How to Measure a Rank of Firewood


Be wary of buying wood that is cross-stacked as you may be getting a bad deal. Firewood is measured either by the cord, the cubic meter or the cubic foot. When it is measured by meter or foot, wood is "ranked" by stacking all separate pieces parallel to each other. Ranking is the proper way to measure wood. It reduces the amount of space between the individual pieces, thereby giving you the largest quantity for your money. You should only measure wood that is properly ranked.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Rank the pile of firewood. Firewood is commonly measured by the "cord," which is 4 feet high, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. Stack separate pieces of firewood parallel to each other so that the pile measures 8 feet long, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide. If you don't have that much firewood, stack the pile so it is 8 feet long, 4 feet high and however wide you want it.

  • Measure the rank of firewood. Use a measuring tape to measure the height, length and width of the pile. Multiply all three together to get the cubic feet of the pile. For example, a 4 foot high, 4 foot wide and 8 foot long pile is 128 cubic feet.

  • Divide the cubic feet by 128 to get the number of "cords" you have. For example, 128 cubic feet would be one cord of firewood. If your pile is 4 feet high, 8 feet long and 2 feet wide, then you have a pile measuring 64 cubic feet, which is half of a cord.

  • Divide the cubic feet by 110 if your wood is sawed instead of whole logs. For example, a pile of wood measuring 55 cubic feet is half of a sawed cord of wood.

  • Divide the cubic feet by 120 if your wood is sawed and split instead of whole or just sawed logs. For example, a pile of wood measuring 60 cubic feet is half of a sawed and split cord of wood.

  • Use the cubic feet of the pile or the number of cords to sell or purchase firewood at a fair price.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rank the wood properly before measuring.
  • Many sellers use stacking methods to reduce the quantity of wood.

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  • Photo Credit firewood image by Juliette Speers from
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