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Can pallets be used for firewood?

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We love having bonfires in the fire pit that we built in our backyard. We often burn pallets and sharing pictures of burning the pallets (and the aftermath) has led to getting this question a lot:

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Hardscape benches + fire pit

Can pallets be used for firewood?

Yes, they can!

We obviously are going to say that, since we burn tons of pallets, but it’s totally legit.

But don’t just trust us. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, “generally, pallets are safe to burn in fireplaces”.

Scalloped Pallet Wood Planter - Charleston Crafted

What should I look out for when burning pallets?

  • Don’t burn pallet wood treated with chemicals
  • Pallet fires can get very hot very fast due to the thin, dry nature of the wood
  • Check for nails when chopping up pallet wood and dispose of nails in your ash appropriately
Wooden Pallet Herb Garden - Charleston Crafted

How do I know if my pallet wood is treated?

If your pallet has a stamp on it, the stamp will indicate the type of treatment:

  • [HT] = Heat treatment
  • [MB] = Methyl Bromide
  • [DB] = Debarked
  • [KD] = Kiln Dried

Pallets stamped with MB are treated with chemicals.

To be safe, you might want to avoid burning pallet wood indoors. We burn it exclusively in our outdoor fire pit, where there is tons of air flow.

Is it OK to burn wood with nails in it?

It sure is!

When chopping the pallet wood, you just need to look out and make sure you don’t hit any nails – they could damage your saw blade.

Also, you will end up with a lot of nails in your ash. You can scoop it up and put it in the trash, or use a large magnet to collect them.

Otherwise, it is perfectly safe to burn wood with nails in it.

Wooden Pallet Herb Garden - Charleston Crafted

How do I chop up pallets to burn?

You can use a reciprocating saw or a circular saw to quickly chop up pallets into burnable sized pieces.

You can also use a hammer or a pry bar, it’s just going to take a lot longer. You don’t need the boards to be in great shape if you are just going to burn them up!

Where can I get free pallet wood?

There are tons of sources for free pallets, we wrote a whole blog post about where to find free pallet wood here!

What else can I do with pallet wood?

What about building a scallop planter?!

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Everything you need to know about burning pallet wood safely

What other questions do you have about burning pallet wood?

 
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