Why to use brackets to build an outdoor firewood rack? Because it's very quick and very easy, and it can be cheap too. You slide 2×4’s into brackets, and you’re done for the most part.
To build a rack the easy way, using brackets, you need only 3 2x4's for a 4-feet long rack or 4 2x4's for an 8-feet long rack. You only pay for a bracket kit and 2x4's.
To build a sturdy rack of the same length and height using 2x4s only (no brackets), you need up to 7 2x4's, plus screws or bolts and nuts, plus a good building plan. You pay for all that plus for a lot more of your time. (If you want to do it this way than we suggest you find free DIY outdoor firewood rack plans.)
Your final price including firewood rack brackets will be only slightly higher. But you'll get another great advantage - your new rack will be adjustable in length and easily disassemble-able and store-able. To adjust, simply replace the 2×4’s with longer or shorter ones.
Using cheap and quick firewood brackets is especially great when you need more than one rack – it’s cheaper to buy several bracket kits and quickly assemble a few racks than buying read-made designs.
There are 3 types of easy wood rack brackets you can buy to quickly build a nice and sturdy log holder.
- Simple Brackets (metal and plastic)
- High Uprights Brackets (metal)
- Tie Connectors
Within the above 3 categories, we’ve picked the best 8 brackets that are very popular, get the most of good reviews and are the most affordable.
Build a Firewood Rack the Easy Way Using Simple Bracket Kits
Kit Price & Features Comparison
Could crack in some climates
Can be loose
Could bend w/ larger loads
Good for smaller piles
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Note: all brackets are sold as a set, meaning that there will be 2 or 4 of them in a box, just enough to build 1 rack.
Note: 2x4s are never included with any kit. You buy them yourself.
Simple Firewood Rack Brackets - Overview
Using simple firewood brackets, you can easily build a strong homemade outdoor rack, and even with no tools. Here's how you do it.
1. Pick the size of your new rack in advance - 4-ft or 8-ft or 16-ft wide. These will be the length of your horizontals.
2. When going to Home Depot to buy 2x4's, have them cut right in the store if needed.
3. As a must step, have two 2x4's cut in half for your four verticals - 4-ft each. Your rack will be 4 feet high.
Don't forget to always buy pressure-treated lumber for your outdoor projects.
After going over hundreds of reviews, we’ve picked these 4 simple outdoor firewood bracket kits that are easy to build and are the best kits out there.
What we consider easy is a design that can be built with a few straight cuts and with a few or no screws at all. Brackets, tie connectors and 2×4’s are the main components of such DIY designs. These ideas should take no longer than an hour to build by yourself.
Bracket kits are sold as 2- or 4-bracket sets and can be made of steel or ABS plastic.
Note: for long lasting outdoor designs, we strongly suggest that you use pressure-treated 2×4 lumber only.
A handy chart - shows you the actual lumber sizes that should be considered when buying firewood brackets.
Pros of Simple Bracket Kits
- Easy to build with
- Quick to assemble
- Allow for rack length adjustment, and even depth adjustment
- Offer a more decorative look
- Easy to disassemble and store away when not in use
Cons of Simple Bracket Kits
- In many cases, brackets are sold online only so need to wait till they arrive
- Depending on bracket design, some may be a bit loose or a bit tight to fit the commonly available 2×4 stock lumber, thus requiring an additional work either shimming small gaps or shaving off the 2×4’s to size
TIP: try to find dry lumber to build a rack – it’ll be slightly smaller in size and will fit easier and you’ll know right away if your rack assembly is strong enough (vs. being loose).
ShelterLogic LumberRack Adjustable Firewood Rack Bracket Kit - Review
Engineered from ABS plastic, each kit includes 2 brackets, just enough to build 1 firewood rack. 2×4’s are not included. You can make your own firewood rack in just a few minutes, it’s that simple!
It’s adjustable to any length. Slide brackets along the rails to size the rack to match your storage needs.
To match the design shown above, your plan for building a firewood rack is: buy 3 pressure-treated 2X4’s at Home Depot and have them cut in halves in the store. Insert 2×4’s into brackets as shown above and you’re done rather quick. And you can add a cover later, before winter sets in.
The kit is specially designed to firmly fit 2 x 4 lumber for a strong rack construction … so a word of caution. Some reviewers said they had a hard time fitting wet pressure-treated lumber through the slots, so choose the drier boards out of the pile at the lumber store and you won’t have any problems. If lumber you bought is still wet, you may have to shave it a bit to fit, which not every DIY enthusiast knows how to do or comfortable doing.
