Best Fire Pit Buyer’s Guide
There is no pleasure that is as simple and rewarding as enjoying a fire outdoors. When choosing a fire pit for your lifestyle, there are a lot of factors you’ll want to consider, and if it’s your first time purchasing a fire pit, you may not be aware of all of the options when it comes to materials, fuel sources, maintenance levels, and other features that particular models or manufacturers may have.
This handy guide will take you through all of the nuances of choosing the best fire pit for your outdoor space, help you find answers to some common questions that you may have, and point you in the direction of some brands or models that will be a perfect fit for you.
Different Types of Fire Pits
1. Wood Burning. A wood burning fire pit is a straightforward and popular choice - for obvious reasons. The fuel is cheap, smells great, and has that ambiance which people associate with a real campfire. They often have attractive designs and are well-suited for a variety of situations and spaces.
- Large and Warm Flame
- Smell and Ambiance
- Different options for wood fuel types
- Easy Installation
- Purchasing and chopping wood
- Wood and fire pit must remain dry for optimal performance
- High maintenance - requires cleaning and removal of ash, etc.
2. Propane. Often larger in size than wood burning fire pits, propane fire pits are an easy and convenient option which often become the natural gathering place for a backyard or patio. There are also a variety of style options for propane fire pits, which often have sleek and modern designs and quality materials.
- Large design for entertainment
- Propane is easy to source and install
- Often portable and lightweight
- Low maintenance
- Not ideal for cooking use
- Price of propane can vary
- Heat level can be less than adequate
3. Natural Gas. If your backyard has the capacity for a natural gas line, then a natural gas fire pit may be the obvious choice for you. Because the fuel source is constant, they are extremely convenient once they are installed, but the installation process itself should definitely be taken into account when considering a natural gas fire pit.
- Constant fuel supply
- Natural gas can be an inexpensive fuel option
- Ignition is easy
- Costly installation
- Permanent, can’t be moved
- No potential for resale
Materials Used to Make Fire Pits
The material is a huge consideration when selecting a fire pit. All fire pit materials have different qualities which will determine their uses and aesthetic properties.
- Steel. Steel is versatile and has a range of quality. It can be stained to match decor or to offer different looks. Although regular steel can rust over time, stainless steel is a great option because of its durability. Stainless steel will resist weather and moisture and may have a longer life than regular steel. There is also the consideration of American steel versus foreign steel, and some steel is thicker than others
- Aluminum. The main advantage of aluminum is that it’s lightweight, which can make it easy to install and to relocate. It is also an inexpensive choice of material. Like Stainless Steel, Cast Aluminum can offer a further advantage of being weather resistant and suitable for use regardless of the season.
- Copper. Copper is a classic choice for a fire pit because of its high quality and elegance. This high quality will usually be reflected in the price of a copper fire pit.
- Stone/Concrete. Stone and concrete materials are usually installed on a wire mesh, and achieve a very particular aesthetic which will be appealing to many buyers. On the other hand, they can be very heavy and the quality of the masonry can vary.
Fire Pit Prices
Price is a huge factor when it comes to choosing a fire pit, and they can range anywhere from a hundred to thousands of dollars. With that being said, inexpensive doesn’t necessarily mean poor quality, and a cheaper option can be great depending on your needs.
- Low Price Range. The lower price range will often comprise fire pits which are smaller in size, wood-burning, and require some assembly. For fire pits in this price range, we would suggest products like the Sunnydaze Decor which is a wood-burning pit that comes in a variety of sizes, or one of Patina Product’s offerings, which have a beautiful rustic finish and are very portable.
- Medium Price Range. At the medium price range, you will find high-quality steel constructed items such as the Ohio Flame Fire Chalice Artisan Fire Bowl, which can be converted to allow for natural gas or propane hookups.
- High Price Range. More premium items will often be constructed with high-quality stainless steel or other high-grade materials and will have features such as electronic ignition systems which are wind and moisture proof. In this price range, consider products such as the sleek and elegant Bella Vita Stainless Steel Fire Pit by Fire Pit Art.
Choosing your Fire Pit
When choosing your fire pit, ask yourself the following questions: What is your price range? Are you willing to spend time maintaining and cleaning? Will you use it year round? Do you have a natural gas hookup or easy access to other fuel sources? Do you plan on moving it around your outdoor space, or will it be stationary?
After answering these questions, refer to the fire pit types and materials above to select what is best for your lifestyle.
Fire Pit Frequently Asked Questions
Can I cook with my outdoor fire pit?
The simple answer is - it depends on the type of fire pit. Some pits will have grates and other features explicitly for cooking purposes. While it is safe to cook over wood-burning and some propane flames, you should never cook over a natural gas fire pit.
How do I install my firepit?
Most wood-burning fire pits are easy to get going, simply unpack the item, assemble (if necessary), add the wood and start your fire. Licensed plumbers or professional gas fitters should be your go-to for installing natural gas fire pits, as there are safety risks and local codes that should be taken into account.
Will wind affect my fire pit?
This will depend on the shape and depth of the pit, and the strength of the flame. While some pits will be able to resist wind and protect the flame, others may struggle under extreme conditions. Generally, it is not recommended to use an outdoor fire pit when there is heavy wind.
Now that you have a good idea of what type of fire pit best suits your needs, you'll want to find the best deal on a fire pit, and from an authorized dealer so you know the warranty is valid. See our Fire Pits and enjoy factory-direct prices and free shipping on every item!