What Is A Rick Of Wood: A Guide To The Definition, Amounts And Types

If you’ve just got a firepit/fireplace and are new to buying firewood, you might wonder what these different words are that retailers use. There are various kinds of sizes of firewood sold in the market, with different names.

There are many different names for various types of firewood, from “cord” to “quarter cord.” One term you may hear about is the word “rick.”

When you’re new to buying firewood, knowing the definition of a “rick” will simplify understanding the names and sizes associated with it.

The History Behind The Terms Cord And Rick

rick of wood on a pickup for the history behind the terms cord and rick

The first thing you need to understand is that one cord of wood has a height, width, and depth. A true full length of wood is as follows:

  • 8 feet width
  • 4 feet height
  • 4 feet depth

Historically, firewood has been measured in cords. To calculate the volume of a cord, multiply 128 cubic feet times 16 (the number of inches log length). The name “cord” comes from when lumberjacks stack wood into stacks and tie it together with rope to keep them from falling over.

A rick of wood is a measurement for firewood, typically considered to be a full-stack. It has been used as a universal standard ever since it was coined over four centuries ago.

Before you purchase a full cord of wood, it is important to understand that it is typically far more than one trip. Without adding too much detail, sometimes, one straight cord will take three or four trips from the lumber yard to your place.

Moreover, a cord of wood will last for months. Therefore, it is important to consider your needs before making a purchase carefully.

Different Variations Of The Term Cord

different variations of the term cord

The cord is only one measure of firewood volume. Other dimensions include:

  • A Rick of Wood
  • Half cords
  • Face cords
  • Full cords

Now, you know why the most common measurement for wood is called a cord. The term ‘rick’ has a different history. Some historians believe that emerging terms like “rick” came about when different business owners and sellers wished to create distinctions in their product lines of face cords and quarters.

The confusion over a full cord and a face cord arose because so many people were getting the same amount of wood when they wanted more or less, with no way to tell what kind of wood they were buying.

This is yet another way that wood suppliers came up with a word to measure the amount of wood that people wanted but was smaller than what they actually had.

The Dimensions Of A Rick Of Wood

what are the dimensions of a rick of wood

With so many firewood sizes on the market, it’s hard to know what a rick of wood is. But don’t panic—we have dimensions for you!

One thing to note is that the dimensions of firewood can vary depending on who you are buying it from or what region you are in.

List of Standard Rick Dimensions

  • Length of rick 8feet
  • The thickness of rick 16-18inch(roughly)
  • Height of rick 4feet

How Big Is A Rick Of Wood

Fresh buyers, you may have heard the term “rick of wood” but don’t know how big this is. You might even be wondering if you’ll need a trolley to get it home! I’m here to let you in on a secret from my experience: talk with suppliers first before googling anything.

The retail firewood seller will help clarify how much wood or firewood you are getting in a rick. Buying through the sale and purchase of firewood can thus be tricky for some reason. A “rick” is used to exaggerate sales by commercial dealers of firewood but does not really represent the amount truly being bought.

Keep in mind that rick is not exactly one measurement of firewood, so if you don’t ask the retailer, how will you know its size?

Go on, Urbanities! Googling won’t help you. Trust me!

Rick Of Wood Measurement

one full cord of wood measurement

Redo the math! Something big here needs you. Yes, it has no relation to wood and story but what’s more important is that You can’t measure a rick if you don’t know the cord! One thing’s for sure: let’s talk about the cord first.

One standard unit of measurement for firewood is a cord. A cord is measured as 4 feet by 8 feet dimensions with 128 cubic feet of volume in total. The terms rick, face cords, half cords, quarter-face cords, and quarter-cords refer to fractions of this size that correspond to different volumes.

  • The Rick of wood measurement
  • Cord (cubic feet) multiplied by one third equals Rick
  • Length of the wood x-height of wood x thickness of wood equals Cord
  • A cord of wood measurement Formula

Size Of A Rick Of Wood

It is not possible to give precise standard sizes for firewood since it varies from one place to another or supplier to supplier. However, Rick can refer to different quantities depending on the definition used by a particular seller of wood.

There is no way to get an exact measurement of a firewood rick. The only way to know the size of the wood is by using the formula given above.

What is a rick? A half cord-sized stack of wood, typically 4 foot long and 8 inch high piles. They are both proportional to each other. If the bark is an issue, like for firewood in containers, use a scrub brush to remove the bark from one side of every piece before stacking them perpendicularly into stacks they will fit snug against next to each other.

Overall Weight Of A Rick Of Wood

Its measurements often refer to firewood. On the other hand, the average weight of a 5,500 lb rick of high-end firewood, which may include red oak or white oak, is unknown.

