Last updated: August 9, 2021

Welcome to our big stainless steel chimney test 2021. Here we present all the stainless steel chimneys that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best stainless steel chimney for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a stainless steel chimney.




Summary

  • A stainless steel chimney is the most modern variant of a fireplace.
  • A distinction is made between single-walled and double-walled stainless steel chimneys.
  • A stainless steel chimney can be newly installed or can simply modernise an already existing chimney.

The Best Stainless Steel Chimney: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a stainless steel chimney

What is a stainless steel chimney and how does it differ from a conventional chimney?

In most cases, a stainless steel chimney means a stainless steel chimney, i.e. the pipe that is connected to the chimney inside the house.

Even if you already have a fireplace in your house, you can retrofit a stainless steel chimney to modernise your fireplace. (Image source: unsplash.com / Pavan Trikutam)

A stainless steel chimney works normally according to the "chimney effect", but is a more modern variant that also draws better than old solid chimneys. Furthermore, a stainless steel chimney is durable and cheaper than a solid chimney and can be retrofitted more easily. With a stainless steel chimney, almost all possible fuels can be used, for example logs, pellets, brown coal or oil.

Can a stainless steel chimney be retrofitted?

Yes, you can retrofit a stainless steel chimney if you already have an existing chimney on your house, but also if you don't have one yet. It is best to consult an experienced chimney sweep, because there is a large selection of stainless steel chimneys.

It is important to note, however, whether you already have a chimney or not. If you do, a single-walled stainless steel chimney will suffice. If not, you should definitely consider a double-walled chimney, otherwise things can go wrong.

Type suitability
Single-walled stainless steel chimney suitable for modernising existing chimneys, not suitable for building a new chimney
Double-walled stainless steel chimney suitable even if there is no brick chimney in advance

Are there any legal requirements for stainless steel chimneys?

As with other chimneys, a stainless steel chimney must meet certain legal requirements. These include, first of all, approval from the chimney sweep that your house and the place you have chosen are suitable for a chimney. It is also important that your chosen stainless steel chimney has the usual tests and approvals.

If all this is fulfilled, there are of course still legal regulations. In Germany, minimum distances and fastening requirements apply.

Regardless of whether you are retrofitting a stainless steel chimney or installing a new one, there are some regulations that you must observe. (Image source: www.pixabay.com / Kapa65)

First of all, the stainless steel chimney must maintain a specified distance from combustible materials. However, you have to be careful here: the information provided by the manufacturer usually refers to situations where air is circulated. This means that in the case of a ceiling or wall duct, these values do not apply and can deviate considerably.

In addition to the minimum distances, the guide paths of the chimney must be clearly visible. The opening of the chimney must end at least 40 centimetres above the roof ridge and the horizontal roof distance must be at least 2.30 metres. The top cover must be firmly welded or screwed in place. Last but not least, you must mount your stainless steel chimney according to the manufacturer and the distance to window lintels must be at least one metre.

How much does a stainless steel chimney cost?

If you want to buy a stainless steel chimney particularly cheaply, then it is recommended that you look around online. However, caution is advised here: cheap does not mean better. You can expect unpleasant follow-up costs due to poor material or poor workmanship, for example due to permanent energy and heat loss, reworking to obtain the operating licence, susceptibility to repairs due to spot welding instead of full welding, or a limited service life due to corrosion or brittleness.

You can buy a kit for a single-walled stainless steel chimney and a length of up to six metres from about 400 euros. The price for a double-walled chimney starts at 600 euros. In addition to this price, you must not forget to include the price for delivery and installation, provided you do not do everything yourself. You can calculate between 80 and 200 euros for this. You should bear in mind that the cost of the fireplace itself is made up of various factors.

For example, the material costs are influenced by the type of steel, the length, the steel thickness or the insulation thickness or the insulation material for the chimney if you decide on a double-walled chimney.

What are the alternatives to a stainless steel chimney?

