How Much is a Bag of Coal?

You may be wondering “Where can I buy coal for domestic use? Coal is a fossil fuel usually burned to produce electricity, but that’s not what it is used for, it has domestic uses too, most usually heating and blacksmithing.

Where I Can Buy Coal

Coal is made under high heat and pressure underneath the Earth’s surface. The best and highest grade coal, anthracite, has spent the most time underneath exposed to pressure and heat.

Lower-grade coals, like bituminous coal, have spent a little less time forming underground. The higher the grade of the coal, the harder and purer the coal.

So let’s explore in detail the different places where you can buy coal and the kinds of coal you can get.

Where I Can Buy Coal?

You buy coal, it is either from local hardware or supply stores, blacksmithing stores, or in some situations, directly from the producer. Coal at hardware stores is mostly sold in 40- or 50-pound bags.

Hardware stores are Grade A if you just want a bag or two. Blacksmithing stores likewise carry coal, however, they normally won’t sell coal suitable for heating.

Dealers are best if you want to purchase them in bulk. Dealers mostly sell by the skid, or pallet, which has about 50 bags and equals one ton.

The list below covers stores or dealers that will transport regionally or nationally, or have a huge number of stores.

1. Hardware Stores (Best for Small Quantities)

A local hardware store is the finest option for buying coal in a much smaller amount suitable for individual domestic use.

There may be much smaller regional stores closest to you that we didn’t include in our list, so you can inquire from your town’s hardware store if you’re seeking a local option.

Hardware stores mostly carry both anthracite and bituminous coal (which is suitable for blacksmithing). Aubuchon hardware store for example sells both anthracite and bituminous coal.

Aubuchon has stores in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.  Shipping rates depend on location and range from $15 – $100 for a single bag.

2. Blacksmith Supply Stores (Best for Bituminous Coal)

Blacksmith stores usually have only a few locations, but usually ship nationwide for affordable, flat rates. They generally only carry bituminous coal best suited for smithing, and not anthracite which is best for heating.

Blacksmith Depot ships nationwide from Chandler, NC. Shipping cost varies depending on location and range from around $20 to nearby locations to over $60 on the West Coast. Shipping quotes are available at checkout.

3. Coal Mining Companies and Other Suppliers (Best for Bulk)

Coal mining companies mine anthracite, bituminous coal, and/or lignite. These companies often provide delivery, at least in their region, but they typically only deliver large quantities to individuals. Shipping rates are available upon inquiry.

Blaschak sells anthracite in 40 lb bags or by the ton and is located in Mahanoy City, PA. The Blaschak website has a dealer locator to inquire about nearby dealers.

Many Blaschak dealers deliver door-to-door. Use Blaschak’s dealer locator to find the nearest one and inquire about specific details.

Choosing the Right Type of Coal

Where I Can Buy Coal

There are many kinds of coal, and there are different sellers that sell them. The first step when shopping for coal is to know what type you need.

Here are the most common kinds of coal and what they’re using.

1. Anthracite

Anthracite is the hardest, high-grade coal that generates a hot blue flame when it is burned. The majority of anthracite in the U.S. is obtained from Pennsylvania.

It was heavily produced and mined in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Anthracite has become more difficult to mine because the remaining reserves are deeper and deeper underground.

Anthracite is ideal for generating heat in coal-burning furnaces in homes or small businesses. Not only does anthracite burn hotter than other coals, but it also burns more slowly and is the most efficient heat producer relative to its weight.

Anthracite is the cleanest burning coal, and when used properly in modern furnaces will require little cleaning.

2. Bituminous

Bituminous, or “soft” coal, as it is named because it comprises bitumen, a tar-like substance. This coal is of reduced quality and much easier to mine than anthracite. Normally, it is burned to create electricity and run trains.

Bituminous coal can create extreme soot and smoke when it is burned, so it’s not best for heating, particularly in coal or wood-burning stoves in the home. It is coal that is also used to create coke and to make iron and steel.

Anthracite is not mostly used for blacksmithing this is because distinct from bituminous coal; anthracite produces a small amount of coke that has a tendency to blow up and out of the fire.

Because of this, bituminous coal is suitable for blacksmithing. Blacksmith coal used in forges is high-grade bituminous coal, though some forges may use coke or charcoal.

3. Lignite

Lignite, or “brown coal,” is the lowermost quality coal among the category of coal. Geologically, it is the youngest category of coal.

As was pointed out by the Lignite Energy Council, about 79 percent of lignite coal is used to create electricity and 13.5% is used to produce synthetic natural gas, while 7.5% is used to make fertilizer products (plus anhydrous ammonia and ammonium sulfate).

Lignite produces little heat compared to its weight and compared to other coals, so it is typically used to produce power in plants near the mine.

Because only a small percentage is utilized domestically (normally for heating or fertilizer), lignite is not listed in our list of coal suppliers and dealers.

4. Coal Slag

Coal slag is the byproduct of coal that is burned to generate power. It can be made into blasting abrasives that are finer and safer than silica sand (which is another most used blasting abrasive).

People who produce this material clean the slag and sort it by size — medium, fine, and additional ally fine — before selling it to people.

Abrasive blasting includes the use of high pressure to boost abrasive material, such as coal slag, on a surface either to smooth a rough ground, roughen a smooth surface, or to even clean the surface.

You can buy coal at local hardware stores, blacksmith stores, and directly from miners or suppliers. remember however type and size of coal you need, and ensure you’re getting the appropriate kind.

If you’re buying coal for household use, hardware stores will be the best bet — they sell in the smallest quantities. For those who need a huge amount of coal, a ton or more, miners or dealers will be the best option.

Outside our list of where to buy coal, Ensure to check your local hardware or supply store for coal, particularly if looking to buy in a small amount.

Though coal may not be as common as it once was, anthracite is still the best bet for heating homes and small businesses. Bituminous coal is still used for blacksmithing projects.

Though those staying in the country’s northeast region have more options for purchasing anthracite due to Pennsylvania’s huge deposits of this type of coal, anthracite can be purchased nationwide.

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