How To Tell The Good Fatwood From The Bad

Feb 19, 2023


Welcome to the comprehensive guide on how to distinguish between good and bad fatwood brought to you by Florida Potting Soil Wood Products Div.

What is Fatwood?

Fatwood, also known as lighter wood or rich lighter, is resin-rich wood derived primarily from various species of pine trees. It is highly resinous and prized for its ability to ignite easily, making it an excellent fire starter. Fatwood is often used in camping, survival situations, bonfires, and even for convenient indoor fireplace lighting.

Characteristics of Good Fatwood

When identifying good fatwood, there are several key characteristics to keep in mind:

  • Resin Content: High-quality fatwood contains a significant amount of resin, which is responsible for its excellent flammability. Look for fatwood pieces with visibly rich resin veins and a strong, distinct smell of pine.
  • Appearance: Good fatwood generally appears darker and more saturated in color compared to regular wood. The resin-saturated areas might also feel sticky or textured to the touch.
  • Density: The density of fatwood is higher compared to regular wood due to its resin content. Good fatwood will feel heavier in your hand when compared to its size.
  • Moisture: Moisture content is an essential factor to consider. Good fatwood should be relatively dry. Avoid damp or wet fatwood as it may have lost some of its ignition capabilities.

How To Purchase Good Fatwood

When purchasing fatwood, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Reputable Suppliers: Buy fatwood products from established and trusted suppliers to ensure the quality and authenticity of the product.
  • Visual Inspection: Examine the fatwood pieces before making a purchase. Look for the aforementioned characteristics of good fatwood, such as resin veins, rich color, and the distinct smell of pine.
  • Customer Reviews: Check customer reviews and ratings of the supplier. Positive reviews indicate a higher likelihood of receiving good fatwood.
  • Quantity Needed: Determine the quantity you require beforehand to ensure you purchase enough for your needs.

Using Fatwood Effectively

Once you have obtained good fatwood, here are some tips for its effective usage:

  • Fire Starting: Fatwood is an exceptional fire starter. Arrange dry kindling and place fatwood pieces on top. Ignite the fatwood using a lighter or match, and watch as it quickly catches fire and lights up your desired firewood.
  • Outdoor Activities: Pack fatwood as a reliable fire starter during camping trips, hiking adventures, or any outdoor activities where quick and reliable fire ignition is crucial.
  • Indoor Fireplace Lighting: Place fatwood sticks or shavings in your fireplace before adding logs. The resin-rich fatwood will help ignite the logs and ensure a cozy and warm indoor fire.


In conclusion, differentiating between good and bad fatwood is crucial for optimizing your fire-starting experience. Remember to look for high resin content, rich color, density, and low moisture when identifying good fatwood. Purchase from reputable suppliers and consider customer reviews. With proper selection and usage, you can enjoy the convenience and reliability of fatwood for various indoor and outdoor activities.

Simon Robbs
Great guide! Very informative and helpful in distinguishing between good and bad fatwood. Thanks for sharing!
Oct 8, 2023