Buying kiln dried logs in crates: How they can save you money

Kiln-dried logs provide a superior premium alternative to the kind of cheap firewood you often find on sale. Compared to unseasoned and untreated firewood, kiln-dried logs burn much cleaner and give off far less soot and creosote, which reduces the amount of cleaning and maintenance your wood-burning appliances need. While kiln-dried logs will always cost more than standard logs that haven't been through a specialised drying process, there are some simple things you can do to save money when you buy them. For example, ordering in bulk over the internet is going to be much more cost-effective than buying them from any brick-and-mortar supplier. Ordering online also makes it easier for most people to buy in bulk and get as many logs as possible for the money they spend.
Another simple but often overlooked way of saving money on kiln-dried logs is to order them in crates instead of bags. Given that most suppliers sell their crates of logs for more than they sell bags, this might seem counterintuitive. However, there are several ways in which buying kiln-dried logs in crates can save you money.

Better than a bag

You can fit more logs into a crate than a bag of equivalent size. Crates provide a much more efficient storage option than bags because logs are packed tightly and neatly in a crate, whereas in a bag, they can often be thrown in at random. When you buy a bag of logs, you are paying for the bag's size, not the volume or weight of the logs that fill it. On the other hand, when you purchase kiln-dried logs in a crate that is 2 metres high and 2 metres deep, you pay for as many logs as can fit into that space.

Some people find bags more convenient, but they don't represent the same value as a crate. Worse still, because bags generally have a lower price tag on them, some people overlook the added value even when they know that a crate is a more sensible choice.
If you're used to buying your logs in bags, we highly recommend giving crates a chance. For example, if you usually order ash logs by the bag full, you should consider getting your kiln-dried ash logs in a crate next time.

Easy Storage

For people who store their logs indoors, buying them in a crate still enables them to get as many logs as possible for their money. Plus, you get a free crate! Wherever you store your logs, you should consider buying them by the crate instead of the bag.
One of the main arguments favouring bags of logs over crates is that bags are easier to store. For some people, this may well be the case. For example, if you store your firewood in a garage or outbuilding, it might be much simpler logistically to put a bag in there than moving an entire crate. However, if you store your logs outdoors, crates provide the ultimate convenience. They will hold all your logs in a neat pile with good air circulation, protect them from the wet earth, and it's easy to remove logs from a crate as and when you need them; it's only slightly harder than pulling them out of a bag.
Most people buying kiln-dried logs understand the importance of keeping them out of the rain. However, this is only one aspect of proper storage. Some people try to wrap their logs tightly in tarpaulin, assuming that this will keep them as dry as possible. This seems like a sensible enough idea, but it can actually be counterproductive. An airtight covering means that moisture can't escape from the logs, and they end up retaining much more than they otherwise would. Keeping your logs in crates until they're used ensures that air can circulate and they can continue to dry, provided you place them in a suitably sheltered location.

A variety of sizes

Crates are available in a wide range of sizes to cater to all types of customer. Some suppliers offer small crates for individual users alongside mammoth crates designed for commercial customers. Whatever your needs, there is a crate size available to suit them. As a general rule, the more logs you buy, the more money you will save. Obviously, your upfront costs will increase if you want to buy a bigger crate, but you will make a greater saving on every log within the crate. It usually makes sense to buy as many logs as you can, as long as you know what type of wood you need. If you're just starting out with wood burning and you're still working out the best setup for your appliance, you might be inclined to buy fewer logs. The smallest crates on the market work well for this purpose, providing plenty of logs but not an excessive amount for one person.
Of course, if you know that you're going to be getting through a lot of logs at a reasonably fast pace, buying an enormous crate of them makes the most sense. For commercial customers and the heaviest users, we recommend you buy the biggest crate you can find (provided you have storage space for it, of course).

Built to last

For people who have a sheltered location on their property for storing logs but don't have a dedicated wood storage shed or bin, crates offer an extra layer of convenience. The crates themselves are robust enough to survive for a long time. You can use them to store and protect your wood until you use it. Improperly stored logs can easily become contaminated by moisture and dirt, which will make them burn much less efficiently. A strong storage crate adds a free layer of protection to your logs if you're expecting to keep them for a while before you use them.
Once you know which wood works best with your wood-burning appliance, ordering a crate is the most cost-effective way of buying it. You might pay more upfront for each crate, but you will get much more for every pound you spend.