You can stoke the fire with a fire poker. This means that by moving the poker in the fire, there is more space created between the logs, so that the flames get more oxygen and burn better. As a result, the wood burns better, and less ash remains. The fire also produces less smoke and therefore fewer particulates.
In addition, it is possible to slightly shift the logs with a fireplace poker, but in principle that works better with fireplace tongs.
Do I need a fireplace poker?
A fire poker is a handy tool for poking into the fire in an easy way. Whether you really need a poker depends on which other fireplace tools you have. You mainly see pokers in England and in the Netherlands. They fit well in combination with English or Dutch tongs. Both types of tongs have a hinge, so that you can easily move wood with them, but that also makes it less easy for you to poke in the fire with the tongs. In addition to these tongs, you therefore need a poker. In England and the Netherlands, you will see many complete fireplace sets with matching tongs, poker and shovel. The French tongs, on the other hand, have no hinge and are therefore much stiffer. With the French tongs, you can easily poke in the fire. You therefore see few pokers in France. A French fireplace set usually consists of fireplace tongs and a fireplace shovel.
Another option for poking is to use the blowpipe. You use a blowpipe both to blow air into the fire and to poke in the fire. It is a functional instrument that works very well but is used surprisingly little. You do not see many antique versions, which makes them relatively expensive.
The poker is placed directly next to the fireplace, within arm's reach. The poker also has a decorative function, because it is visible by the fireplace.
Types of fire pokers
As mentioned, there are different types of fireplace pokers. On our site, you will only find decorative, antique fireplace pokers that are hand-forged. The choice consists of three types of fire pokers:
The English fire poker
The English poker is often large and beautifully made. English pokers are decorative and well-forged, showing real craftsmanship. Many high-end English fire pokers are made from polished steel or polished brass. They often look stunningly beautiful. English pokers can be purchased separately or as part of a matching fireplace set. An English fireplace set usually consists of tongs, a poker and a fireplace shovel.
The Dutch fire poker
The Dutch poker is often not as large, lighter in weight, and less elegant than the English version. They usually have a more rustic, simpler appearance, but they are nevertheless nicely forged. Dutch pokers may have a hook at the end to stir the fire more easily and for pulling wood towards you. Dutch pokers are often made of wrought iron, brass or wrought iron with brass details. The Dutch pokers can be purchased separately or as part of a fireplace set.
The French fireplace poker
Originally, you did not see many pokers in France. A French fireplace set generally consists of tongs and a shovel. French tongs are, because they have no hinges and are stiff, also very suitable for use as a poker. The French pokers that are available are often made of wrought iron and have a robust, rustic appearance. Although the length of the pokers varies, the French pokers are often on the large side.
Note the required length of the fire poker
The bigger the fire and the bigger the fireplace, the bigger the poker needed. French pokers come in all sizes. English pokers are often large, and Dutch pokers are often small.
How do I use a fire poker?
The fire poker can in principle be handled with one hand. The poker is especially suitable for stirring the fire and not for shifting (large) logs. The poker gives you insufficient control over the logs, and they can then move unpredictably. This can lead to dangerous situations. Use the fireplace tongs as much as possible to move the logs. It is important to keep a sufficient distance from the fire.
How do I store my fireplace poker?
The storage method depends on the type of poker. Smaller pokers, such as the Dutch poker, are often hung on an (antique) rack on the side of the fireplace. Larger pokers (such as the French and English poker) are usually placed in the corner of the hearth or in the log holder. A good option is to place the poker in a stand together with other fireplace tools. A stand has a number of advantages. The tray of the stand is intended to catch the ashes from the fireplace tools. Fireplace tools leaning against a wall often fall over. They are well secured in the stand and yet easy to grasp. It is really a matter of taste. With a rustic fireplace, it may be nice to casually place the fireplace tools next to the fireplace. With a classic fireplace, a stand with fireplace tools, especially if the style matches that of the fireplace, is often beautiful.
Craftsmanship you seldom see anymore
Although it is a simple utensil, the antique fireplace poker is often a masterpiece of craftsmanship. Forging the poker requires a lot of time, and it requires creativity that is rarely seen in these kinds of objects today. That applies to the simple pokers but is even more so the case for the more complicated decorative pokers such as the English poker. Antique pokers have proved their worth for a long time. They are therefore stronger than new pokers. And they can last a long time.
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