What Does Kindling Wood Mean?

what is kindling wood used for

Kindling wood refers to small pieces of wood that are used to help start a fire. The small size of the pieces allows them to catch fire easily, which in turn helps to ignite larger pieces of wood.

Kindling wood (also referred to as fatwood, fat lighter, or heart pine) is often made of twigs, and other small branches cut into pieces.

It is good to have a good supply of kindling wood on hand when starting a fire, as it can be the difference between a successful fire and one that fizzles out quickly.

At What Temperature will Wood Kindle?

Wood at 700°F (371°C) self-ignites or catches fire almost immediately.

However, if the wood is placed at temperatures of 450°-500°F, the pieces will gradually char, and it usually ignites after a few hours.

The time it takes for the wood to self-ignite at these temperatures will mostly depend on the thickness of the piece and the type of wood.

Also, the temperature of the wood will affect how quickly it kindles or burns once it is ignited.

While kindling wood in the stove is safe if you follow the proper guidelines, it is good to use caution when working with fire.

It can be a fire hazard, particularly if the wood self-ignites and you are not around. If the pieces are too big, it can also cause the stove to overheat and create a fire hazard.

types of wood for kindling

How Do You Do Kindling at Home in a DIY Way?

Making kindling isn’t very tough as some people might think. You can do this at home with some simple tools and materials.

Here’s what you’ll need to cut small pieces of wood from larger logs.:

  • A hatchet
  • An ax
  • A saw

The first step is to cut the log into rough pieces that are about 18 inches long. Then, cut those pieces into smaller logs that are about 6 inches long.

Once you have a good supply of small logs, it’s time to start chopping them into kindling.

Use the hatchet or ax to chop the small logs into pieces that are about 1-2 inches wide.

These pieces should be enough to fit easily into your stove or fireplace. If they are too big, they will not catch fire as easily.

As you chop the logs into smaller pieces, be sure to place them in a container or on a tarp, so they don’t make a mess.

Once you have a good supply of kindling, you can store it in a dry place until you need it.

Making kindling without an ax or hatchet

Fortunately, there are different methods by which you can also make kindling at home without using a saw or hatchet.

One excellent way that I use for splitting small pieces of wood is by using a knife. If you don’t have an ax or saw, you can use a large knife to chop the logs into smaller pieces.

Another way to make kindling without an ax is by using a hammer. You can use the back of the hammer to split the logs into smaller pieces.

This method takes a little more time and effort, but it is still possible.

The last but the easiest way to make kindling without a hatchet or saw is by using your hands, a stone, or a rock piece.

You can simply snap the logs into smaller pieces by using your hands. This method might not be as effective as the others, but it will still work if you don’t have any other tools.

Just in case you dislike any of the methods I listed above, here are a few other advanced methods you can try using a kindling splitter. T

These will hopefully make the process of making kindling a lot easier for you, especially if you have a lot of kindling to prepare.

Vince Thurkettle, in his video, has also explained some excellent ways of making kindling naturally. If you want to know more about that, then definitely check out his video here.

What are Some of the Best Types of Wood for Kindling?

There are a few different types of wood that make good kindling wood.

Some of the popular types of wood that burns well and are often used by people for kindling their wood stove are:

  • Pinecones
  • Cedar shavings
  • Birch bark
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Dryer lint

Each of these materials is light, dry, and easy to ignite, making them ideal for starting a fire. If you are having a problem getting your fire started, try using one of these materials as kindling.

Keep in mind that there are a few things that make good kindling wood.

  • The first is that it should be dry. Wet wood will not catch fire as easily as dry wood, so it is important to make sure that the pieces you are using are free of moisture.
  • The second is that the pieces should be small. This allows them to ignite quickly and helps to get the fire going.
  • The third is that the pieces should be light. Heavier pieces of wood will not catch fire as easily as lighter pieces.

If you are wondering where to get these wood varieties for kindling, it’s best to gather them yourself from your surroundings.

If you are planning on spending time, I have discussed a few other exciting ways to get free or discounted firewood in my post before. You may check that out to ensure that you have enough kindling wood to last you all winter long.


Do you always need kindling to start a fire?

No, you don’t always need kindling to start a fire. If you have larger pieces of wood, you can use them to start your fire.

However, if you only have small pieces of wood or mulch to burn, you will need to use kindling to help get the fire going.

Tinder vs. Kindling- Are they the same or different?

No, kindling and tinder are not the same. There’s a difference between both in terms of size.

Tinder refers to any ignitable material which is smaller than kindling. Then there is kindling which is larger than tinder but smaller than firewood (typically used as a fuel).

How much wood kindling should you use to start the fire?

The amount of kindling that you’ll need to use will vary depending on the size of your fire and the type of wood that you’re using.

As a general rule, you should use about 1-2 handfuls of kindling for every 1-2 logs that you’re trying to burn.

If you’re using softwood such as pine, you may need to use more kindling to get the fire going. However, if you’re using a harder wood like oak, you may need to use pretty much less.

Once you’ve built your fire and added the appropriate amount of kindling, it’s time to light it by using a match or lighter.

Final Thoughts

Kindling wood is an important part of starting a fire. It’s basically the small, dry wood that catches fire easily and helps to build a strong, hot fire.

While you can buy kindling wood at most hardware or home stores, it’s also easy to make your own. Just gather some small, dry twigs and sticks, and you’re good to go.

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