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Fire Pit Buyer's Guide

Fire Pit Buyer's Guide

Fire pits are excellent outdoor features to own. They provide warmth and act as centerpieces for social gatherings. If you’re considering investing in one, you may be overwhelmed by all of the choices available. Here is a buying guide to help you look at all the options and narrow down the selections, so you can pick the perfect fire pit for your home.

Size

First, you must decide what you want from your fire pit. Are you looking for a permanent feature or something more portable for trips? Fire pits can be large, permanent elements in your outdoor space or they can be smaller, foldable accessories which you take camping—or any size in-between.

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  • Large fire pits can obviously hold more wood therefore creating a bigger fire, but do you have the means to clean it or empty the ashes?  Also, if you intend on moving it often, it might become somewhat of a pain.  Think carefully before purchasing a fire pit over 3 foot wide, because when it comes down to it, fire pits are supposed to be enjoyable, not a hassle.
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  • Mid-size fire pits are the most common size because of their maneuverability, cost and convenience.  They are typically anywhere from 30 to 36 inches wide and will hold a decent amount of wood.  Most styles in this category have stands that make cleaning and disposing of ashes easy.  Since they are so common, you can find numerous styles and types within this medium size.  
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  • Small and portable fire pits are made with the intent to be moved around often.  Perhaps, you'd like to have a fire pit that you can bring camping or to a friends house.  Some of these smaller fire pits even have fold-able legs and carrying cases for convenient transporting.  You can also find portable fire pits with wheels for easy ash cleanup and transport.

 


Materials

Perhaps the most important element when deciding on your perfect fire pit is the materials used to construct it.  The materials not only equate to durability, but also style.  Depending on your needs/wants and your style preference, the prominent component of your fire pit will have a huge impact.

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  • Steel fire pits consist of a wide variety of models that vary in price and quality.  Steel is a great material because it can be easily molded into any shape imaginable.  However, unprotected steel does rust over time so be sure to purchase one that is powder coated or be aware of the physical changes that your fire pit may endure over time.  The high-end models are usually handmade by a steel artisan and are extremely unique while the less expensive models are very common and come in many styles and sizes.

check out some steel fire pits here>>

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  • Tile and stone fire pits are very unique and artistic.  They are made with a solid steel frame and mesh body.  The tiles, rocks or bricks are then applied to the mesh body using standard masonry procedures.  These rock fire pits are generally very heavy so frequent movement is not recommended.

check out some brick fire pits here>>

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  • Copper is the cream of the crop when it comes to fire pits.  They will not rust, in fact most fire pits made from copper develop a desirable patina over years of use.  Copper can be molded into ultimately any shape and will last forever.  Copper products do tend to be on the expensive side, but the cost is worth it in the long run.

check out some copper fire pits here>>

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  • Cast Iron is one of the most common materials used in construction with fire pits being no different.  Cast iron is inexpensive, easy to work with, and light enough to move around when needed.  Cast iron is not as strong as wrought iron nor as heavy, but to some the lightweight nature of cast iron is desirable.

check out some cast iron fire pits here>>

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  • Stainless Steel fire pits come with all the great features of stainless steel including, a rust free, durable material that will stay looking great for years with proper maintenance of course.  Many people like the industrial look of stainless as well the functionality.  Unfortunately, stainless steel fire pits are rare an only come in very few styles due to the price of stainless these days.

check out some stainless steel fire pits here>>

 


Functions

You also want to consider what you want to use the fire pit for. Do you just want to enjoy an outdoor fire or do you also want to use it to cook food or act as furniture or décor?  Believe it or not, there are fire pits to accommodate for anything you may want or need.

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  • Grilling is as American as apple pie and having a fire pit that can double as a grill is extremely efficient.  Not to mention, food that is prepared over the open flame is so much more delicious.  Many of our fire pits come with a cooking grate but you can also buy one to fit a fire pit you already have.

check out cooking grates here>>

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  • Fire pit tables function in multiple ways.  They provide heat while relaxing in your outdoor area, they offer a great surface to place drinks when having an outdoor get together, and don't forget the dancing flames you can enjoy while sitting at the fire table. Fire pit tables range in size from conversation or coffee table height to dining or bar table height. With beautiful designs like mosaic tile, decorative glass, wrought iron and more, you can easily incorporate this kind of table into your outdoor furniture set.

check out some fire tables here>>

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  • Artistic fire pits are not make-believe.  In fact, there are metal artisans who design amazing works of art for the yard.  Each one is hand-crafted and one of a kind piece made from steel and designed to portray some kind of scene or abstract thought.

check out some artistic fire pits here>>

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  • A customized fire pit could be one of the coolest additions to your yard.  Picture having your family name etched into a fire pit with flames bouncing around it.  These fire pits are made from copper so they won't rust (more above) and they are fully customizable.  Perhaps you could personalize one for a special gift.

check out personalized fire pits here>>

 


Fuel Sources

There are three basic fuel sources you must decide between: wood, propane, and natural gas.  Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

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  • A wood burning fire pit is a cheaper investment and has the potential for bigger, hotter outdoor fires than a gas fire pit.  The downside is that some may find starting a fire from scratch difficult and frustrating. Also, you have to think about purchasing the wood, storing kindling, and disposing of the ash.

check out wood burning fire pits here>>

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  • The upside of a propane fire pit is that most propane fire pits come with a push-button ignition, so you can have an outdoor fire in seconds. There’s no messy by-product produced like embers or ash to dispose of, and you can control the height and intensity of the heat. The downside is that liquid propane fire pits will cost more, and you do have to replace the LP tank once it runs out. Also, the tank can be an eyesore, though many LP fire pits like the one here are designed with a base which will hide the  tank inside.

check out propane burning fire pits here>>

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  • Although natural gas fire pits are the most expensive, they are also the most practical and economical to run.  A gas line is run to your fire pit by a licensed professional, so you don’t have a huge tank disrupting the style of your outdoor area, and it has simple ignition and control. The downside is that the initial investment and installation of a gas fire pit can be quite a lot. But, it’s a cleaner fuel and more inexpensive than propane.

check out natural gas burning fire pits here>>

 


Brands

Whether you're purchasing a toaster or a TV, brands are part of your decision process.  Although brand name fire pits are often less known than Sony or Toshiba, there are some definite differences between manufacturers that consumers should know.  Below I have summarized some of the top brands in the fire pit industry.

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The Sunnydaze Decor brand is one of the newest outdoor living companies out there, but they are quickly making a splash.  They are always coming up with new and interesting designs, while keeping the prices lower than much of the competition.  They offer a great 1 year warranty on all of their products and they have great customer service.

check out the Sunnydaze brand here>>

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Uniflame has been in the fire pit business for a long time.  They are actually a subdivision of the Blue Rhino Company.  You might recognize Blue Rhino from their nationwide propane tank exchange system. They have a plethora of unique products ranging from wood burning steel fireplaces to gas fueled granite fire tables.  Because of Blue Rhino's history with natural gas and propane, many of their fire pits can be converted to work with either propane or natural gas.

check out the Uniflame brand here>>

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Landmann is one of the oldest names in the fireplace equipment industry with grills being their specialty.  Their fire pits range in styles and offer a nice variety of copper, steel and cast iron models.  Landmann Fire Pits are sturdy in construction and always get high reviews from consumers.

check out Landmann brand here>>

 

Author:

SerenityHealth Blog

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