1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rumpole37

    rumpole37 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    My stove dealer tells me to stay away from "poor quality" pellets. If the pellets are marked as "premium" are there significant differences. I live in the PacNW and was told, specifically to stay away from the brand "Clean Burn". He recommended Pyramid. Does anyone have a list of "good" pellets and "bad" pellets?

    Lopi Pioneer Bay Insert

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    234
    Loc:
    Northwest New Jersey
    All bad pellets have been identified and are on an FBI watch list. Please be aware, harboring bad pellets is a federal offense. All Hearth Store owners, you will be receiving a new employee in the next week. Please simply ignore them, and fix any installs they may do. They are watching for "BAD PELLETS!!!"

    I'm sorry, Rumpole. I saw "bad pellet" and my imagination took off. Don't worry. You'll get some good info shortly. I am just not a pellet expert. Others who are, will tell you about this issue soon.

    Joshua

    P.S. Rumpole of the Bailey?
  3. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    Sorry, rumpy...cant answer on the NW pellet situation....its against the law to ship or smuggle them eastward.....they are earmarked for western use only, unless they are to be exported to Europe for huge profits, which is ok ;-) . But, on a more general note, most Premium pellets have to be below 1% ash.....Ive burned both, I find softwood pellets and hardwood pellets burn similarly, maybe with a LITTLE more btu's per lb out of the softwood....I also notice that the softwood seems to generate a little more soot, but of course, that would depend on the specie of softwood. Good luck in your endeavor...I think you are going to find opinions are quite varied on the "good" pellet versus the evil "bad" pellet
  4. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    893
    Different stoves handle different pellets, well, differently. My P61A did not like Clean Energy from Lowes....made this strange, gooey ash. the P61 likes Lignetics. My old Quad 1200 did not do well with Lignetics, as it made clinkers the size of a Big Mac.
  5. galen

    galen New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    NW Missouri
    I've learned a lot about pellets in the last 6 months. Around here in the midwest, Pennington, and Heat Resources are considered good pellets. Some pellets produced in the Ozarks have not stood up to past quailty standards. It taks 100K lbs of pressure to squeeze wood though a template to "make " the pellet. You can't lower this pressure to increase production. But you can cheat in other ways to increase production. I was told that some things are being done to increase production that makes a good pellet bad. Or to break up, create fines. Next year, I've been told, there will not be a shortage of pellets. But there will be a shortage of "good" pellets. Anyone can print permium on a sack. That doen't mean it is. This is not food and this stuff is not inspected. Some wood has more minerals in it than other because of the region it was grown in. This is why some pellets leave more ash than others. Also moisture is a big factor. My wife says, Im ate up, I do this every time I buy something over a hundred dollars. I say she doesn't ever do this. Thats why she has a closet full of shoes. I got to go, here she comes!
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,010
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I haven't heard of Pyramid. Where are they made? When I am scouting out pellet brands, I usually test a batch mid-season. I burned about 5 bags of Cleanburn this year and maybe they weren't perfect, but they weren't bad. Made in Tacoma which is nice. I've seen them as low as $170/ton and wouldn't hesitate to try them again. I'm currently burning Blazers, made by West Oregon Wood Products. (http://www.wowpellets.com/) They are pretty good, a little heavy on the sawdust and clinkers, but they smell nicer than other brands we've burned and they claim to be higher heat value (mostly fir). For about 3 years we burned Lignetics from Sand Point, Idaho's factory (softwood). They were also good pellets, low on sawdust and burned clean. I had minor clinkers, not the patties that richg reports. Maybe they were east coast Lignetics (hardwood)?

