Knowing how much lumber weighs can be useful for several reasons, but there are many factors to consider. Since 2x4s are commonly used for various home improvement projects, it can be helpful to know how much does 2×4 lumber weigh?
A 2×4 can weigh as little as 8 pounds or as much as 34 pounds depending on species, length, moisture content, and whether it is treated. Knowing how much 2x4s weigh is important for constructing a sturdy structure, planning a project, or transporting materials.
In this article, you will learn how much 2x4s weigh in general based on the type and length, but you will also discover the factors that can influence how much lumber weighs. In addition, you will learn how to calculate lumber weight and find a lumber weight calculator toward the end of the article.
Contents (Jump to Topic)
- How Much Does a 2×4 Weigh [Charts]
- Why Is Knowing the Weight of 2×4 Dimensional Lumber Useful?
- What Factors Impact the Weight Of 2×4 Weighs?
- How Much Does a Bundle of 2x4s Weigh?
- How Much Does a 2×4 Weigh Per Foot?
- How to Calculate 2×4 Weight
- What is the Heaviest Wood?
- Is Heavier Wood Always Stronger?
- Lumber Weight Calculator
How Much Does a 2×4 Weigh [Charts]
Since the weight of a 2×4 can vary drastically depending on several factors, these charts can help you determine the weight of 2x4s at common lengths, including kiln-dried, pressure treated, and green lumber varieties.
|Nominal Dimension||Weight (lbs)||Weight (kgs)|
Pressure Treated Lumber
|Nominal Dimension||Weight (lbs)||Weight (kgs)|
|Nominal Dimension||Weight (lbs)||Weight (kgs)|
Why Is Knowing the Weight of 2×4 Dimensional Lumber Useful?
Knowing lumber weight is important for transportation, handling, and structural design and should be considered before any project. The weight of 2×4 lumber can help you determine the best method for loading a truck and how much of the lumber you can carry and transport safely.
In addition, for some structures, you may need to know whether the structural components will be able to effectively support the lumber above. For some structures, knowing the weight of 2x4s will help you avoid problematic integrity issues.
Finally, if you have lumber shipped or delivered, the weight can influence the cost. Heavier loads of wood will cost more, which most people are somewhat concerned about.
What Factors Impact the Weight Of 2×4 Weighs?
Factors that influence the weight of a 2×4 include length, whether it is treated or untreated, lumber species, and moisture content. Because of this, it can be useful to know how these factors influence the total weight of lumber when planning a project.
Length is one of the primary factors to consider when examining the weight of lumber. Everybody understands that longer wood is heavier but may not know the relationship between length and weight.
The main thing to consider is nominal dimensions. While the length is only important in regards to weight, it can be useful to know the actual size of a 2×4. 2 inches by 4 inches are the sizes of lumber before smoothing and milling. The actual dimensions of 2x4s are 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches.
The length is usually the actual dimension, but there is one instance where it isn’t. Studs are created to fit the wall and many are created to accommodate the thickness of boards at the top and bottom of the wall. Therefore, 2×4 studs are sometimes 92 ⅝ inches in length instead of exactly 8 feet.
It can be easiest to know the weight per foot for a 2×4 and then you can effortlessly calculate the weight for the number of feet of lumber. For simplicity, let’s say that a foot of your chosen 2×4 weighs 2 pounds and is 8 feet in length. Multiply the 2 per foot by the 8 feet to get 16 pounds for the 2×4.
Treated vs Untreated
This is one factor that many people fail to consider when examining the weight of a 2×4. Treated lumber has chemical preservatives added that can increase weight. These chemicals do not improve the strength, but they do protect the wood from water, rot, and other damage.
The treatment can substantially increase the weight of 2×4 lumber. Just looking at our chart above, you can see that a 2x4x8 kiln-dried lumber is only 11 pounds (4.99 kgs), whereas the same size lumber pressure treated is 17 pounds (7.71 kgs).
Another thing to consider is the length of pressure treatment because some of the moisture from the chemicals will dry out over time, decreasing the weight of the 2×4 slowly and gradually. This can make a difference of several pounds in some instances.
The wood species is another factor in how much a specific 2×4 weighs. This is because different tree species have different densities that contribute to different weights. The density and species can also impact the strength and recommended use of a 2×4.
Wood species like Balsam Fir and Sitka Spruce are lightweight options. Sitka Spruce, for example, may weigh as little as 8 pounds for an 8-foot stud. Douglas Fir and Southern Yellow Pine are denser woods and, therefore heavier. Southern Yellow Pine weighs about 50% more than Sitka Spruce, so the same 8-foot stud would weigh 12 pounds.
You should not merely select species based on weight but need to consider other factors as well, depending on what you are constructing. Some woods are better for structural support, while others are preferred for furniture, rafters, and other uses due to density and strength.
Liquid and moisture can be heavy and when it exists inside the porous material of 2×4 lumber, it can significantly impact the total weight of a 2×4 piece. When wood gets wet, it fills with water, but living wood is already full of water that it needs to survive. The moisture content of a 2×4 can also fluctuate as it swells and contracts due to the humidity content of the air.
Treated lumber can have moisture content up to 75 percent, whereas untreated 2x4s are unlikely to ever reach that high. However, there are two other types to consider: kiln-dried and green lumber.
Lumber takes a prolonged amount of time to properly dry and that is where kiln-dried lumber comes from. This type of lumber has been dried in a kiln, which means the moisture content is lower because it has evaporated from heat. A 2x4x8 weighs about 11 pounds, which comes to 1.38 pounds per linear foot.
