When it comes to sweeping chimneys, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the chimney cleaning tools that are available on the market. Professionals generally use tools of a higher quality than homeowners. Homeowners generally use fiberglass rods with a twist lock connection. Professional chimney sweep brushes  use a button lock system with a more durable rod. This heavier rod can be adapted for use with a drill or other rotary for enhanced cleaning. The single, thin fiberglass rods that homeowners use are not strong enough for such work.  These varying thicknesses of rods are connected to chimney cleaning brushes.

chimney cleaning tools
Chimney sweep brush

Soft poly brushes are generally used to clean prefab units. These brushes fit perfectly in the round flue system of these metal chimneys to clean them. On the other hand there are square chimney sweep brushes which are used in rectangular or square flues. These brushes are made from heavier wire and are ideal for cleaning the corners of a chimney lined with flue tiles. There are brushes specifically formed for cleaning the smoke chamber. These brushes are shaped like a Don King hairdo and are spun around in the smoke chamber. This type of chimney brush is excellent at reaching all the nooks and crannies.

Professional Chimney Sweep Vacuum
These vacuums collect and filter the particulate matter that chimney sweeping brushes dislodge.

Chimney cleaning kits are also available for power brushing. Power brushing flue systems has become extremely popular in recent years. It is the most effective way to remove loose creosote that can be swept from the chimney. Glazed or tarred creosote is best removed with flat wire brushes. These brushes aren’t very common and can be expensive.

The most important chimney sweep tool however is the vacuum. Professional chimney sweep vacuums have multiple stage filters to prevent particulate matter from leaving the vacuum. Vacuums actually move air up the chimney to create a positive pressure draft in the chimney. Because of these vacuums soot doesn’t get all over the living room. Drop cloths are also very important because the vacuum itself is often dirty. Never use plastic on the floor because the static electricity will attract the particulate matter to the plastic instead of up and out the chimney.

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

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Clay Lamb

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5 thoughts on “Chimney Cleaning Tools – Buyer’s Guide

  1. My husband and I are looking to buy some chimney brushes and rods, I wanted to know the flexablilty of the rods for example how far can they bend, and the best type of chimney brush that you would reccommend to a customer.

  2. If you are looking to sweep your chimney yourself I would recommend purchasing chimney brushes with fiberglass rods and a wire chimney head that is an inch or two bigger than the diameter of your chimney’s flues system. They are fairly flexible and won’t break easily if you buy a quality product considering you will only be using it once or twice a year. I still recommend having a professional coming out and evaluating your flue system to check for cracks in the flue tiles. This will be far cheaper than having your chimney swept and inspected and the professional can diagnose any major issues.

    Burn safe and warm

  3. I was wondering the value of the vacuum canister and fan I have my dads from back when he did chimney cleaning and I’m looking to sell. Thanks

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