Buying firewood can be confusing and it can be difficult to know how much wood you are buying. Firewood sellers usually price their wood by cord. But what does that mean? How many logs are in a cord of wood?
Firstly, a cord of wood is not based on the number of logs, a cord is based on volume (128 cubic feet usually stacked as 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.). So, the number of longs in a cord depends on the size of the wood pieces, how large and small they are. There are different estimates about the number of logs in one cord of wood. The estimates vary from 300-400 large logs to up to 1000 or 1400 small logs per full cord. If the measurement is a face cord then the number is much smaller about half as much.
What is a cord of wood? Definition.
The term cord of wood was first used at the beginning of the 17th century at maybe around 1610 AD.
At that time the wood was tied with the aid of a rope or “cord”.
The quantity of wood was much smaller back then because it was limited to the amount of wood a person could carry.
Today one cord of wood means that the wood is fully stacked and fitted in the following dimensions: 4 feet high x 4 feet wide x 8 feet long.
That quantity comes up to a volume equivalent of 128 cubic feet or 3, 62 cubic meters.
Nevertheless, due to the air pockets inside the batch the real volume is much smaller and is closer to 90 cubic feet.
Many sellers today use colloquial terms today when referring to a cord of wood such as “ a rack,” “a truckload”, “a stove load” or “a face cord”.
That is why, when buying yourself a cord of wood you should consider asking the seller about the overall volume of wood i.e. the height, the width and the length as a true cord should be equal 128 cubic feet.
How much a cord of wood cost?
Want to buy firewood for the winter but do not wish to pay too much? There are several factors which influence the price of one cord of wood and they are the following:
Type of wood: hardwood is usually more expensive than softwood
Region where you live: prices in colder areas are more expensive than in warmer areas.
Time of year: The price goes up in winter.
Market conditions: Availability of wood supply.
The cost of wood is also influenced by the delivery costs.
Because most of the people do not have the proper type of vehicle, they often choose to get it delivered to their doorstep.
You are usually not charged a delivery fee when you live nearby (within a certain radius).
However, you will need to pay if you want the wood to be stacked instead of dumped randomly on your yard.
I recommend choosing the ‘stack ‘option because by this way you won’t get cheated by deliverer with the quantity of wood. A good way to do this is with a firewood rack. If you are going to store your wood outside I suggest that you store it in a covered waterproof firewood rack, especially the wood that you are about to burn.
On the other hand if you know well the seller then it is better to save money and stack the wood all by yourself.
If you decide that you would rather cut your own firewood instead of buy it you will need a good chainsaw. Check out this review of the best chainsaw for home use.
Actual prices of cord of wood
Do not wait for the winter to set in to buy a cord of wood.
If you wait for the winter to come the supply will decrease and you will pay much more for a cord of wood than when you buy it earlier.
The actual prices of cord of wood vary significantly and depend mainly on the species of wood and market conditions.
Below I am giving you some average fees for a stack of wood:
Service fee price ranges
1. Delivery only: Free to $100 (depending on the distance you live from the seller)
2. Stacking: $20 to $80
You should be aware also that a lot of firewood sellers have ‘mixed cords’ which are usually cheaper than one full cord of one tree type/species.
Hardwood vs Softwood for Firewood
Hardwood is better quality wood and which is why it is more expensive than softwood. Hardwood will also burn much longer than softwood and produce more heat.
Softwood, on the other hand, burns more quickly and produce medium heat. The fire should be fed more frequently when using softwood.
Wood Moisture Meter-the best tool to measure the moisture in wood
If you buy yourself firewood you should consider that it is seasoned.
This means that it should left to dry at least six months and in some cases even a year.
The moisture content in the seasoned wood is below 20 %.
If you want to test your firewood you can use a wood moisture meter. A good moisture meter is available here.
A guide to firewood measurement: Conclusion
As you can see the answer to the question ‘How many logs make a cord of wood’ is not a simple one.
Furthermore, there are many other factors which you should take into account when buying a cord of wood if you want to get value for money.
I hope that this article was helpful to you and if you have any questions, please leave a comment.
Feel free to post your questions and answers in the comments and share this article with your friends.