The long-term financial and ecological effects of diameter-limit regimes and basal-area-diameter-q-ratio (BDq) regimes were compared by simulation in the case of northern hardwood forests. Varying the cutting cycle between 10 and 20 years had little effect on returns or stand structure. A 28-cm diameter-limit cut gave the highest production and financial returns, and the highest species diversity, but considerably lower size diversity. A 38-cm diameter-limit cut and a heavy BDq selection harvest gave high returns, while maintaining high levels of diversity. On lands of equal site quality, Michigan’s stands were more productive than Wisconsin’s. The results suggest that it is possible to manage northern hardwood stands sustainably with diameter-limit cuts, combined with removal of poorly performing understory trees. Adjusting the diameter limit gave rise to stands similar in productivity and structure to those obtained by BDq cutting regimes. Given their simplicity of implementation and monitoring, more attention should be given to diameter-limit cutting regimes, with attendant stand improvement measures, as a practical means for uneven-aged management of northern hardwoods.