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The best wax firelighters?


We’ve become great fans of the Waxling firelighters lately but are aware that there are quite a few other ‘eco-firelighters’ on the market, so have begun trying some different ones out. We’ll report here on our findings and would welcome your feedback too: which ones have you tried and how did they perform?

Two wood wool lighters; theone on the left is a cheaper, less dense oval shape, while the one on the right is round and tightly bound

We’re trying to replicate the same lighting conditions for each test, as far as we can, but right now our findings are based on observation rather than scientific testing…and different lighters will probably suit different fires or stoves. But anyway….

First off, we compared the Waxling firelighter (pictured below) with the Phoenix ecofirelighter.

From the top picture, you can see right away that the Waxling has a more dense core and it’s a lot more tightly rolled. The Phoenix has a very much looser construction, with trails of wood wool detaching from it easily.

A single Waxling wood wool lighter lying on a wooden counter

Are they odourless? Neither firelighter has a strong odour when you open the bag or box. The Waxlings smell faintly of wood resin and beeswax, the Phoenix have a faint wood-and-paraffin-wax aroma about them. When lit, both seem to burn without any unpleasant aromas and would probably be great for barbecue lighting for that reason.

Initial lighting is easy with both types as the external bits of wood wool catch readily when you hold a match to them.

The first stage of burning is strong with both and, provided the fuel you put on top is dry, they both produce a good amount of heat.

The length of burning time is longer with the Waxlings. They last up to half as long again before the flames die down into a ball of ashes. I needed to use 2, sometimes 3 Phoenix to get the fire going on a still day and 1, sometimes 2, Waxlings under the same conditions.

Rejuvenating the fire is easy with both of these: just shove it under the nearest bit of fuel and light with a long match.

In summary, I personally prefer the Waxlings because:
a) They last longer
b) They don’t seem to have any (or much?) paraffin wax in them
c) They look so attractive: we have them in a display basket!
d) They’re less messy. The Phoenix ones lose bits of wood wool in the box, in the basket and on the grate.

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