Learn about the different types of firewood as well as their characteristics

Knowing different types of firewood not only saves you from trouble but also maximizes the efficiency when it comes to fueling your stove or fireplace. Since all firewoods do not provide the same burning experience, learning about their characteristics can help you choose the best firewood.

Categories Of Firewood

  • Firewood is broadly divided into two categories namely, hardwood and softwood. Contrary to their names hardwood is not always hard or more durable and softwood is not always soft or workable.

The difference between the two firewood lies in terms of their reproduction and physical structure. Each category is broken down into further types to give you a better idea about the benefits and features of both firewoods.


  • Hardwoods are comparatively denser, burn for longer, and produce more heat than softwoods. Hardwood also causes less deposition of tar buildups and is less sticky than softwood. Most hardwood trees grow slowly which makes them denser than softwood.

Hardwood trees can be identified by their dark color. In addition, hardwood burns more slowly and is best for cooking. Hardwood produces much hotter and denser fire as compared to softwood.

Characteristics Of Hardwood

  • Hardwood is good for lighting long, lingering fires that produce a lot of coals. It is great for keeping your house warm and for fueling your stove. It is generally considered the best wood for a fireplace.

Types Of Hardwood

There are several types of hardwoods but we have listed four of the most popular types here.


  • Oak is the most preferred hardwood because it can be easily found anywhere. The fire produced by oak is dense and burns for a very long time. it is ideal for keeping a fire going at night.


  • Birchwood can burn quickly even when it is unseasoned. There are different types of birch species including black, white, and yellow birch. The burning efficiency of birch varies according to its species.

The bark of the birch can be used as a natural fire starter. It is a great option for fires, especially when used in combination with slow-burning woods.


  • Ashwood is another favorite wood for burning since it can burn well on its own and produces a steady flame. Moreover, it gives a good heat output.


  • Walnut wood is easier to split and produces a medium amount of heat. It is a clean-burning type of hardwood and gives a pleasant smell as it burns.


  • It takes less time to season softwood and it is much lighter and lower in density when compared to hardwood. This type of wood is better for outdoor use because it emits more smoke and ignites faster. Softwood is ideally used for kindling, campfires, and other outdoor uses.

Types Of Softwood

  • Although there are not as many options when it comes to softwood, there are some great choices. Softwood works well if you are looking for something with lower heat output.


  • types of firewoodSmall pieces of cedarwood can be burned unseasoned. It generally produces a pleasant odor and a lasting heat with little flames.


  • It needs to be refueled often but it lights easily and gives off a good flame. Pinewood is an excellent fire starter but it should be burned outside because of its high sap and resin content.


  • Larch wood is the hardest among all softwoods. It may even be harder than some hardwoods. A well-seasoned larch will burn very hot. It is good for stoves since it is low-maintenance. Mix it with some hardwood for a better burning efficiency.

Bol Design Inc. produces state-of-the-art firewood kilns that are designed to quickly remove the moisture within a piece of firewood to make it drier. For more information on our multiple products, call us at 828 754 7001. We are located in Hudson, NC, and offer services to all locations in the lower 48 states.