How to Split Firewood Efficiently

Start splitting even the stubbornest logs more easily and efficiently by using this reader’s nifty trick – remember, work smarter not harder.

| December 2015/January 2016

  • Splitting Firewood
    Next time a log doesn’t want to split, try this reader-submitted tip.
    Photo by Fotolia/Alessandro Capuzzo

  • Splitting Firewood

I have a great tip about how to split a large chunk of firewood using steel wedges, a chainsaw and a sledgehammer. This method is especially useful if the log doesn’t have any cracks (or “checks”) to put a steel splitting wedge into.

With your chainsaw, cut two shallow grooves — about 2 inches deep and parallel to each other — into the face of the log. Place a steel wedge into each groove and pound both in with a sledgehammer. Usually, the log will split readily.

Phil Wallace

Dave
10/23/2020 12:22:14 AM

At 62, I don't split much wood, but I still have my Sotz Monster Maul I bought in the 1970s. You don't swing it like an axe. You lift it head high and it works decent on firewood size pieces. As for splitting with wedges, I have pounded two steel wedges into 6 1/2 foot cedar posts and then had to work at getting the wedges unstuck. I found that if you split wood when the temperature is well below freezing, one wedge will split a 6 1/2 foot cedar post cleanly with just a good hit or two from a 10 pound sledge hammer. To me, the trick is not the tool or technique, but the temperature. Dave







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