If you’re looking for the best way to chop logs into fireplace-sized halves, quarters, etc., you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we review three of the best log splitting wedges on the market, as well as three of the best tools to help you turn those chopped logs into kindling wood.
We also provide some safety tips to help prevent accidents while chopping wood. Stay safe and warm this winter with the help of our recommendations!
Best Log Splitting Wedges | 2022 Buyers Guide
Best Overall Log Splitting Wedge Type
To cut pre-sized logs (typically 16″ in length) into firewood, the best log splitting wedge is a traditional hardened-steel wedge with extra wings, or fins, on the side of the blade to provide extra wedge action and reduce the chances of the wedge getting stuck in soft or green (moist) logs.
For more challenging hardwoods, a diamond-shaped splitting wedge is a great choice. This style of splitting wedge is also referred to as a “grenade” or “torpedo” design provides four-way splitting action.
Our experienced team at Today’s Cottage Living has chopped their fair share of logs for the fireplace and pass along their experience with these splitting wedges to help you make an informed buying decision.
Let’s get into it!
#1 – Best Traditional Splitting Wedge: The Estwing E-5 Sure Split
Estwing E-5 Sure Split, 5 lbs.
- Wood splitting Wedge
- Multiple splitting surfaces
- Heat treated, high carbon Steel
- Head weight: 5 lbs.
If you had to choose one splitting wedge to get the job done, our #1 recommendation is a traditional splitting wedge with fins on the two flat sides of the cutting surface, like the Estwing Sure Split.
The side fins make a big difference by providing extra expansion force to open up the log and help to prevent the splitting wedge from getting stuck in the wood. This seemingly small difference can make log splitting go a lot faster.
Estwing Sure Split wedge is an affordable, 5-pound workhorse with extra “fins” on each side that increase the width of the split opening and prevent the edge from getting pinched in wood fiber.
This wedge has a fast taper head for easy starting. With the Sure Split fins providing extra wedge action, we find this splitting wedge has what it takes to continue throughout the wood line to get the job done.
It’s also nice to know that Estwing is an American company recognized for its excellence in providing forged steel axes, and hatchets, since 1923.
#2 – Felled 4-Direction, Diamond Steel, Splitting Wedge
Felled Diamond Splitting Wedge, 4.1 lbs.
- SPLIT STUBBORN LOGS
- 4-DIRECTION SPLIT
- EASY TO USE
- 7-inch length x 3-inch width (17.8cm x 7.6cm) and 4.1-pound (1.9kg) weight
- BUILT TO LAST
We chose the Felled Diamond Splitting Wedge as our 2nd choice because of it’s ability to split the log into quarters, depending on the size of log being chopped. If the circumference of the logs are not too big, the diamond splitting action can be a real time-saver.
The manufacturer does not recommend using this product for knotty woods or large diameter hardwoods, which is why the Estwing won first place.
- Great for splitting stubborn logs such tough oak, hickory, walnut, sycamore. Not recommended for knotty woods or large diameter hardwoods
- The 4-direction diamond shaped design weakens logs at multiple angles and allows you to split the log in up to 4 directions which means splitting the log in a fraction of the time.
- The sharp pointed-tip end helps to get the wedge started in the log.
- Measures: 7-inch length x 3-inch width (17.8cm x 7.6cm) and 4.1-pound (1.9kg) weight for accurate and easy chops
- Constructed from heat-treated and hardened railway steel for maximum strength and longevity that resists rust and corrosion
#3 – Hooyman 5 Pound, Heavy Duty Steel Splitting Wedge
Hooyman Splitting Wedge, 5 lbs.
- Traditional flat chisel style splitting wedge
- 9 inches L x 2.25 inches W x 1.75 inches D
- 1045 high strength steel
- 5 lbs.
From our experience, there are times a good-old chisel shaped splitting wedge is just what you need to get the job done. We find these simple splitting wedges particularly easy to work with on logs that have already been split in half.
This Hooyman Splitting Wedge weighs in at 5 pounds and is made to last using high strength steel. It also doubles as a great tool for tree felling.
- Size: 9 inches L x 2.25 inches W x 1.75 inches D and weighs 5 lbs.
- Material: 1045 high strength steel with an HRC of 45-60
- Perfect for starting or splitting tough wood into usable firewood
- Combine with the Hooyman Splitting Maul, Axes or Sledge Hammers
- Limited Lifetime Warranty provided by Hooyman.
