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Difference Between Softwood Pellets & Hardwood Pellets

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Pellets are made from compressed wood residue (mainly sawdust) in an anhydrous state. There are many types of wood pellets burning on the market, including the following types of pellets: softwood, hardwood and mixed wood. So what are the differentiating factors between softwood pellets and hardwood pellets?

The Difference Between Softwood Pellets And Hardwood Pellets

1. Burning speed. Hardwood pellets are traditionally used fuels. However, nowadays, the demand for cork is also great. Hardwood pellets and softwood pellets burn in different ways, depending on their wood type. When comparing the burning of hardwood pellets and softwood pellets, the former burns more slowly. In addition, hardwood particles burn hotter than softwood particles.

2. Residues. Unlike hardwood pellets, softwood pellets burn quickly and burn thoroughly. When comparing the ash produced, hardwood particles produce denser ash than hardwood particles.

3. Humidity. The closer the particles are to 0% humidity, the stronger their burning ability. Good combustion means heat, little ash, and therefore little clogging.

4. Pelletizer processing Equipment. In the process of making wood pellets, the mold compression ratio requirements of softwood pellets or hardwood pellets are different.

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Which Is Better: Hardwood or Softwood Pellet?


The traditional view is that hardwood pellets are always a better choice for fireplace burning. However, when it comes to pellet stoves, traditional concepts are inaccurate. Hardwood logs are more effective than softwood logs because hardwood is denser than softwood. But in the process of wood pellets, the difference between hardwood and softwood is narrowing.


Hardwood wood pellets are often sold as high-quality wood pellets, which cost more than their counterparts, softwoods. The reason has little to do with quality. Mainly because hardwood is a more expensive raw material than softwood. Therefore, if hardwoods need to be broken up and made into wood pellets to make a profit, manufacturers must sell hardwood products at a higher price than softwood products.


The heat generated by softwood pellets has a slightly higher calorific value than hardwood pellets. The reason for the difference is that the softwood pellets contain more sap than the hardwood pellets, which makes them burn faster.

Ash Content

Cleanliness requirements and environmental impact are two major concerns for owners of pellet stoves. There have been studies comparing the ash content of hardwood pellets with softwood pellets. The conclusion of this study is that hardwood pellets contain approximately three times the ash content. Although the ash content of high-quality particles is less than 1%, the difference may be more obvious if calculated based on a long winter.

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The density of hardwoods is relatively high, such as birch, poplar, yew, and elm are all hardwoods. Hardwood generally has a lower moisture content and burns longer than softwood. Cork is generally gymnosperm, such as pine, mahogany, cedar, spruce, etc. are all cork. Compared with hardwood, softwood particles burn more fully. Therefore, the two raw materials have their own advantages.




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