Also called solid mineral-fuel stoves, Multi-Fuel Stoves can burn wood, smokeless fuel and coal.
There are differences in the ways these fuels burn, and not all Multi-Fuel Stoves are optimised for burning all compatible fuels equally efficiently.
Coal needs air to reach it from below through a grate. Most Multi-Fuel Stoves have a riddling plate that allows you to remove any ash that’s built up, letting more air through from underneath.
Wood, on the other hand, burns best when sitting on a bed of ash (also called a firebox, which is where the fuel burns), with air circulating from the top.
Because of these differences, a Multi-Fuel Stoves may not be optimised for burning both types of fuel. The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) found that 77% of people that have a Multi-Fuel Stoves only burn wood.
If you are planning on only burning wood, getting a dedicated log burner is advisable. However, if you think you may not have regular access to wood and so would like the option to burn coal occasionally, then a Multi-Fuel Stoves is a good option. Some stoves have a control allowing you to circulate more air from above or below, depending on the type of fuel.
Ideally, it’s best to work out what type of fuel you want to burn and what you have access to first, and then base your buying decision on that.