How Many Ricks in a Cord – A Deeper Understanding

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Last Updated on March 26, 2023 by Griselda M.

The cold season comes with a demand to heat your home, requiring you to know how many ricks in a cord will you need until the season ends.

Rick of wood measurements can be complicated, but it simply means how much wood is in one pile. When wood is ready for sale, it is stacked in piles to select how many are required.

Unlike what we know or think, there is a lot of history and math involved in wood chopping. If you are interested in knowing how much wood is a rick of wood, or you’re interested in preparing your wood for sale, read on to learn more.

What is the Meaning of Ricks in a Cord of Firewood?

Rick is a segment of a cord of firewood. The wood in these segments is chopped, split, and stacked for drying. If you plan on cutting down a tree, do not burn the wood immediately. This is because the wood is wet and will not give a good fire; instead, it will produce lots of smoke. The wood must be cut in the right size and weathered before use.

When a tree is cut, it is full of water and sap. These two properties keep the fire from burning properly. Burning green wood is not fun or advisable; it creates a deadly composite called creosote that can be harmful. Creosote from wood, when burned indoors, clogs your chimney and produces carbon monoxide, which is not good for your health.

How Many Ricks Are in a Cord?

Rick is an actual description of how the cord of wood should be stacked. Normally, a standard cord of wood measures 4 x 4 x 8 feet; each section is known as a rick, and it measures 4 feet with a section of 16 to 18 inches of logs.

Ricks are split into 3 groups called face cords, which create a cord’s entirety. These are the most common measurements in the marketplace that most people use.

How to Prepare Wood Into Ricks in a Cord

One of the most backbreaking jobs is cutting and stacking firewood. The task is straightforward, but weathering and stacking the wood for the best results takes the most time.

Chopping and cutting wood is a dangerous job to undertake. You will need leather chainsaw chaps or any other protective gear to keep you safe. If you plan to cut a tree, you should hire a logger or a millworker with vast experience.

Here are the steps to undertake when preparing wood into ricks.

Step 1: Measure the wood for cutting

Before you start cutting, use a pencil or marker to measure your wood. Take your pencil and mark every 16 to 18-inch length on the surface of the wood. The marks serve as indicators to show you where to cut the wood to allow the pieces to stack well. Experienced workers can notch the logs with their axes without having to measure.

Cold Steel All-Purpose Axe with Hickory Handle, Great for Wood Cutting and Splitting

Step 2: Cut the logs into the pre-marked measure sections

Cut the wood into manageable pieces according to your measurements. The manageable pieces help with cutting and splitting. It also helps them weather faster as more area is exposed to the sun and wind. Use a chainsaw to crosscut and make the cuts as square as possible to keep them evenly shaped.

Step 3: Split the logs

Once you have your 16 to 18-inch logs, split them into manageable pieces. Take the large 16 to 18-inch sections and split them into smaller logs. You will take plenty of time splitting them to make the appropriate amount of wood. You will need about 128 square feet of lumber, enough to fill the bed of a truck numerous times over.

Step 4: Prepare the ground area for stacking

Before you stack your split wood, ensure the logs are off the ground. Laying it on the bare ground will cause bugs to start eating and allow dirt to become embedded in the wood. The dirt also keeps the firewood from burning evenly.

Step 5: Stack the wood into cords

Once you prepare the ground, it’s time to do the actual stacking. Stack the woods in neat rows that are attractive. The wood will be essential to you in the coming winter days, so treat it with some care.

What Is The Meaning Of Ricks In A Cord Of Firewood

Step 6: Cover The wood stacks

With the wood placed into ricks and cords, it’s best to cover it with a tarp. Use a tarp made from plastic to help the water run away from the pile. Please leave a little bit of space around the stack to keep it aerated. Keep in mind that complete coverage will lead to mold and mildew growing inside the covers.

Your wood is ready for use when the cold months hit. Dry wood is critical for warmth during the cold months. A mistake in processing them could mean you will be without heat for the cold months.

What Does Well-Weathered Firewood Look Like?

Whether you are buying dry wood for your use or drying your own, it’s best to know what it looks like.

Having good wood to burn creates a soothing and peaceful ambiance in the house. Getting rid of water and sap from the timber makes it easier to burn and much harder to break.

Here are some signs to look for when you are ready to use your stored wood or buy from a seller.

  • The wood is light – When all the water leaves the wood, it becomes so much lighter than usual. Wood is made up of 25 percent water, even when it is cut down. When the water dries out of the log, it becomes very light, and you can carry several pieces at once.
  • The bark easily falls off – The log’s bark should be loose or fall off with ease. Water and sap keep the bark tight around the surface, but the bark falls off easily when the water is dried up.
  • The wood has cracked ends – The cracked or split ends indicate that the wood is dry, even on the inside.
  • They are grey – When wood is dry, it loses its yellowish color and turns grey. Grey wood is ready for burning. Depending on the type of tree, the color could be white.
  • It does not smell – Dry wood loses the original tree smell when it is ready to burn.  With the sap dried out, there is no scent left on the wood. Smell a few pieces before burning them to see if they are dry inside.

