Landmann USA Ball O’ Fire Review
Because the Ball ‘o Fire is fully enclosed in a mesh sphere, you can build a good sized fire without having to be too concerned about escaping sparks and embers, making it suitable for heating a large outdoor area, and entertaining a number of friends at once. The full view of the fire is quite striking once the dark of night sets in. The construction is all steel, which makes it quite strong and durable, provided you keep it clean and dry (there’s a fitted cover included).
Sure, it’s just a plain black mesh sphere during the day. But once it gets dark and you have a fire going, it looks fantastic. Because the majority of the structure is mesh frame, you get a complete view of the fire, which would be difficult to achieve with a cauldron design or chiminea.
You can also build a fairly large fire – larger than you could with a table-top fire bowl. Because of the large 2A� foot diameter of the sphere, you have plenty of room for logs, either just piling a few in the bottom, or arranging some teepee-style (which looks cool). The hinged lid gives you half a hemisphere of access to the fire, which is plenty of room for inserting and arranging wood.
There are also a couple of clear safety benefits. Firstly, it lets you burn a fairly large fire while still keeping the fire fully enclosed in a spherical spark screen, significantly reducing both the risk of escaping sparks and embers, and the risk of small hands getting into the fire. This is great for peace of mind. Secondly, because the top pivots on a hinge, it stays in place when you open it. Compare this to other fire pit designs, where you have to lift the hot metal screen completely off the pit and find somewhere safe to put it, hopefully not burning any people or things while you do. One thing that would be nice, but which the Ball of Fire doesn’t have, is some sort of safety rail around the edge of the bowl to create a buffer of a few inches between the bowl and the people in case of accidental bumps.
The assembly experience with the Landmann Ball of Fire can vary. If you’re fairly adept at putting things together, and don’t run into any glitches, you may get it done in less than an hour. But to be realistic, you’re better off budgeting a couple of hours to get the job done. Assembly can be accomplished by one person, although when you’re trying to fit some of the curved pieces together, an extra pair of hands will be helpful. As with most fire pits, it can be a bit unwieldy to move once it’s constructed, so you’re best off assembling it close to where you’ll use it (which should be away from anything flammable, and at least 10 feet from buildings and vehicles). You’ll need to supply your own Phillips Head screwdriver and socket/wrench.
The Landmann Ball ‘o Fire is made from steel, and feels solid and sturdy, which is quite surprising considering it’s basically a mesh framework with a firebowl only thing you really need to worry about is rust and corrosion. The mesh, in particular, will deteriorate over time with repeated exposure to heat and moisture. Once the paint cracks or burns off, rust will make quick work of the thin wire beneath. Depending on your circumstances, it’ll be a while before this starts happening, especially if you use the included cover to keep it dry, and clean the ashes out when they’re cool. A preventive measure you may want to consider is spraying it with high-temperature ceramic paint when you first assemble it. This is inexpensive to do and should increase the longevity significantly.
In summary, if you’re after an awesome looking outdoor fire, the Landmann Ball of Fire is a great option. You won’t get any fancy extras like a grill or table, and you will need to take your time with the assembly. But the result is worth it.