UNY Pellets - Tractor Supply Softwoods?

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Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,247
Upstate NY
Evening everyone.

I am getting into the pellet game for a portion of my house while we are in the middle of some renovations/adjustments. Anyway, we have an order for a PelPro PP70 thats on its way, and looking to pick up some fuel for it. I know Ill need to try a few things, but have been on the lookout to see what is available around me, and reading the reviews here.

Looks like the local HD has the GreenSupremes that dont seem to get much love. I also checked at my local Tractor Supply based on some pellets that were out front, and based on the barcode scan they came up as Curran hardwoods. However, I also looked on the website today, and it looks like they also have a softwood pellet. I didnt see anything on here about those, but they certainly seem to be the cheapest around (which I know isnt a good thing all the time). I will probably pick up a few bags to see what we think of them before pulling the trigger on a ton of anything. I do know its late in the game to get in on anything, so hopefully can still find some others around.

From a little looking at local stores, I think I have some of the following that I could pick up, and happy to have any thoughts:

Barefoot Hardwoods
Dry Creek
Energex
Vermont Pellet Company softwoods
Greene Team Supreme (Lowes)
Wood and Sons
Ambiance
NorthernMax

Appreciate any insights. Im sure Ill have more to post as I get the stove and have it setup.
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,991
South Central NH
Vermont's are great, the cream of the crop, and I've heard that Woods & Sons are too (both are 100% SW). I don't know anything about the rest.

There may be a difference between how HW's, SW, and mixes run in the Pelpro - but IDK. My stoves love a good HW, while others on here don't like them at all.

Green Supreme's are pellet that may be a full SW, a full HW or a blend. The "Northeast" blend that is sold around here, I consider a middling pellet that is pretty ashy although they throw decent heat. The local hardware store sells them, but at a premium price and I can get comaprable pellets at TSC for about $2 less per bag. Tthey are most likely a lot cheaper at HD and may be a pretty good value as a balance between cost and heat and ash.

The "type" of pellet in the GS bag (Northeast/Cascade/Blue Ridege etc) will be on the front of the bag. Here is a chart that describes each of them.
 
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Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,247
Upstate NY
Vermont's are great, the cream of the crop, and I've heard that Woods & Sons are too (both are 100% SW). I don't know anything about the rest.

There may be a difference between how HW's, SW, and mixes run in the Pelpro - but IDK. My stoves love a good HW, while others on here don't like them at all.

Green Supreme's are pellet that may be a full SW, a full HW or a blend. The "Northeast" blend that is sold around here, I consider a middling pellet that is pretty ashy although they throw decent heat. The local hardware store sells them, but at a premium price and I can get comaprable pellets at TSC for about $2 less per bag. Tthey are most likely a lot cheaper at HD and may be a pretty good value as a balance between cost and heat and ash.

The "type" of pellet in the GS bag (Northeast/Cascade/Blue Ridege etc) will be on the front of the bag. Here is a chart that describes each of them.
Thanks for the feedback!

I dont know the pricing on the Vermont's yet, but that will play a factor at some point. Im not using the PelPro as a primary source for the house, so spending a little bit more on a better pellet isnt a huge deal breaker. But if its $100+ more a ton, that might change my mind.

The Green Supreme's near me are the Northeast blend based on the chart that you sent (thanks for the link!). The HD has those, and I may try a bag just to see how they do in this stove.

I may also try the TSC hardwood blend and the softwood just to see how they do in the stove. They seem to have a lot of availability, as long as I can get some bags that havent sat out in the rain already....
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,991
South Central NH
TSC pellets that I get are comparable to the GS and much cheaper in my local area (agian, no HD within 30 miles). The local TSC bags are filled with MWP's which throw about half the ash as the GS (still a bit ashy compared to Vermont's, but much cheaper). I use those as my go-to pellets TSC, like the GS, have different products in them depending on where you are at, so scanning the code on those too may be advisable.
 
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rich2500

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
1,393
Berks County PA.
If the TSC softwoods are Virginia Golden they are rebagged Easy Blaze which are a pretty decent pellet
 
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Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,247
Upstate NY
TSC pellets that I get are comparable to the GS and much cheaper in my local area (agian, no HD within 30 miles). The local TSC bags are filled with MWP's which throw about half the ash as the GS (still a bit ashy compared to Vermont's, but much cheaper). I use those as my go-to pellets TSC, like the GS, have different products in them depending on where you are at, so scanning the code on those too may be advisable.
Im not sure what an MWP is....

