Wood Pellets Glossary

Whether you’re a newbie or an old hat in the world of wood pellets, you’ve probably heard some terms that make you wonder… ‘What the heck’s a skid?’ Well, here’s a basic glossary of some terms that we’re most commonly asked to explain. And don’t be shy – if we missed something here that you’ve been wondering about, give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS, and we’d be happy to help you out!

Ash content - the waste product left from burning wood pellets. One of the major indicators of wood pellet quality, ash is measured as a percentage of weight. The lower the ash content, the less cleaning and maintenance you’ll likely have to perform on your stove. Premium hardwood pellets have less than 1.0% ash, and premium softwood pellets typically have less than 0.5% ash.

Biomass - organic matter that can be converted to fuel. Wood pellets are a biomass heat source.

BTU - British Thermal Unit. BTU is the measure of heat output for a fuel, and one of the key indicators of wood pellet quality. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat you will feel. You should expect to find a BTU rating of 7900-8200 in premium wood pellets.

Pallet jack (A.K.A. Hand truck) - a hand-operated machine that lifts heavy pallets, allowing our delivery drivers to pull skids of fuel over flat, hard surfaces (such as a garage floor). Because of their maneuverability and small size, pallet jacks give you greater flexibility than forklifts to place pallets exactly where you need them

Skid (A.K.A. Pallet) - a wooden platform upon which wood pellet bags are stacked and wrapped. Wood pellets skids are packaged in different weights, and can have anywhere from 50 bags (1.0 ton) to 75 bags (1.5 tons) per skid.

Wood bricks (A.K.A. Biomass bricks) - dried and condensed sawdust and wood chips, formed into a block shape that burns as a highly efficient cordwood alternative. (We like to explain wood bricks as big pellets that can be burned in a wood stove or fireplace.)

Wood pellet - highly efficient heating fuel composed of dried and compressed sawdust. Wood pellets are burned in a wood pellet stove, fireplace insert, boiler, or furnace.