Fire Table VS Fire Pit – What’s Better?

Ah, the eternal debate: gas fire tables versus wood burning fire pits. It’s the kind of argument that can get heated (pun intended) around the dinner table or backyard gathering. Yeah, but not really.

Some people swear by the rustic charm and smoky smell of a traditional wood burning fire pit, while others prefer the convenience and cleanliness of a gas fire table. So what’s the difference, and which one is right for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.

Criteria Gas Fire Tables Wood Burning Fire Pits
Up front purchase cost Typically more expensive Typically less expensive
Annual fuel cost Natural gas or propane costs can add up Wood can be less expensive, but requires more frequent refueling
Time to install Quick and easy installation process Installation process can be more time-consuming
Annual maintenance/cleaning time required Minimal maintenance required Regular cleaning required to remove ashes and debris
Time to ignite Quick and easy to ignite with a push button or switch Takes more time and effort to ignite and maintain
Tabletop surface Yes, nice for dining and entertaining Typically no tabletop
Mobility Can move/relocate when tabletop stored within table Stationary

Gas Fire Tables: The Clean, Convenient Option

Do you love the ambiance of a fire but don’t want to deal with the hassle of chopping wood, building a fire and cleaning up ash afterwards? A gas fire table might be right up your alley.

Wicker Style Round Patio Table with Fire Pit in the Middle

Fire Table Pros:

First, these sleek, modern fire features run on propane or natural gas (no messy clean up). Plus, you can easily turn them on and off with the flip of a switch or push of a button.

One of the biggest advantages of gas fire tables is their neat and tidy operation. Unlike wood burning fire pits, they don’t produce any ash, soot or smoke. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about dealing with that pesky smoky smell that clings to clothes and hair. Plus, because they don’t produce any sparks or embers, they’re safer to use around children and pets.

Lightweight Concrete Fire Pit Table with Glass Guard

In addition, fire tables offer more versatility. Because they run on gas, you don’t need to worry about having a steady supply of firewood on hand. Furthermore, you can use them year-round, even in areas where burning wood is prohibited due to fire danger or air quality restrictions.

Many units also have good-sized tabletops, which make them perfect for dining and entertaining friends.

The Cons:

However, fire pit tables also come with disadvantages. One of the biggest comes down to cost. They tend to be more expensive than wood burning fire pits, both in terms of the initial purchase price and ongoing fuel costs.

Plus, gas units require a little more maintenance than wood burning fire pits, as you’ll need to periodically check and replace gas lines and valves to ensure they’re working properly. That said, I didn’t have to repair or replace any parts for the first 12 years that I owned my fire table.

Wood Burning Fire Pits: The Classic Choice

But what if you prefer that classic, crackling fire sound and the smell of burning wood? Then, a wood burning fire pit might suit your needs better.

Fire Pit Pros:

These traditional fire bowls use logs or wood chunks, and you light them with a match or lighter. They also work well for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs. Plus, they create a cozy, rustic atmosphere that’s hard to beat.

Build Your Backyard Fire Pit

One of the biggest advantages of fire pits is their cost, especially if you build one yourself and have access to free firewood. Plus, they require very little maintenance beyond periodically cleaning out ash and debris.

They also tend to look more rustic and give off that natural wood-burning smell. Not to mention, you can build fire pits extra large to give off more heat and accommodate more guests.

The Cons:

Of course, wood burning fire pits have their downsides as well. For one, they can get messy with all the ashes. They required regular clean up, plus the ash can be problematic for people with respiratory problems. Not to mention, the sparks and embers can be hazardous.

Which Should You Choose – Fire Table VS Fire Pit?

Well, gas fire tables offer the benefits of easy set up, minimal cleaning and convenient tabletop area. You can also move them around if they run off of a propane tank that sits within the table itself. All that said, plan to pay extra for all the modern conveniences.

Hidden Propane Gas Tank Storage Underneath Fire Pit Table

On the other hand, if you like the old-school look, campfire smell and want a giant fire bowl, a wood burning fire pit will probably suit your needs better. Installation will require more work and take longer, but you can save money in exchange for your manual labor.