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What Are the Best Types of Firewood for Wood-Burning Stoves?

Oct 2017

Just moved into a new house with a beautiful, wood-burning stove? Or perhaps you have been listening to the crackle of firewood for years, but you are wondering if you are selecting the best types of firewood for your wood-burning stove?

Either way, we have put together a wee checklist to help you decide what type of wood suits you and your lifestyle best! Now that we’re coming into winter and the temperature is dropping, it’s time to wrap up warm and get the fire on.

If you already know what you want, then head straight on over to our friends at Clydesdale Logs to order your winter fuel.


1. The Best Types of Firewood are Light


Don’t buy firewood by weight. Always go by volume.


Because dry, or seasoned wood, as it is known, is lighter than wet, or green, wood. If you have two logs the same size, but one is heavier than the other, then it most likely contains water which is making up the excess weight.

Water prevents wood from burning cleanly, so green wood is less efficient and effective than burning seasoned wood.


best types of firewood


2. Your Firewood Should Be Seasoned


We don’t mean with salt and pepper!

Following on from our last point about the water content of your wood, we’ll explain how to get that lighter, dryer wood which burns well. If you buy your wood seasoned, it means it has already been left to dry naturally, usually for at least a year. Very often, the wood will also have been kiln-dried in order to produce a better quality burn.

If you choose to buy unseasoned wood, then make sure you have somewhere to store it and that you can actually wait a year before burning it. You’ll need some seasoned wood on hand to get you through this winter!


3. Not Sure? Knock on Wood!


If you don’t have access to a means of measuring the actual moisture content of your wood, then you can actually get an idea of how damp it is by knocking two logs together. If the logs almost sound hollow, then they are pretty dry.

If it is more of a dull, clunking sound, then it sounds like your wood might still be too damp to use.


best types of firewood - wood burning stove


4. Hardwood or Softwood?


Hardwood refers to wood from trees such as oak, maple sycamore, birch, beech and cherry. These trees are generally deciduous, and they lose their leaves in the winter. This means they take longer to grow and the wood they produce is more dense as a result.

Softwood are conifers, such as cypress, fir, pine or cedar. They can grow faster than deciduous trees, meaning that their wood is less dense.

Generally speaking, this means that hardwoods burn more efficiently, and this group includes the best types of firewood for wood burning stoves. However, it is also more expensive. If you rely on your stove a lot, then you might consider going for a hardwood as you will not have to fill the fire so frequently.

However, if you are just using your stove occasionally in the winter, a softwood tends to have a lovely crackle and scent of sap.


5. Which Firewood Smells Best?


This is, of course, a very personal question! If you are hoping for a particularly fragrant fire on christmas morning this year, then there are a few options that you might like to try.

In the softwoods, pine is a favourite. If you are partial to a pine scented candle then why not get yourself the real thing this year?

In the hardwoods: yew, apple and cherry boast fragrant scents and longer burn times.

Which one will you pick? Has this guide helped you to choose a firewood? Let us know in the comments, and check out Clydesdale Logs if you think that a perfectly dried, hardwood is just the thing for your stove!

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