Can You Burn Wood with Nails in It?

Trying to remove each and every nail from old lumber can be a laborious task but on the other hand, you can also end up harming yourself if you leave them in. Let’s take a look at what should you do if you wish to burn that old lumber as firewood.

Burning wood with nails inside them should be okay as long as the wood is not very fresh or wet. However, you should try to remove the nails if there are a lot of them stuck inside the firewood. For removing the nails after the firewood has been burnt, you can either use a magnet or a small shovel before you dispose of the ash.

burning wood with nails in it

Can You Burn Wood with Nails?

If you have come across some firewood that is otherwise great for use but is ridden with nails, it should be okay to burn it as long as you take some precautions beforehand.

One thing to note is that the nail will not burn or melt in any case, it is made of metal so in most cases, it will just end up becoming superheated and fall off into the ash. You will have to remove the nails later on from the ash though before disposing of it.

On the other hand, if the piece of firewood has a lot of nails inside it, then it is better to remove as many as you can. This is not only for safety reasons but having a lot of nails will reduce the efficiency of the firewood. The wood will not burn for as long and as hot as it could have.

Can You Burn Palette Wood with Nails in It?

It is okay to burn pallet wood with nails in them as long as it is not covered with paint or other harmful substances as they can release a lot of harmful fumes. Other than this, follow the guidelines as stated above and you should be okay.

What Precautions Should You Take Before Cutting Firewood?

If you have to cut the firewood before using it, especially with a chainsaw, you need to be extra careful. Chainsaw blades move very fast and if they come in contact with even one nail, it can send them flying like projectiles along with the chain. This can be very dangerous to not only you but any person around you during the time. Try to remove as many nails as you can before using a chainsaw.

But this is not necessary if the nails are not around the area where you want to use the chainsaw, for example, if the nails are at the end of the wood and you have to cut through the middle.

Flying nails can act like bullets and even have the potential to pierce through humans.

How to Remove Nails Before Burning the Firewood?

Although there are a lot of methods for removing nails from wood, the easiest one would be to use pliers or a crowbar and pull them out.

Another method is to cut the firewood around the area where the nails are, this makes it easier to remove them as there is not a lot of wood surrounding the nails. 

How to Remove the Nails After the Wood Has Been Burnt?

Once the wood has been completely burnt and turned into ash, you can either scoop up the nails using a shovel and a dustpan or use a magnet to pick them up. The latter is really helpful if you wish to leave some ash in the fireplace.

Using a magnet will also help if you wish to use the remaining ash as compost in your garden or in areas where people or cars might go through frequently.


Although you should try to remove the nails before burning the wood, it is okay to burn the lumber as long as the wood is seasoned and healthy however, a lot of nails will also lead to reduced firewood efficiency.

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