The 10 Best Firewood Racks
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in June of 2015. Stack, store, and protect your logs and kindling from rot, rodents, insects, and the elements during the cold winter months with one of these handy firewood holders. Our selection includes racks constructed from sturdy steel with durable, powder-coated frames for outdoor use, as well as lightweight designs that are attractive and sized for a living room, patio, or deck. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 06, 2021:
They say that harvesting firewood warms you up 5 times: felling it, chopping it, hauling, splitting it, and the burning it. There's a sixth step in there, though, that doesn't always get mentioned, and that's stacking it. You have to stack your firewood well after splitting to help it finish drying and curing and to prevent moisture, pests, and other annoyances to take hold. The Plow & Hearth Heavy Duty is one of the best simply because it's so durable, while the cover on the Woodhaven 5 Foot makes it suitable for a wide range of locations. One other thing worth mentioning is that our previous recommendations are still popular, effective, and readily available.
May 06, 2020:
Although storing firewood indoors is a popular practice, for both convenience and decorative purposes, doing so can invite bugs into your home. To avoid this, only bring seasoned wood indoors, and don't plan on using your living room, garage, or basement for storage that lasts longer than a few days. In fact, many experts suggest that you store a wood pile at least 20 to 30 feet from your home, which will stop creepy crawlies from getting too close. We've kept large racks that will allow you to do just that, as well as attractive, smaller models for keeping wood on-hand for the short term.
As for outdoor choices, the Woodhaven 5 Foot remains a great value, even though it is slightly pricier than similarly sized choices. It's made to high quality standards, which makes it a cinch to assemble and durable enough for the long term. A budget-friendly alternative, although it is perhaps a little less durable, is the Sunnydaze 4-Foot. It can hold a half of a face-cord, which is roughly equal to between a fourth and a third of a full cord. If your needs are bigger, consider the ShelterLogic Adjustable, a 12-foot model that's rated for up to 1,100 pounds.
For indoor or patio use, perhaps for keeping wood handy for your fire pit, there's the Plow & Hearth Heavy Duty and the Enclume Modern. The latter has built-in storage that keeps your accessories handy, but it's also quite a bit more expensive than the former. Portability is important, too, which is why we've added the Patio Watcher Folding. It can't hold a lot, but it won't take up too much space in your garage or basement when it's not in use. The Amagabeli Wrought Iron folds, too, and has a more decorative look; unfortunately, though, it isn't as robust as some, so plan to treat it gently.
Plow & Hearth Pine Box Not everyone likes the look of exposed firewood; for those who do not, there's the Plow & Hearth Pine Box, which comes in plenty of colors to match your living room decor. It is large enough to comfortably hold 16-inch-long pieces, but not so big that it will dominate the entire room. plowhearth.com
Jeffers Firewood Storage Rack If you can stomach the high price, the Jeffers Firewood Storage Rack will provide a modern, industrial feel with its circular construction and exposed fasteners. It has four legs, but stands on a base, so you can expect it to feel sturdy and stable. vineyarddecorators.com
Woodhaven 8-Foot Crescent Many outdoor choices are plain, but not the Woodhaven 8-Foot Crescent. The elegant shape has a sleek appeal that mundane square racks can't match, and it's just as sturdy as it is attractive thanks to a powder-coat finish and stainless steel hardware. thewoodhaven.com
Choosing The Right Firewood Rack
This is a fine arrangement for wood stored on a patio, porch, or deck, but if the rack sits directly on the ground, then you need a unit with a metal base.
In order to store firewood properly, it's imperative that you do so using a good firewood rack. Having ready access to dry, clean firewood is a luxury many of us enjoy during the autumn and winter months when a crackling fire makes a house feel cozier and more inviting. For many people, firewood may be the primary means of warming one's home. While the term wood pile is often used to describe a supply of logs, any wood simply left in a pile will soon rot and mold to the point at which it can no longer serve as decent fuel for a fire.
