13 Fire Pit Tools to Safely Keep the Warmth Ablaze
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
There's no doubt about it — your own fire pit tools and pit in the backyard is a source of inexpensive, unlimited, always-available entertainment and fun.
Whether it’s huddling around roasting marshmallows on chilly nights with the tots, a romantic evening of cuddling with your significant other or a barbecue-and-beer session with the homies that extends well into the day (and night!), fire pits are a great feature to have in the house, whatever season or reason!
However, if you know anything about fire, you know that it needs to be controlled—you don’t want a backyard blaze, after all.
Well, controlling fires gets much easier when you have the right fire pit tools to help you out. It’s also faster and more effective, letting you spend time making memories instead of worrying about the blaze and constantly caring for it.
13 Fire Pit Tools
Here’s a list of outdoor fire pit tools and accessories that can help you keep both the fire and the fun going for as long as you need! We're not going to mention the obvious stuff like whatever types of saws or types of axes you need to split the wood. We're going to keep it fun.
Fire Pit Poker Stick
The most common, obvious tool that mostly features first on all lists of ‘fire pit tools you’ll definitely need’ is the humble poker stick.
Whether you have a fireplace or a fire pit, a poker stick will come in extremely handy while moving around firewood and coal or repositioning them, all the while maintaining a safe distance from the flames.
If you have any experience with fires, you know that you’ll need to poke and prod quite a number of times to keep the fire stoked and ablaze.
The ideal height for a poker stick is around 46 inches—this lets you accomplish stoking or moving logs while staying safe. The longer the poker stick, the safer you’re going to be.
However, there are many types and lengths of poker sticks available, so finding the ideal height for your reach, comfort, and convenience is easy. Understanding how to use a fire poker isn't as obvious as it seems either.
Fire pit pokers are especially essential when you want to bank a fire to keep it burning through the night, ensuring that enough air is reaching the coals to keep them burning bright and hot. We've written about how to bank a fire here if you're interested.
Remember, when buying a fire pit poker, you’ll also need to keep in mind features other than the height, too, such as the material it’s made of and whether or not there’s a knuckle guard.
Since logs are super heavy, you’ll need a poker stick that’s strong enough to let you handle them and that won’t break should a heavy log fall on it. A knuckle guard is a good feature to have since burnt fingers and knuckles don’t really appeal to anyone!
Campfire Tongs or Log Claw Grabbers
If there’s absolutely one tool you must pick above all others, pick a pair of tongs or log claw grabbers—you shouldn’t be using your bare hands to feed logs into the fire, or even tossing them on due to embers flying up.
Even if you are keeping your hands safe, it’s better to be safe than sorry and your hands will thank you for not having to grip logs, especially ones that are already in the fire.
When picking out the tongs or log claw grabbers, ensure that you’re picking out a sturdy pair, preferably in cast iron or steel. Additionally, ensure that the grabbing mechanism works well so that you can securely grip the log and move it as necessary.
Luckily, tongs themselves are pretty lightweight, compensating for the heavy logs you’ll have to move! However, this takes away no part of their strength and durability. They’re also easy to use and a tool you should definitely have in your repertoire of fire pit tools!
Fire Pit Shovels
An inevitable part of fire pits is the ash that remains after the logs or coal have burnt down. Naturally, unless you intend to scoop it out with your hands au naturale (not recommended for safety reasons), you’ll need a quality shovel to clear the ash.
A shovel makes the cleaning after party much easier, letting you easily scoop up and dispose of the ash much quicker. Additionally, it can double up as a log or coal mover when necessary.
If you want a shovel that is durable and lasts long, pick one in wrought iron, with a height that is comfortable for you. Fires are great candle alternatives but will still burn you, so be careful.
To be extra safe, keeping a pair of gloves handy (pun absolutely intended) is recommended; this ensures that no hot ash gets on your hands or that the heat from the ash doesn’t travel up your shovel and harm you.
Fire Pit Ash Buckets
Now that you’ve scooped up your ash, you need somewhere to put it. Cue entry—ash buckets! For obvious reasons, an ash bucket can be pretty essential with a fire pit around, making life much easier and saving you multiple trips to the dumpster.
Keeping your ash bucket close to the fire pit area is prudent, since you’ll need it ready for when you scoop up ash. This makes the cleaning process much faster, as well, keeping your fire pit ready for use, while the ashes remain trapped inside the bucket.
We recommend that you get the ash types of buckets with lids on them, as this keeps the ash from spilling or flying out and ruining your lawn.
Ash buckets, in general, whether lidded or not, are easy to find—there’s a plethora you can pick from, in the material and size that you want (rugged steel buckets that can hold plenty are our choice!).
Some ash buckets even come with an ash shovel included and work out to be super cost effective. Generally, though, the types of shovels that come with ash buckets don’t have very long handles; if you want one with a long handle, you’ll have to buy it separately.
Fire Pit Skewers
Let’s forget about the technicalities and logistics for a bit and focus on the point of fire pits—fun! And nothing spells ‘fun’ better than the classic activity of roasting things over the fire. This makes skewers an essential part of our fire pit tools grouping.
