The SmartBunker – An innovative plastic coal bunker

Since Autumn 2015 we have been retailing the SmartBunker on our website As a new product to our existing range of plastic coal bunkers, the smart bunker offers something different, it has been designed specifically to help those less able to access their coal with ease.

We a proud to supply an excellent range of plastic coal bunkers. Our Hockley, Edale and Stonethwaite models, which hold between 150kg and 500kg of coal are strong robust units which will keep your coal dry in all conditions and stand the tests of time. They have simple design features which make the bunkers very user friendly.

The SmartBunker goes even further to make retrieving fuel as easy as possible. The unit is designed so that the fuel is gravity fed, the coal is stored in the top half of the bunker and can be retrieved by simply pulling a leaver.

The designer behind the product developed it to help his elderly mother who struggled to use a conventional coal bunker.

The SmartBunker is currently on offer at the moment for £219.12 + Shipping reduced from £249.00. We currently have stock and are available for next day delivery.

The main benefits of the SmartBunker are:

Suitable for Indoor and Outdoor use – clean and convenient fuel storage, suitable for indoor or outdoor storage. the assembled coal bunker measures 1232mm h x 784mm w x 784mm d.

Waterproof with Secure Lid – The bunker is weatherproof to keep to the fuel dry, the secure lid stops water ingress protecting your fuel.

Easy to Refil – The SmartBunker is filled through the top hatch, this hatch is at about shoulder height. It is recommended that the coal man fills the coal bunker.

Stores up to 200kg – Depending on the fuel type the SmartBunker can store up to 200kg of coal. There are certain types of coal that are not compatible with the smart bunker. As list of recommended fuel types has been included at the bottom of this article.

Easy to use dispenser system – The fuel is gravity fed, to load your coal bucket simply place the coal bucket under the inner chute and pull the lever. The coal fall through the shoot and fill the bucket. When you have enough fuel simply let go of the lever and the shute will close firmly.

Easy assembled – For easy transport the SmartBunker arrives packed within itself. It will require assembly before use. Step by step instructions are supplied for the simple process of assembling the bunker.


There are a few drawbacks to the Smart bunker:

Cant store all types of fuel – Because of the design certain fuel types are prone to blocking in the chute. As long as you use the recommended fuel types you shouldn’t have a problem. Our traditional plastic coal bunkers dont have this issue and more fuel types can be stored in them.

Doesn’t arrive ready to use – Although it is a very easy process the SmartBunker still does require assembly, our other traditional plastic coal bunkers are ready to use as soon as they are delivered.


Over the past 6 months we have been impressed by the SmartBunker, we feel the unit is well designed to meet the needs of people who struggle to use a conventional coal bunker. We would recommend this product for a user who has problems loading a coal bucket from a standard coal bunker and who doesn’t need to store more than 200kg of fuel at any time.

View our full range of Coal Bunkers 

Which Coal Bunker Should I Buy?

Coal bunkers come in a range of sizes, colours and materials, so how do you know which is the best to suit your needs? In this article I am going to cover some of the key points to think about when choosing a coal bunker.

First lets look at size, most of us will order our domestic coal from a coal merchant. A coal merchant will normally deliver in quantities of 50kg bags. The smallest coal bunker will normally hold about 150kg which is equivalent to 3 bags of coal. The next size up will normally hold between 250 and 300kg which is about 5 or 6 bags. The larger coal bunkers will hold between 400 and 500 kg which is between 8 or 10 bags of coal. Ideally you would want to keep enough fuel to last you comfortably between your deliveries, in remote areas you may want to store more in case you can not get a delivery for any reason.

How much space do you have to for the bunker? a small coal bunker will typically take up less then a meter square of floor space, a medium sized bunker will take up about a meter square and a larger coal bunker will take just over a meter square. Finally, some coal merchants may tier their prices depending on the quantity ordered or at what time of year you order, so by storing more coal you may save money over the year.

