ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

All About a Cord of Wood

Updated on August 6, 2016

Stacked Wood

Criss Crossed End Stacks
Criss Crossed End Stacks | Source

Cord Terminology and Specs

Cord of Wood

A cord of wood is described as 2 stacks of split wood cut into 24 inch long pieces, 8 feet long and 4 feet high, or 3 stacks of split wood cut into 16 inch long pieces, 8 feet long and 4 feet high. The important thing to remember is that a full cord of firewood should fit a profile that is 8 feet long X 4 feet high X 4 feet deep. Those of us who burn firewood on a regular basis know that it is rare to find a true cord for sale. What we see more often is a face cord, sometimes called a stove cord, or a furnace cord. A face cord has the same dimensions, only with a single stack of 16 - 18 inch pieces as opposed to the full 24 inch pieces that come along with a true cord. This is acceptable as long as it's not being sold as a true cord.

Rick of Wood

More often than not, wood will be sold by the rick. A rick is a face cord. In my area, it's not uncommon for people to refer to a face cord as a rick and a cord as a couple of ricks of wood. Generally, that's acceptable as long as people understand what they are getting.

Cord and Rick Dimensions

  • True Cord = 8' long X 4' high X 4' deep
  • Face Cord = 8' long X 4' high X 16"-18" deep
  • Rick = 8' long X 4' high X 16"-18" deep

Camp Fire

Metal Ring Around Campfire
Metal Ring Around Campfire | Source

Uses For a Cord

Some of the main uses for firewood are listed below. Depending on the use, you will want to research what type of wood to buy. For example, some woods that are commonly used for heating a home or outbuilding, may not be the best for smoking meat due to the taste or in some cases, the wood may actually be unsafe to cook with.

In the case of campfire use, one would want to use less expensive wood than some of the hardwoods that are typically used to heat a home. Generally, campfires are built for other reasons than to heat the inside of a structure.

If you're planning on selling wood for profit, hardwoods are generally going to bring you more money due to the fact that they burn longer and put out more BTUs. Softer woods can in some cases put out high BTUs, but will burn fast, forcing the home owner to make frequent trips to the stove or fireplace to add logs.


  • Heating your garage or outbuilding
  • Building a camp fire
  • Smoking meat
  • Selling for profit

Stacked Wood

Stacked and Ready for Winter
Stacked and Ready for Winter | Source

Do you depend on firewood to heat your home?

See results

Wood Prices

A face cord, sometimes called a rick, can sell anywhere from $40 on up to $120 or more. Prices can be influenced by several things.

  • Type of Wood
  • Condition of Wood
  • Demand
  • Cost to Harvest

There are several types of wood. On the lower end, you have pine, elm, maple and cottonwood to name a few. These woods are generally used for camping or heating during warmer months when the longer burning high BTU woods are not required. On the higher end, you have woods such as ash, oak, hedge, locust, hickory, apple and cherry. These woods are used for heating spaces in the middle of winter or cooking with. It's important to note that some of these woods may be good for heating, but should not be used for cooking, such as hedge.

Condition of the wood can also impact the asking price. For example, if the wood is still wet, and not fully seasoned, or maybe it is full of bugs, a seller may not be able to ask as much. On the other hand, if the wood has been stored properly and is fairly clean, it could sell for a higher price.

Demand in your area can raise or lower the price. If buyers have several sources to pick from, prices will be average, due to competition. If there is only a few sources, prices could be higher depending on what the sellers are setting them at. High fuel oil prices can also drive firewood prices up. Supply and demand principles apply to the sale of firewood too.

Cost to Harvest wood can drive the price up if the seller has to drive a great distance or have the wood hauled in. Cutting and/or splitting the wood into smaller pieces can also drive the wood up due to the extra consumption of fuel and general wear on tools.

These are just a few examples of factors that can influence the price of a cord of wood. The intent here is to show that that the price of firewood can fluctuate greatly. One way around this is to find a dealer that you trust with prices that you can afford. Stick with them and you'll know what to expect from year to year.

Cut Hedge Log

Cut Hedge(Osage Orange) Log Prior to Splitting
Cut Hedge(Osage Orange) Log Prior to Splitting | Source

Tools Needed

Depending on your experience with firewood, it generally takes a season or two to really figure out what type of tools you'll need to maintain your annual wood supply. Some tools to consider would be:

  • wood rack(s)
  • metal T posts
  • post driver
  • tarp
  • chain saw
  • chain saw sharpener
  • power wood splitter
  • splitting maul
  • sledge hammer
  • trailer

For example, if you're planning on purchasing or building wood racks, or even stacking large amounts of firewood in the open with criss crossed ends, you wouldn't need to buy metal T posts and a post driver. On the other hand, if you are stacking wood in a long line along a tree row, you may want to place T posts every few feet to support the stack. You may also want to protect your stacked wood with a tarp when the weather is bad.

Sometimes, it's cheaper to buy wood if you don't require it to be split. At times, you'll get a much better deal on the wood, but you're going to need a chainsaw and wood splitter or wood splitting maul and sledge hammer to cut the wood to length and split it.

Depending on how much wood you plan on purchasing at one time, you may need a trailer due to save on the amount of trips you need to make to your dealers location.

The are just a few examples of tools that will make it easier to handle your cord of firewood.

Storing Your Firewood

Wood storage is important for several reasons. It keeps seasoned wood dry, helps keep the bugs out and slows the deterioration of the wood. It's important to choose a location to store your wood where it will be out of your way, but have a decent amount of exposure to seasonal winds so that the wood has a chance to season or dry out after being cut and stacked.

There are several ways to stack wood and it really depends on how much wood you are dealing with and the amount of room you have at your location.

Long lines of wood stacked approximately 4 feet high with T posts spaced every 8 feet or so is one way to stack firewood. Some people stack the wood on the ground, but it is best to raise the wood off the ground using 2 X 4s, or more T posts laying parallel to each other. Stacking the wood off the ground reduces the amount of bugs in the wood and helps to slow deterioration.

If you're dealing with a massive amount of wood, it may not be feasible to use posts or racks. In this case, the wood can be stacked directly on the ground with columns placed on the ends that are stacked in a chris cross pattern. You can see this formation in the attached video directly over the woman's right shoulder.

There's no right or wrong way to stack wood. Eventually, you will learn what's right for you, but there will be times when you will need a tarp to cover your seasoned wood. We use tarps on stacks of wood that we are in the process of burning. If a rain or snow storm is in the forecast, the tarps go out so we are sure to have a nice dry stack of wood .

Good Video Describing a Cord


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)