Updated: November 2017
Fireplace Bellow Reviews:Finding the Right Fireplace Bellows - There is nothing quite like fireplaces to create a warm, inviting atmosphere in homes. We attribute a lot of happiness to fireplaces: this is how Santa comes to deliver us goodies, this is where we curl up with our loved ones, this is where we gather for warmth. We put our most precious photos on the mantle piece and use it as a source of both heat and beauty. This is an idyllic vision of the fireplace, but those who actually have them know how much work it can be to keep them operating smoothly and safely. And while fireplaces are aesthetically pleasing, they're not the most efficient forms of heat, and they can be hard to get going. If you want to enjoy your fireplace to its fullest, you need the right tools. One of the most useful is a fireplace bellows. How do bellows work? What should you look for when buying fireplace bellows? Which are the best bellows in the business? This guide will help answer all your questions.
What are Fireplace Bellows? - The answer to this question depends on your fireplace. If you have a non-working fireplace, a bellows is a wonderful decorative touch. Since the design and materials of bellows are so durable, you can find many lovely antiques to adorn your home. But if you have a working fireplace, a bellows is a handy tool. They are rather accordion-like: air is drawn in from the back of the bellows and then pushed through the nozzle to oxygenate your fire. Fire needs air, and this is far preferable to blowing on it to get it roaring. And safer, too! Larger bellows hold more air and so work more quickly. They also require you be a little farther from the fire. How Do You Choose Fireplace Bellows? - There are five considerations you should keep in mind when choosing fireplace bellows:
*The size of your fireplace and home. If you have a smaller unit, you don't need giant bellows. Get a smaller set. Though they expel less air, you don't need as much for your smaller fireplace, and they won't look out of place or clunky with your decor.
*Decor is another factor to keep in mind. You can find any number of styles and stains, including simple cherry-stained bellows or elaborately painted antique bellows (which are mostly still functional - check this before you buy if you want an antique look and a working bellows).
*Long handles. Even on a smaller bellows, you want the handles to be longer so you do not have to be as close to the fire.
*Budget is a consideration in any purchase. You can spend anywhere from under $20 to in excess of $100. It depends on the quality, the age, and where you get the bellows.
*Style of the bellows. The material used on the bag part of the bellows is leather, which comes in a variety of styles. You can even have them customized. Choose a look you like. The handles also vary widely. They are typically made of wood, but you can choose which type of wood, which type of decoration, and other features you would like.
Different Types of Bellows - The most common type of bellows is the design that has not changed appreciably for generations. These are traditional, and while you can buy new versions, you can also pick up antiques relatively easily. There are also power bellows, which you can see here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi7uuPimdd4). These are often very versatile, acting as a bellows for fireplaces, grills, and campfires, as well as an air inflator. The other type of bellows is actually a combination tool, a blower/poker combo tool. Let's take a look at some common bellows you can easily find on the market. You can browse the best selling fireplace bellows online here.
Traditional Fireplace Bellows:One of the biggest names in fireplace accessories is Johnny Beard. This well-respected name offers an extensive collection of finely crafted fireplace bellows in a variety of price ranges. One of their less expensive models is the Rosette Bellow. This is highly regarded by Amazon reviewers, as well as those from Northline Express. The Rosette is 21 inches long, 7.5 inches wide, 2 inches deep, and weighs about 2.10 pounds. It is made of sturdy Eastern pine with a suede leather bag and a solid brass nozzle. Like all Johnny Beard bellows, the Rosette is hand-carved by Johnny Beard himself, a skilled wood and metal worker. Each Johnny Beard bellows is unique and special, making it not only a functional, durable fireplace tool, but a beautiful accessory as well. It is certainly worth the $58 price tag. One of Johnny Beard's highest end bellows is the Python Leather Bellows. Again, it is finely handcrafted and makes a wonderful decorative piece. The bellows has a beautiful wood handle and features a great leather with python printed design (no pythons were hurt in the making of this bellows). High quality wood, beautiful suede leather, and brass fixtures make this one of the most wonderful fireside accessories you can have. The Python Leather Bellows is $227. When looking for traditional bellows, look for Northline, Copperfield, Minuteman, and of course, Johnny Beard. If you want a less expensive model, try the Do It Best Home Impressions Bellows. This is a beautiful 15-inch bellows that is constructed of solid wood. It is a bit short, but if you have a small fireplace and/or home, it can be just the right fireplace tool. And the price is right for just under $11.
Power Bellows:These offer an alternative to manual bellows. A model like the Air Grill Inflator will be able to handle a host of household chores, and do it inexpensively at that. The Air Grill can expel air to stoke your fires, whether they are in your fireplace, campground, or as the name indicates, your grill. It also has .30 PSI for inflating things like sports balls, bike inner tubes, and much more. The Air Grill has three universal inflation adapters for this purpose, extended nozzles, storage compartment for matches and the like, and a super grip handle. And in case you needed just one more tool on this fireplace accessory, the Air Grill has a bottle opener. This power bellows is crank-operated, so simply turning the handle allows the Air Grill to work. This is a great buy at a bit over $15. Amazon reviewers give it top scores, one reviewer saying it was "strange but useful." Strange is good! But the variety in the tool, while unusual, is very practical.
Fireplace Bellows/Poker Combinations - If space is tight or you just like a sleeker look, a blower/poker combo tool is perfect. Let's look at one of the top models, the Firehawk: Blow Poke Fireplace Tool. With this tool, you can both stoke your fire by oxygenating it or raking cools. The blower works just like you'd expect: you blow air through the three-foot tube. It has a solid brass mouth piece and a great black finish that is perfect with any decor. On the flip side, you will find a forked end for poking logs and coals. Reviewers have called this a handy tool and perfect for the campground. The Firehawk is $30. While not a traditional bellows, this tool can help you do the same thing without having to bend close to the fire. Minuteman also makes blower/poker fireplace tools - see their 48" blow poke here. Bellows can be a wonderful addition to any home fortunate enough to have a fireplace. Whether you want a classic antique bellows or a newer model, you can find what you need to make sure your fires are always roaring, warming, and inviting.