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What are the Different Types of Firework?

One of the big advantages of fireworks is the wide range of different types of firework there are. This means if you live in a busy area, you can still have a display using low noise fireworks, or if you have a small garden you can use smaller fireworks depending on the area you have for firing.

    Image Credit: peaceful-jp-scenery via Flickr, under CC by SA 2.0
Outside of needing to use different types of fireworks for practical reasons, it’s always fun to have a wide range of fireworks to fire during a display. If you’re attending a fireworks display yourself, it’s always fun spotting the different types of fireworks, whether you’re a fireworks fan yourself or just enjoy explaining what each thing is to the kids.
Here are the most common types of fireworks, how they work and some videos of our favourite products in each category.


Rockets consist of a motor (a lift charge) and an explosive head, where the colour elements are stored for the brilliant effects we all love from rockets. Rockets are perhaps the most popular and most familiar type of firework available, and are a great versatile firework due to the range of shapes, sizes, and colours that are available. Rockets can also explode with a variety of brilliant effects.
Rockets must be launched from a rocket launching tube and angled away from spectators to explode ideally over an open area. Remember to avoid obstructions, too. Many people try to set rockets to fire through trees and it can end in disaster.
Check out the below videos for Black Widow Rockets and The King.


Fountains are fun fireworks that are great for smaller displays – or larger ones if you’re lucky enough to be standing at the front!
Fountains give brilliant showers of crackles, whistles, and sparks, which fire upwards before falling down to create the fountain effect.
Check out the below videos for Brothers Pyrotechnics’ KrazyKlock and Krakatoa by Tai Pan.


Both mortar mines and ground mines are available, and are slightly different in how they work.

  • Mortar mines are projected out of a heavy mortar tube. It is crucial to follow the instructions when using mortar mines, and never place a part of your body in the way of the mortar tube.
  • Ground mines are supplied pre-loaded so do not need a separate mortar tube. These mines start with a small fountain before bursting into an array of colours.

Check out Vulcan’s 75mm Mine Pack and Absolute Fireworks’ Manic Miner below.

Roman Candles and Cakes

These fireworks provide various effects. The difference between candles and cakes is that candles fire from single tubes, while cakes consist of multiple tubes fused together. These fireworks should be buried to two thirds of their depth or placed on a stake to ensure they don’t fall over.
Check out THE END I by Vulcan and Celtic Fireworks’ Storm below.

Catherine Wheels

Catherine wheels are usually made from small fountain-fireworks – called gerbs – attached to a round or flat timber frame. Catherine wheels should be attached securely to a post with a nail – the higher the Catherine wheel the better – to ensure the wheel can spin freely and you can enjoy all the brilliant effects of your firework. Catherine wheels will often whistle due to the force of the wheel spinning against the air.
Check out Brothers Pyrotechnics’ Destiny Wheel below.

What types of fireworks do you like best? Let us know and check out the best products we sell under each category!

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