Large pile of stacked firewood.

Cord Of Wood

Originally contributed by • last updated 3/1/2021

Maria Orlova

For a lot of people, buying firewood happens rarely, usually as part of the camping experience or the occasional fire. Believe it or not, firewood is big business! There are many areas throughout the country where homes and buildings not only use but rely on burning wood as a source of fuel for heat and other operations. However, purchasing firewood can be complicated and costly if not done right, especially when trying to determine the value of a stack of wood. Piles of loosely thrown firewood can be difficult to count or weigh, which is why, in most areas, firewood is measured by the cord.


The phrase cord of wood, sometimes called a cord of firewood or a full cord can refer to a legal unit of measurement for a set volume of seasoned firewood at 128 cubic feet. In most cases, it should be roughly equal to two properly stacked piles of wood, side by side, that are 4 feet tall, by 4 feet deep, by 8 feet long, with individual pieces typically cut between 12 and 16 inches in length. In addition to a cord of wood, there are other non-official, often regional, terms that are also used for measuring seasoned firewood, such as a “face cord,” a “long cord,” a “bush cord,” a “rick cord,” and a “Sheldon cord.”

What Is A Face Cord Of Wood?

Buying a cord of firewood may seem simple enough but, in reality, you might not always get what you think you’re paying for. Here are some things to be aware of:

  • Firewood that is delivered loosely in the back of a truck or trailer can be difficult to accurately measure. And, while we’d like to think everyone has the best intentions, it could mean you’re not actually getting a full cord. If possible, purchase your firewood from a reputable seller who will guarantee the correct amount or allow you to site pick the piles.
  • A face cord of wood, which is sometimes called a stove cord or furnace cord is probably the second most common measurement for seasoned firewood. It’s typically a single row of firewood, measuring 4 feet high and 8 feet long with a no standard length for a width (but commonly cut at 12, 16, 24 or 32 inches).