TIP: to reinforce this rack or to create an additional top shelf, you can buy a second kit, cut in half one more 2×4 and install the new brackets upside-down at the top of the verticals, to form a rectangular firewood rack frame. It maybe necessary to attach some sort of stops underneath the top set to prevent it from sliding down.
While we really like this simple bracket kit, some people have one reservation against its outdoor use: plastic parts harden overtime and eventually crack. Well, we’ve had some experience designing ABS parts, and black ABS especially is very good against UV ageing (prolonged exposure to sunlight, which is what causes cracks).
Ironton Adjustable Firewood Rack Steel Bracket Kit - Review
If you don’t trust plastic parts then this metal bracket kit could be your preferred choice for building a strong adjustable firewood rack.
Black powder-coated, this all-steel design looks well constructed from 1/16″ thick sheet metal. Adjust the length of the rack simply by changing to longer or shorter 2x4s. After receiving this kit in the mail, assembling your new rack shouldn’t take more than 1 hour. Quick and easy.
There are a couple of things to be aware of.
The actual dimensions of a standard 2×4 that you buy at the store is 1.5" x 3.5". The bracket openings actual dimensions are 2"x4". So the 2×4’s can get loose inside the brackets. Another (unrelated) potential issue is that the logs, as they are piled against the vertical sides, could push the slippery smooth brackets slowly off the horizontal rails.
According to multiple reviews, these small issues are easily resolved and can even be turned to your advantage. You can apply either of the 3 simple solutions below.
1. Shim the gaps in the brackets to make lumber fit snug (using Home Depot shims). Drill a hole on the side of the horizontal metal slot (on one side only per each end of the rack is enough) and drive a screw in to hold the brackets in place, to stop sliding.
2. Or … do nothing – leave the 2×4’s loose and let the vertical ones lean away from the stack which will also stop the sliding as the metal edges will bite into the wooden rails. This will change the look of your rack a bit.
3. Or … if you have access to rough sawn lumber then don’t buy the Home Depot lumber.
Log Rack 4-Bracket Steel Set by Pleasant Hearth - Review
This is a super customizable kit that includes not 2 but 4 separate brackets, for building 1 firewood rack quick. It’s not only length adjustable, it’s also depth adjustable. This means you can make a wider rack to pile up longer logs.
Made from steel in the USA, it’s perfect to build a strong outdoor wood rack. The brackets have holes pre-drilled, and the screws are included, we believe, but better check with the seller!
With this kit, you can DIY some interesting rack design plans. One idea could be buying a second kit and using it to add a top shelf. Another idea is to use the second kit to build a longer rack (let’s say 12 ft or 8 ft), with rails running trough all 4 pairs of brackets, creating a 3-section design.
To match the rack design shown above and to have no left-over pieces, your building plan would include these steps: buy 4 dry (or drier) pressure-treated 8 ft long 2×4’s. Cut 2 of them in half – for your verticals. Cut off a 16″ piece from each of the other two to create the two short side links (16″ deep design makes a very stable rack). The remaining two 80″ pieces will be your rails and the length of your firewood holder. And you can do cuts in the store. This is going to be a longer rack design than the two above. But you can always cut it to your preferred size or simply slide brackets inwards. To assemble, first slide a steel bracket over each end of the 16″ side links (flash with the ends) and drive two screws through each using pre-drilled holes (as shown on the photo above). Then slide the two 80″ rails into the 4 brackets, to form a base. Now force the verticals into the brackets, and you’re done.
Because this is a longer (over 6 ft) design, to make a very sturdy and durable rack, you would want to add blocks underneath the rails, in the middle of the length, or they may sag under the load of firewood.
Overall, this kit is an inexpensive alternative for building a great outdoor wood rack.
Hopkins 90144 2x4basics Firewood Rack Plastic Bracket Kit - Review
This rack bracket kit is your cheapest DIY alternative to a ready-made outdoor design (it’s under $8 as of now – as cheap as it gets). But it does the job. Fully assembled, it’ll look great on a porch or deck. And it’s very easy to build with only a powered screwdriver and a saw. We also like the fact that it’s raised off the ground, reducing risks of having rotten 2×4’s.
Comes with all hardware included (but not 2x4s, make no mistake) and all holes pre-drilled. The size is adjustable – just cut 2×4’s to your preferred length up to 8 ft and up to 4 ft high.
While the least expensive, this kit let you be the most creative. Look at this two-shelf rack plan above – looks great on the photo. By combining additional 2x4basics Firewood Rack kits, you can build storage with multiple shelves or sections not only for firewood but also for anything else, including garage storage and work stations and even garden work benches.
And a finished firewood rack measures 16″ deep, which is great – more room to hold wood in the winter. The brackets are made of durable structural resin (they don’t say what type) which is claimed to be weather resistant.
