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. Above: The Smart-Splitter Manual Log Splitter has a combined splitting and splinting wedge and applies up to 14 tons of pressure; £62.50 at Spaldings in the UK. Above: The Felled Manual Log Splitter Diamond Wedge has a 4-direction steel splitting wedge and works with an 8-pound hammer to split through oak, hickory, walnut, and sycamore (but not for knotty or large-diameter hardwoods); $14.24 at Amazon. There’s also a similar style in black, the Truper 33040 Super Splitter Wedge, for $19.06 at Amazon. Above: The Jack Jr. Firewood Kindling Tool and Log Splitter from EasyGoProducts is made to twist firewood and split kindling easy. It can be portable, or stationary when bolted down by the four bolt holes onto a wood block or flat surface. It’s $46.99 at Amazon. Above: The Handy 8 Ton Manual Log Splitter is the most heavy-duty, size-wise of the lot, weighing 29 kg (63 pounds) and applying 8 tons of ram force to each log. It’s only available in the UK, however, via Amazon, for £119.95.
Prepping the hearth for winter? See our posts for more: