Firewood Measurements

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How Much is a Cord of Wood? (chord of wood)

In many areas a cord is the only legal firewood measurement. A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet of stacked firewood. Firewood that is stacked fits together more tightly so to make a full cord it is usually assumed that the wood is stacked. To get a full cord of loosely piled wood the volume will be more like 180 cubic feet depending on how loosely the pile is thrown together.

A cord of wood is based on the dimensions 4′ x 4′ x 8′ which adds up to 128 cubic feet. Many other dimensions can be used as long as they add up to 128 cubic feet. A full size 8′ pickup bed stacked to the top of the bed is about 1/2 cord. The bed of a standard long bed Ford F-250 measures out to slightly more than a half cord if the wood is stacked even with the top of the bed. This includes factoring in the space taken up by the wheel wells.

More common cord of wood dimensions.

Cord vs Face Cord vs Rick

In some areas firewood is measured as a face cord or a rick. A face cord and a rick can mean different things depending on who you talk to but they are generally both the same thing. In most cases this would be any stack of wood that is 8 feet long and 4 feet high or any equivalent that would have a 32 square foot face.

The amount of wood in a rick or face cord will depend on how long the pieces are so these are not the most accurate firewood measurements. The standard length for firewood is often 16″ and a rick or face cord in that case would be 1/3 cord. If the pieces were 24″ long a rick or face cord would be 1/2 cord.

Without knowing the length of the pieces you won’t know how much wood you are getting when you order a rick or face cord. This is why some states like Oregon require firewood measurements to be in cords or fractions of cords when selling firewood.

Cord or Chord

A cord of firewood is spelled cord. A chord is  a musical term.

61 thoughts on “Firewood Measurements”

  1. I often times see wood advertised by the “pick up truck load” If I do my math about right one slightly rounded top fullsize pickup truck load of fire wood is 1/3 of a cord of wood. Price typically depends on the type of wood and whether it is split and seasoned. 75 to 80 bucks per load. or 225 to 240 per cord 4′ X 4′ X 8′. So in this case who gives a crap how big the pieces are cut or what the “official” measurement of wood is. What really matters is how much wood sells for in a particular area of the country and how many btu’s you are buying. Natural gas is pretty cheap right now so if you are paying too much for wood you are probably doing yourself a disservice when it comes to economics. If you are burning wood for the nice heat it gives the nice aroma and the beauty then by all means burn wood.

  2. It is not hard. Most places don’t allow any other measure name but a cord, or fraction of a cord. 221,184 should be the total volume if you measure Length, Width, and Height in inches. You can figure out the fraction of a cord price as a percentage of that total. Most states have laws regulating the sale by backwoods measurements or terms. Reporting them is the only way to get any recompense. And inform yourself before the next purchase. Most require a receipt be given. Any other type of transaction, and you are asking to be taken advantage of.

  3. I delivered a cord (8×4×4) and the guy said it was only half a cord. He said a cord was 1 Ricthere’s no arguementh was 16’long×4 high×there’s alwah, but doesn’t that equal the same amount of wood.

    Some people are ignorant to the work it takes to makefirewood. I sell mine by 8×4×4 that way theres no aeguement.

  4. I’ve lived in Oregon for nearly 50 years, and it wasn’t until the last 10 that I had the pleasure of living in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere where my main source of heat was a small quatro four stove.

    I am now retired, and I’m no longer able to cut and trim my firewood. For that, I rely on my good friend Bubba.

    At first, I measured the cords he sold me. And he made good on a shortfall. In a way, I was embarrassed.

    Since then, I have asked him only for a truckload. For the last 5 years, he has kept my 24’4’8′ storage shed filled through the season with dry seasoned pine or fir. We’ve kept the cost steady, and I have gotten to know his family.

    There’s a lot to be said about trusting your provider. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

    I gave him full warning that by February, I would likely need another load, and he apologized that some of it would be wet. OK by me, I can re-stack.

    The thing is, please put away your calipers. It’s not about the metrics; It’s about your friends.


  5. I was always told that 4 feet high 4 feet wide 8 feet long is a cord. 2 feet high and 2 feet wide and 8 feet wide is a half a cord. How much would a card be how much would a half a cord Be dollar wise.

  6. The second measurement is only 1/4 of a cord. If it was 2 feet tall, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long, that would be 1/2 cord. Prices depend on the type of wood and where you are located.

  7. I sure would be interested in buying a couple of trucks loads of oak and having it hauled to amarillo texas 806-674-3163

  8. my wood is all oak seasonsd 8 foot long 4 foot hight and any where from 10 to 18 inches long a row for 100,oo$

  9. Length x width x height in stacked form is the best way to know exactly what you have and Not cross stacked, Stacked nose to tail. (4′ x 4′ x 8′ = 128 cubic feet) If you have a stacked section say 11′ x 5.5′ x (18″ or 1.5 ft.) in this instance you would have 90.75 cubic ft. of wood. You must convert inches to feet as the example above (18″ = 1.5 feet). Multiply the three numbers together and for a full cord should come out to 128 feet.

  10. Having a ” discussion” with Girl friend right now . She says she has sold ” rick’s” of seasoned hard wood delivered and Stacked 2 foot x 2 foot x 4 foot tall for 55$ all day long ! . As I look up local prices [ craigslist ] a cord .4x4x8 = 115-200$ depending on quality , quantity. SIXTEEN times her ‘rick’ for 2-3 times the $$ for a cord.
    If what she says is accurate. 32 ricks [2x2x4] x 55$=**$1760**
    32x2x2x4= 256 cubic feet= 2 cords = **$300** average [ 150 per cord]
    ___$ 1460 difference !!!___

  11. I live in Indiana, and we may be backwood, but we use “Rick” as a base measurement for our firewood. I only know about a Cord because I lived in upstate New York for a couple years. Most people, in my area, have heard of a Cord but aren’t sure how it is measured. On the subject of how perfect of a standard unit of measurement the Cord is supposed to be, unless someone is measuring each piece when cutting wood they plan to stack in a cord, I have to believe there is probably a little variation there as well.

    With regard to measurement, I don’t think people are all that anal around here about that. If the price is posted and you agree to it, does it matter what fraction of a real true Cord is? If it is Shagbark Hickory, it’s going to cost more than Sycamore, and Red Oak more than Popular and so on. You pay based on the wood type, the length the guy selling it cut it to and how seasoned it is.
    Sure there are some fancy places that package the wood in plastic mesh and deliver to your door if you want to pay the extra money for the same wood as the guy down the gravel road from you.

    I cut approximately 10 “Cord” a year, starting as soon as it is dry enough in the spring through to deer season which starts here in October. Yes, I’m out there when it’s 98F while the other guys are waiting for fall to begin before they cut. My saw is a used Stihl MS361 (now discontinued) that I bought used for $350, I haul it with a ’97 F250 7.3L rustbucket and I split it all by hand. Pieces that are too knotty to split I give to my neighbor who has a splitter. Most of my wood comes from getting permission to cut the tops left over after people have their woods logged. It’s not glamorous, it’s not easy, it’s sweaty and filthy, but it saves me about $500 per month in winter (and it helps keep me in shape.)

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