Firewood racks can be divided into both indoor and outdoor categories. Depending on which of these two types of rack you need, there are many factors to be weighed as you make your decision.
From an outdoor perspective, the first consideration one must make is regarding overall capacity. If you intend to store a cord of wood that you will use to keep your wood burning furnace running throughout the winter, then you need a large, rugged firewood rack that can accommodate a massive number of logs. Overloading a rack can cause your wood to topple over and end up on potentially wet or muddy ground, which will soon ruin the logs. Invest in a rack that is large enough hold your store of wood without the logs being stacked above its sides. For a truly immense wood pile, you might need multiple racks.
Next, consider the outdoor location in which you will store the wood. Some firewood racks use wooden beams as their base. This is a fine arrangement for wood stored on a patio, porch, or deck, but if the rack sits directly on the ground, then you need a unit with a metal base. Otherwise, the boards comprising the rack itself may end up rotting. Also worth considering is a firewood rack that comes with a cover, as the cover included with a rack will fit better than any tarp. If you do cover your wood pile with a tarp, make sure to secure it with rope, bungee cords, or with weight placed at the top of the tarp. Finally, make sure you choose a rack that has a rust-resistant finish, which is usually achieved through powder coating.
For an indoor wood rack, aesthetics will often play as large a role as functionality. In fact, many indoor firewood racks are loaded with carefully-selected logs that are then left in place all season long as decorations. Whether or not this is your plan for your rack, make sure you first consider where the unit will sit before you fall in love with a given option. If a firewood rack is going to be a temporary part of your den or living room decor, you need a unit that fits the space without taking up too much real estate in the room.
Consider the type of flooring on which the firewood rack will sit. Some units have long, flat bars at their base, and these exert minimal pressure on the floor; others have individual feet that could potentially scratch a wooden or tile floor.
A Few Words On Chopping Firewood
If you purchase pre-seasoned or pre-split firewood, then your only responsibility for its maintenance is to keep it dry and exposed to some decent airflow. If you split your own wood or you'd like to start doing so, the easiest way to accomplish this is to use an electric log splitter. These powerful devices can make short work of even the thickest sections of hardwood, saving your back and shoulders the strain of splitting wood. If you're going to chop firewood by hand, make sure you have a good maul (the proper name for an axe used to split wood), a wedge, and potentially a sledgehammer to drive said wedge home.
It can be relatively easy to chop thick logs (or whole sections of trunk) into firewood as long as you work around the edges, chopping away logs from the larger piece of wood before you begin to split the heartwood near the middle of the trunk. Once you begin to work on the central section of a large log, or if you are getting bogged down with the outer sections, make an initial chop with the maul, then tap the wedge down using a sledgehammer or the back of your axe. As you swing either implement, stand with your feet and shoulders squared off against the wood, as this stance gives you the most power and control.
Laying The Perfect Fire
Creating a perfect fire for your fireplace or wood burning stove takes only a few simple steps. The first is to clean out ashes and partially burned wood left by older fires. A clean fireplace works better, allowing for ideal airflow, even heat distribution, and seamless regular maintenance.
A clean fireplace works better, allowing for ideal airflow, even heat distribution, and seamless regular maintenance.
Next, make sure the flue is open and check the draft by lighting a match and seeing if its smoke goes up into the chimney. If not, first try simply leaving the fireplace open for a while, allowing it to warm to room temperature. Also, consider lighting a candle in the fireplace -- this will produce heat that might start a draft but will let off minimal smoke.
For a novel approach to making a fire that won't produce a glut of smoke, consider laying a so-called upside down fire. This arrangement places larger logs on the bottom of the pile, with space left between them for embers to settle. Lay plentiful kindling and moderately sized wood atop these large logs and set the pile alight. If the wood is properly seasoned, the heat and embers produced by the kindling will soon catch the large logs, and the smoke will not have had to creep around them to go up and out the chimney.