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When we can’t be gathered around a glowing campfire in the wilderness, the next best thing is a warming blaze with family and friends at home. Having the proper tools on hand makes for a safer, cleaner-burning fire that is as much a pleasure to tend as it is to sit by. Here’s a look at some basic tools you’ll want for your home and hearth.

Fireplace Sets

AMAGABELI GARDEN & HOME

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If you want to go all in from the start, a complete fireplace tool set with its own stand is the way to go. They usually offer some combination of a poker, tongs, an ash shovel, and a sweeper for tidying up before, during, and after a blaze. Some sets come with fancy brass handles, but you’ll never go wrong with classic black.

Tongs and Pokers

If you prefer to keep your number of fireplace tools to a minimum, consider just a set of tongs and/or a poker. Tongs are indispensable for getting the back log into just the right position to burn all night. And a poker is the quintessential tool for doing exactly what it says: sitting and poking at the fire (whether it needs poking or not). A poker with a built-in blow pipe allows you to direct oxygen in the right spot without singeing off your eyebrows.

Bellows

AMAGABELI GARDEN & HOME

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Fires need oxygen to ignite, and they need it to stay lit. Sometimes the only way to feed enough O2 into the coal bed is with a bellows. Blacksmiths have relied on them for centuries, and they are the ideal way to stoke up damp or wet wood or rekindle the blaze after it dies down.