Big box store pellets

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Gt5228, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Gt5228

    Gt5228
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    So we have tsc, menards, lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, and a few small ma/pa stores around here that sell pellets. Are any store brands decent?
     

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  2. Mr._Graybeard

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    You're in western Lower Michigan, correct? What brands are you running across at your local stores?

    Here in southern Wisconsin I regularly see Indeck (ecch) Marth/Pennywise (mehh) and Lumberjack Premium (yess). I loaded up on a couple tons of Somersets at Menard's late last season -- they're OK, but I don't think they're much better than Marths. They're less dusty but coke up the burnpot in my boiler more than I'd like. Menard's has Pennywise pellets back for fall.

    Rib Mountain and Vulcan are a couple "up-north" manufacturers that don't seem to get their products down here much. Maybe you see them on your side of the lake.
     
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  3. Gt5228

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    Yes im close to Grand Rapids, i have found pro pellets, michigan wood fuel(suck!), marth, Isabella softwood, and thats about it. There is a shop about an hour from me that has both uncle Jed's and sumerset s but their a dollar more per dollar bag.. Are they still worth buying? I can get marth for 3.98/bag close to home. What do you think? One other thing is that my stove is a hair too small for my main floor so if there is any way to "overclock" my stove i would like to. I've tried the Isabella softwood pellets but the dont seem to keep my home as warm and get hung up in the hopper so id like to stay away from them..
     
  4. Mr._Graybeard

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    Uncle Jed's are excellent -- you must have an EarthSense dealer nearby. Jed's softwoods will help you get the most out of your stove. I burned a lot of them last year. I don't think you'll find them at a big-box store.

    Marth pellets are a little dusty but burn well for me. I think they're a pretty good value, especially when Menard's runs their 11% rebate. They're on the low side for BTU per pound, though, at about 7700. Compare that with Jed's softwoods, 8600-8800 BTU. Pro Pellets were tested at 8250 BTU/lb by Twin Ports testing. Looks like Magic Spark is an affiliated brand, in case you happen to run across those.

    If Jed's and Somersets command a similar premium price, I'd go with Jed's.
     
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  5. Bioburner

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    Marth are burning well here too. Sale at Menards for 3.69
     
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  6. Mr._Graybeard

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    Bioburner, I see from your signature that you have some Indecks on hand. How are they burning for you?
     
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  7. Bioburner

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    OK heat, lots of ash
     
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  8. Cincinnati Kid

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    Menards and TSC around Cincinnati carry Sommerset pellets which are very good! Not sure about the Grand Rapids area.
     
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  9. Mr._Graybeard

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    I had some ignition failures with Indecks last year. I noticed they were quite a bit darker than other pellets I was burning as well. I may pick up a bag to see if they've improved, but Farm & Fleet sells them at the same price as Lumberjacks. Indecks just don't compare to those.
     
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  10. Snowmobileaddict

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    Graybeard, where are you from In SE WI?

    I stocked up on Soemrsets from Menards this year just like last year.

    Again, I noticed that most Menards stores (Pewaukee, Germantown and West Bend) have Pennywise and Somersets on hand on in the lumber yard. I like the Somersets over the Pennywise by Marth.
     
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  11. Bioburner

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    Marth makes five labeled products that I have seen.
     
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  12. Mr._Graybeard

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    I'm in Ixonia, just west of Oconomowoc. I usually check the Menard's at Johnson Creek by phone to see what's available there, and the department manager said maybe a month ago that they only had Pennywise (and didn't expect to see anything else this fall). I could get to the Pewaukee Menard's easily enough, but I prefer Lumberjacks over Somersets, and the F&F is closer than either Menard's.
     
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  13. Mr._Graybeard

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    I've seen a couple Marth brands around here, at Menard's and Fleet Farm (not Farm & Fleet). Past reviews on this forum suggest they can be hit or miss; I suspect that's the risk you take when buying pellets from a wood fiber recycler. Last year they seemed OK, but I was alternating them with Jed's softies.
     
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  14. Jay Z

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    I just purchased a Fahrenheit Endurance 50 and going to startup with Rib Mt. Premium. They spec about 8600 btu. Wanted to purchase some Lumberjack Premium. Is the Watertown Farm and Fleet a dealer for them?
     
