How Many Ricks In A Cord Of Wood? [Explained]

What is a Rick of Wood?

When it comes to heating your home with wood, understanding measurements like “ricks” and “cords” is essential. A rick of wood is a common term used to describe a stack of firewood, but how does it compare to a cord, and how much wood do you actually need for a cozy winter? Let’s unravel the mysteries of firewood measurements.

How Much Ricks Are In A Cord?

A cord is a standard unit of measurement for firewood, typically measuring 128 cubic feet. But how does this translate to the more commonly encountered term—rick?

A rick is a stack of firewood that is typically 4 feet high, 8 feet long, and the width of the firewood pieces being used. The dimensions of a rick can vary based on the length and thickness of the wood, but for the sake of comparison, let’s assume standard dimensions.

To determine how many ricks are in a cord, you need to consider the volume each term represents. A cord, being 128 cubic feet, can be thought of as four ricks. Here’s the breakdown:

  • One cord is equivalent to four standard ricks.
  • Each rick, in this context, represents one-fourth of a cord.

This understanding becomes particularly useful when dealing with firewood suppliers or calculating your wood needs. If someone offers to sell you a cord of wood, and you prefer stacking it in ricks, you now know that you can expect to receive four equal stacks.

Conversely, if you’re accustomed to purchasing or stacking wood in ricks and want to know how much you’re getting in terms of cords, simply multiply the number of ricks by four. This conversion ensures clarity in transactions and helps you accurately gauge your firewood supply, making you well-equipped for a cozy and warm winter.

Understanding Firewood Measurements

Before delving into the details of firewood quantities and terms, it’s essential to establish a solid understanding of firewood measurements. Whether you’re a seasoned fireplace enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of heating with wood, clarity on these measurements is crucial for making informed decisions.

1. Cord: The Standard Unit

The cord is the most widely recognized unit for measuring firewood. A standard cord is a neatly stacked pile of wood measuring 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long. This arrangement results in a total volume of 128 cubic feet. It’s important to note that adherence to these dimensions ensures consistency and fairness in transactions.

2. Rick: A Common Alternative

In some regions, the term “rick” is more commonly used. A rick is generally considered a face cord or a stack that is 4 feet high and 8 feet long, but the width may vary depending on the size of the individual firewood pieces. While a cord is a standardized measurement, ricks can vary in volume, making it essential to clarify dimensions when discussing quantities with suppliers.

3. Face Cord: A Smaller Option

A face cord is a stack of wood similar to a rick, but with a standardized width of 16 inches. This results in a volume of 42.67 cubic feet. It’s essential to confirm whether the term “face cord” is used in your region, as it can sometimes be interchangeably referred to as a rick.

4. Log Length: Tailoring to Your Needs

The length of the individual logs plays a crucial role in firewood measurements. Common log lengths range from 16 to 24 inches, with the ideal length depending on your fireplace or stove dimensions. Understanding log length ensures that you’re not only getting the right volume but also wood that fits seamlessly into your heating appliance.

5. Moisture Content: Quality Matters

Beyond volume, the moisture content of the wood is a critical factor. Seasoned or kiln-dried wood burns more efficiently and produces less creosote buildup in your chimney. Understanding the importance of moisture content ensures that you receive high-quality firewood for optimal heating performance.

Firewood Cord Calculator

For those seeking precision in their firewood planning, a Firewood Cord Calculator proves to be an invaluable tool. This calculator allows you to estimate the amount of firewood you need based on your specific heating requirements and the dimensions of your storage space.

How to Use the Firewood Cord Calculator:

Enter Dimensions:

  • Input the length, width, and height of your storage space or the area where you plan to stack your firewood.

Select Wood Type:

  • Choose the type of firewood you’ll be using, as different wood types have varying densities and heating values.

Get Accurate Estimate:

  • Hit the calculate button, and the tool will provide you with an accurate estimate of the number of cords of firewood you’ll need to meet your heating needs.
Firewood Cord Calculator

Firewood Cord Calculator

Estimated Cords:

Choosing the Right Amount of Firewood

Selecting the appropriate amount of firewood is a critical decision for ensuring warmth throughout the colder months. The right quantity not only keeps you comfortable but also optimizes efficiency and prevents unnecessary waste. To make an informed choice:

1. Calculate Your Heating Needs:

Assess the size of the space you intend to heat and consider the insulation level. This information will help you estimate the amount of firewood required to maintain a comfortable temperature.

2. Understand Firewood Measurements:

Familiarize yourself with firewood measurements such as cords and ricks. Knowing the dimensions ensures that you purchase or stack the right quantity for your heating needs.

3. Consider Wood Types:

Different types of wood have varying heat values and burning characteristics. Hardwoods, like oak and maple, provide long-lasting heat, while softwoods, like pine, ignite quickly. Choose the wood type based on your heating preferences and efficiency goals.

4. Factor in Seasoning:

Opt for seasoned or kiln-dried firewood. Seasoned wood has lower moisture content, burning more efficiently and producing less creosote. Well-dried wood also prevents excess smoke and enhances the overall burning experience.

5. Evaluate Storage Space:

Assess the available storage space for your firewood. Consider stacking the wood in a well-ventilated area to facilitate proper seasoning and prevent decay.

6. Plan for Delivery Time:

If purchasing firewood, plan ahead for delivery times, especially in peak seasons. This ensures you have an adequate supply well before you need it, avoiding last-minute rushes.

7. Budget Considerations:

While quality is crucial, factor in your budget. Determine the balance between the cost of firewood and the desired quality to ensure a cost-effective and efficient heating solution.