    Your mileage may also vary depending on the stove you burn them in. The Quad is pretty forgiving and easy to clean, so perhaps it's a bit more flexible for fuel.
  7. rumpole37

    rumpole37 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Pyramid is a BC product. I purchased Clean Burn at Lumberman's for $150 a ton about 3 weeks ago. The local Ace Hardware says they are expecting a shipment of Lignetics in early March, but the price will be $200. I have been burning Clean Burn and don't see any particular problem. I do clean the pot every day and usually find a few clinkers. I suppose that is normal. I do think that the Pyramid has a "woodsier" smell and slightly smaller diameter. Both are labelled "Premium". Thanks for your input.
  8. rumpole37

    rumpole37 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Thanks for everyone's input. And yes, it is Rumpole of the Bailey. He is my favorite fictional character, and I am sorry that he died (at least Leo Mckern died). I think it's a shame that "price gouging" has set in on pellets. There may be some small upcharges in production costs, but nothing to explain the tremendous increase in delivered price
  9. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    Price Gouging caught my eye! Lets call it maximize profits.....ok, heres a question for you folks not selling pellets but consuming them....lets say, for the sake or argument, of course, that I buy pellets, from the maufacturer, for, oh, say $4.46/bag. This price includes the trucking to get it to me, but does not include items such as unloading, storage, loading in the customers vehicle, paying the various costs like insurance, electricity, personnel at point of sale, etc. What do you figure I should sell the pellets for, both to be fair to the customer and to make a fair profit? Serious question. Lemme have it!
  10. rumpole37

    rumpole37 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Actually I was blaming the manufacturer, not the dealer. Everyone is entitled to a fair profit. But when the price goes from $120 to $200 a ton SOMEONE is getting what I would call "windfall profits". I understand that some costs associated with production, transporting and handling have risen...but not enough to justify this kind of increase. It's just an observation. I will pay the $200, but I am still a little grumpy.
  11. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    ok, rumpy, but whats the "fair" price?
  12. roac

    roac New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    227
    Loc:
    Nampa, Idaho
    1.99$ a ton? Price rollbacks!! ;-P
  13. galen

    galen New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    NW Missouri
    $3.00 for your customers that you have sold stoves too. And $350-$4.00 to walkins.
  14. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    I know I'm on the wrong side of the coin here, but I've found most customers when asked this question or similar questions assume a 10-20% margin.
  15. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    Im a bit confused here....if the pellets cost me $4.46/bag, I should add $3.00/bag to it, or I should sell it at $1.46 loss/bag? Actually, this was kinda of a leading question.....my last truck, 1-1/2 weeks ago, the pellets DID cost me $4.46/bag ($223/ton). Then I read above at all the cheap numbers per ton, WAY below my landed cost, and I wondered if folks saw me as gouging when i sell my pellets at $239/ton. Lets see......239-223 is $16.00/ton GROSS profit, not including all ancillary costs.....my next truck will sell at $249/ton.
  16. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    222
    Loc:
    Putnam County NY
    One dealer here is only selling by the bag: $5.00 a pop 10 bag max. Small town, small place. They sellout each truckload within hours so you only get 1 crack at them per truck. They usually only get 1 truck per week. They are really pushing for everyone to buy/stock up in the off season. The last time they were selling by the pallet (Fall 05) it was $249. Another dealer in the next town has them $6.69 per bag or $389 a ton.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,010
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    People have all sorts of odd notions about cost. No one should expect you to give anything away. The problem seems to be that you are unable to buy in volume to compete with bigger purchasers. You are paying more than I pay and I live on an island where additional trucking costs and ferry fees are added. However, I am closer to the NW suppliers of pellets. But, if you have no better supply choice, then I'd make it clear to your customers that you are not in the pellet supply business and only keep a few bags on hand as a service to your customers. That way you are still the good guy. FWIW, I often pay higher costs to support our local retail stores instead of getting the item from the big-box stores. I appreciate their friendliness and good service. They are part of our community and I want to see them do well.
  18. galen

    galen New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    NW Missouri
    Harry it was a misleading post. Your reg. customers that you have sold stoves to. Between .50 and a dollar a bag abouve what you pay/ profit. Non-customers $1.50 to $2.00 a bag profit. You have to make it worth your time or why do it? Right? I've been in business for 20 years and I don't do anything that doesn't make me money. You can't operate at a loss. I just don't like price gouging. I checked on pellets here and I can buy all I want for 2.25 a bag in the spring after March. I say this: Buy all you can afford in the spring/summer then make a fair profit and everyone will be happy. You might even sell a few more stoves because they know they will have a cheaper source, because they are buying from you.
  19. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,019
    Loc:
    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    My shipping has gone from under $1300 per truck load 21 ton to over $2300 per tuck load.

