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  • Writer's picturePepper's Fireplace Studio

Woodburners vs Multi-Fuel: What's the Best Choice?

Does it boil down to what you want to burn in your stove, or is there more to consider? Read our industry expert's hot advice...

One of the biggest choices you will need to make before you purchase your new solid-fuel stove comes down to: "woodburner or multi-fuel?" Making the right choice can save you regret and money, so we've gone over the key differences to help with your decision!:

1.) Woodburners Can Only Burn Wood... Multi-Fuel Burns Everything Else.

If you think you'll likely only ever want to burn logs on your stove, then a Woodburner might be the right choice for you.

However Multi-Fuel stoves can also be used to only burn logs (although some believe that multi-fuel stoves can burn through logs slightly quicker than a dedicated wood burner). Multi-Fuel stoves can also be used to burn coal/coalite, and briquettes.

Some briquettes are made of compacted sawdust and are marketed towards Woodburners; however ask most stove manufacturer's and they'll advise briquettes can get too hot for Woodburners and risk damaging the interior of the stove.

2.) Why Would I Ever Want To Burn Anything Other Than Logs?

Logs are the more sustainable choice of course. Anyone eco-conscious may prefer a Woodburner, or for those who are looking to source their own fuel, logs are far easier to age at home than the alternative. They're also a cleaner, neater fuel to store and handle.

Coalite (which is the smokeless version of house coal and what we will be referring to from

An Antique Pewter Coal Hod

now on as we operate in a smoke control zone) is a longer burning fuel which is ideal for anyone who doesn't want to top the stove up every 30-45 minutes. Coalite does leave a black residue so is better handled with gloves, a scoop and a hod. Coalite also has the potential to burn hotter than logs, so a Multi-Fuel stove is a great choice if you need to heat a large space for extended periods of time.

3.) How Can I Tell The Difference Between a Woodburner & a Multi-Fuel Stove?

The obvious difference is that a Multi-Fuel Stove will always have a raised grate & ashpan. This is due to coalite requiring additional airflow underneath to burn, the grate also protects the hotter burning coalite from touching the firebrick and stove glass. As coalite burns into soot, rather than ash, the ashpan is a necessity.

Most Woodburners just have a firebrick interior, with the logs sitting at the base of the stove. Some Woodburners however do have a grate, such as the ESSE brand. The main difference between a Woodburner with a grate, and Multi-Fuel is the additional airflow control. Multi-Fuel stoves should come with 2 air controls as opposed to just 1.

When Woodburners don't have a grate, this usually means they get a bigger viewing window. Only by a few inches, but its easy to see the difference between a Woodburning and a Multi-Fuel model of the same stove, due to the window height difference. So if you're all about getting the best view of the logs and the flames, a Woodburner is a great choice for you.

4.) Woodburners Don't Need To Be Cleaned As Often... Sort Of.

Because Woodburners only burn logs, which thrive on a bed of ash. keeping a level of ash at the base of your Woodburner can actually help you light it. Whereas Multi-Fuel stoves, when burning coalite will need to be cleaned every so often to prevent soot build-up, as coalite needs space underneath for airflow. However, if you're only burning logs in your Multi-Fuel stove, then they don't mind the ash either so it does depend on what you're burning!

4.) Woodburners Are Cheaper

As your Multi-Fuel stove comes with more 'stuff' such as your ashpan and grate, they'll always be more expensive than a woodburning stove of the same model. Usually this difference in price is only £100 - £200 depending on the stove, but it helps to know if you're on a budget a Woodburner is the more affordable option.

Clock Blithfield 5 a well-known Multi-Fuel only stove

We think that just about rounds up the major differences, and hope that this helps you before you make your big decision! If you're still not sure, we offer one-to-one advice at our showroom, or you can quiz us on the phone: 0208 303 7318 we'll always try our best to provide you with as much guidance as possible before you buy.

Want to know where to buy your kiln-dried logs for your Woodburner, or coalite for your Multi-Fuel stove? We sell it all here, and offer free local delivery too!

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