What type of Wooden Pallet to Use? (New vs Used Pallets)

On December 31, 2022

What type of Wooden Pallet Should I Use (New vs Used Pallets)

Most companies use pallets, whether they are industrial sites, grocery stores, or storage facilities. There is a wide range of pallet options available from reputable logistics companies, including a variety of materials, sizes, and conditions. A wide range of commercial industries use wooden pallets to transport and store large quantities of goods and merchandise, including factories, warehouses, department stores, and distributors. It is also possible to purchase new or used pallets. Your company may have to choose between brand new wooden pallets and recycled pallets when you’re looking to buy wooden pallets for manufacturing or distribution.

Your needs will determine which is the right fit for you since both have their benefits and drawbacks. Here are some differences between new and recycled pallets. You can make the right business decision by understanding the advantages and disadvantages.

New Vs Used Pallets

New wooden pallets


New Wooden Pallets

New Wooden Pallets Stack



All new materials and hardware are used to construct new pallets. In other words, wood (mostly hardwood) is harvested from trees, trimmed, ripped into boards, and cut into the required sizes to construct pallets. It is possible to order these in standard sizes or have them made to your specifications.

New wooden pallets don’t require a lot of explanation.  New pallets are made from wood that has never been used before, either for pallets or for other purposes.

Additionally, when you buy pallets that are new, you have the option of custom designing them for the products or configurations your supply chain requires.  You can have new pallets made from higher-grade wood if necessary, but generally new pallets are made from #4 grade wood.  Typically, pallets are made from softwood, but hardwood pallets can also be purchased if necessary.

Pros and Advantages of New Pallets

The benefits of new pallets differ from those of used pallets. New pallets have several advantages, but quality and versatility are the most important. In order to determine which qualities are most important to you, let’s examine each of these factors in more detail.

Great Quality and Reliable


The condition of new pallets is generally better than that of used pallets. Pallets that are fresh have not been used, so they arrive at your facility in top condition. It’s easy to tell that new pallets are top-quality equipment because they will not have any weakened or broken boards, splinters or discolorations.

New wood pallets might be for you if you’re concerned about structural integrity. You will have less worry with your product and pallet sustaining damage. Any company that manufactures food, performs medical procedures, or requires high sanitation standards should adhere to this standard. Heat treated or new pallets are often required for international shipping.

Custom Builds


The versatility of new pallets is another advantage. Once a pallet has been produced, it cannot be altered. New pallets can, however, be customized to meet your specific needs. Whether it’s materials or size dimensions, manufacturers can design and create new pallets to suit any job.

In discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of used or new pallets, customization is frequently discussed. The use of specialized pallets is not necessary for some industries, while it is required for others. You will benefit from new, customized pallets if you work with products or materials that are unique in size.

New pallets come in custom dimensions that can be customized to meet your specific needs. Every pallet we manufacture is custom-built, and we can create anything you need for your special project. You should buy new custom pallets if you plan to reuse them repeatedly. Our custom pallets are available in a variety of sizes, including custom remanufactured pallets made out of recycled and reclaimed wood (basically recycled options for custom pallet builds).

New Pallets

New Pallet Stack

Their strength and durability are superior

Heavy products are transported, stored, and distributed using wooden pallets. This is why hardwood is used to make them. Most heavy merchandise or products can be carried on new hardwood pallets. Furthermore, they are durable and can withstand wear and tear. Wooden pallets, however, become weak over time and wear out, making them unsuitable for transportation, storage, and distribution of heavy items. Heavy losses may result from their failure during transportation or delivery. When transporting and distributing heavy products, it’s a good idea to buy new pallets.

There is usually a high supply of new pallets

Fresh lumber is used to make new pallets, so they can be easily stocked. Whether we pull pallets from stock or make more to fit your order, you won’t have any trouble getting as many pallets as you need. It is possible that there are not enough recycled pallets available for a large order, depending on how many used pallets have been returned for recycling and repair. In this case, new pallets give you peace of mind by ensuring that your supply chain won’t be impacted by a shortage of materials if you need a lot of pallets on a regular basis.

