Hardwood Lumber Grading By The NHLA

Provides long, wide, clear cuttings. Best suited for high quality work. Must yield 83-1/3% to 100% clear wood in cuttings at least 3″ x 7′ or 4″ x 5.’

Both faces of the board are used in determining this grade. Best face must meet FAS, reverse must essentially grade No. 1 Common.

Provides clear cuttings of medium length and width. Includes a range of boards which will yield from 66-2/3% to 83-1/3% clear wood in minimum sized cuttings at least 3″ x 3′ or 4″ x 2.’

NHLA Grading Rules

FASF1FS#1 COM#2A & #2B#3A COM#3B COMFAS LimitsNotes
Minimum Size Board6″ X 8′Same as FAS for species being graded4″ X 6′3″ X 4′3″ X 4′3″ X 4′3″ X 4′Pith: SM in inches

Wane: 1/2 Length

Knot: 1/3 SM

Warp: Entire board must be flat enough to
S2S to S.S.T.

Splits: Not to exceed 2 x SM or 12″, whichever is

Splits shall not
diverge 1″ in 12″

First Lineal Rule: Applies to both ends of board. To contain not less than 50%
clear wood, 25%
sound wood

Wane in FAS 1 FACE

FAS limitation applies to Better Face.
#1 Common side: 1/3 W or 1/2 L Widest wane added together; Length can be on both edges

Wane in Selects

Pcs. 6″ & Wider:
FAS limitation applies to Better Face.
#1 Common side: 1/3 W or 1/2 L Widest wane added together; Length can be on both edges.

Pcs. 4″ & 5″ Wider:
1/3 W or 1/2 L applies to both faces. Add widest wane together. Add total length of wane from both edges.

NOTE: This chart summarizes the main requirements for the standard grades. For complete information, consult the appropriate
section of the NHLA Rule Book.

Minimum Size Cutting4″ X 5′
3″ X 7′
Better Face to Grade FAS

Poor Face to Grade #1 Common

4″ X 2′
3″ X 3′
3″ X 2′3″ X 2′Not less than 1-1/2″ wide containing 36 sq. inches
Basic YieldSM X 10
SM X 8
SM X 6
SM X 4
SM X 3
Formula To Determine Number of CutsSM
(4 max)
SM + 1
(5 max)
(7 max)
UnlimitedUnlimited sound cuttings
SM Needed To Take Extra Cutting6-15′ SM3-10′ SMYES
Extra Yield Needed For Extra CuttingSM X 11
SM X 9
Special Yields97% Rule – 2 cuts full widths any length; Pieces 6″ & wider with 6-12′ SM
SM X 11.64 for yield
97% rule on better face97% rule on better face 2′ X 3′

SM to be 100% clear of SM X 11 in one cutting

1′ SM – 100%
2′ SM – SM X 9
1′ SM – SM X 8

#2A Com – Clear cuttings
#2B Com – Sound cuttings

#2A Com on better face and reverse side of cuttings sound; will also qualify for 3A Com