Winter is coming. I need lots of wood to keep warm. I know there are many variables involved but I would like to get a rough estimate of what one can expect to chop in a day.


  • Average build, average height
  • 20 - 30 yrs old
  • Not an athlete but in good condition
  • Tools: Splitting Axe, splitting wedge, maul, 20" chainsaw
  • There is an area already set up for stacking the chopped wood
  • Outside temperature is 70-80 F
  • The wood is hardwood (oak/maple), not fully seasoned
  • 8 hours to work (less if you don't think this is realistic), including breaks if need
  • 12
    What about woodchucks? Can't forget the woodchucks. – Russell Steen Sep 2 '16 at 13:25
  • 5
    Add good leather gloves to your tools list. – James Jenkins Sep 2 '16 at 15:02
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    If you're an average office worker who hasn't done physical labor in the last few years, or ever, you'll be able to do a lot less than the average man who has a physical job, even if you are an office worker who works out for a few hours a week. Especially if you get blisters. – Karen Sep 2 '16 at 16:31
  • 1
    It can take a lot longer wet. If it is too wet to split at least chain saw. – paparazzo Sep 2 '16 at 18:50
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    Do not try to split wood for 8 hours if you haven't already been doing it for the past couple of weeks. You might do okay the first day, but days 2, 3 and possibly 4 will be at least partially wasted. Work up to it over at least a week. Figure 2 hours max the first day, then use your judgment for each later day. An over stressed tendon can be real trouble for months after. – user2338816 Sep 2 '16 at 23:32

Back in the day when I fit the criteria in the question.

Assuming the wood is down and has been seasoned. One Cord {128 cubic feet (3.62 m3)} a day is easy. I used to cut, split and load into the truck in the morning, sell it later in the day and stack it at the buyers house. Do over next day.

2 or 3 cords a day should be reasonable production for cut, split, haul and stack. As it is unlikely that you need more then 10 cords for a season. Doing a cord per morning, with other chores in the afternoon would be my choice.

If the wood is green (been down for less then 6-12 months) it is harder to split, may be twice as heavy, and provides significantly less heat. Not only will you have to work 2 or 3 times harder to stack each cord, you will need more cords to get you through the winter.


  • When fires were still permitted in my city, I found there were some woods that split easier when wet. Pine was easier split dry, but I had rounds of something (maybe blue gum? it was 10 years ago) that dried tough. – Criggie Sep 2 '16 at 20:56
  • James, would you be willing to add a description of what a cord is, and perhaps a picture? I've looked online and gotten a few different measurements, but it looks like much more than I thought, so it might be helpful for others to see what you mean. Also, for the few of us who still use the imperial system, could you do that in addition to metric? Thanks! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Sep 2 '16 at 23:51
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    @njzk2 10 cords of wood is the same as 26.25 steres. – Phil Sep 2 '16 at 23:54
  • I have update the answer with a link to Wikipedia about the volume of a US cord 128 cubic feet (3.62 m3) – James Jenkins Sep 2 '16 at 23:59
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    @Sue Here is a possible photo from wiki (marked public domain) upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c7/Cord_of_wood.jpg A cord is generally defined in the US as a fixed volume of tightly stacked wood. – Phil Sep 3 '16 at 0:08

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