Long-term savings can be achieved by investing in new pallets

A new wooden pallet will last much longer than a recycled wooden pallet, as they are the most durable. Essentially, recycled wooden pallets are meant to be like new, which is why they are ideal for short-term work. Consider it the difference between buying a brand new car and one that has been in a few crashes and is repaired. Despite the fact that they share all the same parts and function identically, one is more susceptible to wear and tear or needing repairs in the future. Buying new pallets may save you money in the long run if your company puts a lot of wear and tear on them as you won’t have to replace or repair them as often.

New pallets have the following cons:

High Costs

A new pallet generally costs more than a recycled pallet. Getting them can be tricky if you’re a startup in the transportation and distribution industry, or if you don’t have the budget to buy them. Recycled pallets are often chosen by companies for cost reasons, and if cost is your main concern, consider how long you expect them to last and how much wear you expect them to take.

Businesses benefit from reduced rates when they use recycled pallets. The same can’t be said for new pallets. Obtaining supplies, running manufacturing sites, and paying employees to build pallets costs money. Customizations increase the price even more.

New pallets are usually more expensive due to their higher quality. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” When choosing between new and used pallets, consider price instead of condition.

High Wait Times for Custom Builds

The durability of new pallets makes them very popular. You should look for durable equipment, but it also means that it is hard to find. The global demand for new lumber makes it harder to get fresh pallets.

Pallets with reduced accessibility won’t disappear from your sight; they will just take longer to arrive. In order to ensure you receive your equipment on schedule, consider your workload and timeline as you customize your pallets.

Used Pallets or Recycled Pallets

Used Pallet Yard

Used Pallet Yard



If you are unfamiliar with the language of recycled pallets and don’t have a clear understanding of what to expect in a recycled pallet, it can be somewhat confusing.

Pallets made from recycled materials go by many names, including:

  • Recycled Pallets

  • Repaired Pallets

  • Grade A (#1)

  • Grade B (#2)

  • Used GMAs

  • Reconditioned Pallets

  • Refurbished Pallets


It doesn’t matter what a company calls its recycled pallets, they are still pallets that will be used over and over until they cannot be repaired any more.  For a recovered pallet to remain structurally sound, deck boards and stringers will need to be replaced, plated, or plugged repeatedly during use.

Pallets that have been recycled are usually 48 x 40, also known as standard pallets or GMA pallets. Grocery Manufacturers Association, now Consumer Brands Association, established this standard pallet size. “GMA pallet” remains the preferred name for the standard-sized pallet, even though the company’s name has changed. Stringers on these GMA pallets are notched, and five boards are at the bottom and seven boards at the top.

Pallets that have been recycled are used pallets that have been repaired and re-used. In this process, good wood is recycled from old pallets, and the recycled pallets are tested to ensure they will last. Even though recycled pallets are comprised of used parts, we hold ourselves to the highest levels of accountability and adhere to all recycling guidelines and codes. No matter whether you buy new or recycled pallets, you’re guaranteed high-performance and structurally sound pallets.

Wooden Grade B Pallets

Wooden Grade B Pallets

Different Recycled Pallet Grades

Pallets that have been recycled are also graded based on their condition and what repairs they have been given. In addition to letting you know how well the pallet will be repaired and in what condition, the pallet grade is also usually a factor in determining the price.

A, B, and C are the three general grades of GMA recycled pallets. The meanings of each of those grades are as follows:

  • Grade A (#1) Wooden Pallets: Recycled pallets of Grade A are the most attractive, although oxidation and aging may cause discoloration to occur. Grade A wooden pallets have no damage to the boards and stringers. Since Grade A pallets have been used fewer times, their quality and specs are more consistent than lower grade recycled pallets.

  • Grade B (#2) Wooden Pallets: This grade of recycled pallet usually contains some minor cosmetic damage to stringers and boards but remian structlally sound. Pallets of grade B aren’t very pretty from an aesthetic standpoint, and can’t be used for displays in stores.

  • Grade C Broken Pallets :  These are the ugliest of the recycled pallets. These pallets are typically not fit for reuse and should be recycled and repaired. In general, recycled pallets of this type are the least reliable.

