WARMBOND BondStove Fire Pit
Claims of the first smokeless fire pit to hit the market run back to 2014. Over the last several years however, there has been an explosion of new designs and a red-hot market to bring smokeless fire pits to the backyard, tailgate, or campsite. One of the newest contenders in this space is the Bond Stove by WARMBOND. We have been testing a Bond Stove for 6 weeks now and below is our comprehensive review.
Smokeless Fire Pits
What makes a fire pit a smokeless fire pit? A Smokeless fire pit has an inner and outer wall construction that allows for air to be ducted up through the walls. Holes in the inner wall near the top pull that preheated air into the fire. This produces an afterburner effect with the introduction of preheated oxygen that helps burn off excess particles and smoke that would otherwise escape.
WARMBOND BondStove Specifications
- Height: 17.3in
- Width: 19.6
- Weight: 35.5
- Fuel: Wood, Coal, Pellets
- Material: Stainless Steel, Ceramic Coating Exterior
Construction and Design
The WARMBOND BondStove stands out immediately from some of its competitors with its rounded square frame design and its colored ceramic outer coating. The more cube-like design of the fire pit is unique and benefits from maximizing the footprint usage of the 19.6” x 19.6” frame with a very large internal volume. The square shape is designed to be a bit more space conscious when stored away or packed on the go.
The inner walls are stainless steel sheet metal that is wrapped around and welded back into itself. The outer wall has a ceramic coating that can come in a variety of colors. An additional panel makes up the floor of the pit that features mounting points for the 4 feet as well as threaded inserts for the optional caster wheel bolts.
A heat shield needs to be installed on the bottom of the pit with 4 hex drive bolts. 4 ceramic-coated feet are attached with a single top-mounted bolt each. Each foot has a non-skid rubber-like material on the bottom.
Inside the fire pit rests a removable ash pan on the bottom that is coated steel with two thin gauge metal handles. A similarly designed combustion grate rests on top of the ash pan. Both the ash pan and combustion grate need to be installed prior to burning.
The final standard piece to the WARMBOND BondStove is the multifunctional shield, coated like the ash pan and combustion grate. The shield rests in the square opening and narrows the top opening to a circle to accommodate the optional grill grate, grill lid, or glass viewing ring.
The WARMBOND BondStove increases its versatility with the addition of optional accessory packs. The basic Bond Stove Kit comes with several accessories right out of the box. These include a cast iron grill grate, poker, waterproof cover, and a starter pack of WARMBOND Fire Starter Rings. The Fire Starter Rings are wax-infused rope rings designed to help start the fire without the need for kindling. The Fire Rings tested worked well once we could get the rings themselves caught on fire. However, the rings were fairly difficult to light themselves and required several matches or attempts with a lighter.
The optional grill pack accessory kit includes a grill cover, insulated right hand glove, tong, meat fork, 4 skewer/forks and a thermometer that inserts into the standard multifunctional shield.
The mobile pack is a set of 4 caster wheels that replace the feet on the bottom of the fire pit. The fire pit itself is fairly heavy at 35.5 lbs so an option to wheel the pit around is something that WARMBOND offers. We installed the wheels on our Bond Stove to try them out. The wheels are sturdy and two can be locked with a brake to prevent the pit from rolling. While this may be a nice option for some that intend to use their pits on asphalt at a tailgate, the thought of having a roaring fire on wheels that we forgot to lock down had us switching back to the standard feet before our first fire.
Fire Viewing Pack and a Warmness Pack
Additional accessory packs that we did not receive to review are a Fire Viewing Pack and a Warmness Pack. The fire viewing pack is an interesting addition and is a glass ring that rests on the circular opening. It does appear to add a bit of functionality when paired with the grill as it can raise the grill lid up off the grill grate and provide more volume for roasting and the ability to view the food as it is cooked. The final accessory is a heat deflector that comes with the Warmness Pack. This head deflector can be adjusted to change the angle and direction of the radiation.
Fire Burning Performance
Our first impression when setting up our first fire was the impressive size of the interior space. The square shape made setting up a “log cabin” with standard split logs a nonissue. The included Fire Starter Rings last a fairly long time and do a good job of transferring the fire to the main fuel source. With the large volume of the firepit, a fair amount of wood is needed to really get the flames going to notice that smokeless afterburner effect. Once the firepit heats up to operating temperature the Bond Stove puts out a great bit of heat and the dual airflow design appears to work well.
The outside of the fire pit understandably gets very hot. We did have some concerns about how hot the metal feet get which may be of interest depending on what kind of surface the pit is resting on. We collected some temperature readings at various points on the outside after 40 minutes of burning. The top shield measured 750+ F which lined up nicely with the Grill Pack thermometer reading.
On the outside wall the top the temperature was 500F and at the bottom, it was closer to 300F. The metal feet on the side measured between 160F and 180F. We were able to carefully lift the Bond Stove up slightly and grab a measurement on the bottom of the feet that clocked in at 140F.
Build Quality and Durability
WARMBOND’s Bond Stove was in the crowdfunding phase on Kickstarter when we received our unit. While we recognize that the model we tested may be an early production model, we do have some concerns with the manufacturing details on the unit we received.
During the unboxing process, we first noticed a large dent on the upper edge of the stove. The packaging arrived in good condition with no apparent damage. This did cause us to inspect the materials with a bit more scrutiny as the dent did seem to cause some separation of the inner and outer sheets. The weld joining the inner wall on itself does appear rushed.
We’ve had our Bond Stove for a little over 6 weeks and enjoyed roughly a dozen fires with it. Typical usage for us in the evenings was we would let the last remnants of the fire burn down and cool overnight. The next morning we would empty the ashes, which was an easy task with the removable trays. We would then cover up the pit with the waterproof cover. Here in New England, this summer has been very wet so some nights, unexpected rain has come in and given the Bond Stove a shower and nearly every morning a decent layer of dew would form on the stove whether it was covered or not.
Unfortunately, we have noticed significant corrosion in this short amount of time. The stainless steel inner layers and outer ceramic layer are holding up just fine, however many of the accessory attachment points and hardware are already covered in rust. Some spots on the coated ashtray, combustion grate, and multifunction shield are showing signs of corrosion as well.
We recognize that cycling metal through periods of intense heat and cool moisture is a recipe for corrosion. However, we feel it’s important that a fire pit that is significant in size and weight will likely spend a fair amount of its life exposed to the elements.
The BondStove is a unique addition to the ever-expanding market of smokeless fire pits. The number of accessories makes the Bond Stove really versatile as a Fire Pit that can double as a campsite or tailgate cooking station. The large internal volume allows for plenty of wood or other food to really get a large warming fire going. The Bond Stove is selling on WarmBond.com currently for $249 dollars.
If you are looking for a fire pit that can be just at home in the backyard, tailgate, and campsite and can also pull double duty as a grill, the BondStove by WARMBOND is worth a look.