The most common alternative to a stainless steel chimney is a classic solid chimney. However, you should bear in mind that a solid chimney is much more expensive than a stainless steel chimney. Furthermore, it is not so easy to retrofit. The more modern option is simply the stainless steel chimney, which is also more durable. However, if you are a fan of the look of a classic fireplace, then there is no way around the solid fireplace.

The typical solid fireplace is still a very popular type of fireplace. (Pixabay.com / gregroose)

Decision: What types of stainless steel chimneys are there and which one is right for you?

If you decide to get a stainless steel chimney, you have to decide which type is right for you. Basically, you can distinguish between two different types of stainless steel chimneys:

  • single-walled stainless steel chimneys
  • double-walled stainless steel chimneys

Each type of stainless steel chimney has its advantages and disadvantages. Below you will find detailed information about both types of stainless steel chimney to help you decide.

What distinguishes a single-wall stainless steel chimney and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The most important feature of a single-walled stainless steel chimney is the fact that it has no insulation. It consists of several individual components that are placed inside each other and at the end there is a bare pipe. This of course makes the single-walled stainless steel chimney a lot cheaper, but there are also a few things to consider.

Due to the lack of insulation, a single-walled stainless steel chimney can never be used as a stand-alone chimney. The stainless steel becomes very hot due to the lack of insulation.

Advantages
  • cheaper
  • best alternative for modernisation
  • small space requirement
Disadvantages
  • no insulation
  • no fire protection
  • additional brick chimney a must

For this reason, a single-walled stainless steel chimney is very suitable if you already have a fixed brick chimney on your house into which the single-walled stainless steel chimney can be inserted. The lack of insulation and protection from the developing heat is then replaced by the brick chimney.

Most people opt for a single-walled stainless steel chimney in the course of modernisation. If the masonry chimney is too deteriorated from years of use to continue in service, then the best option here is to simply insert a single-wall stainless steel chimney into the flue to solve the problem.

What distinguishes a double-walled stainless steel chimney and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The difference between a double-walled stainless steel chimney and a single-walled one is the insulation layer that is located between two stainless steel layers. This layer not only prevents cold bridges, but also provides the necessary fire protection. For this reason, the double-walled stainless steel chimney is the best choice if you do not yet have the prerequisites for a chimney on your house, or if you decide to build a completely new house.

The insulation between the walls is usually made of mineral wool. This maintains the temperature for a strong chimney draught inside and at the same time provides the necessary heat protection and thus also fire protection for the surroundings.

Advantages
  • integrated insulation
  • integrated fire protection
  • better draught due to insulation layer
Disadvantages
  • more expensive
  • needs more space

For this reason, a double-walled stainless steel chimney is particularly suitable as a stand-alone outdoor chimney that can be completely exposed. Furthermore, due to the fire protection, you have the possibility to lead the pipes of the stainless steel chimney more easily through ceilings and walls.

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate stainless steel chimneys

Below you will find a list of buying criteria that you can use to decide between different stainless steel chimneys. The criteria you can use to compare stainless steel chimneys include:

  • Material thickness/wall thickness
  • Material
  • Insulation
  • Assembly

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in each of the criteria.

Material thickness/wall thickness

If you buy a stainless steel chimney, you should make sure that the wall thickness of the pipe that comes into contact with the flue gases is at least 0.6 mm for both single- and double-walled stainless steel chimneys. In the case of a double-walled stainless steel chimney, the insulation layer between the stainless steel pipes should be at least 25 mm. Thicknesses of 30 mm and more are common.

Basically, the thicker the insulation layer, the better the flue of your stainless steel chimney, which means that you should not skimp on this point.

Component regulation
Inner pipe thickness of min. 0.6 mm is regulation
Insulating layer no prescribed thickness, for good draught at least 25 mm

Material

For both single and double-walled stainless steel chimneys, it is a prerequisite that the pipe that comes into contact with flue gases is made of suitable stainless steel with sufficient material thickness. For this purpose, the pipe must be made of a suitable type of alloy, V4A steel being the most suitable. V4A steel has the necessary properties to be corrosion, rust and acid resistant.

