What is the purpose of fireplace tools?
Fireplace tools always serve the following two purposes:
- Controlling the fire. That means to make fires that are too small bigger and to make fires that are too big smaller. Previously, when the fire was used for cooking, the height of the fire had to be adapted to the preparation of the dishes. Today, safety and sustainability are key factors for keeping a fire under control. Good fireplace utensils are important for preventing fire spread. In addition, a quietly burning fire produces the least particulates.
- Decorative function. An old and antique fireplace tool is often beautifully made and testifies to great craftsmanship. These artworks can beautify any hearth, including a gas fireplace, wood stove or a hearth that is not used.
What types of fireplace tools are there?
The names of the most essential fireplace tools in a fireplace tools set are the following:
- Fireplace tongs
- Fire poker
- Fireplace shovel
- Fireplace brush
- Bellows or blow poke
- And something to store the fireplace tool set
The tongs have the purpose of moving burning logs to control the fire. You must thus have a good grip on the wood. For large fires, the tongs must be long enough.
Learn more in our blog on fireplace tongs: Which fireplace tongs do I need?
The purpose of the poker is to poke in the fire and to shift wood so that more oxygen reaches the fire and the fire burns better. The poker must also be long enough for larger fires.
Learn more in our blog on fire pokers: Which fire poker do I need?
A shovel in intended for controlling the ash layer in the fireplace. Excess ash can be scooped away so that enough air can reach the wood, so that it can burn well. Do not remove all the ash; leave a layer in the fireplace. This serves as insulation against the cold of the floor. A fire will ignite faster in a warmer fireplace, creating a better draft in the fireplace. Decorative shovels often have holes for decoration. The ash does not fall through because the ash is flaky and sticks together.
Learn more in our blog on fireplace shovels: Which fireplace shovel do I need?
A fireplace brush has as its primary purpose to sweep the ashes blown out of the fireplace back into the fireplace. In addition, the brush is used to clean the fireplace when doing a thorough cleaning. The ashes are scooped out with a fireplace shovel, and then the fireplace is swept clean with a fireplace brush.
For fireplace brushes, the width of the brush and the shape of the brush (round or elongated) are particularly important. With smaller, round fireplace brushes, you can get into corners and holes better.
Bellows or a blow poke:
A bellows and blow poke (or blow poker) both serve to bring extra oxygen into the fire to enliven a smouldering fire. A blow poke, blow poker is the most effective way to stoke a fire after it has been burning for a while. Effective, because you can inject a concentrated blast of fresh air into the middle of the fire through the long pipe and the small hole. The advantage of a blow poke is thereby that you stay at a safe distance. Often, the blowpipe also serves as a poker. Incidentally, we sell few antique bellows because there are relatively few of them around and because quality is often a problem. This is almost never the case with the wrought-iron blow pokers.
Something to store the fireplace toolset
Often, the above fire tools are simply placed in the firewood basket or in or next to the hearth and do not have any separate storage. In addition, there are many ways to store the fireplace tool sets. They can be divided into hanging, laying and upright storage.
Hanging storage, hangers or hooks, are racks with hooks to hang a fireplace tool set. The hangers are screwed into the wall near the fireplace. They are especially suitable for a smaller fireplace tool set.
Laying storage, rests, consist of two short dogs on which the fireplace tool set can be laid. These are often placed on the floor in front of the hearth.
Upright storage, a stand, consists of a tray with a vertical bar and a horizontal crescent-shaped bar at the top. The stand has a number of advantages, namely that it is easy to place in a corner next to the hearth. The fireplace tool set is easy to reach. And the ash that sticks to the fireplace tool set after use falls into the tray and not on the floor.
How to choose fireplace tools?
Four factors play a role in the choice of the fireplace tools: material, size, shape and style.
A fireplace tool is almost always made of metal, usually brass, wrought iron and polished steel. A combination of these metals is also possible. A fireplace tool may have a wooden handle.
The length of a fireplace tool is highly determinative for the use. In principle, a smaller fireplace tool is sufficient for smaller fires, and a large fireplace tool for large fires. Of course, this is also a matter of taste. When searching, please pay attention to the specified measurements to avoid disappointments.
With tongs, there is a difference between the French tongs that have no hinge and must be bent open and the English and Dutch/Belgian tongs with hinges that open easily. The Dutch/Belgian tongs usually open the widest. The choice is also determined by personal preference. Tongs without a hinge are stiffer and can therefore have a good grip, but they are less easily opened than the tongs with a hinge. They also have a cooler look. In addition, they can also be used better as a poker than tongs with a hinge.
For pokers, in addition to the length, whether the poker has a hook or a small tip also plays a role. The hook has more grip on the burning wood, but it is a little less easy to poke into the fire than a straight poker. For wood stoves with a lid on top, there are pokers with a hook for opening the lid. These are often smaller pokers.
For shovels, the width and length of the shovel play a role. If you want to be able to remove a lot of ashes at the same time and have less need to reach small spaces, you may opt for a larger shovel. For that reason, some people have both a larger shovel and a smaller shovel.
The oldest fireplace tools we offer are from the 17th century. Fireplace tools are either fairly rustic, actually the Gothic style or a derivative of thereof, or they are more decorated. Then they typically match the styles of the fireplace and furniture. That may be Baroque (Louis XV and Georgian), Neoclassical (Louis XVI and Georgian III), Neo styles (Napoleon III and Victorian), Jugendstil/Art Deco and Modern.
The choice of whether or not to follow a style is very personal. It can be very nice to find fireplace tools in the style of the fireplace. It can also be nice, for example, to find a good balance between a fairly simple style of fireplace tools in combination with a decorated fireplace. Even if the chosen style or origin of the different fireplace tools differ from each other, the tools can form one beautiful whole.
Let us advise you
In our webshop, it is possible to select fireplace tools by type, material, style, size and origin. Should you have any doubts about your choice, feel free to call us (+31.653493998) or e-mail us: [email protected] to advise on the best fireplace tools for you.
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