What Is a Cord of Wood?


A cord is a quantity of cut firewood, usually defined as the amount of wood that fills a 128 cubic foot space, or an 8 by 4 by 4 foot stack. Since firewood is irregularly shaped, a cord of wood typically averages about 85 cubic feet of wood.

The word "cord" is sometimes used loosely by firewood dealers. Most firewood is sold in pieces of 12 to 16 inches in length, suitable for a home fireplace or wood-burning stove. A 4 by 8 foot stack of 16 inch firewood, sometimes called a "face cord," is only about a third of an actual cord in volume.