Wood wool firelighters | What are they?
Wood wool firelighters have been around for a while now.
They are formed from wood shavings which are then twisted and bound using wax, usually paraffin based.
Once twisted and bound they are cut into small lengths and packaged to be sold as fire lighters.
Importantly however, we should examine the two component parts of wood wool firelighters before moving forwards.
The video below, by Great British Wood Wool Limited, depicts the process from forest to production.Order a Firestarter
So, we have identified what wood wool is and how it is made, now let’s consider the other component in wood wool firelighters.
Paraffin Wax | Wood wool fire lighters
Paraffin wax, as used in the production of wood wool fire starters, is a soft colourless solid which is derived from petroleum, coal, or shale oil.
Made from a mixture of hydrocarbon molecules it contains between twenty and forty carbon atoms.
At room temperature, the wax is a solid but it has a low melting point of around 37℃.
Invented in Germany around 1830 this wax was considered a step forwards when it came to making candles.
Paraffin wax burns readily and cleanly.
Moreover, when combined with wood wool the process of combustion is even more effective.
Similar to a candle, the wood wool, when combined with wax, acts as a wick to aid combustion.
Wool fire lighters | how long do they burn for?
Natural fire lighters, made from wood wool, tend to burn effectively for around ten minutes.
The heat generated by them is good but is it enough to ignite a log without the need for kindling?
In recent tests, carried out by Hot Box and vs Hot Box ® Firestarter found that kindling or smaller logs are generally needed.
Contrary to how Hot Box ® Firestarter works, wood wool fire lighters do not generate sufficient heat by themselves to ignite larger logs fully.
What this means is that the fire created my be less efficient when compared to the same process using Hot Box ® Firestarter.
Moreover, the length of time to full fire is reduced vs Hot box ® Firestarter.
So, and because we can, we decided to perform a little test.
The image below depicts our somewhat Heath Robinson approach, but we don’t mind that in this case.
As shown by the image, we have placed Hot Box ® Firestarter next to a wood wool fire lighter from a well known brand of fire lighters.
Thereafter, we have provided a slightly crude time lapse of the process with but types of fire lighter competing with one another in the same stove.
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The video, although pretty bad, we are not video professionals, shows how Hot box ® Firestarter excels.
Initially, due to the paraffin wax, the wood wool ignites quickly, taking the oxygen away from our fire starter.
However, this is short lived and the wood wool fails to ignite the logs.
After around 8 minutes, Hot Box ® Firestarter dominates the fire arena and ignites the logs.
In the same time, the wood wool lighter has gone out and the logs are left for Firestarter to devour!
Wool fire lighters | vs Hot Box ® Firestarter
Clearly, and as depicted by the test, the fast ignition of the wool product is solely down to the paraffin wax.
However, despite this wax, the product does not generate sufficient heat on its own to light logs of this size.
In contrast, if the logs were smaller or if kindling was used, the wood wool would function better.
Therefore, and unlike Hot box ® Firestarter, kindling is still required when using wood wool fire lighters to build your home fire.
Importantly perhaps let’s examine the costs.
Twisted Firestarters vs Hot Box ® Firestarter
To keep thins on an even keel, let’s keep the products consistent.
Twisted Firestarters from a well know retailer cost £3.50 for 16 or £0.22 each.
However, you will likely need at least three to ignite small logs if kindling is not being used.
Therefore, you can get around 5 fires started from a box. Then, if you add the cost of kindling, £3.96 from a well known retailer.
We have bought this and managed to build 6 fires using this kindling and fire lighter combo.
The costs therefore were as follows:
Kindling and wood wool firelighters
Time, effort and fuel to pick them up not included.
Time to build the fire, not included.
£7.46 ➗ 6 = 1.24/fire built.
Hot box ® Firestarter
Time effort and fuel to collect, not required.
Time to build the fire, 5 seconds to pop out the chimney and air holes.
£15.00 ➗8 = £1.88/fire built.
Ok, so our product is more expensive on the face of it. However, if you factor in time spent collecting the items from your local store or add in the costs of delivery the costs would be similar.
Conclusions | Wood Wool vs Hot Box ® Firestarter
When it comes to fire starters made from wood wool vs our product the results can be described as follows.
Products such as twisted fire starters, flamers etc derived from wool wood do a pretty decent job.
They ignite quickly and provide a good flame.
However, you will still need to factor in kindling and smaller logs to build up your fire.
Further, you will need to consider the costs for the same and also convenience plays a part.
In contrast, the Hot Box ® Firestarter provides a better solution to lighting a fire.
Moreover, you do not need to factor in anything else except logs.
Overall, our product targets convenience and provided a comprehensive solution to lighting a fire.
Additionally, our product generates more heat and a more sustainable fire over a longer period than the comparison in this test.
Also, our product eradicates the time that you need to spend setting or building your fire.
Failure of the fire is also eliminated using our product versus wood wool alternatives.
Therefore, by way of final comparison we can summarise the benefits of the two products as follows:
- Wood wool fire lighters produce a good flame, ignite easily and burn cleanly. However, they lack the fire power to ignite larger logs without adding several of them. Moreover, there is room for failure caused by user discrepancy and a full fire will take a long time.
- Hot Box ® Firestarter ignites easily, produces large flames and generates substantial heat. There is no room for failure and user error is eradicated with our patented design. A full fire can be achieved in around 10 minutes which is faster than any other fire natural fire lighting product on the market.
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