A cord of firewood is the official firewood measurement that's recognized by just about everyone who either buys or sells firewood.
Also described as a full cord, it generally measures 4 feet wide x 4 feet tall x 8 feet for a total volume of 128 cubic feet.
A full cord is determined by the total cubic feet of firewood, not necessary the measurements of the stack. However, the 4' x 4' x 8' shape is the most common.
Buying firewood by the cord can be confusing for many people for several different reasons.
First, not every firewood supplier adheres to the same rules. Terms like face cord, bush cord, stove cord, running cord or rick are commonly mixed together making it difficult to know exactly what you're getting.
Second, a 4 foot long piece of firewood is not a useable length of wood. So, the wood is cut into smaller lengths. The most common length is 16 inches but it could also be cut into 12 inch lengths or 24 inch lengths.
For example, the following stacks of wood all equal one full cord:
3 rows of firewood 16'' in length, 4 feet high and 8 feet long
4 rows of firewood 12'' in length, 4 feet high and 8 feet long
2 rows of firewood 24'' in length, 2 feet high and 16 feet long
They all have a total volume of 128 cubic feet (length x width x height).
Keep in mind you're also paying for air space so the tighter the wood is stacked the more fuel you're getting for your money.
To make sure you're getting what you paid for, stack the pile of wood that was delivered to you before you pay for it.
Whether the firewood supplier stacks it for you or you have to do it yourself, double check the firewood measurements so you're not getting ripped off.
How much firewood will a typical pickup truck hold?
The standard full sized pickup with a full box will hold about a half cord of wood if it's stacked tightly. If your supplier shows up with a pile of logs in the back of the truck facing every direction and says it's a cord of wood......stack it before you buy it.
A cord is simply a firewood measurement and does not determine the quality of the wood or the species. No matter how much firewood you purchase, make sure it is seasoned when its delivered.
Most firewood suppliers advertise and sell their wood as seasoned and ready to burn. You can purchase green wood, usually for a discounted price because the wood will have to be dried before it can be used.
Whether you buy green or seasoned wood, make sure you can tell the difference and you are getting what you paid for.
Since firewood is typically sold by the cord it's important to know exactly how much wood you should be getting for the price.
After a few purchases you should be able to look at a stack of wood or even a tuck load of wood and have a pretty good idea just how much wood is there.
In the mean time if you have any reservations about the quantity of firewood you're receiving just stack it before you buy it!