One thing you must know is that some raw materials, such as lower-quality hardwood or spruce, may weigh around 1.25 tons or 2,500 lbs per rick of wood. You can find out the weight by multiplying the number of ricks you are ordering and their respective weights together to get a total weight.

For the high-end firewood, you can expect around 2,750 lbs to 5500lbs, and for the low-end ranges, you can expect from 625lbs to 2500lb.

Number Of Pieces In A Rick Of Woods

number of pieces in a rick of woods

Depending on the region, a full cord of wood will have approximately 550 to 650 pieces. This number changes depending on different factors, including the structure of stacks and how long they are cut.

So, if there are 550-650 pieces of seasoned firewood in a cord, you can expect around 250 to 350 pieces in one rick. Factors such as vendor will change this number slightly so that it will vary from person to person.

A Rick Of Firewood Cost

a rick of firewood cost

Now, we have to discuss the all-important question: how much is that stack of firewood going to cost? You want to make sure you’re getting what you expected to pay for by understanding different measurements and conversions. When it comes down to price, don’t be surprised if your math doesn’t add up!

The First Note

To make sure you know how much you’re getting, ask for the wood to be measured in cords or partial cords. If “rick, truckload, rank or pile” is suggested, it can be translated into a volume using a cord conversion calculator online.

One measure is multiplying the length by width by the depth of a pile. For example, if you’ve purchased wood on pallets, stack it and measure the size of your truck bed to get an idea of how much you have.

You should also measure the size of the stack before you transport it to get a better idea of its volume.

Various Factors That Lead To The Cost

Once again, the total cost will depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The quality of wood
  • The type of wood
  • The vendor
  • The region

A high-quality rick of wood costs around $150 – $250, while a lower quality one sells for approximately $80 – $120. This price does not include shipping charges, depending on how far the vendor is from your residence.

The cost of delivery varies from vendor to vendor. However, some vendors offer free deliveries for certain areas.

You may either choose to ask for delivery, or you can take all the rick of wood in your pickup truck and take them home in roughly 3-4 trips.

Rick Of Firewood Needed

rick of firewood needed

Many people may only need less than a full cord of wood. A full cord will last about 6-10 weeks as the main source of warmth and energy in your home unless you use a wood stove as your main source of heating.

The Amount Of Energy You Need In Hours

If you use a wood-burning stove for cooking, an outdoor fireplace or firepit, and need to collect wood for camping, you’ll measure how much energy your journey requires in hours. So it will be less than even the amount of half cord, third of a cord, or quarter-cord that is needed.

Rather than purchasing wood by the cord, you will instead buy bundles. It takes about two hours for eight pieces of wood to burn. If you’re stocking up on firewood for summer, though, starting with a quarter rick can be a good idea.

If you are new to buying firewood, there are a few things that you should know to make sure you’re not paying too much.

Standard Unit Of Measurement

To start, make sure to ask for the size of your wood in cords, the standard unit of measurement. If you don’t know how much firewood you’ll need, this will help cut down on confusion when comparing prices.

The National Association of State Foresters recently released their new manuals and guidelines for firewood, which are especially helpful for figuring out the appropriate price. You’ll need to know how many cords you’re inquiring about, though your state may have different rules.

Rick Of Wood Guidance

guide in buying a rick of wood

Guide In Buying A Rick Of Wood

So how are you supposed to order a rick of wood then? Without any idea of what size that rick will be, it would help to learn more about its sizing and research in advance on the most economical size.

If logs are cut 16 inches long and stacked 4 ft high by 8 ft long, you have 1/3 of a cord. The rick you will buy will be 3 x 16 inches or 24 inches high for one-third of a cord.

The best way to tell how much wood is in a rick of wood is to measure the lengths of the logs. If you have counting skills and time on your hands, checking logs will help ensure you have enough for this whole season.

How To Choose The Best Wood Quality For A Rick Of Wood

how to choose the best wood quality for a rick of wood

One of the most important aspects to note when buying firewood is the density, which leads some buyers to make sure that they are purchasing hard or softwood that has been properly pre-seasoned.

When Buy Green Firewood

If you intentionally buy green firewood, then it’s a much different story. If not, and you want to burn the firewood and warm up your house quickly, make sure that it is properly seasoned and dried beforehand, so it’s ready to be burned.

A Seasoned Rick Of Firewood

A seasonal rick of firewood should be completely grey in color and have split on the ends as it has been dried for burning. Depending on the wood, it takes about six months to one year of seasoning before a rick is done.

When The Wood Was Chopped Down

Ask the vendor when the wood was chopped down. If it was chopped within the last few months, this signifies that it is not ready for storage for this winter.

