Sawdust Burning Stove

Matt came across this on youtube the other day. A type of rocket stove I think. It would be very cheap to make and operate.

A sawdust burning stove which burns smokeless, unattended for over 8 hours per charge. Perfect for a woodworking shop or other small space.

I did a little more research and found a great article on Mother Earth News on building sawdust stoves. Here is the link to the article.

Alice found this one. These are designed and made by Kisangani Smith Group in Tanzania. They have a sustainable forestry and teach youth blacksmithing skills.

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mike - January 26, 2011 Reply

pretty cool…

Ali - January 26, 2011 Reply

Sawdust is very combustible/prone to explosion because it is flammable and has WAY more surface area than wood. I would be wary of using this thing indoors.
I suppose that if you tamp it down hard enough, cover the top with sand and leave the lid on, its unlikely to explode?
I also wish they showed how the flume/chimney attaches to the stove. At first I thought they didn’t have a system for whatever exhaust comes out of the thing. Even though it doesn’t have smoke, it still probably produces carbon monoxide right? I’m glad they showed the pipe/chimney in the end.

    Casey - December 1, 2013 Reply

    Sawdust used in this manner won’t “explode.” It may be possible to use superfine sawdust in a dust explosion–maybe that’s what Ali is concerned about.

alice - January 26, 2011 Reply

Similar to a pellet stove, but doesn’t need electricity. Wonder how small you could make one of these? Doesn’t seem to be any control other than amount of sawdust packed in, also wondering how you’d shut it down if need be. Very interesting.

alice - January 26, 2011 Reply

Here is another interesting video on these stoves

These are designed and made by Kisangani Smith Group in Tanzania. They have a sustainable forestry and teach youth blacksmithing skills.

Kevin microhomesteadblog - January 26, 2011 Reply

You just gotta love ingenuity

Paula - January 26, 2011 Reply

suoer cool.

Small Log Homes - January 26, 2011 Reply

Hey! This looks really cool! And you’re right, it seems fairly simple to make! Definitely the kind of thing that would make sense in a small country house. What a great post!

Gayle - January 26, 2011 Reply

I’ll ask my brother but it seems to me that the furnace in our basement when I was a kid was fueled by sawdust. I’m not sure where the sawdust came from except that I’m sure it was one of the local sawmills. I have no idea how much it took to heat the house in the winter but the house stayed reasonably warm as I recall.

I seems like there was some sort of auger that carried the sawdust from a large container into the furnace but I’m not sure just how it worked — if it was turned on and off manually or how that was done. I’ll see if I can find out.


kk - January 27, 2011 Reply

This is excellent. Thank you for sharing it. I could see that this would be awesome for a porch stove / outdoor kitchen.

I would like to hear a little more about the reference to safety (possibility of explosion and how to make sure it is protected from it) and any smell associated with it prior to putting it inside a house or yurt, however.

I wonder why we are not using something so simple these days. If it was used before, why was it fazed out? Is it simple convenience?

I like the idea that you could easily create a size that is appropriate for one’s needs.

Jon - January 27, 2011 Reply

These look like gasifier stoves. the airhole allows ouside air to be sucked in and superheats the wood until it produces wood gas, which burns almost without smoke There are similar cooking stoves with an air inlet on the bottom that you feed wood sticks into that are being developed for other places like India. They require more attention than these but are more for cooking so its not a big deal. Also, much like grain silos, sawdust is only explosive when it is suspended in air.

for reference:


scroll down to the section labelled “WoodGas Stoves.”

wolf tree sanctuary - January 29, 2011 Reply

There is still room for improvement, but the idea is useful, at least for a while until the sawdust gets too expensive. A good chimney would further lessen the health impact of smoke and soot on the lungs of the women. Good article. Thanks.

BB - January 29, 2011 Reply

We had these in Afghanistan, and they were a huge pain! Lighting them took a lot of time and patience (the sawdust has to be at just the right point of dryness), and I spent many a time opening doors and windows when it wasn’t lit just right and pumped black smoke throughout the room. There was also the habit of the sawdust burning from within the “tube” where the stick was, thereby not allow the heat to penetrate beyond the interior of the sawdust cone. And I don’t think I ever had one that burned for more than 4 hours at a stretch, and you had to wait another couple of hours until the drum cooled enough to refill it.

wolf tree sanctuary - January 30, 2011 Reply

I think another approach would be to make briquettes of suitable size and then feed them one by one into a rocket stove. It’s better to have a stove that is capable of burning more than one type of fuel, imho.

[Tiny House Blog] Sawdust Burning Stove hatnohat - March 25, 2011 Reply

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Flight Simulator Games For PC - April 19, 2011 Reply

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Steven - June 21, 2012 Reply

I have tried the simple constructed sawdust stove of about 1.5 feet long with a diameter of 1 feet. Pounded in the sawdust form pines. Lighting was easy: dropped some burning charcoal down in the center hole, followed with small split firewood sticks and then fanned the charcoal until the small sticks got light and in a just about 5 minutes the stove was ready for business.It gave a steady fire for over four hours and was able to boil 20 liters of water, cook 2 kg of beans quite conveniently.

    Calvin - August 10, 2012 Reply

    I am having the trouble BB had with the center blackening but it never really starts burning. It sounds like you are doing more then lighting the sawdust, you’ve got a short fire starting a longer fire. Maybe thats what I’m doing wrong. I’ll try again and see if your method helps. Mine is smaller, for single room/camping/etc. Nice to hear from folks who have actually built one of these!

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