Read more about What Does a Black Woolly Worm Mean?

How Much is a Rick of Wood?

Aside from how many ricks are in a cord, how much is a rick of wood? The cost of a rick of wood would depend on a few factors. This would include several variables like the wood type, the size of the logs, and the location that can contribute to the overall price of a rick of wood. Typically, you should pay about $50 to $250.

However, some vendors do provide discounts for larger orders, depending on the time of year. Additionally, the wood quality is another important factor to note as it could affect the cost. Seasoned or well-dried wood is usually much pricier than green and damp wood. Buyers should keep this in mind when making their purchases.

Also, delivery costs can be included in the overall price of the wood. But, this will depend on the seller and the region the firewood is sold from.

How Many Pieces of Wood in a Cord?

Ever wondered how many pieces of wood in a cord? The number of pieces of wood in a cord differs, depending on the number and size of the logs. You must remember that a cord is defined by the height, width, and length of the wood stack.

By this, I mean that a stack of wood that is about four feet in height has a width of four feet, and a length of eight feet is known as a cord. So, if you have wood pieces that are 16 inches long, there should be 128 pieces which will make up an entire cord.

However, if you have wood pieces that are about 24 inches long, then a cord will consist of approximately 85 pieces. If you want a large batch of wood, then knowing how many ricks in a cord will enable you to build your stack for the cold winter season.

The Bark Easily Falls Off

How Many Pieces of Wood in a Rick?

If you want to know how many pieces of wood in a rick, then take heed of the following information. To determine the answer to this question, you must understand that the size of the wood and the width of the stack would all affect the number of logs in a rick.

Generally, a rick carries between 42 and 64 pieces of wood. This is equal to about a third of a stacked cord of wood. So, in other words, we know that a cord of wood generally equals 128 pieces. So, you will need to subtract the value of a rick of wood from that number, which is a third of the logs.

Remember that a rick of wood is commonly stacked in a 4×8-foot pile. Three of these piles equals a cord of wood.

How Many Trees for a Cord of Wood?

How many trees for a cord of wood? The answer to this question would also depend on several factors. These include the tree and wood sizes because to get a cord of logs, a certain number of trees would be required. For instance, to make a cord from trees that are four inches in diameter, you would need about 50 trees.

An eight-inch diameter tree would have to include about 10 trees to make up a cord of wood, while three trees with a diameter of 14 inches are enough for a stacked cord of wood. In most cases, a cord of wood is constructed from about six to eight trees that are six to eight inches in diameter.

To get the best firewood, these trees should be healthy by following sustainable practices in line with forestry standards. The smaller the tree the lesser the wood. While in some instances, you may end up with a rick of wood depending on the tree size, the quantity will eventually be the deciding factor of whether you can make up a full cord.


Now that you know how many ricks in a cord of wood, go ahead and inspect the one you are buying. Alternatively, you could also stack up your own wood and put it up for sale.

Stacking and storing wood is an essential part of this whole process. Splitting up the wood and sorting it into ricks is a critical skill built through hard work and lots of labor. If you leave your wood to dry while partially covered, it will weather properly.


How big is a rick of firewood?

In the United States, a typical rick of firewood is about 4' x 8', with a volume of about 300 cubic feet. The average weight of a rick of firewood is about 250 pounds. In Canada, a typical rick of firewood is about 4' x 12', with a volume of about 1000 cubic feet.

Why should you keep your firewood in ricks?

If you have a rick, you have to make sure you have the right rope for it, and the knots are correct. I would recommend the rick because you get more practice with it, and the knots are pretty easy to learn.

Where does a rick of firewood come from?

There are a number of possible origins for this expression. One is the use of a stack of hayricks or stacks of hay to make a pile or stack of hay. The OED has an etymology for this that cites "a heap of hay", which may be an older variant of "a heap of rick" (OED, 1b).

Another is the stacking of hay in a haystack, which also would be a stack of hay. This is a fairly common phrase in the UK, and in Australia I have heard it used as well. In the US, it's not common, but I have heard it here and there.

How Many Ricks are In a Cord?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think. You can't simply take a standard cord and count the number of ricks in it. The reason for this is that not all ricks are created equal. Some are larger than others, some have different shapes, and some are even made from different materials. So, how do you know how many ricks there are in your cord?

One way to find out is to use the following formula: where: d is the diameter of the cord in inches L is the length of the cord in inches C is the circumference of the cord in inches n is the number of ricks in the cord.

So, if your cord is 1-inch wide and 100-inches long, and there are 10 ricks in it, then:

1-inch x 100 = 1,000,000 inches The circumference of a circle is: so, in this case, the circumference of the cord is 1,000,000 inches. The diameter of the circle is 1/2 the circumference. Therefore, the diameter of the cord is 1,000,000 ÷ 2 = 500,000 inches.

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