In this article we’ll find out why sawdust briquettes are becoming ever popular. We’ll look at what they’re made of, how long they burn for and what their heat output is.
What’s so good about sawdust briquettes?
Quite simply, they’re made from excess sawdust from sawmills which is a byproduct of manufacturing. This means that no trees are directly cut down to make them, which makes them a great environmental option.
The briquettes are also heavily compressed so they have a great density which means they can burn longer and hotter. Typically, sawdust briquettes are denser than that of even the densest hardwoods such as oak. This means that an average size briquette could contain the same amount of energy as 2-3 normal sized logs.
The other great benefit of the briquette is that as the calorific value is so high and the density being so great, it makes it incredibly easy to store compared to traditional forms of firewood. As each briquette can have the equivalent energy output as 2-3 normal sized hardwood logs, they take up far less space. This means you do not necessarily need to have a huge log store like you would usually need for traditional hard wood. Even if you are mixing the briquettes in with other kiln dried wood, it still means you won’t need to use as many and therefore still save on storage.
Sawdust Briquette Moisture Content
Because they’re made from sawdust, which is naturally very dry, it means that the briquettes usually have a moisture content of less than 10%. This further means that less of the weight made up in briquettes is wasted in water content. The briquettes are nearly always dryer and contain less moisture than any type of hardwood which may be burnt, which helps in their burning longevity.
So what about the disadvantages?
Even though briquettes are a fantastic option to burn, we must also look at the drawbacks that sawdust may have.
The biggest disadvantage of sawdust briquettes is cost. Because of the extra manufacturing process required in making briquettes, the production cost is higher than that of kiln drying natural wood and therefore the cost to purchase is higher per kg than equivalent logs.
However, the flip side of this is that they are usually sold in smaller quantities and therefore you can buy smaller loads rather than having to get pallet quantities.
There are also less sellers and producers of sawdust briquettes which might mean they are harder to find for many people. For example, we conducted an extensive comparison on supermarket firewood and not one of the major supermarkets that we checked sold any type of sawdust briquette at the time of writing.
Sawdust Briquette Burning Time
You can expect a typical sawdust briquette to burn for around an hour under normal circumstances. However, the rate at which any type of log or fuel burns will depend on many factors such as the efficiency of your fire and the amount of airflow that is present.
The longevity of the burning makes it an excellent choice for nearly all fire types. However, it is recommended to use an enclosed wood burning stove rather than an open fire to enhance their longevity as the increased airflow in an open fire will mean they don’t last as long.
So Are Sawdust Briquettes Worth the Hype?
In our opinion, sawdust briquettes offer excellent value and long burning times but at the expense of cost. Briquettes are also excellent if your short on space as they take up far less room for the same amount of energy than traditional hard wood logs. Despite this, we believe they offer excellent value in certain circumstances and are a must have for the eco conscious wood burning stove owner to do their incredible environmental credentials.