Fatwood vs kiln dried starter wood vs ... for a wood burner stove ???

Phillyman

New Member
Dec 19, 2018
8
Philadelphia
Hi all,

I’ve probably started my fires sacrilegiously with newspaper and some sticks from my yard.
I went to my local hardware store and saw different types of starter sticks/words. What do you use? The most common versions seem to be either ”fatwood” or “kiln dried“ ? Is there anything else I should look for? If possible I’d like something sustainably forested.

thanks for the insight,
Philly
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,396
Iowa
Super Cedars brand fire starters. 1/4 of a puck is enough for me each start. Many satisfied users here on this site. You wont mess with kindling/paper yada yada yada again. These can be purchased direct or online from a few distributers. Believe my last order went through Wally Mart online. Take a look and research these here using the search function.

 

Rickb

Minister of Fire
Oct 24, 2012
1,075
St.Louis
+1 on the super cedars. I use them on my charcoal grill now too.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,396
Iowa
+1 on the super cedars. I use them on my charcoal grill now too.
Now that's a new use I had not considered! Interesting. I am still using the newspaper and chimnea on coals. Have not bought lighter fluid in years.
 

Wildwoods

New Member
Feb 13, 2020
25
South Jersey
I save all the little peices from splitting, throw them in a bucket then lay them out on one of my wood piles. They season really quickly and use them as a base for my fire. Super cedar next, I can break that puck up to about 10-15 fires if you use dry enough wood. Propane torch works great too, and man do they last.
 

NickW

Feeling the Heat
Oct 16, 2019
270
SE WI
I still use paper & kindling. Both are free. I save any kindling size scraps and bark from processing and hauling. A few chunks of bark on top of 3 or 4 chunks of softwood really gets the temp up for shoulder season, then burns out quickly.
 

MoDoug

Burning Hunk
Feb 3, 2018
136
NE Missouri
Recycled paper egg carton brand home made fire starters with recycled Christmas candles and sustainably grown naturally squirrel propagated handsawn wild red oak tree sawdust.
I have a lot of homemade fire starters dipped in wax that I use for outdoor fires, but I've been hesitant to use them in the stove because I wasn't sure the wax residue was good for the chimney pipe. Just curious if there are any opinions on that? I have a propane torch, and I have also used fat wood. I cut the fatwood in half and stretch a bag out for most of the season.
 

agonyzhou

New Member
Nov 29, 2019
64
Maryland
Paper towel soaked in used cooking oil. One ball if you have some kindling. 3 to 4 if not.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,988
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
All those Boy Scout, hobby methods are fun and good to have more than one way but when you’re doing th is a lot for heat you need to work smart. Finger trigger ignition, instant off, refillable for fifty cents, canister lasts most of the year. Can also warm your flue and toast your muffins with it.


2DC32E93-FC7F-4D0D-B199-01272CAA6EBA.jpeg
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,988
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I take some splits .. cut them in half .. to 9in long. put them through the splitter so there like 1.5 in squares... Unlimited supply of fire starters..
Me too, I call it kindling, but they don’t start themselves. That’s where the torch comes in. I’m getting kind of low on supply. I’ll fill that whole hoop and only use 4 to start each fire.
0F1919D5-71F1-4C63-9B09-01925C263378.jpeg
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,629
Northern NH
I just save up boxes and when I am running the splitter to replit dry wood, I just fill up a few boxes of small splits and set them aside. With my bottom grate boiler, some uncoated newspaper under the grates, a couple pieces of cardboard on the center of the grate and 3 of these small splits with 3 to 4" splits on top piled randomly to allow airflow and its roaring in about 3 minutes.
 
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fvhowler

Member
May 4, 2018
49
Heart of NC
I use my own resources. My property has plenty of light wood, splitting my own wood creates lots of scrap and the mailman brings me plenty of paper so that's my ingredients for starting a fire. I have purchased Rutland Safe Light and they work too but generally use what I have around the house.
 

saydinli

Burning Hunk
Nov 6, 2016
248
Near Fergus Ontario
I use these along with some kindling if needed. Cheap and a box of 60 will last a whole burn season.

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David.Ervin

Feeling the Heat
Jan 17, 2014
276
O-H
I've got a bag of fatwood sticks, and I'd really hesitate to use them indoors. In the fire pit, they burn phenomenally well and start with a lighter, but they emit a LOT of black smoke while they're burning. I'd think that kind of tary smoke would soot up my glass and might really stink up the house if it puffed back inside.

Generally, I tear up one of my kid's used cereal boxes, top it with some scraps from the wood shop, and hit it with a lighter.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,221
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I use whatever I have . . . Super Cedars are top notch, but I am pretty cheap -- I still have a bunch of pucks that I split up in chunks from time to time. I was given some Rutland fire starters which I have used in the past. Mostly I just use some of my old cedar shingles which came off my garage when we had it sided with vinyl (been burning these now for a few years) and then I add in a few sheets of crumpled up newspaper (I am particular about what newspaper though since The Weekly newspaper we get at work tends to burn better due to less clay content I am guessing). It's not Rocket science . . . in fact . . . it's so simple a Caveman could do it.
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,221
Unity/Bangor, Maine
All those Boy Scout, hobby methods are fun and good to have more than one way but when you’re doing th is a lot for heat you need to work smart. Finger trigger ignition, instant off, refillable for fifty cents, canister lasts most of the year. Can also warm your flue and toast your muffins with it.


View attachment 266881
Those are some exquisite hands . . . have you ever done any hand modeling? :)
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
814
Rochester NY
I'm not a huge super cedar fan, yes they work as intended but they are messy especially when you have to cut them into quarters and no matter what firestarter I've bought I always cringe at the thought of BUYING them. I do what's already mentioned above - save paper egg cartons, fill with old chainsaw chips and dump wax over it. They burn quite a while, just as good as any of the store bought stuff.

I also use pallet wood for kindling, pretty much get unlimited supplies of that at work but there's always companies trying to get rid of pallets for free.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,988
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Those are some exquisite hands . . . have you ever done any hand modeling? :)
None that paid me yet! Plenty of Xrays though. I've definitely damaged them over the years with severed nerves and partial numbness in at least one finger on each side. Had nails sewn back on to try and reform the shape. Stuff like that.