Chopping wood isn’t as easy as it looks. At least, that’s what my older brother once told me when we were kids after a piece of splintered wood flew up and nicked him in the forehead. With an axe, chopping wood can be a real chore, and a potentially hazardous one if you don’t know what you’re doing. (Sorry, brother.) With a manual wood splitter, the chore gets downgraded to a safe task as you split log after log with a little more ease. Here are our favorites.
Above: Our top pick is the Cast Iron Wood Splitter made in Scandinavian (designed in Sweden with cast iron from Denmark) for 25 years. From the manufacturer: “Piece by piece the wood to be cut is placed down on the rungs of the steps, and, with the help of the blade, the wood is split effortlessly with a hand strength of up to 100kg and a splitting power of up to 2.4 tons.” It’s $179 at Manufactum. Above: The Sylvan Arms Heavy Duty Drill Screw Cone Driver Wood Splitter works with a hand drill or impact drill. This version is a little more risky than the full-proof option above, but has good reviews and costs considerably less; $79.99 at Amazon. Above: The robust Heavy Duty Lumberjack Manual Log Splitter from Titan is designed for placing logs under the wedge and striking the top with a hammer; $59 through Sears (currently sold out, contact for restocking) or at Harbor Freight. Above: The compact Eastwing Sure Split Wedge is a 5-pound wood splitting tool with forged steel construction. The weighted wedge design makes it easy to split logs with a mallet or hammer; $17.30 at Amazon. Above: The Kindling Cracker King Firewood Kindling Splitter is designed making kindling with “less force than a standard axe” as the company says. It’s a heavy cast iron design (21 pounds) for indoor or outdoor use; $99.99 at Northern Tool + Equipment. Above: The Spantan Double-Handled Kindling Knife Wood Splitter is a hand-held cast iron design used to “cleave through small logs and split them along the grain to make small sticks and wood shavings for kindling to light a fire,” the manufacturer says. It’s $32 at Etsy.