The technique of image analysis has been used to assess the quality of model oriented strand board panels by investigating the relationships between shape and size of strands, the distribution of strands and bending properties. A batch of commercial strands was analysed by image analysis and the distribution of the shape and size of strands was quantified. The strands were categorised into five strand types as a function of size and aspect ratio. In general, strand shapes were observed to be mostly rectangular and there was also a wide variation in strand dimensions in commercial material. Bigger area strands had low aspect ratios and small strands had high aspect ratios. Half of the commercial strands were longer than 100 mm. Model OSB panels were manufactured in the laboratory by hot pressing strand mats formed from each of the five strand types. Strands were laid up by hand into the forming mat and following pressing the orientation and shape of strands was evaluated by image analysis and the panels were tested in a three point bending. Large area (type 3) strands with high aspect ratios produced model panels with optimum strand orientation and mechanical properties. Type 3 panels were also fabricated from strands dropped through a slotted forming device in order to simulate the delivery of strands to the forming line under factory conditions. As the height of strand delivery increased from 0 to 100 to 200 mm the disorientation of strands in the pressed panels progressively increased and as a result mechanical properties in bending were reduced. Image analysis is therefore a powerful tool for evaluating the distribution of commercial strand shapes and the relationship between strand geometry, strand orientation and the mechanical properties of oriented strand board.