When I scanned the bag of hardwoods it came up as Currans, so Ill have to see what the softwoods are when I can get back there to try one.
If the TSC softwoods are Virginia Golden they are rebagged Easy Blaze which are a pretty decent pellet
Thanks for the heads up! Ill try and see what they are and will go from there.
 

Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,247
Upstate NY
Replying to myself since I did a little searching...

I see MWP is Maine Wood Pellet. I wonder if those make it to my store, or if I would get the Curran softwoods. Hopefully I get a chance to go to the store this weekend and see what is there. Appreciate the insight!
 

Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,247
Upstate NY
If the TSC softwoods are Virginia Golden they are rebagged Easy Blaze which are a pretty decent pellet
Well, found out they are Northeast Pellets


From what I was able to find here on the forum, not a great experience with them. Once I get my stove here at set up, Ill see what the stove thinks of them. Im still making some calls locally to see what is around and the cost per ton.
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,991
South Central NH
Im not sure what an MWP is....

When I scanned the bag of hardwoods it came up as Currans, so Ill have to see what the softwoods are when I can get back there to try one.

Thanks for the heads up! Ill try and see what they are and will go from there.

MWP = Maine Woods Pellets (not to be confused with "Maine's Choice" pellets - although they may be better than they used to since Lignetics bought them out)
 

lowb35

New Member
Mar 6, 2020
17
Allegany County, NY
IMO, stay away from the Northeast Pellets. They're technically a blend but really it's whatever they throw in (if you look at the bag on their website, the branded ones don't specify if they're hardwood, softwood or a blend). I had a really bad experience with them last year. Excessive sawdust/fines, high moisture, lots of soot, huge clinkers, big mess. I made it through a bag and a half before I realized that they'd put undue stress on my stove, even with daily cleaning. Not worth it.
 

Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,247
Upstate NY
IMO, stay away from the Northeast Pellets. They're technically a blend but really it's whatever they throw in (if you look at the bag on their website, the branded ones don't specify if they're hardwood, softwood or a blend). I had a really bad experience with them last year. Excessive sawdust/fines, high moisture, lots of soot, huge clinkers, big mess. I made it through a bag and a half before I realized that they'd put undue stress on my stove, even with daily cleaning. Not worth it.
I opened one bag that I had yesterday, and the top corner was mulch. So my guess is that it got wet somewhere along the line, or was last years stock. So back it goes. The other seems to have a lot of smaller pellets that got broken, lots of dust. I will probably burn the one bag after I get the stove installed and then not purchase again.
 

lowb35

New Member
Mar 6, 2020
17
Allegany County, NY
I opened one bag that I had yesterday, and the top corner was mulch. So my guess is that it got wet somewhere along the line, or was last years stock. So back it goes. The other seems to have a lot of smaller pellets that got broken, lots of dust. I will probably burn the one bag after I get the stove installed and then not purchase again.
I sifted a few bags last year before giving up and returning the rest. I have a picture somewhere of all the sawdust I sifted out—I think I calculated the fines by weight to be 2% or so. Even after sifting out the fines, they ended up on a wet section of my gravel driveway that was developing some ruts with all the rain we got this year rather than in my stove.

Hopefully your TSC will get pellets from a better source next time. Ours here in the western part of the state are usually Dry Creek. I burned a few of those this season and they were better than last year. I complained so bad to our local Lowes about the Northeasts that I’m pretty sure they know who the crazy lady is who demands GS, Curran blend, anything but the white bags with the yellow and red print. We don’t get softies out here at least not in the big box stores, and those Northeasts shouldn’t have been packaged as such IMO. Here they were under the generic Lowes hardwood/blend SKU.
 
Last edited:

Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,247
Upstate NY
I sifted a few bags last year before giving up and returning the rest. I have a picture somewhere of all the sawdust I sifted out—I think I calculated the fines by weight to be 2% or so. Even after sifting out the fines, they ended up on a wet section of my gravel driveway that was developing some ruts with all the rain we got this year rather than in my stove.

Hopefully your TSC will get pellets from a better source next time. Ours here in the western part of the state are usually Dry Creek. I burned a few of those this season and they were better than last year. I complained so bad to our local Lowes about the Northeasts that I’m pretty sure they know who the crazy lady is who demands GS, Curran blend, anything but the white bags with the yellow and red print. We don’t get softies out here at least not in the big box stores, and those Northeasts shouldn’t have been packaged as such IMO. Here they were under the generic Lowes hardwood/blend SKU.
I think I'll avoid the softwoods entirely from TSC. Will try to get some from another vendor. I am not impressed with the amount of smoke I'm getting, and I have a feeling that it's the pellets and not the stove. I'll try the hardwoods and see if I get better results.

But for now, I agree that avoiding the Northeast pellets seems like a good idea.