on the list.

Still, the Heat Commander is, without a doubt, one of the best EPA-approved wood burning furnaces you can find today. It’s no surprise that a Canadian company knows how to make a good heater.

US Stove Hot Blast HB1520

A US Stove Hot Blast HB1520 wood burning furnace on a white background

The Hot Blast HB1520 at a glance:

  • Firebox Volume: 3.95 cubic feet
  • Efficiency Rating: 70%
  • Maximum Heat Delivered: 53,042 BTUs
  • Average Price: $2,300

Around since 1869, US Stove is certainly not lacking in experience. The company simply knows heating products — they make warm air furnaces, gas stoves, wood stoves, portable forced air heaters, and much more.

When it comes to wood burning furnace prices, their Hot Blast HB1520 simply can’t be beat. At the time of writing, the average price of one of these units comes out to about $2,300. Also, the HB1520’s firebox measures in at a staggering 3.95 cubic feet, the highest on the list.

The Hot Blast simply can’t be touched on maximum heat delivered, either; at just a bit over 53,000 BTUs, this furnace’s heat delivery capability is nearly 7,000 BTUs higher than the next-highest furnace on the list, our own Fire Chief FC1000E.

If that all sounds too good to be true, there are a few caveats to consider. For instance, if you prefer to support domestically made products, the HB1520 is the only furnace on this list which is not made in North America, but overseas.

The Hot Blast also has extremely high clearances-to-combustibles, the distance from which the furnace must be kept from flammable materials. The HB1520’s clearances are 25 inches on the sides and 26 inches on the back.

To put that in perspective, the next-highest clearances on the list — the Heat Commander — are 11 inches on the sides and 14 inches on the back. This means that the HB1520 requires more empty space around it than some homeowners may have in their installation location.

Finally, the EPA data indicates that the Hot Blast HB1520 also puts off the most grams of carbon monoxide per minute — 4.6 — of all four furnaces on this list. This is well over double the next-highest rate of 1.73 grams per minute. Still, if the pros outweigh the cons for you, US Stove’s Hot Blast HB1520 is a totally viable wood burning furnace option.

Kuuma Vapor-Fire 100

A Kuuma Vapor-Fire 100 wood burning furnace on a pallet on a factory floor

The Kuuma Vapor-Fire 100 at a glance:

  • Firebox Volume: 3.9 cubic feet
  • Efficiency Rating: 76%
  • Maximum Heat Delivered: 33,691 BTUs
  • Average Price: $7,895

Kuuma’s Vapor-Fire 100 is also a big favorite among wood burning enthusiasts. These furnaces are made by Lamppa Manufacturing Inc., a family business in Minnesota who are very passionate about their wood burning products; in addition to the Vapor-Fire, they also make wood burning sauna stoves.

For starters, the Vapor-Fire 100 is made in the USA by skilled workers who have been in the business for years — a testament to its quality and dependability. Its firebox is virtually just as big as the Hot Blast HB1520’s, too, meaning you can fit more wood for longer burns.

Perhaps the best thing going for the Kuuma Vapor-Fire 100 is that, according to the EPA testing data, it’s the cleanest-burning furnace on the market today. EPA-certified furnaces are ultra-clean by necessity, but the Vapor-Fire takes it to another level.

It boasts an emissions rate of just 0.1 pounds of material per million BTUs at a 76% efficiency rating. It also puts off the least carbon monoxide of any furnace on this list at 1.46 grams per minute.

So what’s the catch?

The price, for one thing. At the time of writing, a Kuuma Vapor-Fire 100 will set you back $7,895, nearly double the next-priciest furnace on the list, the Drolet Heat Commander.

The Vapor-Fire also claims the lowest maximum heat delivered on this list at around 33,700 BTUs according to the EPA data. At 675 pounds, it’s also the heaviest furnace by 70 pounds, so getting it into your house for installation may prove challenging.

Still, with these caveats aside, the Kuuma Vapor-Fire 100 is about as good as a wood burning furnace gets. From a company based in chilly Minnesota, we’d expect nothing less.

HY-C Fire Chief FC1000E

A Fire Chief FC1000E wood burning furnace on a white background

The Fire Chief FC1000E at a glance:

  • Firebox Volume: 3.4 cubic feet
  • Efficiency Rating: 70%
  • Maximum Heat Delivered: 46,435 BTUs
  • Average Price: $3,100

Rounding out the list of the 4 best wood burning furnaces is the Fire Chief FC1000E. Each Fire Chief furnace is made in the USA, right at our headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. The folks who make these furnaces have been making them for years, and they pack all of that experience into each and every weld.

The FC1000E is also engineered to be very easy to self-install. The electrical components require no professional electrical work. They come pre-wired, and all that’s required is to plug one component into the other. If you can plug something into a wall outlet, you can install the electrical components on a Fire Chief FC1000E.

The furnace comes with a built-in plenum for easy ductwork installation, too, and at just 435 pounds, it’s the lightest furnace on this list by 150 pounds, so getting it to the install location will be a (relative) breeze.

We’re certainly not so bold as to say our furnace doesn’t have caveats or that other furnaces on this list don’t do some things a bit better than ours. For instance, the FC1000E’s firebox is the smallest on the list at just 3.4 cubic feet. That means you may have to load it more often than the others.

Also, its 70% efficiency rating, while high enough to pass EPA certification, is tied with the US Stove Hot Blast HB1520 for lowest on the list by the EPA’s testing data. It also has the highest emission rate on the list at 0.14 pounds of material per million BTUs.

Still, the upsides include this furnace’s price, quality, and its made-in-USA construction. We’re up against some stiff competition in the furnace market, and that pushes all of us manufacturers to work hard to make better furnaces for you.

Which Wood Burning Furnace Should You Get?

Before now, you probably had little insight into the current state of the wood burning furnace market. You may have been wondering on which merits to compare furnaces, or even which options are available to homeowners today.

By now, though, we’ve taken a good look at four industry-leading wood burning furnaces and compared them on their efficiency, their prices, their heat delivery capabilities, and more.

So — which one should you get?

It really all depends on what you’re looking for out of your furnace. Do you prefer something manufactured domestically, or are you okay with buying an overseas product for a bit less money?

Are you most concerned about heat delivery? Do you want best-in-class efficiency out of your furnace? Or do you want the biggest possible firebox so you can set your fire and let it burn for the longest period possible?

To end up with your perfect furnace, consider the aspects that are most important to you and choose the one that fits them best. If you’re still unsure, take a look at our more granular comparison between the Fire Chief FC1000E and the Hot Blast HB1520. It should give you an even better idea of what to look for when comparing furnaces and help you narrow your search even further.

And if you feel like you want to give a Fire Chief FC1000E a try, our Fire Chief furnace store locator will help you to find a retail location near you.

Fire Chief FC1000E vs. Hot Blast HB1520 CTA