The effects of the timing and intensity of precommercial thinning on the stand diameter development and wood production in Scots pine stands was addressed. A model was developed in order to assess the thinning response of the stand diameter development. The effect of precommercial and first commercial thinning on the stand volume and the thinning removal at first commercial thinning were also modelled. The models were developed to be applicable for forest management planning purposes. The results are based on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trials (13 experiments and 169 plots) located in Southern and Central Finland. Precommercial thinning considerably enhanced the diameter development. Precommercial thinning (at Hdom 3 m to 2000 trees per hectare) increased the mean diameter by 15% at the first commercial thinning stage (Hdom 14 m) compared to the unthinned stand (3000 trees ha–1). Early and intensive precommercial thinning resulted in the strongest response in diameter development. Wide spacing also enhanced the diameter increment. In naturally regenerated stands the diameter development was ca 13% slower than that in seeded stands. The total volume at the time of first commercial thinning was affected by the timing of thinning and the stand structure. The volume of merchantable thinning removal depended on the timing and intensity of precommercial and first commercial thinnings. Delaying the first commercial thinning from 12 meters (Hdom) to 16 meters increased the volume of thinning removal by ca.70%. The early and light precommercial thinning (Hdom 3 m, to density of 3000 trees per hectare) increased the thinning removal by 40% compared to the late and intensive precommercial thinning (at 7 meters to the density of 2000 trees per hectare).