We want to displace the myth that a hardwood pellet is better than a softwood pellet, or vice-versa. The larger logs represent harder work for the secondary processor as they are more difficult to move around and require in most cases that extra time be spent with splitting. There are approximately 1,000,000 homes in the U.S. using wood pellets for heat, in freestanding pellet stoves, fireplace inserts, furnaces and boilers. The sawdust is then compressed into pellets at a common density, about 40lbs per cubic foot.
It’s almost always better to pre-drill and screw it, not nail it. But both types of wood make great decking and if you treat and maintain softwood decking and furniture properly it can last for decades. With considerable differences in the price of hardwood decking and softwood decking, it’s easy to see why people often labour over this decision. Hardwoods are often considered to be a superior firewood because the wood is very dense.
First, the only reason that hardwood burns hotter and longer in a wood stove is because hardwood, in its natural state, has a much higher density that softwood does. This is because softwood is much more readily available, with 80 percent of all timber coming from this variety. The best place I know of to buy fire accessories is They have a selection of firewood carrying, splitting and storage equipment.
Jon Culshaw is a sustainable timber advocate and joiner specialising in bespoke wooden gates and garage doors at He loves the smell of sawdust in the morning! You do not want to burn softwood in a WOOD STOVE (as opposed to a pellet stove) if you can avoid it. This is because in a wood stove, hardwood will burn hotter and longer than softwood will and softwood will burn much dirtier. The best firewood deal I ever got was when I worked with a friend and he had a truck and I had the chainsaw.
Regardless of your choice of hardwood or softwood logs they should always be as dry as possible before burning. Hardwood fundamentally comes from trees that lose their leaves in the winter, so trees such as Oak, Ash, Beech etc. They can be mixed with hardwood to improve the performance of slow burning fires. Hardwood decking is cut from trees with a slow growth habit – typically like those from rainforest areas – and therefore cost more to produce. After discovering this forum and reading various threads, I wanted to try other pellets. I would like to have a ton of hedge (osage orange) pellets and compare them to a ‘premium’ pellet either hard or softwood.
Last time I ordered wood ( 5 cords) the logs were mostly quite large, actually to the point that two people could barely lift them. Based on the above figures, common softwood is approximately 30% less dense than common hardwoods and therefore produces 30% less energy. Because softwood trees grow at a quicker pace than hardwood, the wood produced has a lower density and is lighter.
I wouldn’t understate the benefits of softwood (or overstate the dis-benefits). In conclusion: if it’s durability you’re looking for then a correctly manufactured softwood window or door will perform extremely well in comparison to a hardwood product. The absolute worst pellets I’ve burned were Future Fuel II. I think they were made from straw grass and turned everything black including my cap. This is another reason why softwood decking is a lower cost option than hardwood decking.
A large timber supplier recently had a picture of a softwood deck on their website – built by Top Deck Decking Ltd, and stolen from their website – claiming that it was hardwood! We are happy to talk to you about the various merits of softwood and hardwood for as long as required. The lower density of softwood makes it a much easier timber to work with than hardwood.
But for contractors who have clients who may not know hardwood from softwood, we’ve compiled the basic differences between the two. Once you understand this simple idea, it stands to reason that trees which take longer to grow – like hardwood – absorb more energy from the sun. This takes us to a statement that I made earlier here, that softwood, IN A WOODSTOVE, (in its natural state) will burn much dirtier than hardwood.
Most British garden decking is made from commercially treated softwoods, in other words ‘tanalised’. Most timbers used in decking are farmed properly, and re-planted to ensure continuity. Oak timber windows also have incredible aesthetics, thanks to the subtle aesthetics of each tree’s grain. It will allow the wood to stay dry and largely explains why softwood windows have lasted 200 years.