On the other hand, green lumber is fresher and has a much higher amount of moisture contained within the cells. The moisture can increase the weight by several pounds in some cases compared to kiln-dried options. A 2x4x8 piece of green wood will weigh 13 pounds or 1.62 pounds per linear foot.
How Much Does a Bundle of 2x4s Weigh?
A bundle of 2x4s contains around 294 2x4s, so the weight will depend on the length of the lumber as well as the moisture content, species, and whether it is treated or not. A bundle of 2x4s will usually weigh somewhere between 2,500 and 5,000 pounds. To calculate, you just need the weight of each 2×4 and then you can multiply it by 294.
For example, from the charts, we see that a kiln-dried 2x4x10 weighs 13 pounds, so a bundle would be 294 x 13, or 3,822 pounds. You still need to account for species before using this weight for exact calculations.
Since a bundle of wood is so large, the species can drastically change the overall weight. A bundle of 8-foot Sitka Spruce 2x4s will weigh around 2,350 pounds and since Southern Yellow Pine is 50% heavier, a bundle of 2x4x8s can weigh 3,525 pounds. That’s enough of a difference that it is critical for loading and shipping to keep in mind.
How Much Does a 2×4 Weigh Per Foot?
A 2×4 can weigh between 1.375 and 2.125 pounds or more per linear foot. This is because the wood species, moisture content, and other factors can influence the total weight of a 2.4. Treated Southern Yellow Pine will weigh significantly more per foot than kiln-dried Douglas Fir, for example.
According to our charts, kiln-dried lumber weighs an average of 1.375 pounds per foot. Green lumber weighs a little more at 1.625 pounds per linear foot. Finally, pressure-treated 2x4s weigh 2.125 pounds per square foot in general.
Another term to know is a board foot. This is often used for measurement and can help you determine the weight of lumber, particularly when buying wood from a lumberyard or home improvement store. A board foot is the volume of a 1-foot length of board that is also one foot wide and one inch thick (1x1x1). A board foot is s standard measurement used by lumber companies for weight calculations.
Typically, a board foot will weigh somewhere between 2 and 3 pounds depending on moisture content and species. The problem with a board foot is that it does not work very well in calculating the weight of 2x4s because the dimensions do not align. A board foot is a cube, but a 2×4 is rectangular, so board feet can give you a vague idea of heavier and lighter woods, but no specific answers for the weight of a 2×4 or bundle of 2x4s.
How to Calculate 2×4 Weight
There are a couple of ways to calculate 2×4 weight. The easiest way is to use the amount per foot, but it is not the most accurate. Still, you can use 2.1 pounds per foot as a general guideline because a 2×4 is unlikely to weigh much more than that.
If you use this method, then you can multiply 2.1 (or another value if you are using kiln-dried or green lumber) by the length of a 2×4. Then, multiply that number by how many 2x4s you have. For example, if you have 20 2x8s, then it would be 2.1 x 8, which equals 16.8. That is how much per 2×4, so you multiply it by 20 to determine your entire load, which is 336 pounds.
The other way is to use a specific strategy calculation. For this method, you will need to know how many feet, whether the wood is green or air dried, and if it is softwood or hardwood. Softwoods include pine, fir, and spruce. Hardwoods include oak and maple.
Use the board footage first. Let’s use a simple sample of 10 feet. Then, if it is air-dried, multiply that number by 1.3, and if it is kiln-dried, multiply it by 1. After you get that sum, which for our sample is 13 for air-dried and 10 for kiln-dried, you multiply it by 3 for hardwoods or 2 for softwoods.
This calculation gives you a rough idea that may not be precise but takes species into some consideration. This formula adds a ballpark figure for air-dried lumber, of 30% water weight. What it cannot calculate, however, is pressure-treated 2x4s.
What is the Heaviest Wood?
The heaviest wood is black ironwood at 84.5 pounds per cubic ft, but it is exotic, expensive, and rarely used for woodworking and construction. Out of the more common types of wood and lumber, the heaviest are walnut, oak, and mahogany.
Douglas fir and Southern Yellow Pine can be heavy but are also easier to cut and use for certain structural and construction components. Walnut and mahogany are more commonly used for furniture building due to their attractive appearance.
As mentioned earlier, Sitka Spruce is one of the lightest types of woods used for construction, but it is also pretty strong. Douglas Fir is another choice for a good balance of weight and strength and durability and workability, which is why it is the most common wood for structural components.
Is Heavier Wood Always Stronger?
Heavy woods are not always stronger, but they are naturally denser, and that in most cases does mean stronger wood. However, there are other factors to consider, like flexibility, grain, grade, and moisture content.
It also comes down to what is meant by strength. With home improvement projects, many people use the term strong ambiguously, but there are different ways to measure the strength of lumber. Compressive strength means how much load a wood species can withstand parallel to the grain. Bending strength is the load perpendicular to the grain. Stiffness is strength used for sag and hardness is strength regarding surface resistance to scratches and other damage.
Lumber Weight Calculator
Since calculations can be a little difficult at times or at least time-consuming, you may prefer using a wood weight calculator. There are two we recommend depending on your needs.
The first is Inch Calculator, which is the easiest and allows you to enter the dimensions and species. Then, it configures and provides you with the weight estimate. It does not include moisture content or other factors but can be a simple way to get a ballpark calculation.
For a more complex calculator, you can use the Builders Caculator version. This option does allow for treatment and moisture content and can even calculate volume. You can also input the number of pieces of lumber you have and it will output that calculation as well.
Knowing how much your 2x4s weigh can be useful to know how many trips you need to take to transport or how many you can use before going beyond what a structure will support. As you have discovered, there are a few factors that can influence how much wood weighs, so just make sure to keep those in mind!