Choosing between softwood and hardwood pellets
granulco - granules de bois

The majority of consumers that have experience in burning wood in a wood stove, or even camp fires, know that hardwood logs are often the fuel of their choice for their stove or camp fire to keep the fire going. A hardwood log has a higher efficiency than a same-size softwood log. The reason is simple. The hardwood is heavier because it is denser, and the wood is more compact, therefore, it burns for a longer period of time than softwood.

Regarding pellets, the production processes are the same. First, the fibres are dried, then reduced to smaller particles with a shredder, and finally, compressed into pellets. The result of this operation gives pellets with the same density, whether it is hardwood or softwood. A volume of softwood pellets has the same weight as the identical volume of hardwood pellets. The amount of heat depends strictly on the quality of the raw material used. Generally, softwood gives off more heat than hardwood.

An informed choice

An advised consumer should, as a matter of priority, search for:

  • The best value quality/price
  • BTU heat (British Thermal Unit)/pounds produced by the pellet
  • Humidity level (the lower the humidity level, the higher the generated BTU level)
  • The quality of the cinders produced by the pellets
  • Durability

Seeing as the BTU measure is obviously higher when the pellets burn with 0% humidity, certain producers display it (BTU) making their product more attractive to the eyes of the imprudent consumer.

All producers should be able to supply a signed and certified copy from the results of the tests done in the laboratory indicating the quoted measures.