Firewood Size


Three factors influence the size of firewood: the size of the fireplace or stove, the size of the storage space and the type of wood. No standard sizes for firewood exist, but bulk dimensions can determine the length.

Bulk Dimensions

  • Firewood is typically sold by cord or rick. A cord of firewood is a stack 4 feet wide, 4 feet high and 8 feet long. A rick is less precise and used for variable-length wood: 4 feet high and 8 feet long, with width indeterminate. Cords and ricks are also sold in fractions, for example, half-cord or half-rick, quarter-cord or quarter-rick.


  • Cords of firewood can be stacked in 4-foot individual lengths to span the cord, or shorter wood stacked side-by-side to make the cord 4 feet wide. These lengths will vary from approximately 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet each, averaging 2 feet.


  • Firewood that is not prepared to stack in cords or ricks is often simply bundled with string, wire or plastic wrap. Bundles are prepared by length, with typical lengths being 18 to 24 inches. The size of the fireplace is the main limiting factor for length.


  • Many people use thinly split wood for kindling, then add progressively thicker pieces of wood as the fire burns hotter. The rule of thumb is that the wood in an established fire should be no thicker than 5 to 6 inches, and preferably the thickness of a large man’s wrist.

Hard or Soft

  • Hardwood like oak burns more slowly than softwoods like pine. Thinner individual pieces of hardwood sustain a fire for longer than a piece of softwood the same size.

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