8. Regular Maintenance:

Keep an eye on your firewood supply throughout the season. Regularly replenish as needed, ensuring you never run out during the coldest days.

Choosing the Right Firewood

Here are key considerations when choosing the right firewood:

1. Hardwood vs. Softwood:

  • Hardwoods (e.g., oak, maple): Dense and slow-burning, hardwoods provide long-lasting heat and produce lasting coals. Ideal for a sustained and consistent warmth.

    • Softwoods (e.g., pine, spruce): Ignite quickly and are great for kindling. While they burn faster, softwoods are suitable for shorter heating periods or quick fires.

2. Moisture Content:

    • Seasoned Wood: Opt for seasoned or kiln-dried wood with low moisture content. Seasoned wood burns more efficiently, producing less smoke and creosote. Ensure the wood has been properly dried to enhance its burning qualities.

3. Aroma and Residue:

    • Fruitwoods (e.g., apple, cherry): Known for pleasant aromas and minimal residue, fruitwoods add a delightful fragrance to your space.

    • Oak: A classic choice, oak produces a steady and hot burn with limited residue.

4. Local Availability:

    • Consider local availability and accessibility. Local hardwoods are often more sustainable and cost-effective, reducing transportation-related environmental impacts.

5. Purpose of Burning:

    • Heating vs. Ambiance: Determine the primary purpose of your fire. If it’s for heating, focus on dense hardwoods. For ambiance, consider aromatic softwoods or woods that produce vibrant flames.

6. Storage and Handling:

    • Choose firewood that is easy to handle and stack. Consider the available storage space and ensure proper ventilation to prevent mold and decay.

7. Budget Considerations:

    • While high-quality hardwoods offer excellent burning characteristics, consider your budget. Finding a balance between cost and quality ensures a satisfying and economical choice.

8. Local Regulations:

    • Be aware of any local regulations or restrictions on firewood types. Certain areas may have guidelines to prevent the spread of pests or invasive species.

Purchasing Firewood

When it comes to purchasing firewood, a well-informed decision ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience with your fireplace or wood-burning stove. Consider these key factors before making a purchase:

1. Supplier Reputation:

    • Research and choose a reputable firewood supplier. Look for reviews, testimonials, or recommendations from friends and neighbors to ensure reliability and quality.

2. Wood Type and Quality:

    • Inquire about the types of wood available and their quality. Choose seasoned or kiln-dried wood with low moisture content for efficient burning and minimal smoke.

3. Measurements and Quantity:

    • Clarify the measurements used by the supplier—whether they sell by cord, rick, or another unit. Ensure you understand the quantity you’re purchasing to meet your heating needs.

4. Delivery Options:

    • Check for available delivery options and associated costs. Confirm the estimated delivery time, especially during peak seasons, to plan accordingly.

5. Cost Transparency:

    • Request a clear breakdown of costs, including delivery fees and any additional charges. Be wary of hidden fees that may impact your overall budget.

6. Local and Sustainable Sourcing:

    • Consider purchasing locally sourced firewood. Local options are often more sustainable and reduce the environmental impact associated with transportation.

7. Storage Recommendations:

    • Seek advice on proper firewood storage to maintain quality. A reliable supplier will offer guidance on ventilation, protection from the elements, and preventing pest infestations.

8. Customization Options:

    • Inquire if the supplier offers customization, such as specific wood lengths or types. Tailoring your purchase to your fireplace or stove requirements enhances the efficiency of your heating.

9. Check for Certification:

    • Some suppliers may carry certifications ensuring the wood meets quality and sustainability standards. Check for certifications or inquire about the source of the firewood.

10. Customer Service:

    • Evaluate the supplier’s customer service. A responsive and informative team indicates a commitment to customer satisfaction and a smoother purchasing process.


In conclusion, the art of working with firewood goes beyond mere practicality—it’s a harmonious blend of science, craftsmanship, and a touch of nature’s warmth. Armed with this knowledge, you’re well-equipped to embrace the comforting ambiance and reliable heat that a well-tended woodpile provides. Cheers to many cozy nights by the fire!

What is a rick of wood?

A rick of wood is a standard term used to describe a stack of firewood. It is typically 4 feet high, 8 feet long, and the width of the firewood pieces being used. The dimensions may vary based on the supplier and the region, so it’s essential to clarify the specific measurements when discussing the purchase of firewood.

How many Ricks are in a cord of wood?

A cord of wood is a standard unit of measurement, and it is equivalent to four ricks. Each rick represents one-fourth of a cord. Understanding this correlation is crucial when estimating your firewood needs and communicating with suppliers.

What is a rick of wood vs face cord?

While a rick and a face cord are terms often used interchangeably, they can have different meanings depending on the region. A face cord is typically a stack of wood that is 4 feet high and 8 feet long, but the width is standardized at 16 inches. This results in a volume of approximately 42.67 cubic feet, which is less than a full cord.

What is the difference between a rank and a rick of wood?

The terms “rank” and “rick” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they can have regional variations. Generally, a rank refers to a stack of wood that is 4 feet high, 8 feet long, and the width of the firewood. The key difference may lie in the terminology used in different areas.

Is it recommended to stack my firewood in ricks?

Stacking firewood in ricks is a common and practical approach for many. It facilitates better air circulation, which aids in the seasoning process, reducing moisture content for more efficient burning. However, the recommendation may vary based on individual preferences, available storage space, and local climate conditions.

What is the origin of “Ricks”?

The origin of the term “ricks” can be traced back to Middle English, where it was used to describe a stack or pile of something, especially firewood. The usage has evolved over time, and today, it remains a standard term in the lexicon of firewood measurements.

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