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What is a Cord of Wood?

When you go to buy wood many dealers will talk about the firewood cord. Itís important to understand this term so you can avoid getting confused when buying a cord of fire wood. This amount can be difficult to estimate and can often cause issues due to its changing volume and terminology.

The standard dimensions of a firewood cord are four feet wide by four feet high by eight feet long (4x4x8) or 128 cubic feet. This is a large volume and is bigger than the average homeowner can use easily, so it is usually not sold that way. Instead, most wood dealers sell a wood cord fraction. A common example would be a size where the average piece is about 16 inches wide, rather than 4 feet. Most stoves and fireplaces cannot handle 4 foot pieces of cut firewood logs, so this makes more sense. This would then be a 1/3 (third) of a cord. This may also be referred to as a face cord, stove cord, or furnace cord. You can see that itís important to get specifics on the measurements of whatever wood amount a dealer is selling as the terms can get confusing.

You need to make the calculation adjustment if you are looking to buy firewood. Convert the dimensions from a dealerís cord or firewood stacking to a standard cord length if you are doing comparison shopping on the sale. For example, if one dealerís cord fraction is 4 feet high x4 feet wide x4 feet long, you will need to double his price to compare to a standard cord. In addition, the firewood stacking at one dealer may be stacked looser than another, so you may want to take that into account. A tighter stack will be denser and offer more wood for the buck. It will also be a mark of professionalism as well. Be careful of dealers who want to offer a wagon load or truck load of firewood for sale. These amounts canít be easily verified and will be hard to measure. You should always use the cord of firewood as your measuring stick.

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