Fire Pit Tongs and Pokers
Keep your fires burning strong with the proper tools. Discover tips for choosing well-made, safe fire pit tongs and pokers
Building a fire isn’t all you need to do to have fun with your backyard fire pit. A key part of fun is burning safely, and the best way to do that is to have the right tools on hand. A good pair of fire pit tongs is one of the most important tools you can get for a wood-burning fire pit. A quality poker is the other. These two items help ensure safe fires and can prevent a host of accidents.
A common reason that fire departments get called to backyard fires is due to burns. Someone tending the fire reaches over the flames to add or adjust a log, and suddenly discover their clothing has ignited. Avoid this pitfall by using fire pit tongs to stock and shift logs in a fire.
Most fire pit tool sets include a pair of fire pit tongs. The design varies greatly depending on the manufacturer, but the job they perform does not. Tongs are responsible for grabbing logs and shifting them. The logs may already be burning in a hot fire and need adjusted to maximize continued burning and heat production. Or they may be ones you have just tossed onto a blazing fire that need moved further into the flames.
Most tongs have a design that allows them to grab a log firmly. The end of the tool may have a claw, scissor-shape, or two- or three-pronged grabber design. A quality pair of fire pit tongs should allow you to grasp and maneuver logs easily. They should also offer insulated handles, such as rubber or wood, so you won’t burn yourself while handling the tool.
Fire pit tongs are usually longer than those sold in fireplace tool sets. Look for handles that are anywhere from 30 to 50 inches long. Construction should feature a fire-resistant material, like cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum, or powder coated tubular steel. Cast iron tongs are the heaviest; aluminum is the lightest.
Choose the material that best suits your grip and strength. Also consider that if you plan to take your fire pit tongs camping or to picnics, you want a lightweight pair for easy carrying. Quality tongs feature heavy welds and possibly repair or lifetime guarantees. Some have hanging loops crafted into the design to permit easy storage.
A fire pit poker is another invaluable tool for keeping a fire burning longer and stronger. This long-handled tool is perfect for rearranging logs in a fire or breaking one that’s burned through. Many homeowners think that using a long stick works efficiently for stoking embers and shifting logs, but firefighters disagree. Many accidents occur from using too-short or too-weak sticks to tend a fire. Worst case scenario, the fire tender tumbles into the fire when the stick breaks. A lesser issue is when a fire-poking stick pushes splinters into unsuspecting fingers. Avoid either situation by purchasing a well-made fire pit poker.
Construction should be a fire-resistant material, such as stainless steel, powder coated rolled steel, or cast iron. The end of a fire pit poker should have a hook or claw-type prong near the tip. Look for a length from 24 to 60 inches. Choose the right length for your fire pit design. Also, if you can find it, select a fire pit poker with insulated handles.