How To Grade Pallets

How To Grade Pallets

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Complete Guide For Grading Pallets


To determine the grade or condition of the pallet to help set a fair and accurate price for the pallet or pallets. Grading pallets correctly will help you sell them quicker and get a better pallet price.

Appearance of Pallet

Brightness or Grayness of the Wood:

When grading pallets the first step is to look at the appearance of the wood. The brightness or grayness of wood will affect the grading of the pallet. The brighter the wood the higher-grade pallet it will receive.

A-Grade Pallet vs B-Grade Pallet

Squared Pallet Deviations:

The appearance of the pallet should be square. When measuring the pallet all corners of the pallet should be square. Any deviations of 1 inch or more are unacceptable and will affect the grade of the pallet.

Cleanliness of the Pallet:

A pallet should be clean from any contamination such as staples, cardboard, paint, grease, or other materials. The cleaner the pallet the higher grade of pallet it will receive.

Stringer Integrity

A pallet should have solid stringers. When grading a pallet you need to look for repairs to stringer boards. Some common repairs to stringer boards are metal mending plates and support boards called companion stringers or plugs. If a pallet stringer has repairs it will affect the grade the pallet receives.

Deck boards

When grading a pallet, there should not be any deck boards or bottom boards missing. There should be 7 top deck boards and 5 bottom boards. In addition to having all the boards present, there should also not be more than a 3.5-inch gap between boards. The front and back deck boards called lead deck boards should be 6 inches wide. The middle deck boards should be 4 inches wide. The thickness of the deck boards should not be less than 9/16 of an inch.

To grade deck boards and bottom boards you need to look for slits or cracks in the wood. You will need to make sure chucks of wood are not missing on end pieces. Be sure to also look to make sure the boards are securely fastened. All of these factors will help determine the grade of the pallets.


All nails often referred to as fasteners must be completely nailed flush with the wood. Nails that are raised above the deck boards or sticking out of the side of stringers are not acceptable. Any nails not completely nailed in will affect the grade of the pallet.

Types of Grades of Pallets

A Grade Pallets

Pallets that have bright white wood, complete with deck boards, no stringer repairs, and flush nails receive A Grade Pallet Status.

B Grade Pallets

Pallets that have bright white wood mixed with gray or dirty wood, complete with deck boards and some repairs, stringers with repairs, and flush nails receive B Grade Pallet Status.

Number 1 pallets are also considered A grade pallets. While Number 2 pallets are considered B grade pallets.

Sorting Pallets

When your pallets are graded you should then sort them by Grade, Size, Type, and Material. For a complete guide on how to sort pallets read this article How To Sort Pallets.