It is suggested to place bricks or stones under the centers of 2x4s if you’re planning to fill the rack with a face cord of wood, to prevent sagging in the middle.
This kit even comes with assembly instructions. And there are tons of positive reviews.
Quick Firewood Rack Ideas with Adjustable High-Side Bracket Kits
Kit Price & Features Comparison
1.25" Tubular Steel
Heavy Gauge Tubular Steel
11" Gauge Steel
2 x 12.5 x 45 in
3 x 11 x 44 in
4.125 x 15.875 x 29 in
to the long sides of brackets
to the tops of brackets
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Note: 2x4s are not included with any of the kits. You buy them yourself.
Note: You can use this Assembly Guide for the two first high-side brackets. It's from a different manufacturer but serves the purpose just fine as all designs are very similar.
BEST HIGH-SIDE BRACKET KIT
Shelter SLRA Firewood Storage Log Rack Adjustable Kit
The tubular steel uprights in this kit are slightly higher and slightly wider (fits more wood), and the tube-to-brackets welding location and direction is more reliable. Plus this kit is made in the USA.
High Uprights Firewood Rack Brackets - Overview
If rack designs with simple cheap firewood brackets look too homemade to you, then you may want to consider these firewood rack ideas with high metal uprights that we review below. They are the quickest and the easiest wood racks to build and the look is also more commercial, in comparison.
Their simplicity cannot be overstated. Now imagine getting these in the mail – all you would have to do is bring your own 2×4’s, slide the metal sides over, and you’re done. And depending on the length you need, you may not even need to cut any 2×4’s at all. Calling it easy!
And if you want to store more wood all you have to do to adjust is add longer 2x4's.
Pros of High Upright Brackets
- Easiest to build with
- Quickest to assemble
- May require no tools at all
- Require the least of lumber
- Easiest to disassemble and store away
- Offer a more decorative look
- More convenient to move (holding by arched uprights)
Cons of High Upright Brackets
- A bit more expensive than simple bracket kits
- Can cost more to ship as brackets are heavier (when not free)
- Height is not adjustable
SLRA Adjustable Firewood Rack Kit by Shelter - Review
This is a high-arms bracket kit that has lots of good reviews. Reviewers call this kit simple yet amazingly functional. And no wonder. It’s extremely easy to build an outdoor firewood rack with. Just slide two of your own 2x4s (not supplied with the kit) into metal slots and you’re done. Well, almost.
No screws are supplied but metal brackets have pre-drilled holes. According to reviews, many people don’t even bother to use them – the design is stable enough without the screws. Plus, just in case if you want to change the length later, it’ll be simpler without the screws.
However, if you’re planning to move the rack while some wood is on it or desire a more sturdy construction, I suggest you do use the screws to keep the rack assembly intact (to prevent any chances of sides sliding off the 2x4s). The reviewers recommend #8 x 1-1/4″ screws to hold the brackets in place at each end. Drive them in through the pre-drilled holes.
What makes this firewood bracket kit so functional is that the length is so easily adjustable. You can make the rack any size you want depending on how long your 2x4s are. The longer rails should not affect the rigidity as the pile weight is distributed evenly through out the length. You may want to start by setting two 8-footers (standard 2x4s length, no cuts needed) in the metal slots and in the future, as your wood pile diminishes or if you simply want to make it smaller, just cut one 2X4 in half and put the rack all back together (saves you one 2×4). Couldn’t be easier! Compared to others DIY firewood rack plans, this could be the best value for price, quality and ability to expand.
The fit is very tight so you’ll want to use a hammer to pound the pressure-treated 2x4s in, which is great as it makes the rack very sturdy.
The high metal sides are made in the USA of heavy duty 1.25″ tubular steel. And notice that the tubular arms are welded to the longer sides of the sheet metal brackets (not to the top) which makes weldment much stronger.
TIP: you can spray paint the 2x4s black and it will look like an expensive read-made metal rack design.
One small issue we’ve noticed is that some people feel the side brackets are not high enough for their needs. The actual height is only 41 inches but the product specification shows the height as 45 inches. That is because it includes the height of the 2"x4" rails.
Panacea 15206 Adjustable Length Log Rack Kit - Review
This design is the closest thing to the previous high sides metal bracket kit we could find but one that is manufactured in China, is priced about the same and gets tons of good reviews a well.
The design is slightly different though – the high tubular uprights are welded to the top of the brackets (not to the sides as with the previous kit) which makes it less strong in our view. Also, the steel tube is slightly smaller in diameter than with the Shelter SLRA firewood bracket kit. This could make it a more flimsy construction. In fact, we've have found at least two reviews stating that tubular arms bent under the strain of the wood.