Ask For A Discounted Price

Alternatively, you should also ask for a considerable discount if you are purchasing green firewood because greenwood is so difficult to dry.

How To Season Your Rick Of Wood By Yourself

how to season your rick of wood by yourself

If you purchase unseasoned rick of wood, you can season it at home before burning it. Unseasoned wood is dry and will take a few months to season. You can burn the firewood after it reaches desired moisture, but this process may take longer than seasoned wood.

As A General Rule Of Thumb

Hardwood takes longer to season as compared to softwood, which can take a few months. The first step to the task is splitting up the logs and expose them to as much of the sun as possible.

Place Them

You also need to make sure to place them in an outdoor environment with more wind. The faster winds help dry the wood for burning.

Lift The Wood

You can also easily stack wood off the ground on pallets or other material and keep it at least two feet above the ground.

This prevents the wood from absorbing moisture from the soil and allows for better airflow, which will dry it quickly.

Cover The Stack Of Firewood

One other thing you should not forget is to keep your firewood stack covered with a proper shed when it has been stacked outside.

This shed can be a simple weatherproof sheet, or it could even be a more formal structure that could prevent rain or snow from getting to your wood and ruining its quality. Most people cover the wood with either an inexpensive tarp or some weatherproof sheets, such as those made out of the canvas.

Cover The Entire Stack

When using a tarp or weatherproof sheet to cover a pile of firewood, make sure that you leave enough space for wind and sunlight.

To avoid using too much heat, cover only one-third of the wood stack with a sheet and cover the entire stack if it’s raining or snowing.

Make A Temporary Shed Out Of Wood

If you want to take your firewood stacking to the next level, make a temporary shelter out of wood or any other material and position it slightly higher than the pile. Doing so will allow sunlight to reach the logs without letting snow or rain touch them.

Storing Firewood

storing firewood on rick of wood guidance

The last helpful tip for buying firewood is to make sure you request the length as well. If you’re interested in a full face cord of wood, don’t buy one that has been cut down from a larger unit. Or if you want a partial quantity and don’t know how long it should be, ask them to cut that too!

To get the most of your storage space, you should stack smaller firewood pieces together. Have a better idea of how much space firewood will take up? If you’re able to buy seasoned wood, this saves you time and energy! The best type is kiln-dried wood, BUT it can be more expensive than the natural drying process.


It is recommended that you use only dried wood. Using greenwood will lead to excessive smoke. In stacking, remember the driest wood goes on top, making it easier to access and light.

It is also important to remember to rotate your stack of firewood regularly. While it may seem like an unwarranted amount of work, this can help avoid the risk that some pieces will rot and go to waste.

Wood Holders And Racks

There are a few different ways to stack firewood, such as holders and racks. Racks can be used both inside or outside and can make tasks much easier.

Firewood Can Attract Unwanted Pests

Keeping firewood in the home and around your house is a bad idea for many reasons. The constant level of moisture can attract insects and introduce dirt and debris to your environment.

Make Sure The Wood Is Dry

When bringing in firewood to store in your home, you should make sure that the wood is dry to be stored without problems. Unfortunately, wet wood isn’t a good choice for humidity-sensitive homes because there’s a chance of it trapping moisture–and high levels of humidity are pretty uncomfortable to have around the house.


How Long Will A Rick Of Wood Last?

Sometimes, half a cord can last for as long as two months when heating a small house. This means that sometimes, a cord of wood can heat small homes or apartments for up to four months.

What Is The Measurement Of A Rick Of Wood?

If logs are 16″ long and piled 4′ high by 8′ long, a rick is 1/3 cord of wood.

How Many Wood Are In A Rick?

Typically, there are about 160 pieces of logs in a 4 foot by 8-foot pile of wood; yet, when buying ricks (piles) of firewood, it is best to measure the split logs’ size before buying them.

What Is The Difference Between A Cord And A Rick Of Wood?

A “rick” is smaller than a full cord. A rick or face cord measures would be 16 to 18 inches deep and typically refers to lengths of wood that are 4 feet long by 1 foot high (or in other words, 6 to 8 pieces).

Why Is It Called A Rick Of Wood?

It is important to note that the word “rick” is not a measurement unit but a description of how wood logs are stacked.

How Much Is A Rick Of Wood Worth?

The cost of ricks can vary considerably depending on the price per cord in your area. Be sure to visit a local lumber company or firewood wholesaler for a quotation.

Final Words

The number of firewood that you’ll purchase every year will depend on your needs. If you primarily use firewood for recreational forest fires or barbecues, you will only need a single rick per year. However, if it is your primary source of heat all winter long, you may want to pick up a cord.

This will provide heat to small and medium-sized houses throughout the winter. Also, take care in how you store firewood – make sure it is dry and as bug-free as possible.

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