The 8 Best Kerosene Heaters [Reviewed]

We reviewed 9 kerosene heaters and found that the best kerosene heater for garage is the Sengoku KeroHeat.

Here at Hack My Garage, we don’t simply place the highest-priced items at the top. We dig deep into analyzing the best options for you, the user. We find all the pros, cons, and anything you should watch out for before you spend a cent.

The Sengoku KeroHeat is more than capable of heating your garage with 25,800 BTUs of heat and 360-degree heat output.

We went ahead and found kerosene heaters that are portable or suited for job sites. You’ll find everything you need in the table below.

Don’t want to mess with kerosene? Check out the best 240v heaters.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

The 8 Best Kerosene Heaters

Sengoku HeatMate
Sengoku HeatMate
  • 380 sq.ft capacity
  • 12 hour run time
  • 10,000 BTUs
Mr. Heater 125,000 BTU
Mr. Heater 125,000 BTU
  • 125,000-BTU
  • 9 hours on full tank
  • 3125 sq.ft capacity
Sengoku Kerosene Heater
Sengoku Kerosene Heater
  • 1000 sq.ft capacity
  • Electronic ignition 
  • 23500 BTUs

Best Kerosene Heater For Garage

Sengoku Kerosene Heater

Key Features:

  • 23500 BTUs
  • 1000 sq.ft capacity
  • Electronic ignition

Sengoku has been manufacturing quality heating products for over 60 years, so you know it’s a product backed up by their hard-earned trust and reliability.

You have the 23,500 BTU output that’s capable of heating a 1000 sq. ft garage within half an hour. A full 1.9-gallon fuel tank will last an entire day or night, so you can enjoy all your winter projects and hobbies while the heater fights the cold.

It’s super easy to use, just press the electronic ignition button and adjust the flame level to get a good burn going in no time.

The drip tray on the base catches any spilled kerosene. Apart from that, it also comes with an automatic tip-over cut-off and protective cage.

The smell is another issue with these kerosene heaters, but luckily, it’s not too noticeable in the case of the Sengoku KeroHeat CV 23-K. As long as you stick to 1-K Fuel Grade Kerosene, you are good to go.

  • Excellent radiant heating capacity.
  • Comes with a manual siphon pump.
  • Simple ignition and heat controls
  • Might smell if not used with 1-K kerosene (which is not cheap)
  • The handle feels a bit frail

Best Portable Kerosene Heater For Garage

Sengoku HeatMate

Key Features:

  • 380 sq.ft capacity
  • 10,000 BTUs
  • 12 hours of heat on 1.9 gallons

Its compact form factor makes it elderly-friendly, while still packing enough power to heat a 380 sq. ft. room. It’s suitable for emergency heating situations should there be a long power outage.

Kerosene heaters are known to be very efficient, and the HMN 110 follows suit. Filling the fuel tank up to its maximum 1.2-gallon capacity will give you around 12-14 hours of run time. The tank can be removed when it needs a refill.

If you’re a survivalist who is out there camping or hiking, you’ll enjoy the convenience of this lightweight heater.

Although igniting and turning it off is simple, purchasers found that changing the wick is a bit difficult and will require a couple of tries to get used to.

The choices for a good 10,000 BTU heater are scarce, and the Sengoku HeatMate is among the ones that I liked the most.

  • Light and compact
  • Seems well-built
  • Plenty of security features (auto shut off, tip over switch and EZ Flame adjuster)
  • Requires frequent cleaning and maintenance

Best Kerosene Forced Air Heater

Mr. Heater 125,000 BTU

Key Features:

  • 125,000 BTUs
  • 3125 sq.ft capacity
  • Great for workshops

With a 125,000 BTU/hour heat capacity, it’s rated to cover areas up to 3,125 sq. ft., you can be sure that no corner of your garage or workplace is left untouched.

Each unit is equipped with photo CAD cells and an automatic safety switch that turns it off under unfavorable working conditions. The motor is properly enclosed to minimize risks, but the consensus tends to agree that it’s on the louder side.

You can tell from the design that these models are made keeping all the requirements of a Jobsite in mind. Large side-lift handles, glove-friendly controls, and sturdy construction all make it ideal for heavy-duty use.

One thing that really impressed me is that purchasers mentioned that the actual plastic body of the heater stays cool to touch, even when it’s blowing heat at full force.

You can expect around 1 hour of use per gallon with this heater. That in addition to the large heating capacity and built-in thermostat controls makes it the best kerosene forced air heater.