Furthermore, each grade of recycled pallet can also be broken down into grades like 1A, AAA, 2A, and so on. Every vendor has its own ways of marketing its grades of recycled pallets.  Pallets with a higher grade are more expensive.

You can expect the following characteristics from pallets that are Grade 1A, for example:

  • Nail heads should not protrude

  • A very small deviation from squareness

  • A minimum thickness of 9/16th of an inch is required for deck boards

Used pallets have many advantages

In spite of the many advantages new pallets offer, it’s still a good idea to consider used pallets as well. Used pallets can also offer your business some surprising benefits, which is why a large portion of the pallet industry focuses on recycling and repurposing. Take a look at these pros below to learn more about your options.

Saving Money – Significantly less expensive than buying new


Refurbished pallets are repaired if they have been damaged. Since they already exist, they don’t need to go through the entire manufacturing process again. New pallets tend to be more expensive and more difficult to obtain than used pallets.

It is inevitable that most businesses will need to cut costs at some point to stay in business. You can reinvest massive savings by purchasing used pallets, allowing you to reinvest in other departments. There is no doubt that recycled pallets look a bit dingy, but they do their job for a fraction of the price of new pallets.

There is no doubt that recycled pallets are cheaper than new pallets. Consequently, recycled pallets are a great option if you’re on a budget or just looking for short-term savings. Depending on the situation, their costs can be 70% lower than those of their new counterparts.

Because recycled pallets are already built, they are available more quickly. You will receive your order faster because recycled pallets are not built from scratch.

Good for the Environment and Sustainability

Recycling used pallets has a number of benefits, including being environmentally friendly. It will likely take up space in landfills to create new pallets because more resources will be used in the process. Used pallets are more environmentally friendly than new ones, whether they are made from wood, paper, metal, or plastic.

Pallets that have been repurposed do not require a lot of new resources to get them back into shape. Pallets like these don’t require cutting down trees because they’re already here. When it comes to “green” initiatives, recycled pallets might be a better choice.

Green initiatives are taken seriously in your company. When you ship and store your products on new lumber, your message can be undermined, but if you use recycled pallets, you consume fewer trees and extend the life of the materials you already own.

In addition, recycled pallets can be disassembled, used as firewood for burning, or shredded for use as mulch if they wear out over time. In addition to grinding pallet remnants into fuel and bedding, we also turn unusable pallets into biofuels.

The cons of used pallets

You should understand the pros and cons of used pallets, just as you would if you bought new pallets. Making informed decisions could have a huge impact on your business operations if you understand these things. Are recycled pallets more beneficial than they are detrimental?

Choose a recycled pallet vendor carefully.


In addition to lacking consistency, pallet recycling has other disadvantages.  A variety of pallet manufacturers produce recycled pallets.  There will likely be differences between pallets in board thickness, fasteners, and nail placement even if they have the same dimensions.  As a result, recycled wooden pallets may not be a viable option for your supply chain if pallet specifications are important.

Looks and Condtion

Pallets that have been used have a little more life experience than new pallets that arrive at their destination in pristine condition. The logistics industry refurbishes pallets to fix their damage, but this does not fully restore them to their original condition. There may not be any visible damage on used pallets, but they may still have minor issues that could turn into major issues over time.

It’s possible to reuse repurposed pallets over and over again if you maintain them well. The structural integrity of repurposed pallets isn’t the same as that of a new pallet, so it’s a bit of a gamble. You won’t find them shining and new like new pallets when they arrive at your establishment. If you’re using used pallets for heavy items, choose carefully because there is an added risk.

Standard Sizes – No custom builds

99% of the time the used pallet options are going to be the 48 x 40 Standard GMA size. Due to the fact that professionals only restore used pallets, customization options are limited. For the most part, what you see is what you get. If you handle items with unique dimensions, being nonadjustable might not be ideal for your business.

The decision to invest in used vs. new pallets ultimately lies with you.

