Midwest (OH, IL, IN, WI, MI, IA) Midwest -- Menards pellets $164/ton

ABusWrench

Burning Hunk
Sep 11, 2015
154
East Canton, Ohio
Grabbed a ton yesterday. Should do me for the season. Great price for a decent pellet.
 

Mr._Graybeard

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2012
326
Southeast Wisconsin
Grabbed a ton yesterday. Should do me for the season. Great price for a decent pellet.
What brand were they carrying -- Somersets? The Menards out here gets Somersets once in a blue moon.

Mostly the Menards stores in my area have Marth Hardwoods, which produce good heat but tend to be pretty ashy. But when I'm getting them for about $170 a ton, I'm burning them. I picked up 3 tons at the sale price.
 

ABusWrench

Burning Hunk
Sep 11, 2015
154
East Canton, Ohio
Yes, Somersets here, at least for the last 2 years I've used them. Was my 5th ton of Sets'this year. Also had a ton of Hamers. Sure wish the 'Sets burnt as hot as the Hamers! But, for the price they're hard to beat.
 

Mr._Graybeard

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2012
326
Southeast Wisconsin
Yes, Somersets here, at least for the last 2 years I've used them. Was my 5th ton of Sets'this year. Also had a ton of Hamers. Sure wish the 'Sets burnt as hot as the Hamers! But, for the price they're hard to beat.
We're on about the same pace -- I've gone through about 4 tons of Marths and half a ton of Sets. I can get them for $215/ton, which isn't a bad price unless Menards is selling something else for $50/ton cheaper.

I'm normally not a big fan of Menards, but some deals are just too good to pass up.
 

ABusWrench

Burning Hunk
Sep 11, 2015
154
East Canton, Ohio
How do the Marth pellets compare to the 'Sets for heat and ash? Have heard good things about them. Found a place local that carries ProPellets, where $200 ton earlier in the season. Will give them a go next year. Place where I usually grab Hamers also carries Lignetics, for the same price too. Which I find strange. Can't beat Menards for their price though. Sale price + rebate = 6 ton for around a grand is hard to beat. It's an easy 32 mile round trip which makes it nice also.
 

Mr._Graybeard

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2012
326
Southeast Wisconsin
I'd say Marth's heat output is pretty close to Sets, but they're a lot dirtier. Dumping them into the hopper releases a bunch of dust, and I have to clean the combustion fan and flue every few weeks this time of year, when I'm burning about 1 1/2 tons per month. The big ash pan in my boiler needs a cleanout maybe once a month.

We have another brand out here, Indeck, that seems pretty similar to Marth. A smaller producer, Dejno, puts out a cleaner pellet that burns nicely, but again, they're $215 a ton. Hamers and Ligs never get out here. A major stove vendor in Wisconsin imports Canadian softwood pellets (LaCrete?) and bags them as "Uncle Jed's Cold Remedy" ... awesome pellet, but pricey in this market.

I got a ton of Sets near the end of January and went through half a ton in nine days -- they burned a lot cleaner than the batch of Sets I got last year, which produced a lot of clinkers. Pro Pellets tend to do the same, IME, but they throw good heat.
 

ABusWrench

Burning Hunk
Sep 11, 2015
154
East Canton, Ohio
That's good to know. Indeck, Pennington, Easy Heat and most of Tractor Supply's stuff is on my "do not burn" list.

I personally have never laid eyes on a bag of softwood pellets around here. Would love to try some though.

I was the opposite with the Sets. Last years were way less ash, same good heat though. I can't go longer than 10 days with this years Sets and the ash pan is full.

In your experience, are the Pro Pellets hotter than the Sets? They're rated @ 8200 btu, and the Sets say 7900 btu.
 

Mr._Graybeard

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2012
326
Southeast Wisconsin
That's good to know. Indeck, Pennington, Easy Heat and most of Tractor Supply's stuff is on my "do not burn" list.
The Indeck factory went on line for the first time fairly recently, like 2012, IIRC. Their early efforts were pretty bad. They have gotten better, but I haven't burned any in a couple years now. I just don't see them anymore. Which is weird, because they're a big producer in my state.

I personally have never laid eyes on a bag of softwood pellets around here. Would love to try some though.
To me, the benefit of softwoods is not the extra BTUs but the cleaner burn. Much less ash. With a Harman, I'm not sure that's worth the extra cost. I usually go for the cheap stuff, although I also avoid TSC because too much of their merchandise has water damage.

I was the opposite with the Sets. Last years were way less ash, same good heat though. I can't go longer than 10 days with this years Sets and the ash pan is full.
I recall reading somewhere (probably on this forum) that the Somerset factory occasionally runs some "special" flooring above and beyond its usual oak or hard maple, and the quality of the pellets coming out of that sawdust lot can vary. I don't know if that's true, but it sounds plausible. I do recall a thread early last season complaining about Somersets.

In your experience, are the Pro Pellets hotter than the Sets? They're rated @ 8200 btu, and the Sets say 7900 btu.
I think they're pretty close re heat output. I don't put a lot of stock in the PFI ratings because the product can vary so widely. It's all reprocessed wood scraps, after all.

The way Sets burned for me this year, I'd give them the edge. The way they apparently burned for YOU, they're probably neck and neck in terms of heat and ash.