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  15. Mr._Graybeard

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    Watertown Farm & Fleet should have them, but you may want to call ahead. I bought a ton from them last month and nearly cleaned them out.

    There's also a chimney service near Columbus that stocks Lumberjacks.

    I'd love to give Rib Mountains a try. Where are you located, Jay? Does a retailer near you stock them?
     
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  16. Jay Z

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    Mr. Graybeard,

    I bought my stove in Ripon and they had both Lumberjacks and Rib Mt. I live North of Palmyra so pretty close to you. I sold the big house and bought a farmhouse that had oil heat. Furnace is new but I can't see heating at $800 a tank this winter. Hooking it up this weekend. I had space on the trailer so will have to find a closer source. Want to buy at least 3 ton before it gets cold.

    Jay
     
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  17. bbfarm

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    We get the Rib Mt pellets also. I believe the manufacturer is in Wausau, WI.

    This is our 2nd winter burning with them. They match Uncle Jeds for heat and low ash.
     
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  18. Mr._Graybeard

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    You're close, all right. I'm in an old farmhouse too, one of those yellow brick ones you see everywhere. And, I've got an old oil-fired monster that was draining my pockets.

    Farm & Fleet is my preferred pellet source, with a good product at a reasonable price (and they're very close). Menard's is handy because they're everywhere and they're cheap. Home Depot in Delafield and TSC in Watertown are other options where I've picked up a bag or two. TSC had Pro Pellets last year, but I haven't checked with them this fall yet.

    I've seen Meyers Electric in Wales on a vendor list as a Lumberjack retailer, but I've found that list to be out of date (he was selling some Harman stoves). Also,
    There's a wood stove shop in Fort Atkinson -- I don't know if they sell pellets or not.

    You must have bought from Sunburst in Ripon ... he's a little far from me. I can get Uncle Jed's pellets delivered from Propst Pellets in Beaver Dam, but he charges a premium for distance over 30 miles. That's not much for me but it might add up for you.
     
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  19. Snowmobileaddict

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    Is this what the current bags of Lumberjacks look like?
    [​IMG]

    I think I only have seen Superior brand pellets at Mills FF closer to where I live.

    I've never tried Lumberjacks. I do like the idea that Somerset pellets are made with shavings and dust generated from the Somerset hardwood floor manufacturing. They don't go around the state looking for fiber or shavings. They source all of theirs from their own manufacturing of flooring planks.
     
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  20. Jay Z

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    I got the furnace as a floor model. Sunburst had been running the Lumberjack in it. I want to take the sting out of the oil cost yet this winter. Most of their
    ton prices are $212.00 Not bad if you live in the area but thats a 80 mile trip for me. I will have to check out Watertown this weekend.
     
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  21. Mr._Graybeard

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    Yep, that's the Lumberjack Premium bag. I believe Marth has a Superior brand, and I know Fleet Farm has sold Marth pellets.

    The Lumberjack vendor list identifies a retailer in Slinger, A-1 Chimney Service. But the vendor list doesn't seem to be updated often.
     
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  22. Mr._Graybeard

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    Jay Z, I was over in Watertown today and noticed that the Tractor Supply store is selling Pro Pellets for $189 a ton. They also have a house brand pellet that appears to be Indecks. I didn't get a price on those.

    A couple more options for you ...
     
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  23. Bioburner

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    Indeck pellets seem to very dark in color if you find a leaky bag. I would not put them anywhere near top of my list of will burn again.
     
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  24. Mr._Graybeard

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    I've come to the same conclusion on Indecks, Bioburner. Makes me wonder how much bark they're allowing into the manufacturing process. I like Lumberjacks better than Pro Pellets myself, but the Pro Pellets weren't bad IME. I'd pick them over Marths at the same price.
     
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  25. Bioburner

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    With the amount of ash I can't see how they can make the claim of premium. I got a early season deal of $189/ton on Superiors, Marth, and burn without all the ash and light tan on the interior of the stove. The way pellets are supposed to burn IMO.
     
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