Wood Briquette Tech 101: The 3 Generations of Wood Briquettes

Wood Briquette Tech 101: The 3 Generations of Wood Briquettes

If you're new to wood fuels, then you might think that all logs and briquettes are created equal. But if you're an experienced wood stove user, then you most likely know that this couldn't be further from the truth.

Modern wood briquettes can burn 8 to 10 times longer than conventional firewood. They can burn so hot that certain briquettes can actually damage your appliance if not used properly. And their total energy content can outmatch the batteries you'll find in most plug-in hybrid vehicles.

In this article, our wood fuel experts will tell you everything you need to know about the three generations of wood briquette products currently available on the UK market. Learn the difference between these briquettes, the technologies going into their production, and which generation fuels are right for you.

What Are the Three Generations of Wood Briquettes?

  • First generation briquettes. As we mentioned in our Ultimate Guide to Briquettes, the first when the first industrial briquetting machines appeared on the market in 1865 and were capable of creating brick-shaped sawdust briquettes from sawmill sawdust. Such simple sawdust briquettes are inexpensive and easy to use, which makes them popular to this very day.
  • Second generation briquettes. With early examples of appearing in the middle of the twentieth century, this generation of wood fuels is characterised by advances in briquetting machinery. These briquettes provide increased density and come in all shapes and sizes. Some of Lekto's most popular briquettes, such as Pini Kay Eco Logs and Hardwood Heat Logs, belong to this generation.
  • Third generation briquettes. Appearing in the 2010s, this generation of wood fuels is classified by advances in wood fuel technology that allowed manufacturers to create next-generation briquettes with never-before-seen burning properties. The only two third-generation briquettes on the UK market are Lekto's Night Briquettes and Fire Logs.

Briquette Generation Comparison Table

This is how the three generations of briquette products compare with each other.


Gen 1

Gen 2

Gen 3

Appeared in








Burn time

2-3 hours

2-3 hours

Up to 8 hours

Heat output



Low to High


Brick only







Production costs




Sales price





Sawdust Briquettes

Pini Kay, Heat Logs, Nestro

Night Briquettes, Fire Logs

Lekto exclusive technology?




Pre-Briquette Wood Fuels (Gen-Zero): Firewood Logs

Before we move on to wood briquettes, we need to talk about logs. At the time of writing, most UK wood fuel users still relying on firewood for most of their wood heating requirements.

The main draw of firewood is its low initial price, understandability, and tradition. Most people have used firewood before and thus feel a lot more comfortable with it. Per same volume, firewood is also cheaper to buy. However, firewood is a lot less energy dense than briquettes, so it will take up a lot more space in your wood store and you'll end up using more fuel (and money) for your heating needs.

Firewood is as old as civilization itself, with many scientists believing that fire is what made us human. And the technology used for the creation of firewood hasn't changed much since. Trees are cut, chopped up into small chunks, and dried until reaching a pre-defined moisture level.

The vast majority of firewood sold in the UK is air dried for a period of 2-3 years, until it reaches an internal moisture level of under 20% (selling firewood with a higher moisture content is illegal in the UK). More premium options, such as those sold by Lekto, are baked in special industrial kilns and typically contain around 10% moisture. This decreased moisture level makes your logs easier to light, allows them to burn more cleanly, and decreases the mount of harmful chemicals released as part of the burning process.

Kiln Dried Firewood in the UK

Lekto sells two types of premium kiln-dried firewood:

  • Birch firewood. Traditional birch logs are far the most popular option with UK customers. It is easy to light, burns beautifully, and its bark makes for good makeshift tinder.
  • Oak firewood. A more premium option, oak logs burn longer, hotter, and cleaner than birch logs. Thanks to their superlative heat output, they're the only type of firewood you'll find in authentic Italian pizzerias.

First Generation Briquettes: Simple Brick-Shaped Briquette Fuels

Generation 1 wood briquettes are the most commonly-used type of briquette fuel used in the UK today.

First generation briquettes are made from sawmill sawdust that is compacted using basic briquetting equipment and are always brick-shaped. First generation briquettes are typically dried to under 9% moisture, which allows them to burn a lot cleaner than regular firewood.

The main draw of first-generation briquettes is the fact that they're incredibly easy to use, inexpensive, and still performing a gret deal better than conventional firewood.

First generation briquettes burn a lot longer than regular logs, produce a lot more heat, and take up a lot less space per unit of heat produced, which translates into less space required for storage.

First Generation Briquettes in the UK

Lekto's Sawdust Briquettes are the UK's highest quality first generation briquette.

Second Generation Briquettes: Improved Briquette-Making Technology

Generation 2 are used with better technology than first generation briquettes, which allows them to be made in different shapes and be of higher density. This allows them to burn hotter and longer than first generation briquettes. 

The main draw of second-generation briquettes are their unique burning characteristics. For example, Lekto's Hardwood Heat Logs feature a special ventilation opening that created a chimney effect in the log itself, which allows them to burn a lot hotter than any other briquette on the market. They also feature a unique, easy-to-portion design, which helps people avoid wood fuel waste. Pini Kay Eco Logs feature the same chimney effect but are smaller and have special coating that prevents them from rolling, splitting, and expanding.

Second Generation Briquettes in the UK

Lekto sells two second-generation briquette products:

  • Hardwood Heat Logs. The UK's hottest-burning, fast-heating wood fuel perfect for heating up rooms quickly and giving your main firewood or briquette fuels a quick heat boost.
  • Pini Kay Eco Logs. Designed to be a premium alternative to regular logs, Pini Kay Eco Logs don't rolls, split, or spark when burned. And their chimney-effect-producing shape creates a beautiful fire.

Third Generation Wood Fuels: Revolutionary Materials & New Properties

The latest development in wood fuel tech, Generation 3 are created using modern technology, advanced briquetting techniques, and proprietary sawdust mixtures. This allows them to possess never-before seen burning properties. These briquettes have have only started appearing on the market in the 2010s. As of today, Lekto Woodfuels is the only wood fuel brand offering true Generation 3 briquettes in the UK.

Being the latest and greatest in wood fuel technology, the main draw of third-generation briquettes are their amazing burning properties. For example, Lekto's innovative Night Briquettes can burn for 8 hours, which is up to 4 times as long as regular briquettes. And Lekto's innovative Fire Logs can sustain a very high heat output for 3-4 hours.

The sole drawback of third-generation briquettes is that they are a little bit more difficult to use than earlier generations. They can only be used in pre-heated stoves, so you'll need to start a fire with regular logs or briquettes and only then add your third-generation fuels.

Third Generation Briquettes in the UK

Lekto is the only wood fuel brand that sells next-generation briquettes in the UK. We currently have two Generation 3 wood fuel products on offer:

  • 8-Hour Night Briquettes. Being made of a proprietary mix of softwood bark, Night Briquettes can burn for a record-breaking 8 hours, which is 4 times longer than other briquettes. This makes them the perfect fuel for reducing your overall fuel consumption and saving money on heating.
  • Universal Fire Logs. Thanks to their unparalleled energy density and innovative production method, Fire Logs can supply a very high amount of heat for as long as 3-4 hours. This makes them the perfect fuel for using during the winter.