How is firewood measured?
Firewood may be measured by the cubic foot, the cubic
meter, or the cord. If measured by the foot or meter, the
wood is first stacked with all pieces placed parallel to
each other. The wood is then said to be ranked. Wood
must be ranked if it is to be measured accurately. Ranking
minimizes the space between the sticks, or pieces, of
wood. Some sellers use various cross-stacking methods to
exaggerate the quantity of wood delivered. Do not
attempt to measure cross-stacked wood.
What is a cord?
A cord has a specific legal definition in Minnesota:
One cord is 128 cubic feet in four foot lengths.
If the wood is sawed, a cord is 110 cubic feet when
ranked, or 160 cubic feet when thrown loosely into a
If the wood is sawed and split, a cord is 120 cubic feet
when ranked, and 175 cubic feet when thrown loosely
into a truck. (Minnesota Statutes, Section 239.33)
Must I buy my wood in cords?
No. You and the seller may enter into any agreement you
choose, but be aware that words like truckload, face cord,
rick, fireplace cord, or pile, have no legal definition. The
Weights and Measures Division cannot help you in a dispute
if the wood is not sold by the cubic foot, the cubic
meter, or the cord.