Neatly stacked firewood logs, North Wales.

You might be confused as to which type of firewood you are after when lighting a fire. Have you ever wondered what Kiln dried wood logs are, and how they differ from seasoned logs? Or, did you know that there are different types of wood logs? We have got you covered with all the information that you need, including the advantages and disadvantages to help make your decision. 

What are the differences between hardwood and softwood?

The main difference between hardwood and softwood is the type of tree which the wood is sourced from. Usually, hardwood comes from trees which are deciduous or broadleaved trees. Whereas, softwood is sourced from trees which are evergreen or Conifer trees. Deciduous trees take longer to grow with some taking as long as 100 years, which increases the density of the wood. In contrast, evergreen and conifer trees take around a third to a quarter of the time to grow, which means they are typically less dense. These properties will also reflect the price.

What are Kiln Dried and Air Dried Wood logs?

Kiln-drying is an artificial way of removing the moisture out of logs in order to dry them out. This process is done in a Kiln, which is where the name “kiln-dried” comes from. This is more time effective than other methods such as seasoning the wood outdoors. Kiln-drying the wood is very good at removing any insects from the wood too that might be hiding. Kiln dried wood is ready to burn straight away, and the logs produce more heat than those that are not. Due to these factors, kiln dried logs can be considered more expensive than seasoned logs. 

Logs which are dried without the use of a kiln and are dried outside naturally are typically known as seasoned logs or air dried logs. These logs are often cut into smaller pieces to help speed up the drying process. Air dried logs are cheaper, and you are able to complete the drying process yourself, without needing the use of a kiln. The major disadvantage of seasoned wood is that the drying process can take anywhere from 1-2 years. Also, due to the fact that the wood needs to be left for large periods of time to dry, you will need storage space for them to be kept somewhere. 


So should I go for Hardwood or softwood?

There is no correct answer to this question, as both types of wood offer their own individual benefits. Hardwood is very strong and dense, which makes it perfect if you are looking for a slow burning fire which is going to last a long time. Softwood is generally less dense in comparison, which means it will burn for less time but will light faster. Softwood is also a cheaper option to hardwood, but keep in mind softwood will split more often than hardwood will. 

How do I store my logs?

The best way to store your logs is to get a log store, these are spaces designed to keep your logs dry, and allow maximum sunlight to reach your logs. This is because in a log store, the logs are raised and therefore kept away from the ground which could be damp. Most designs have a slanted roof which allows rain water to filter off the roof, and the front of the store is open allowing sunlight in. If you are unable to access a log store, try and make sure your logs are lifted off the ground and have good access to sunlight away from damp areas.