  • Multi-fuel usage(Diesel, kerosene, jet oil, fuel oil)
  • Durable construction
  • Heats up to 3,125 sq. ft
  • A bit noisy
  • Manual doesn’t contain the most in-depth instructions

Also Great Forced Air Kerosene Heater

Mr. Heater F270385

Key Features:

  • 210,000-BTU
  • 5250 sq.ft capacity
  • 13.4 gallon fuel tank

The best kerosene heater for outdoors would be the 210,000 BTU variant of Mr. Heater forced-air heaters. It blows massive amounts of heat and is rated to cover up to 5,250 sq. ft.

The heat coming out of it is enough to cook a simple meal or boil a water pot, even when it’s freezing outside. Of course, it’s expected that a 210,000 BTU heater would be anything but silent. Luckily, it’s manageable and you’ll get used to it.

Apart from that, it’s controlled by a preinstalled thermostat using a single knob. The heater does require a 115V AC outlet to work.

With a beefy machine like this, it needs to come with robust safety and security features. Needless to say, you have automatic overheat shut-off, LED diagnostic indicators, and heavy-duty construction.

A few users have reported that the fuel lines used are susceptible to damage during cold temperatures. Be prepared to change those if that’s the case. The Mr. Heater F270385 is a solid option for large open areas and medium warehouses or factory units.

  • All the heating power you’ll ever need.
  • Easy thermostat adjustment.
  • Overheat shut-off switch.
  • Ideal for heating large areas.
  • Expensive.
  • Loud.
  • Some users have complained about cracked fuel lines.

Best Kerosene Heater With Thermostat

Avenger Portable Kerosene

Key Features:

  • 1800 sq.ft capacity
  • 75,000 BTUs
  • 10 hour run time

The Avenger Portable FBD75T makes use of an ergonomic design and a superior feature-set, which is ideal for both indoor and outdoor usage.

Simple thermostat control can be used to adjust temperatures between 40 to 95 degrees F. The company claims that it’s designed to start even at chilling temperatures of -40 degrees F.

In particular, consumers seem to be impressed by its build-quality and stylish appearance. It stands up to the manufacturer’s “instant heat” claims and works reliably every single time.

This unit is perfect for large garages, workshops, factories, or construction sites with its rated 1,800 sq. ft. of coverage at 75,000 BTU. You can even use it in your home, just ensure that there is proper ventilation for the exhaust fumes.

The company has taken care of the safety of consumers too. It’s CSA certified and is approved for use on combustible flooring and rough outdoor conditions.

Overall, the Avenger Portable 75,000 BTU is a rugged multifuel heater ideal for both domestic and commercial use.

  • Sturdy weatherproof construction
  • Robust thermostat controls for a wide range of heating capabilities
  • Multifuel compatibility
  • No tires

Best Kerosene and Diesel Garage Heater

Mr. Heater MH75KTR

Key Features:

  • 75,000 BTUs
  • Included thermostat
  • 11 hours on a full tank

The Mr. Heater MH75KTR features all the versatility you need to feel warm and toasty while enjoying your next project in your garage shop.

It’s rated to run about 11 hours on a full tank at 75,000 BTUs. However, users have reported that it will usually last around 8-9 hours, but people seemed to be happy with its range. Several customers have found it great for heating their 2000 sq. ft. shops and barns.

Mr. Heater MH75KTR is super easy to use with a built-in thermostat for heat control. It also has a backlit ON/OFF switch, fuel gauge, and LED diagnostic indicators.

It doesn’t smell while it’s running, but you may experience a little smell when starting up and shutting it off. Although it heats up great as it should, some users have complained about the loud noise.

Apart from those minor quirks, this heater is a solid choice and is sufficient for a 2½ car garage or non-insulated job site.

  • Ideal for even 1800-2000 sq. ft. areas
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Extremely accurate thermostat
  • Slight smell when you start it and shut it off
  • Bulky

Best Kerosene Alternative Option

Dr. Heater DR966

Key Features:

  • 240V
  • 3000/6000W
  • Dynamic fan

Can’t decide on a kerosene heater? We found a great alternative option to be the Dr. Heater DR966.

The built-in thermostat comes with a HIGH (6000W) and a LOW (3000W) setting, along with an 8-inch fan that’s designed to offer optimal heat with minimal noise.

You can mount it to a wall or hang it from a ceiling. 5 adjustable louvers can direct the airflow as desired.