Next, It’s Time To Chop Kindling Wood To Get Your Fire Started!
Best Kindling Wood Time-Savers
Now that’s you’ve chopped your logs down to size it’s time to explore the best way to turn your chopped firewood into kindling wood.
#1 – MARVOWARE Heavy Duty, Cast Iron Log Splitter
MARVOWARE Heavy Duty Log Splitter
- Measures 12″ x 8″
- One piece cast iron construction
- Four mounting holes to secure
- Durable cutting blade with fins
- Head weight: 15 lbs.
For safety, speed, and convenience, we recommend using a kindling wood device such as our #1 recommended Marvoware heavy-duty log splitter. These devices keep your fingers safely out of harms way from your axe, and make the job a whole lot easier.
The Marvoware won as our first choice because of its heavy-duty, cast iron construction. The added strength from a one piece cast iron design means trouble-free operation for many years of dependable use. We mounted the unit onto a stump to keep it secure during our testing. This made a big difference in safety and better working height.
- Material: This one piece, casted iron design weighs 15lbs, and claims to be 50% heavier than all existing similar kindling splitters in the market.
- Ease of Use: Simply place wood in the kindling splitter. The cylinder-shaped splitter holds the wood securely in place, then cut the firewood with an axe or strike with a hammer.
- Size: With overall height of 12 inches and diameter of 8 inches, it can accommodate most common wood dimensions. The compact size makes it easily carry around for different purposes such as outdoor camping, barbecue, picnic, etc.
#2 – CRACCKER Kindling Cracker Wood Splitter
We chose the CRACCKER Kindling Cracker for its outstanding value. Not only is this product well built, but it comes with a 4 lb. sledge hammer, safety goggles, and a handy storage bag that can also double as a cover when the unit is mounted onto a stabilizing base such as a large log.
We found it necessary to mount all of these kindling cutting tools onto a large log or stump for ease of use, stability, and added safety. So having a storage bag available to cover the unit from the weather proved to be a welcome addition.
- The Craccker firewood splitter is a high-quality tool that will last for years. The hard, durable blade helps to ensure it will retain its sharp cutting edge .
- The included sledge hammer saves the hassle of purchasing separately
- The easy to use design means means you can simply place the wood in the log splitter and hit the wood with the hammer – no more need for axes
- The design structure is simple but stable. It can be easily placed on the ground or using the bolt holes on the base, it can be fixed to a stump or other places. This provides extra stability and height for kindling splitting
- Because the Craccker Firewood Cutter only weighs about 5.7 pounds, it’s ideal for taking along a camping trip or your neighbor’s bonfire party!
- The Craccker Firewood Cutter comes with a lifetime guarantee warranty.
#3 – HANDYGO Manual Wood Kindling Splitter
The HANDYGO splitter wedge got our 3rd recommendation because it proved to be handy for splitting larger pieces of wood that did not fit into the opening frame diameter of the two unit above.
Sometimes it’s easier to simply place larger logs onto the cutting blade of this style wood splitter, and hit the log with a sledge hammer. This method also proved to be a fast way to get a lot of kindling wood chopped in the least amount of time. But it does take a bit more dexterity to hold the log over the cutting blade with one hand, and hit it with your other hand – or recruit a helper!
- Product material: Gr50 high strength structural steel, excellent low temperature performance and cutting performance, strong and durable.
- Portable: log splitter, and can be fixed on a stump or flat surface with 4 bolts, Balance the wood and hit it with a hammer, making chopping wood a very safe and easy thing(not including screws).
- Great for fireplace kindling wood or where smaller pieces of wood are more convenient, such as stoves, pizza ovens, or small wood stoves.
- Product Specifications: 10.6 lbs. in weight, 9.6 inches high.
- 30-day warranty
Why Do You Need A Splitting Wedge?
Splitting logs into firewood size pieces with an axe or maul is not as simple, or as effortless as you may imagine. Only the most cooperative logs easily split apart when hit with an axe.
More often than not the log needs a few swings of the axe to break the log into halves or quarters. And during these attempts, the axe tends to get stuck in the log, resulting in a wrestling match to free it!
This is where splitting wedges have several benefits:
- Quickly and easily split logs into pieces.