To decide which size coal bunker you need you should think about –

  • How much fuel do you burn?
  • How often do you get a delivery of coal?
  • How much space do you have?
  • Will you save money ordering a larger quantity of coal?

Next we have to think about material, when searching to buy a coal bunker you will probably come across two options, plastic coal bunkers or galvanised steel coal bunkers. The main difference between the two materials is the durability, a plastic coal bunker will out live a galvanised coal bunker because of the plastic it is made from. The plastic used in the manufacture of a plastic coal bunkers are the same plastics that are used to fabricate fuel tanks and oil tanks for both domestic and industrial purposes, this means the plastics must be robust, weather resistant and UV resistant.

The plastic coal bunkers are rotationally molded, so apart from the lids they are one solid piece of plastic and are both very strong and weather tight, it also means they do not need assembling upon delivery.

The galvanised coal bunkers are normally delivered flat pack, so when they arrive you will need your tool kit and about an hour to build the coal bunker. This is a easy task to do but I have found it is critical that it is done properly as the strength of these bunkers rely on the tongue and groove side panels being fitted together correctly.

It is my opinion that the plastic coal bunkers are the superior product and although they have a higher price tag they are worth the initial outlay.

Finally, what colour coal bunker? I would recommend looking at where the coal bunker is going to be situated to help you decide what colour coal bunker to get. The galvanised coal bunkers are only available in the metalic galvanised finish. The plastic coal bunkers tend to be available in either black or green. If you are going to sit you coal bunker in the garden area I would suggest going for the green coal bunker, as this will blend in better with the surrounding area. However both the black can be quite functional for holding coal which is quite a dusty material to handle.

Click Coal Bunkers to view our range, or contact us on 0191 2680027 for more information.

Information about plastic and galvanised coal bunkers

Thinking of buying a coal bunker? At The Fireside Shop we provide you with a choice of either galvanised steel coal bunkers or plastic coal bunkers in various sizes. Our coal bunkers start from 150 KG up to 500 KG capacity, providing small or large coal storage solutions.

Our range of plastic coal bunkers are strong, robust and come ready assembled so all you need is to fill them with coal or solid fuel. They feature a lift up lid with locking pin for easy access, and a bottom door for easy coal removal. The pins can be replaced with your own padlocks for added security. The plastic coal bunkers come in either green or black allowing them to blend nicely into the garden and not look out of place. The Hockley plastic coal bunker has a capacity of 150 kg, meaning around 2 to 3 bags of standard household coal. Our mid-range bunker, the Edale plastic coal bunker, will hold around 300 KG or 6 bags worth of standard size household coal. Our popular Stonethwaite plastic coal bunker will hold 500 KG or 10 bags of household coal, hopefully enough to last you through a cold spell.

For a more economical choice our range of galvanised coal bunkers are an excellent choice. These come flat packed, so there will be some assembly is required, but they are easy and quick to put together. Made from 22/24g galvanised steel, these coal bunkers strong and durable. They feature a solid base, hinged lid, and a small door at the front for access to your coal. The door has a deflector to prevent build-up of coal against it. Depending on your requirements, there is a great range of sizes to choose from. These galvanised steel coal bunkers come in 4 sizes: 150 KG Steelrig galvanised coal bunker, 250 KG Ironside galvanised coal bunker, 400 KG Ironstone glavanised coal bunker and 500 KG Ironbridge galvanised coal bunker.

Click Coal Bunkers to view our full range. We believe that you will find one suited to your purpose, and hopefully the toughest decision will be where will you put it!

Assembling a galvanised metal coal bunker video

Below is a very useful video from our friends Colin and Peter Thorpe from the newcastle upon tynes premier hardware store on how to assemble a galvanised coal bunker.

Construction a galvanised coal bunker is simple and shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time, Please ensure the tongue and grove system is bedded correctly in order for the coal bunker to hold its specified capacity.

Click Coal Bunkers to view our full range.