Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

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Darth Xanadu
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Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by Darth Xanadu »

I've recently moved, and I'm interested in a firepit on my property. My thought is to purchase a relatively inexpensive free-standing bowl/unit to help me figure out my ideal set up before installing something longer-term / more permanent.

Does Boglehead Nation have any recommendations for a firepit that is:

1. Relatively inexpensive (thinking $250 or less but certainly willing to pay more for the right product)
2. Not shallow / small...I like to burn 4-6 regular sized split logs at any given time
3. Heavier gauge steel that won't disintegrate after one season (I'm talking about the bowl itself not the fire screen which I don't care about as much).
4. Something I can move fairly easily (even if it take two people to lift and move).

Thanks!
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FiveK
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by FiveK »

Something like Solo Stove Bonfire?
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galawdawg
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by galawdawg »

Why not something like this, just $230 at Lowes:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Firepit-Kit-43 ... it/4686367

Image

You don't have to adhere the blocks to each other, just rest them in place, top them with the fire ring and then fill the interior with about six inches of lava rock. If you don't like where it is, just take off the fire ring, move the blocks, scoop up the lava rock and set it up in your new desired location!

I've had that firepit for ten (10) years, still enjoy it regularly in the fall, winter and spring. The fire ring has some surface rust now but I'll likely sand it and recoat it with black high heat Rust-Oleum spray paint this fall. Friends who have purchased those portable metal fire pits have all had to discard them after a few years as the thin gauge steel they use just doesn't last. This firepit is all flagstone block other than the heavy metal fire ring which is a very thick gauge steel and can easily be refinished when surface rust appears.
NYerinLondon
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by NYerinLondon »

FiveK wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:27 am Something like Solo Stove Bonfire?
I second this suggestion. Mobile, easy to maintain, and good value.
barnaclebob
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by barnaclebob »

Do you want a fire pit that actually will put out heat or do you just want a flame to sit around? If you dont have line of sight to the coals, you wont get the radiant heat from them.

I like my california fire pit but its not cheap.

https://firepit.com/models.html
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Darth Xanadu
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by Darth Xanadu »

barnaclebob wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:54 am Do you want a fire pit that actually will put out heat or do you just want a flame to sit around? If you dont have line of sight to the coals, you wont get the radiant heat from them.

I like my california fire pit but its not cheap.

https://firepit.com/models.html
Primary use would be ambiance. Those looks pretty nice, are they reasonably sized? Can you fit more than 2-3 split logs in them?
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lthenderson
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by lthenderson »

Darth Xanadu wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:34 pm 4. Something I can move fairly easily (even if it take two people to lift and move).
In my experience, movable metal fire pits get hot enough it kills grass underneath. We ended up just getting one of those stack a brick ones and making it somewhat permanent.
Onlineid3089
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by Onlineid3089 »

An old tractor rim works great, but is not something you'd want to have to move regularly. You'd also have to have the fire on the ground which may not be something you're interested in. I believe my parents have had the same one at their lake house for 25+ years.
wolf359
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by wolf359 »

lthenderson wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:07 am
Darth Xanadu wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:34 pm 4. Something I can move fairly easily (even if it take two people to lift and move).
In my experience, movable metal fire pits get hot enough it kills grass underneath. We ended up just getting one of those stack a brick ones and making it somewhat permanent.
Well, it's a trade-off. The Solo Stove is very efficient.

Pro:
1) It reduces the amount of smoke because it burns so efficiently. My daughter had her friends over and they sat completely around the fire. Nobody got smoked out and had to move. Nobody's clothes smelled like smoke afterwards.
2) The burn utilizes the air flow so well that it doesn't burn our grass.
3) It is extremely easy to start.
4) The secondary burn effect looks like a gas stove and is mesmerizing.
5) It's very easy to clean. There's hardly any ash left.

Con:
1) Efficient burn means it uses fuel more quickly.
2) Efficient burn also means most of the heat goes straight up. The sides do not radiate heat. Heat only flows from the top of the fire pit.
3) If you're used to normal fire pits, the Solo Stove can look alarming. The flames shoot straight up.
4) You can't put the fire out. Instead, you just stop feeding it about an hour before you finish.

The two main smokeless firepit brands are Solo Stove and Breeo. Tiki (yes, of the Tiki torches) also makes one.
Breeo is more heavy duty and isn't portable.

Smokeless are more expensive. You can find many cheap ones at the hardware stores. You can also build them from bricks or pavers.
barnaclebob
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by barnaclebob »

Darth Xanadu wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:02 am
barnaclebob wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:54 am Do you want a fire pit that actually will put out heat or do you just want a flame to sit around? If you dont have line of sight to the coals, you wont get the radiant heat from them.

I like my california fire pit but its not cheap.

https://firepit.com/models.html
Primary use would be ambiance. Those looks pretty nice, are they reasonably sized? Can you fit more than 2-3 split logs in them?
I have the big one and it can easily hold your average sized 5 to 8 split fire. You could really load it up with 12 to 15 splits for a pretty big fire though. Put sand in the bottom and it will just get warm underneath. Its super beefy 3/16" steel. We've had it for over a decade and there is some surface rust but overall its still in very good condition. We keep it outside with their cover on it. If you don't cover it, it will fill up with water and get nasty. You might be able to find one at a patio furniture store and not have to pay shipping.

