General Fireplace Tools and Fireplace Tool Set Information

Finding the right types of fireplace tools for your needs is quite simple. When you start shopping around or browsing the internet for basic tools, you’ll likely come across the “5 piece fireplace tool set”, but this is a bit misleading. There are usually only 4 actual tools, used for tending to your fire and then the stand. The stand is considered the 5th piece in that tool set. The tools themselves include: a shovel, a poker, the tongs and a broom. In some cases, you will find a fork style tool as well.

You may wish to match your tools with your fireplace screen, but this isn’t necessary. In some cases, this creates unique and seamless fireplace designs for the particular space you are decorating. The main difference in the types of tools you buy will include the materials and the quality of the construction of said tools. Obviously, these tools are made of metal, but it’s the quality of that metal that makes the difference. Steel is the most commonly used material – the gauge is the factor. If you’re looking for some antique fireplace tools, then you might find them made of wrought iron or pig iron as it was referred. The best place to shop for these online is through the major auction sites, like eBay. Locally, estate sales and antique stores can be good resources.

In areas of the world where cheap labor is abundant, many objects are made for export to countries like ours. Tools for the fireplace are no exception. In fact, this is where many metal manufactured goods are made these days. However, there are some considerations with regard to the quality of the hinging mechanisms of the tongs and you may also find that the durability of the metal is not as great as more robust iron products.

Like with the fireplace screens and other design features of your fireplace, you need to consider how your tools will reflect the look you are trying to portray. The fireplace is definitely going to be a focal point in whatever room it is in. This is true whether it is a living room, den or bedroom space. There are a variety of tool styles. These include things like bronze metal finishes, Gothic curved pieces, scrolled work and even custom made tools. While some tools are created with a bronze finish applied, these will likely come off over time. Black is the preferred color if you don’t go with a natural steel or iron tool set. For the most part, the tongs are the tools that you should really inspect for quality. This is the item that will have to move fluidly and, along with the poker, will be your most heavily used pieces in the set. A poor hinge mechanism or binding pin could cause not only inconvenience but could be a safety issue when moving large, burning logs around.

Here is a set of hand forged fireplace tongs; great hinge and pin details.

Custom Fireplace Tools

In the days before alloy materials were more popular, wrought iron was the most common metal used. This iron was a very workable metal, especially in its cherry red pre-molten state. In this state, a skilled blacksmith would be able to form a variety of tools or objects from the iron. You can still find blacksmiths, though their skills have been largely ignored in favor of more production-line style of manufacturing.

You will definitely appreciate the look and feel of a hand-forged set of tools. In fact, they also make quite a statement themselves. Even their presence on your fireplace surround or hearth can give your decor some added elegance. A handmade set of fireplace tools can be customized with any number of details, like scrolling designs, patterns or even family initials. As the fireplace is a masculine element in the space, a robust set of tools is a great complement. The man of the house will also appreciate this added detail.

You can keep a set of tools like these for many years. All the time and work that goes into producing a unique set like this can be felt and appreciated with every use. Treating them with a fire-resistant oil, like boiled linseed oil is good to keep them from rusting. It will also give your tools a subtle sheen. A handsome set of tools like this just completes the look from hearth to your fireplace mantel.


You will find that for the basic fireplace tool set, like the first image above, prices are around the $100 USD range.   If you start looking into the custom or hand-forged styles, prices can be anywhere from $40-60 USD per tool, depending on the work and craftsmanship details you request.

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