What’s the easiest way to split wood?
Got the tree cut down, delimbed and cut up? Next step is to split the wood and stack it off the ground. They are 3 main ways of splitting firewood. I’ll go over all 3 and break them down and tell you the good and the bad of each.
Wedges And A Sledgehammer
This is the old school way but still has it’s place in today’s world. A wedge is placed near the end of the round and tapped, like your starting a nail, till the wedge can stand on its own and then you pound it into the round of firewood with a sledgehammer. Sometimes, depending on the size of the round and how knotty it is, you’ll need 2 wedges to split it. Avoid using diamond wedges, I’m not too crazy about them because they do break, other than that they work great. You start them in the middle of the round same way as you would a traditional wedge.
Don’t ever use either type of wedge on a big round of wood that is rotted. You won’t get it back without the help of a chainsaw. Been there, done that, live an learn, right? The wedges I use personally you can find on Amazon here, True Temper 5-Pound Wood Splitting Wedge
Out of shape? swing an 8lb maul a couple 100 times a day and you’ll be back in shape in no time. This way of splitting wood takes a lot of energy, so learning some tips on how to get the most out of each swing is very important. Remember to use a maul and not an axe for splitting wood.
Much like starting a wedge in the outer part of the round, you want to hit with a maul at the same spot for the best chance of splitting the round of firewood in one swing. Always make sure your not trying to split the round at the knot, not going to work well if you do. Mauls can be dangerous too if you don’t know what you are doing. I do recommend some kind of eye protection. Sometimes pieces bark go flying when you hit the piece of wood. Here is the maul I personally use, you can get it on Amazon here Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36 Inch With the way the handle is designed you can get a lot of torque in your swing, and that is a good thing!
Hydraulic Log Splitter
A log splitter is by far the easiest and quickest way to split work, but they’re not cheap and if they are, there is probably something not right. Renting one would be the best bet unless your planning a firewood selling business. All you do is start the gas engine or I have seen some that hook to a tractor (homemade jobs) I would think that would wear on the hydraulic pump but I don’t know, and set the firewood round on and push a lever and it does its magic. Don’t get much easier than that!
If you want to invest in one of these, I’d check out a local tractor supply. A good one is going to cost over a grand.
Best Tool For Splitting Wood
I do use all three ways of splitting wood that is mentioned above. I prefer a maul over wedges but I prefer a hydraulic log splitter over both. It makes life a lot easier to be able to use a log splitter, especially when you are as old as I am. Most folks I know love to swing the maul though. It all comes down to preference and resources. They all work and work well.