Over time, it becomes less durable

All of our pallets are manufactured and recycled with high quality, so you can rely on them for any job you need. However, if they start out with some wear, they will eventually need repairs or replacements.  Recycling wooden pallets ultimately makes them less durable than new pallets. In some cases, the upfront savings outweigh the cost of future repairs or replacements, but in other cases, the promise of improved performance and longer use makes more sense.

So what matters most to your company?

It really comes down to your budget and needs when deciding whether to buy new wooden pallets or recycled wooden pallets. Recycled pallets make sense for your short-term shipping needs if you’re operating on a budget or have limited budgets. Their low cost and high performance make them ideal for short-term uses.

To ensure your pallets are durable and perform well over time, it’s best to buy new.

It is also necessary to consider whether you need pallets for a one-off storage or transport job, or if you need them for custom-built pallets. As an alternative to buying new or recycled pallets, we also offer a pallet rental program. Call us if you’re still unsure what options best suit your business. We’re happy to provide consultation and answer any questions you might have!

Remanufactured Wooden Pallets

Remanufactured pallets are pallets that are made from reclaimed pallet parts.  Both reclaimed and new wood can be used to construct remanufactured pallets.

A variety of sizes can be customized for remanufactured pallets, but they are typically limited by the size of the recycled pallet wood.  The notched stringers of a remanufactured pallet have to also match the length of the stringers (unless you buy longer stringers made from new wood – which adds to the cost).

It is important to choose a good vendor when it comes to remanufactured wooden pallets.  To get what you pay for, you must trust your vendor to use only recycled pallet wood that is free from cracks and splits.

Remanufactured pallets: pros and cons

A remanufactured wooden pallet’s biggest advantages are its price and flexibility.  It is possible to save up to 50% by buying remanufactured pallets instead of new ones.  They can also be custom-built to a wide variety of sizes.

There are also remanufactured pallet vendors that claim the pallets are almost indistinguishable from new pallets. This may be true if you disregard previous fastener holes, discoloration, mold, paint, tar, etc. No pallet is truly pretty when it is remanufactured.

In remanufactured pallets, the wood comes from recycled pallets that have been dismantled when they’re beyond repair. Those wooden pallet parts (along with some new materials) go into remanufactured pallets.

Sometimes that means the pallet wood recovered has already been stressed for a long time. You have to trust the vendor to separate the stressed, cracked, or broken wood from the reusable stuff when you buy pallets that are remanufactured.

Vendors make more money if they can use recycled wood instead of buying new.

So Should I Used New Or Used Pallets?

The price of new pallets is obviously higher than that of recycled or remanufactured wooden pallets. You’ll usually get less in-transit damage and fewer pallet failures if you buy new pallets than if you buy recycled or remanufactured ones.

In case your organization uses standard-sized pallets, you’ll have to look at the total cost of packaging and decide if it makes sense to buy new pallets or go with another option. You’ll probably want new pallets if your pallets are really customized.

We can build wooden pallets to fit your supply chain needs, and they can be built to any size you need. New pallets have consistent quality, so it’s easier to palletize your stuff because every pallet has a predictable surface on which to place stuff.

New pallets haven’t gotten damaged from carrying repeated loads, so you know they’re good to go. It’s good to know that your pallets don’t have cracks hidden below deck boards or inside stringers where you can’t really see them. Besides having the right nails and fasteners for your product load, you know your pallets were built specifically for your company, according to your specifications. Buying new pallets means you know they’re strong and will hold your loads. Recycled pallets may have missing nails or cracks, and you won’t realize it until the pallet breaks and damages your product.

A new pallet is clean and free of contaminants that may be found on recycled and remanufactured pallets. Food spills, tar, chemicals, and residue from previous products are all common on recycled and remanufactured pallets. It’s not uncommon for recycled and remanufactured pallets to have molds too. The problem with mold can be with any wood product, but when you buy new pallets, you can work with your manufacturer to make sure they are completely mold-free and are stored inside so they don’t form mold. Since most recycled pallets have been stored outside their entire life, it’s hard to guarantee that any part of a wooden pallet is mold-free.

In the end, it’s a case-by-case thing. Every business is different, so the pallet needs will be different too

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