In the new forest management recommendations in Finland, one cultivation alternative for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is intensive cultivation in which the quality of a poor or mediocre pine stand is improved by carrying out an intensive, quality first thinning. This type of thinning leaves ca. 700 trees per hectare. The research conducted by Metsäteho Oy investigated how harvesting conditions and costs change when the thinning intensity is increased and intensive, quality thinning is carried out in firstthinning Scots pine stands. The study showed that the harvesting conditions in intensive, quality thinning are superior, resulting in lower harvesting costs than for normal first thinning. One item of particular note was the drop in cutting costs. Intensive, quality thinning had less of an impact on the forest haulage costs. The reduction in harvesting costs, and especially in the cutting costs, was dependent on the extent to which the average stem size of the trees to be harvested increased throughout the marked stand. When the average stem size of the trees to be harvested increased by 25%, the harvesting costs in the typical harvesting conditions of first-thinning pine stands were 15–19% lower than in normal first thinning.