The 10 Best Fireplace Tool Sets
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Whether you need them for maintenance and cleaning or you just want a decorative addition to your den or family room, one of these handsome fireplace tool sets will enhance the look of any hearth. They're a perfect example of form and function, and come in a variety of attractive finishes and designs that will complement any home, from a rustic cabin to a modern loft apartment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 06, 2020:
The Minuteman International WR-21-33 comes on board in this update, to replace the Minuteman International Plymouth. This new model comes with forged wrought iron tools that are covered in a black powder-coated finish. They’re made from square stock with handles that feature shepherd’s hook style loops, and will add a rustic touch to any den or family room. Included are a poker, a brush, a shovel, tongs, and the stand. Unlike some others, a replacement head is readily available for the broom, so your set can last even longer. Choose from among four heights, including a miniature set for tending woodstoves.
For a set that comes with two spots for holding firewood, look to the Pinty Sling Rack, which is handmade by artisans and features solid metal with an attractive matte finish. It’s easy to put together in just a few minutes, and is relatively lightweight at less than 16 pounds, with the tools included. It replaces the Pinty Heavy Duty on our list, which is unavailable at this time.
We moved the Panacea Scroll into the top spot in our selection, as it nicely combines form and function, with a brushed bronze finish and decorative details on the 33-inch stand and the hooks. Unlike many, this one requires absolutely no assembly. The finish is randomly brushed, which gives it a custom look, and no two sets are alike. It’s a durable set, with stable legs and strong hooks for holding each of the tools, which include a brush, a poker, a shovel, and tongs.
If you’re also in the market for other fireplace accessories, check out our list of best fireplace grates, which serve as sturdy racks on which to burn logs or coal, and they come in many attractive styles and finishes.
For safety's sake, keep fireplace tools and accessories out of the reach of young children. Always supervise your child when you have a fire burning, and never leave a fire unattended. Install a fireplace safety screen to create a barrier that prevents direct contact with hot glass.
Hand-Forged Amish Fireplace Tools Handcrafted by Amish farmers, these 1/4-inch-thick carbon steel tools include an ash shovel, heavyweight log tongs, and a durable poker. Their hefty construction makes them well suited for an indoor fireplace or an outdoor fire pit. They’re made in Madison, Virginia, and designed to provide many years of use. plowhearth.com
Leather Rivet Hearth Tool Set Designed by San Francisco blacksmith Jefferson Mack, this collection draws on traditional English metalwork using old-world techniques. The brush, shovel, rake, and poker feature decorative scrolls, arches, and oversized rivets, and they hang from a handsome, matching stand. Made from hand-forged iron and joined with hammered steel rivets, each piece is one-of-a-kind. restorationhardware.com
Form and Function: Choosing The Right Fireplace Tools
In most cases your fireplace accessories should involve a more complete set comprised of tongs, a poker, a brush, and a shovel.
There are few items in the home that play a role so equally balanced between appearance and functionality as the fireplace tools perched by the hearth. In the late spring, summer, and the early fall, the set will sit untouched if not even put away and out of sight until the cold returns. During the late autumn and throughout the winter, however, many homes see their tongs, poker, shovel, and ash brush used daily.
This presents something of a dilemma for many consumers. Decorative items are picked, by definition, based on how they look; tools are generally selected with little or no thought of appearance, but rather based on how well they help complete specific tasks.
Even if you think your home will only have a few fires a season, safety and convenience still merit the owning of a good set of fireplace tools. This means, at the minimum, owning a reliable pair of fireplace tongs as you must have a way to move around burning logs. In most cases your fireplace accessories should involve a more complete set comprised of tongs, a poker, a brush, and a shovel. A stand will also come included in any set worth considering.
In an ironic twist, tools selected primarily for their looks may well be those that lose their aesthetic appeal the most quickly and completely: a set of shiny brass hearth accessories will look lovely for a season or longer, but will eventually take on a tarnished patina as the metal's luster fades. Some people may love the antique look of aged brass, but many will bemoan how dramatically the appearance of their fireplace tools has changed over time. Copper lacks the bright shine of polished metals, so the change in its appearance that aging brings is more subtle, but it too will darken and take on new coloration with time. Again, the look of aged copper will be adored by some, lamented by others. And of course the more heavily used a given tool is, the more quickly it will age based on the oils on skin, the exposure to ash, soot, and heat, and the more frequent cleaning necessitated by more frequent use.
Wrought iron, on the other hand, will never change its color or appearance even with age or use, provided you take the time to clean its surface on occasion, preventing rust. The continuity of appearance and the simple strength of this trusted metal has long established its place as the standard-bearer for use in making fireplace tools.
If you will likely use your tools as often as you admire their appearance, it is best to consider a set made from iron (or a black powder-coated set made from another material but that offers the same appearance and resistance to corrosion). If you are selecting fireplace tools primarily for their looks, then another metal should serve well for several years at least, especially if they will be stored away in most seasons.
Proper Fireplace Cleaning
As with fireplace tools, so too with the fireplace itself: looks and function are not cleanly related. In fact, while a perfectly clean fireplace may be ideal for staging a home prior to sale or sprucing it up prior to an open house, that spic and span fireplace might not work well when it's time to have an actual fire.
This helps these first embers burn more slowly and steadily, creating a base of heat that will lead to a more evenly-burning and less smoky fire.
A clean, ash-free fireplace looks great, but it actually won't serve you as well as a fireplace with a bed of old ashes. When you have an inch or two of ash built up under the grate holding the logs and kindling, the falling embers have a ready-made bed into which they can settle. This helps these first embers burn more slowly and steadily, creating a base of heat that will lead to a more evenly-burning and less smoky fire.
But of course ashes pile up quickly if you have regular fires, and they must be removed from time to time; the same goes for those old partially-burnt chunks of log left behind after previous fires. To clean a fireplace for regular maintenance, first remove the grate and any large pieces of charred debris (these should be discarded unless there is still clearly useful wood visible). Then use the shovel and broom that came with your fireplace tool set to remove most of the ash, spreading a thin layer underneath the area where the grate sits. For heavily-used fireplaces, burn a creosote sweeping log several times during the season while the firebox (the actual area where a fire is set) is relatively clean.
Unless you need a remarkably clean hearth for purposes of staging, that is all you need to do to clean the fireplace. To clean the soot and grime off of the bricks (or tile or metal) inside the firebox, consider a mixture of warm water and baking soda, or buy a purpose-built cleaning product, and use a stiff brush.
Other Fireplace Accessories Worth Consideration
With a good set of fireplace tools, you will be ready to set, maintain, and clean up after fires all season long. But that doesn't mean your enjoyment of that fireplace can't be made even easier and more convenient with a few other fine implements.
Finally, if you have children in the home, consider installing a hearth guard on the edge of the stone or brick that lines the fireplace.
An ash vacuum might seem a luxury at first, but these powerful devices can save you so much time during a deep cleaning of the firebox that after a season of regular fires, you will wonder how you ever lived without one. Many can even be safely used when there are still hot embers in the fireplace, but be sure to fully read through the safety instructions that come with the device.
A cloth log carrier allows you to safely and cleanly carry more wood than you could hope to do with your arms alone, and a wood rack perched near the fireplace makes it easier to keep feeding logs into the flames and also keeps the mess caused by wood debris in one specific area.
Finally, if you have children in the home, consider installing a hearth guard on the edge of the stone or brick that lines the fireplace. This will prevent potentially serious bumps or scrapes caused by the hard corners, and can prevent burns as well.