Roasting skewers can be used to roast a range of foods over the open flames, from marshmallows to hotdogs and s'mores and more. They’re super easy to use (you just skewer them through the food and hold them over the fire) and give you a surprising amount of fun for a small price.
Some brands sell sets of roasting skewers; some come with a telescoping feature that makes roasting at an angle easier. Non-toxic stainless steel skewers are not only effective and fast, but also safe, so consider getting these for your fire pit.
Fire Pit Log Grates
Log grates are especially handy to those who have problems starting fires. You can stack your logs on top of the grate and easily start a fire underneath by getting a kindling underneath it and allowing it to reach the logs from there. It helps with oxygen flow as well.
Log grates also let you control fires better. With a grate, you can stack logs more easily and effectively, without worrying about the logs falling over or rolling out of the pit. Ergo, a more convenient and worry-free fire-pit experience!
However, it should be noted that log grates are only useful when making fires on the ground, as opposed to dedicated fire pits made out of cast metal or other such materials. In the latter, there’s already a dedicated spot for logs to be placed, so it’s not like you’re missing out on anything!
Log grates are especially popular in indoor fireplaces, so if you own a fireplace in addition to your pit, you’ll want to seriously consider getting yourself some grates.
Firewood Log Rack Stand
A log rack gives you a convenient place to store all your firewood. If you’re someone who frequently uses your fire pit, you also probably stock up on large amounts of firewood, whether you chop your own or forage or buy.
It’s at times like these that owning a log rack comes in extremely handy. Buy a log rack that can store all the firewood you want to store. You'll still want to learn how to stack firewood, which isn't complex but matters.
You can either keep your log rack near your barn or garage and organize your firewood neatly, as opposed to having them scattered all over the ground. Log racks are a cheap, simple and effective way to keep your firewood looking neatly organized and stored safely.
Fire Pit Popcorn Popper
Agreed—marshmallows are “the” fire pit food, but popcorn isn't very far behind! Popping popcorn over an open fire can be super fun but it can also be extremely painful to have hot corn kernels raining down on you.
Therefore, getting a popcorn popper keeps the fun alive along with the safety. Popcorn poppers are essentially vessels with lids and long handles to let you safely pop your corn over the flame.
These are typically lightweight (since you’ll be holding it over the flame for quite some time) and easy to use. Of course, there are no guarantees that you won’t burn your popcorn, especially in the initial days, but practice makes perfect.
Bellows are the old-school way of keeping fires going, though they’ve been typically associated only with certain types of furnaces and indoor fireplaces. However, that doesn’t make these outdoor fire pit tools any less effective.
Bellows are great types of tools to own to keep the fire going—all it takes is squeezing the handles to produce blasts of air to fan the flames.
Bellows are also quite useful when you’re starting a fire. It's also a decent solution for when your fire pit won't stay lighted. Look for zinc-cast nozzles as these are durable and great for regular use.
Fire Pit Covers
To keep your fire pit in a good condition when not in use, consider investing in a fire pit cover. These are especially handy during the cold months and keep your pit safe and ready for use when the time comes to use it again.
Fire pit covers come in many sizes and shapes and are extremely convenient, inexpensive tools to own. Look for polypropylene covers for extra durability and protection.
These keep the rain out of the ash and coal, which for pits that don't drain well can cause a lot of mush and subsequently mold to grow, which you don't want to then burn and lift into the breathable air.
Fire-Proof or Heat-Resistant Gloves
The best way to keep your hands safe is to get yourself a pair of heat-resistant gloves, commonly called fire-proof gloves. Safety is always the number one concern, even if it's boring or time consuming.
These keep your hands protected, also making you more efficient in the process (as you’re relatively less worried about injuring yourself), as you grill your meats or clean out your fire pit or handle various tools for cooking/stoking.
Heat-resistant gloves also protect you from any random embers that may fly around and from heated metals that you may end up touching. These gloves are a comfortable way to keep yourself safe.
Fire Spark Screen Guard
Once your fire is roaring, you can place these screens over the top. They serve several purposes, including keeping young ones from falling onto the embers, from keeping embers from flying out, and to stop you from accidentally dropping items into the fire.
Your fire pit area should be big enough to not deal with many of those problems, but you can still have a stray leaf float out that's still on fire, risking a wild fire that could spread faster than you can contain it. These screen guards stop that from happening.
The main benefit is that it stops people from constantly tinkering with the fire, whether that's people seeing what items they can burn up, or stoking it over and over until they put it out, or adding too many logs, etc.
Fire Pit Seating
But typically you want them low to the ground so you can enjoy an eye-level fire and feel the warmth across more than your legs and feet. The choice is up to you depending on your own set up, but low to the ground is always more fun, especially if you're going to roast some marshmallows.
All the Fire Pit Tools You Need!
One more thought is to have a fire extinguisher available, and make sure you've recharged the fire extinguisher. Fire pits only get more fun with the right tools in hand. From protecting you to keeping the fire going to making things easier and faster, these tools serve a range of purposes.
Of course, there's no rule that you absolutely must buy all of them, but they are good investments to consider, especially if you use your fire pit often. Consider adding these fire pit tools to your armory to keep the fire going.