- Save a significant amount of time.
- Safer to use than axes
- Less wear and tear on your axe or maul
- Great value: splitting wedges are relatively inexpensive
What to Look for When Shopping for the Best Splitting Wedge
There are numerous elements to consider when selecting the best splitting wedge for your requirements. Consider the following factors while picking out the ideal splitting wedge for your needs.
A splitting wedge must be constructed of strong, durable materials that resist chipping or deforming to endure the major impact forces it is subjected to.
Wedges are commonly made of hardened steel that can endure repeated sledgehammer blows into the toughest woods.
In freezing temperatures, hardened steel has less impact resistance, making it brittle and prone to break if used to split frozen wood.
It’s also worth noting that a splitting wedge is not constructed of plastic. A felling wedge for trees, on the other hand, is frequently manufactured out of plastic to prevent damage to a chainsaw if it makes contact with the wedge inadvertently.
Felling wedges also retain their impact resistance in low temperatures. It’s a frequent error to use a felling wedge to split wood because the soft plastic material can easily be damaged or deformed.
Standard vs. Diamond / Torpedo
Two of the most common splitting wedge designs are standard, chisel-shaped wedges, and diamond/torpedo designs.
A standard chisel wedge has a conventional axe head shape. It comprises two flat sides with a wide, flat top for striking that narrows down to a sharp, thin blade at the top. The top head of a normal wedge is struck until the log is cut in half by driving the wedge into the log.
The diamond wedge (also known as a “grenade wedge”) is a conical diamond form with four cutting blades on the sides that taper to a sharp point at the end. The torpedo wedge can split a log into fourths rather than halves, thanks to the four cutting blades.
What is the best size and weight for splitting wedges?
The weight of a splitting wedge will determine the type and size of wood you can split. Splitting wedges range in weight from 3 to 5 pounds, with 4 pounds being the most frequent.
Larger wedges need less power to split wood, but their greater weight may make it more difficult to split smaller logs. As a result, heavier wedges are generally advised for splitting huge logs and most hardwoods, such as oak and walnut.
Lighter wedges are ideal for splitting smaller logs and softwoods, such as Douglas fir and cedar.
Is it possible for a splitting wedge to become blunt?
A splitting wedge may get blunt after a lot of use. If the wedge becomes dull, sharpen it with a hand file or a grinding wheel.
How do I keep my splitting wedge in good working order?
A splitting wedge has no moving parts, so it needs virtually no upkeep. A wedge should be kept dry to avoid rust or corrosion.
How long do splitting wedges last?
The lifespan of a splitting wedge is primarily determined by the material used and the sort and size of wood it’s being utilized for.
A steel wedge that’s been hardened is more durable than one made from softer steel. If you’re splitting huge rounds or hardwoods, a steel wedge
When is the best time to cut firewood?
It’s better not to wait till the last minute to cut firewood. Firewood is best when it has been seasoned for at least 6 months, depending on the sort. If you burn unseasoned wood, it will be more difficult to light and emit a lot more smoke than if you had dried it out first.
If you can split and stack in early April, your winter firewood should be seasoned in time for the following fall/winter.
Is it necessary to have a sharp splitting wedge?
You’re not chopping with a wedge the same way you would, say, an axe that does require a sharp edge. Instead, splitting logs with a wedge relies more on the shape of your wedge and the power of your swing to split the wood fibers apart.
However, it’s ideal if the edge of your wedge is sharp enough to pierce into the wood.
If your wedge isn’t sharp, you may have to pierce the surface of the log to create a crack to get the wedge started in the log. The smaller, rounder and thicker the edge is, the deeper and larger a chop you’ll need to make – or put way more effort into holding the wedge in position while swinging your sledgehammer.
Keep your wedge sharp with a simple, fine metal file. If your wedge is dull, take the 5 or 10 minutes to prepare it ahead of time – it’ll make splitting easier.
Thank you for sharing your time with us at Today’s Cottage Living!
Disclosure: TodaysCottageLiving.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
- DIY Kayak Rack For Dock: Built Without Spending A Dime! (2023) - August 13, 2023
- Surrounds For Hot Tubs – A Custom Easy To Build DIY Hot Tub Surround (2023) - May 30, 2023
- Top 100 Handyman Services List (2023) - March 17, 2023