It's a satisfying feeling to see flames dance across fresh cut logs in your fireplace - especially if getting those logs lit was a quick and easy chore. Those of us that burn wood, though, know that building a good fire can take time, patience, and a lot of kindling. Fireplace log lighters can be a convenient alternative to the classic fire starting practices. We've compiled a list of the pros and cons of log lighters to let you be the judge if one is right for you.
Pro #1: The Prep
No twisting, crumpling, and stuffing papers between logs.
No splitting slivers of wood from your logs for kindling.
No need to make little fire starters from dryer lint and candle wax.
Con #1: The Prep
In order to have a log lighter in your wood burning fireplace, you'll need to install a gas line to your fireplace. A natural gas or liquid propane hard line will need to be installed by a certified gas technician, adding to your initial prep costs, along with the materials for the installation: gas line, elbows, nipples, valve, key, flange.
Pro #2: Starting Your Fire
Just set the logs on the wood grate over the log lighter, turn the key to open the gas line, toss in a lit match, and the fire lights around your logs. After the logs have caught on fire, turn the valve key to close the gas line, and enjoy the crackling wood fire before you.
Con #2: Starting Your Fire
As with any gas product, we must caution you to carefully follow the operating instructions. For your safety, ensure that the gas line is fully shut off when not in use. A fireplace grate is needed to hold your logs above your fire starter, preventing the logs from damaging it.
Pro #3: Using Your Fire Starter Pipe
Lighting fires the old way could take a long time. Just when you'd think your fire was finally lit, it would fizzle out and you'd have to start over again. With a fireplace log lighter you'll get strong flames immediately that will easily catch your logs on fire.
Con #3: Using Your Fire Starter Pipe
Misuse of this product - by using it as a gas burner instead of a fire starter, can cause permanent damage to a zero clearance fireplace. It is unsafe to use the log lighter as a fireplace burner. It is intended to only be used for a short period of time - creating the flames needed to fully light the logs in your fireplace.
We hope we've helped you come to a decision whether a log lighter is right for you and your home. These are just a few of the pros and cons that we came up with. Do you know of any others? Let us know in the comments.