Panacea 15204 8′ Firewood Rack [Full Review]

The Panacea 15204 is an entry-model firewood rack that is attractive to people not willing to fork out the funds for a more well-known branded log rack such as the Woodhaven. Despite its affordable price point and lack of reputation in this niche, it appears to hold its own as a firewood rack that does what it’s advertised to do – and that’s all you can ask at this price point.

In this review, we’ll walk through everything we like and don’t like about the rack.

Panacea Firewood Rack Review

Price

Surprisingly, despite its lack of reputation, the Panacea made its way into our round up review of the best firewood log racks because it packs some nice features into a low priced product. For premium competitors, you’re looking at forking out $200 or more for an 8 foot firewood rack. This one comes in at less than half that. Sure, it’s a made-in-China product without the bells and whistles of others, but it does the trick at a value-for-money price point.

Size

8 foot racks are toward the middle end of the sizing chart for firewood racks. You can generally get them in 4, 8 or 12 feet. This 8 foot model is likely to hold about 200 regular logs of wood, or 2/3 of a face cord. In general, we think a small family who uses a fireplace a few nights a week in winter time is likely to go through one face cord each winter – so we’d say this is a good sized rack for a small family.

But  one thing about this model that really appealed to us is you can also construct this rack so it’s a 4 foot model. Just leave out one half of the base – that easy! 4 foot racks are good for placing in hallways or other discrete locations for quick access to firewood for an indoor fire during winter time.

Build Quality

We’ve not seen too many complaints about the build quality of this model. And that’s impressive, because we’ve reviewed other firewood racks in this category from much better known brands and they haven’t held up to the scrutiny nearly as much.

The powder coated finish might help protect the rack for a season or two, but over time this will rub off and fade. Nevertheless, we’d expect to see a power coated finish on a tubular steel rack like this one as a bare minimum. Again, the rack stands up well against higher-priced competitors.

The one thing we would highlight is to make sure you place this rack on very sturdy ground. If you’re placing it on soil, the weight of the logs will push it into the ground over time. You want the rack to always hold wood a few inches off the ground to allow it to season. Consider placing some wide blocks of wood under the rack if you’re storing it on soil to help spread that load and prevent sinkage.

Cover (Or Lack Thereof!)

Unfortunately this log rack does not come with a cover. We assume this is to save on price, but it’s relevant to note that more expensive competitors such as the Woodhaven do come with quality covers right out of the box. A cover is useful when storing wood outside and letting it cure. If you’re trying to season your wood over a particularly wet summer, the lack of cover could come back to bite you come wintertime and the logs are still holding moisture.

It’s possible to buy an aftermarket cover, and they usually are interchangeable between makes and brands (just remember to get and 8 foot one!).

Our Verdict

The Panacea is a value-for-money pick for people not willing to fork out the money for the made in USA premium Woodhaven models. It’s got all most people need to store about a face cord of wood, with the exception of a cover. A tarp might suffice for a while, but many users would likely want to buy an aftermarket 8 foot rack cover to protect their wood during wet seasons.

FAQs

Where is the Panacea Rack Manufactured?

This is a made in China firewood rack. For a USA rack, you’d need to step up to a Woodhaven model. Nonetheless, looking at the gathered opinions of consumers of this product, it is generally well received and perceived to do the required job at a low price.

How Long Should I Store the Logs before Use?

It’s usually best to ‘season’ wood for at least one summer (outdoors) before use. This gives it time to cure. You can see when wood has cured because it begins to crack at the ends and go a faded grey color. If possible, it’s even better to store wood 2 – 3 summers, but most people don’t bother. At the end of the day, the best way to see whether wood has been seasoned for long enough is to throw one of the logs on the fire and see how smoothly it burns.

Where Should I Keep my Firewood Rack?

While many people store their firewood racks indoors, under carports and in garages, it’s recommended by FEMA [1] to store firewood outside and well away from the house, particularly if you live in a wildfire danger area. If the log rack catches fire, there’s a lot of fuel there to start a house fire.

Firewood racks are also prime places for spiders, termites, wood-boring beetles, mice and other unwelcome animals to create homes, so keeping the rack away from the home can protect your house from these pests. Coincidentally, storing wood above ground – such as on a rack – can also minimize the risk of these pests making their home in your firewood stack [2].