One thing you should note is that it needs to be hardwired, but the power cord is not included with the unit. Also make sure to check that the supply wiring is 10 gauge, or you’ll fry the thermostat.

Nonetheless, people seem to be very happy with its heating performance. One person mentioned that it was able to maintain a toasty 74 degrees in his 3+ car garage on HIGH setting at 50% of full heat.

  • Solid heating performance for the price
  • Five adjustable louvers
  • Stamped steel front cover and thermally insulated motor for safety
  • Power cord not included
  • Takes a bit longer to heat up initially

Best Budget Kerosene Alternative Heater Option

Amazon Basics Portable Eco-Smart

Key Features:

  • 1000 sq.ft capacity
  • Comes in wood colored variant
  • Only 14.6 pounds

Another excellent plug-and-play option you can buy is the AmazonBasics Portable Eco-Smart Space heater.

It’s lightweight at just 14.6 pounds and comes in a small form factor which makes it ideal for any home, office, or other areas up to 1000 sq. ft. The wood-colored variant looks really aesthetic to me, but it does cost a bit more.

It has super simple controls and adjustable temperature settings from 65-85 degrees F. Besides that, the quartz and PTC heating elements make it 100% environment-friendly.

A few users seem to have experienced strange noise while it’s running, but in general, they seem to like the convenience and heating capabilities for the price. Users also reported that the exterior stays fairly cool, which makes it safe if you have kids, pets, or elderly people in the house.

It does come with a remote as well, something you won’t find in any of the kerosene models we discussed above.

Overall, it’s a solid value for money for anyone who doesn’t need the most powerful heater.

  • Affordable
  • Elegant design
  • ECO-smart settings for energy saving
    Comes with a remote
  • Some users have complained about strange noise
  • ECO modes seem to lower the heat temperatures

Kerosene Heater FAQ

1) Are kerosene heaters safe to use indoors?

Yes, but like any indoor heating element, you will need to be cautious with how you use them.

  • Never use them on while sleeping
  • Never use them in closed areas like bathrooms, closets, etc
  • Shut them off whenever you leave the room
  • Have proper ventilation in your garage so CO2 buildup isn’t an issue
  • Monitor the heater if children or pets are around

As long as you take the proper precautions, you will be enjoying the benefits of having a kerosene heater this winter.

2) Is a kerosene heater cost effective?

Electric heaters will be the most expensive option when it comes to heating indoor spaces. You’ll save up from 100-600 bucks this winter on your electric bill depending on the size of your garage and how much you use your kerosene heater.

You will find on average that kerosene heaters do require a bit more upfront investment. You will however pay this off over the long run if you plan on using your heater every year.

Learn more about how to heat your garage and compare each option available.

3) Can I leave kerosene heater on all night?

You should never leave any fuel sourced heater unattended for any period of time. You should look into infrared heaters if you find that you are cold throughout the night. They are safe for overnight use.

Another option is to insulate your garage so you won’t need to use any heating source.

4) Do indoor kerosene heaters smell?

Bad smells coming from low-quality fuels sourced from fuels with high sulfur content, old fuels, and low-grade kerosene which doesn’t burn. You should always check the quality of your kerosene fuel quality, I found a great guide for doing so here.

5) Do you need to vent a kerosene heater?

Yes, open a window or the garage door if you plan to use this inside. Since these units don’t have oxygen depletion sensors you will want to ensure that there is enough air circulating at all times.

Learn more: How to Ventilate a Garage

6) What is the difference between K 1 kerosene and regular kerosene?

K1 Kerosene is a very pure form of kerosene while K2 kerosene can have up to 10 times the amount of sulfur. Since you’re going to be indoors using these heaters, always use K1 kerosene as a heat sourcing fuel.

7) How long will a gallon of kerosene burn?

A gallon of kerosene should burn 9-12 hours depending on the quality of your fuel.

8) What happens if you put gasoline in a kerosene heater?

Gasoline is much more volatile than kerosene and can erupt on ignition. Do not under any circumstances put anything besides kerosene in your kerosene heater.

9) What is the cleanest burning kerosene?

Type 1 Kerosene is going to be your best bet to reduce any odor coming off of your heater.

10) Does kerosene gel in cold weather?

It does not gel up during the winter, so you should be able to store it properly without worry.

About Roy Cohen

I'm Roy, founder of Hack My Garage. I started out like most not knowing how to hammer a nail, but now I know more than most people about home improvement and DIY. I want to spread my wealth of knowledge with the world and hope to make it a better place.