But the great ability to easily adjust in size is the same. While we feel like these wood brackets would be a good choice for smaller size outside racks (for small decks, patios or a small porch), some people report having them set up as 12' long and even 32' long! Not sure how they got such long rails (unless they connected two 16-footers) ... but that's 2 full cords of wood.
There are contradicting reports on size and fit (could be because the manufacturing process has changed over time or the construction tolerances are quite wide). Some people report that these wood brackets fit tight over the standard 2x4s - they don't get loose or slope. Others report that there is some gap in the bracket openings - they are closer to a true 2"x4" size. And some even suggest to buy 2x6's (instead of 2x4's) and chisel them down to whatever the bracket's hole dimension. I can see how this could be a good idea - to make a longer rack sturdier.
With all that, using screws is recommended to secure these Panacea High Arms Log Rack Brackets on the 2x4s. Use the #10 deck screws as recommended by many reviewers, pre-drilling holes first.
TIP: For sturdier setups, fasten brackets to rails with nuts and bolts instead of screws. (You would have to enlarge the pre-drilled holes using for-metal drills and also drill holes through the rails.)
TIP: Place your assembled firewood rack brackets on top of cinder blocks to get wooden rails off the ground (if you live in the heavy rain areas, like Florida) and to keep termites out (California).
Shown below is an interesting design idea & an enhancement that can be applied to other similar bracket kits as well (as recommended by one of the reviewers).
Cut 3 pieces of lumber at 10-in long and attach them between the base rails for stability and strength. Also attach 22-inch long pieces at each end of your rack as an anti-tip solution.
Finally, set the brackets onto concrete blocks.
Steel Adjustable Firewood Rack by England Stove Works - Review
This kit is in a category of its own, We think of it as more of a decorative idea that is better suited for indoors than outdoors. Never the less, we've included it here to present the many different options available.
A simple and clever design, this innovative outdoor rack requires practically no assembly – just add two 2x4s (supplied by you) for quick and easy setup. The metal uprights will tilt outwards under its own weight and will stay in place while also keeping firewood elevated from the ground and dry.
While suitable for logs up to 2 feet long, this kit would be especially handy for short logs and wood pellets. You can simply place plywood across 2x4s for stability and the solid metal sides will keep them from falling through (see the photo).
Reinforced with a welded ridge, the curved sheet metal uprights are made in the USA from heavy duty 11 gauge steel. So it’s built to last. It also looks quite decorative which is nice.
Disassembling and storing it away is amazingly easy. The only slight disadvantage could be that the sides are only 29″ high. But if you use longer 2x4s you can still pile up a huge stack of firewood.
Build a Firewood Rack Quick Using Tie Connectors
Set Price & Features
18 Gauge Galvanized Steel
Sized to fit standard 2x4s
Not by design but can be disassembled/assembled back with different length 2x4s
Price for Set of Four
$3.89 x 4 = $15.56
Tie Connectors as Firewood Rack Brackets - Overview
Tie connectors are used by home builders every day, and they’re proven to provide strong and long lasting joints. Buying the right connector can save you a lot of time on building an outdoor rack using 2×4’s.
Pros of Tie Connectors
- Easy to build
- Very sturdy construction
- The design plan is pre-defined by connector’s geometry so you don’t need to think about how to join 2x4s
Cons of Tie Connectors
- Size adjusting is possible but is harder to achieve as you would have to remove many screws first
- Galvanized steel is not exactly a decorative look
Simpson Strong Tie Connectors Firewood Rack Design - Review
We have found the cheapest Simpson RTC2Z 2X Rigid Tie Corner Connector here. You need 4 connectors to assemble the rack design shown above.
This is one of the good rack plans that keeps wood high of the ground, which allows you to sweep under it.
Can be built in about 2 hours max. Order connectors online or visit Home Deport to buy pressure-treated lumber and connectors at once. Pre-cut 2x4s in the store using the free plan.
What’s cool about this simple design is that if you want to build a longer rack, let’s say 8 feet long, you can use the same tie connectors but only substitute 2×4 rails with 2×6’s, for added rigidity. See the complete tutorial.
As for fasteners, the rack designers recommend that you use Simpson Strong-Tie #9 x 1.5-in Strong-Drive SD Connector screws. These screws will be a perfect fit for the holes in the connector and a perfect match color-wise. If you don't care about the aesthetics as much, you can get away with just regular wood screws or even larger size drywall screws.
For your inspiration, below is a cool rack built by one happy DIY-er using the same plan. He also got it stained to match his patio decor. Neat.