Note that not all types of stainless steel have these properties. Furthermore, stainless steel must be able to withstand climatic conditions when installed outdoors. This includes heavy precipitation, frost and sunlight. With a double-walled stainless steel chimney, the outer pipe does not necessarily have to be made of the same material as the inner pipe. The reason for this is that the insulation layer means that the pipe is not exposed to heat or combustion residues.

Insulation

Basically, there is no set value for a "minimum insulation thickness" to which you must adhere. However, you should keep in mind that the thicker the insulation of the stainless steel chimney, the better it is for its performance, or the draught of your chimney.

Another advantage of thicker insulation is that the minimum distance to combustible materials around it is automatically reduced. For these reasons, it is advisable not to skimp on insulation and to insist on an insulation thickness of at least 25 mm, so that you can enjoy your stainless steel chimney.

Installation

When installing the chimney, you must distinguish between an existing and a non-existing roof duct. In most cases, a roof duct is already present in an existing chimney. In this case, you can choose a single-walled stainless steel chimney. However, if you need a new roof duct, then a double-walled stainless steel chimney is needed to avoid the risk of fire. The same applies to outdoor chimneys.

Unless you have the necessary knowledge, the installation of a stainless steel chimney should always be carried out by a professional to avoid mistakes and reduce risks. Regardless of whether you install it yourself or not, a chimney sweep must visit you after installation to remove the stainless steel chimney.

Facts worth knowing about stainless steel chimneys

Can I clean my stainless steel chimney myself?

Of course you can clean the stainless steel chimney yourself, just like any other chimney. However, cleaning the chimney pipe can hardly be done professionally by a layman. Furthermore, you must bear in mind that every chimney system must be inspected and approved by a chimney sweep. This means that a quick cleaning of the stainless steel chimney is not possible.

What should I do if my stainless steel chimney does not draw properly?

If the flue of your stainless steel chimney does not work, it may have something to do with the insulating layer that is between the pipes in double-walled stainless steel chimneys. For a reasonable draught, the insulation layer should be at least 25 mm thick; thicknesses of 30 mm and more are common.

The thicker the layer, the better the draught of the stainless steel chimney. This means that if your stainless steel chimney does not draw properly, it may be because the insulation layer is not thick enough. Of course, other factors can also play a role, such as a flue pipe that is too dirty.

What do I have to consider when installing my stainless steel chimney in the wall?

If you already have a brick wall penetration on your house, then you can choose a single-walled stainless steel chimney with a clear conscience. However, if you are planning a new wall duct, there are a few things you need to consider.

It is best to consult a professional for all common options for wall ducts. (Image source: 123rf.com / 51847117)

For a new wall duct, the stainless steel chimney should be double-walled. The insulating material layer not only prevents cold bridges, but also provides the fire protection that is necessary for a direct wall duct.

Due to the insulating layer of a double-walled stainless steel chimney, the outer pipe does not become so hot that it can be a fire hazard, provided that the specified minimum distances to combustible materials are observed.

Can I clad my stainless steel chimney?

If the appearance of the stainless steel does not appeal to you so much, but you would still like to install a stainless steel chimney, then the stainless steel can of course be clad. For all the usual options, it is best to consult a professional for the best advice.

Can I install a stainless steel chimney in an existing chimney?

If you already have a brick chimney, you can easily fit a stainless steel chimney into your existing chimney. It doesn't even have to be a double-walled stainless steel chimney, because the necessary insulation is provided by the brick wall.

However, you should note that you should opt for a double-walled stainless steel chimney if there is no roof duct or a new one is needed. With a new roof duct, a single-walled stainless steel chimney does not provide any fire protection.

Image source: 123rf.com / 83573681

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