Alternatively, you could have a welder fabricate something similar for less money if you can find the right sized propane tank.
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Darth Xanadu
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by Darth Xanadu »

Just to circle back on this, I ended up going with a product from Evergreen Patio: https://evergreenpatio.com/collections/ ... y-fire-pit

Absolutely love it, I've had it for a bit over a month now and use it frequently. Top notch quality and looks nice in the right setting (such as mine). I spent the better part of the week before purchase agonizing over the 30" vs the 37" diameter. I went with the smaller one, and I'm happy with it, I can't imagine a case where I'd wish I got the bigger one.

Purchased the snuffer lid (ideal from a safety and longevity/protection perspective) and the grill grate (though I haven't used this yet).
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simplesimon
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by simplesimon »

dcabler
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by dcabler »

wolf359 wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:28 am
lthenderson wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:07 am
Darth Xanadu wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:34 pm 4. Something I can move fairly easily (even if it take two people to lift and move).
In my experience, movable metal fire pits get hot enough it kills grass underneath. We ended up just getting one of those stack a brick ones and making it somewhat permanent.
Well, it's a trade-off. The Solo Stove is very efficient.

Pro:
1) It reduces the amount of smoke because it burns so efficiently. My daughter had her friends over and they sat completely around the fire. Nobody got smoked out and had to move. Nobody's clothes smelled like smoke afterwards.
2) The burn utilizes the air flow so well that it doesn't burn our grass.
3) It is extremely easy to start.
4) The secondary burn effect looks like a gas stove and is mesmerizing.
5) It's very easy to clean. There's hardly any ash left.

Con:
1) Efficient burn means it uses fuel more quickly.
2) Efficient burn also means most of the heat goes straight up. The sides do not radiate heat. Heat only flows from the top of the fire pit.
3) If you're used to normal fire pits, the Solo Stove can look alarming. The flames shoot straight up.
4) You can't put the fire out. Instead, you just stop feeding it about an hour before you finish.

The two main smokeless firepit brands are Solo Stove and Breeo. Tiki (yes, of the Tiki torches) also makes one.
Breeo is more heavy duty and isn't portable.

Smokeless are more expensive. You can find many cheap ones at the hardware stores. You can also build them from bricks or pavers.
Regarding Con #2, Solo is producing a new add-on next year to radiate heat downwards. The top of it looks a lot like outdoor gas heaters with the dome on top.
wolf359
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Re: Free-standing fire pit recommendations?

Post by wolf359 »

dcabler wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:02 am
wolf359 wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:28 am
lthenderson wrote: Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:07 am
Darth Xanadu wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:34 pm 4. Something I can move fairly easily (even if it take two people to lift and move).
In my experience, movable metal fire pits get hot enough it kills grass underneath. We ended up just getting one of those stack a brick ones and making it somewhat permanent.
Well, it's a trade-off. The Solo Stove is very efficient.

Pro:
1) It reduces the amount of smoke because it burns so efficiently. My daughter had her friends over and they sat completely around the fire. Nobody got smoked out and had to move. Nobody's clothes smelled like smoke afterwards.
2) The burn utilizes the air flow so well that it doesn't burn our grass.
3) It is extremely easy to start.
4) The secondary burn effect looks like a gas stove and is mesmerizing.
5) It's very easy to clean. There's hardly any ash left.

Con:
1) Efficient burn means it uses fuel more quickly.
2) Efficient burn also means most of the heat goes straight up. The sides do not radiate heat. Heat only flows from the top of the fire pit.
3) If you're used to normal fire pits, the Solo Stove can look alarming. The flames shoot straight up.
4) You can't put the fire out. Instead, you just stop feeding it about an hour before you finish.

The two main smokeless firepit brands are Solo Stove and Breeo. Tiki (yes, of the Tiki torches) also makes one.
Breeo is more heavy duty and isn't portable.

Smokeless are more expensive. You can find many cheap ones at the hardware stores. You can also build them from bricks or pavers.
Regarding Con #2, Solo is producing a new add-on next year to radiate heat downwards. The top of it looks a lot like outdoor gas heaters with the dome on top.
As of November 15, they're shipping a cooktop wok that fits over the top, and may have the same effect. On the wok the dome is inverted to hold food, but the flames and heat should hit the bottom and radiate out to the side. (We don't own that, so I'm speculating.)

When the teens are over, they tend to get much closer to the fire than seems safe for a normal pit. The heat doesn't radiate enough to keep them back. The flames are scary enough that they don't stand in the fire, though. Although it doesn't radiate sideways, it's still very hot. If anything touches the sides (like a shoe), it would instantly melt and leave a mark.

Also right now, and until Friday, Solo stove is offering the biggest discounts of the year on their fire pits. If you get their camp stoves, they're buy one get one free.
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