Once, multiple homes, and some time ago, I had a fine firewood hoop. It’s long gone, but finding something of the same quality has been a challenge.
What Is A Log Hoop?
While this might not be an obvious thing to most people, a log hoop is a piece of furniture designed to hold firewood. It’s usually kept outdoors and made fully of metal. It’s a heavy duty piece for storing about 25-35 piece of either round or split wood in a safe, secure, orderly manner.
A log hoop would normally be placed outside near the door closed to your fireplace or potbelly, so you can get to your wood easily. Think of it as a staging area between your stacked wood and the wood going into the fireplace.
My Favorite Log Hoop
My previous log hoop looked like the one above. It had a conventional two-hoop design, with a squared piece at the top holding the hoops together, and two squared-off feet.
What I liked about it was that it was very stable and heavy duty. The metal was square steel stock the that been painted black. The hop did its job with no complaints for over 10 years and, honestly, I never really thought much about it.
Now it’s the autumn of 2020 and I find myself in need of firewood storage once again. The sad thing is that today’s log holders aren’t anywhere near as well made as the once I had.
Firewood Storage In 2020
The most common firewood holder today seems to the the Panacea 40-Inch Tubular Steel Log Hoop. The good news is that it’s widely available and sells for about $40. The bad news? Just look at how it’s built: it’s shipped in pieces and held together with bolts. It weights under 9 pounds.
Also, it seems to be basically identical to the other top sellers on the market (across Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowes at least), the SunnyDaze and Pleasant Hearth. This is rarely a good sign when looking for quality hardware.
These are all made of power-coated steel, so I doubt they will fall apart in short order, but will they be something you hand down to the next generation? I truly doubt it. Bolts and thin, tubular steel just don’t last like that. Tubular steel is hollow and holds on to water, which means rust and rapid decay. My lost firewood hoop was made of 1/2-inch solid steel square stock, which is unlikely to fall apart under any circumstance short of a monster attack.
There is a chance that these new models are made for indoor use (maybe in a mud room or some other intermediate placement) while mine was made for outdoor use, but I’m not sure this actually the case.
Update: I believe I have found a copy of my log hoop online, being sold as the “Blue Rhino UniFlame 36-Inch Black Log Hoop” but there are only blurry pictures and no buyer reviews, so it’s hard to gauge the quality or if it’s the real deal.
Firewood Storage Alternatives
If a log hoop of iffy quality doesn’t entice you, then there are other options for outdoor firewood storage. Remember, simply stacking wood on the ground isn’t ideal as the lower pieces will rot and clean up around the wood area will be constant. Also, you’ll be lacking that manicured look most homeowners want.
A firewood rack is a nice way to go. These are “U” shaped log holders that are either squared off or rounded at the bottom with the wood held in place by uprights on the sides. Some of these will be heavy duty (like the hammered steel one above), where others will be lighter duty tubular steel and still others will be largely decorative.
There has been a push towards canvas in log storage, as it’s cheap and lightweight, but note that this sort of thing is largely pushed by our collective move towards online sales. In a world where purchases like this happen largely online, small, lightweight options are greatly preferred by sellers and manufacturers.
If you want something smaller Home Depot has a nice option in the Uniflame Curved 70-inch Firewood Rack. It does come in parts and it is held together with bolts, but note that the weight is about 21 pounds, so already twice that of some of the above options. It’s specifically designed for outdoor use. I especially like that it’s from Uniflame, which is a company that I have heard of before, have purchased their goods (Fatwood and long matches come to mind) and trust somewhat.