    So from $61 to $110.00 per ton for trucking alone is not Enough to justify increase?
    The pellet mills or un can not control trucking cost.

    my price for the pellets have only gone up $10 in the past 3 years.

    But all that is going to change I just got word that my price is going up another $10 starting next month.
  20. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    good reply......I guess maybe I dont buy enough pellets to get a "quantity break".....I only sell between three and four THOUSAND tons per year....I wonder how much I have to sell to be considered a "larger dealer".....3,000 tons is roughly 140 tractortrailer loads.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,010
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Harry, i just assumed with those prices that you were doing low volume. I'm a little stunned at your wholesale costs. But going back over your past threads it seems there have been several "gouging" concerns expressed by you. Why not just take the RedGreen approach and post a sign at the register showing your costs and explaining to your customers "were all in this together".
  22. moog5

    moog5 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Shingle Springs, CA
    I live in Sierra Foothills East of Sacramento. Most of our pellets come from the PacNW. Here are my experiences of 11 years of burning pellets as my sole source of heat.

    For the first 10 years I burned nothing but Golden Fire, and loved them, about 2-1/2 to 3 tons per year. Last year, about $3.87/bag, this year $4.17 per bag from the local feed store. Last year and this year their quality seems to have gone down a bit, but in my area they are still one of the best values, and still burn pretty well, if not great. Prior to last year, I don't recall ever having a klinker. Last year, I had my first experience with klinkers in Golden Fire, but only a minor amount and they haven't ever caused a problem, only require a little more cleaning (scraping) to keep the stove burning well.

    This year with my new harman xxv, I figured I would try all the different types of pellets locally available. Here are my experiences of experimenting this year. All of the brands I tried below claim to meet the "premium" standard set by the Pellet Fuel Institute>

    1)1 ton of "Golden Fire" by Bear Mountain Forest Products at 4.17/bag. They still burn good, but not as well as they have in the past. Over 10 years of burning them, never ever encountered any foreign items in them, and always just 100% pellets.

    2) Bought 10 bags of "Americas Best" by Bear Mountain Forest Products at $4.49/bag from a different feed store. Last night I dumped the first bag in the stove and after dumping about 1/2 of the 1st bag, I noticed what appeared to be strands of old carpet and pieces of silicone caulking (and yes I know for sure these came out of the bag). As the carpet strands would probably cause havoc with my stove, I told myself that's the end of experimenting with this brand. I plan to take all of these pellets back to the store I bought them from, along with the 1/4 sandwich bag full of caulking and carpet strands. This was the first time I ever noticed anything but wood pellets come out of a bag. Maybe this was just a fluke, but there are enough other brands available, and at better prices than to continue experimenting with this brand. I went to the bmfp.com internet address on the bag and couldn't find any information about this brand.

    3) Bought 15 bags of "Future Fuel" out of Missoula Montana from the local Walmart at $3.77/bag. To date I have burned about 1/2 of them. These burned great, but they appear to have a little more ash, but not enough to be significant. The only problem iI forsee is that when I bought them, the Walmart salesperson told me that the go fast, and they order 10+ pallets a day, but lately only end up getting about 1 pallet a day. The next time I need a 1/2 ton, I plan to go to Walmart, assuming they have them in stock...unless my concious gets the better of me and I decide not to because of their business tactics. At 3.77 a bag, I am pretty sure I will be back.

    4) Under recommendations from my dealer, I tried Blazer brand (from my local Home Depot). These burn the best of what I have tried this year, but as far as I am concerned they are not worth the cost at $4.99 per bag when I can buy Golden Fire at 4.17/bag or Future Fuel at 3.77 per bag.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page