Finding the best wood splitting axe for your needs involves learning a little about what makes an axe a splitting axe. Your axe is an important tool, and anyone who has tried to chop wood without one, will surely tell you that it’s not an easy task. Not all axes are created equal and not all axes are designed to split wood.
When I’m spending a week at my cabin, I already know, I am going to be using my splitting wood axe to keep my firewood pile healthy. This is especially true in the winter months when I keep my fire going the entire time I am there. When I was first learning to be a woodsman, I wasted a lot of time and energy attempting to use one axe for all my chopping needs. Eventually, I wised up and got decent hi-breed that gave more splitting power. Recently, I have made the investment into a splitting axe and reduced my workload significantly.
Axes come in many different styles and depending on what to plan to chop, certain axes are better suited for the job. In order to pick the best splitting axe for your needs, you should have at least a brief understanding of the differences between axe types, and what makes a certain axe better for a particular job. Axe heads differ depending on if they are cutting with, or against the grain, and axe handles vary depending on if you are going to be felling trees, or chopping at branches and logs. Below are the most common types of axes used today.
The Best Wood Splitting Axe
Felling Axe – A felling axe has a thin sharp blade that is intended to cut standing trees against the grain. This type of axe come in a variety of different handle configurations depending on what type of wood it was intended to chop.
Splitting Axe – A splitting axe is designed to split logs with the grain. A wider wedge shaped head characterizes this axe. This head shape allows the axe to tear the logs apart as it travels deeper.
Broad Axe – This type of axe is designed to square off round logs. Broad axes can be recognized by their chisel shaped head that adds to the precision of the blade. It is not uncommon to see one side of the blade flat and the other beveled.
Adze-This type of axe is used to break up rocks and clay. The head is perpendicular to the handle in this axe.
Hatchet – Hatchets are small one handed axes designed to provide you with ultra-portable cutting power. This type of axe is ideal for backpackers and hikers.
Carpenter’s Axe – This is a mid-sized axe that is used in traditional woodworking. This axe was designed to be used in log construction.
Tactical Axe – Tactical axes are used in the modern battlefield to chop doors and cut through walls. This type of axe can give you the edge in the wild.
Now that you understand the difference between a splitting axe and other types of axes, let’s take a look at what makes a good splitting axe. When it comes to splitting axes, I prefer longer handles about 33″works best for the wood I’m splitting. I will use 36″ handles when cutting a large amount of wood but I have found this length to be to much for shorter people.
The first thing I check is the balance of the axe. I am looking for a power to weight ratio that will increase my swing speed and give me maximum splitting power. Your splitting axes handle is also very important and you should take time to consider what you require in an axe. There is a plethora of axe handles available in a variety of woods. Now, you can also get lighter materials such as carbon fiber. These new space age materials make axes lighter and more powerful than ever before. Below are my picks for the top 5 best splitting axes.
The Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe gives you more one strike splits. The wide bevel head tears through logs and the fiberglass handle is shock absorbent so you can cut longer without fatigue. I like the length (36′) of this axe for heavy duty chopping jobs and the bevel convex blade splits logs with ease.
Carry and Hang Sheath
Forged Steel Blade
This is one long splitting axe and if you are shorter, you are going to have difficulties with this design. The non-slip grip helps you to swing with more force and accuracy than wooden handled axes. Fiskars innovative design makes this an excellent choice for the serious splitter.
HUSQVARNA OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT Large Wood Splitting
HUSQVARNA OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT Large Wood Splitting
The HUSQVARNA OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT Large Wood Splitting Axe gives you added power to split the toughest jobs. This is lighter than a heavy maul, weighing in at 3.3 pounds of pure cutting power. I like the traditional look and feel of this axe. The craftsmanship is excellent, and the splitting head design will have you chopping like a lumberjack in no time.
Hand Forged Swedish Steel Head
Needs to be Sharpened
This great looking axe produces results when you need it most. The downside is you can’t strike the back of this axe with a sledge, so it is difficult to split very large logs. I sanded my handle down and added some linseed. If you need quality axe in a traditional style, this is the axe for you.
The Helko Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter utilizes C45 High Grade Carbon Steel to increase your cutting power. The curved ergonomic design increases balance and allows you to split more logs without discomfort. The handle is Swiss made, adding to the overall appeal of this axe.
C45 High Grade Carbon Steel
Grade A American Hickory Handle
This axe has a unique patented screw system that allows you to interchange blades and handles. This is a great feature because it lets you purchase different heads to fit your needs. I found this feature easy to use, simply unscrew the hex head and you are ready to go. I think this axe has many innovative features that make it a smart buy for almost anyone.
The Hults Bruk Gran Splitting Axe has a unique bevel to produce more tearing power per swing. This is a very solid axe and the price is competitive. I really like this axe because it gives me the chopping power of a much more expensive blade. The leather carry case is high quality and this axe is shipped in its storage box.
Tempered Steel Blade
Leather Protective Sheath
Handle Needed to be Sanded Down
This is the perfect axe to use on woods such as apple or black cherry. The steep bevel of this ax head gives you more single stroke splits. I like the weight and balance of this axe. The handle was a little rough so I sanded it down and now it feels perfect. This is a quality axe at a great price.
The Gerber 36-Inch Power Splitting Axe allows you to chop deeper with more precision. The PTFE coated blade slices through logs like a hot knife through butter. I am a fan of Gerber’s composite handle, it gives you more force in your swing and less vibrations on impact and the Forged Steel Head can stand up to heavy use without dulling or chipping.
PTFE Coated Blade
Forged Steel Head
Safe Carry Handle
Glass-Filled Nylon Handle
If you are planning to go up against a pile of logs that need to be split, you should consider using this axe to make the job easier. The non-stick coating allows this blade to chop deeper into the log. Gerber has produced some of my favorite blades over this last year and this is a strong contender for the title of best wood splitting axe.
The Best Wood Splitting Axe for The Money – Final thoughts
No matter what type of axe you choose one thing is for sure, that wood is not going to chop and split itself. Over the years, I have grown to enjoy splitting logs because of how much easier it has gotten, ever since I got my hands on a quality splitting axes. Don’t over exert yourself chopping away at logs with a dull or old axe, save yourself the time and get a quality splitting axe.
Once again, it’s John, saying goodbye to all my readers out there. Make sure to check back soon to see what other cool and exciting products we will be discussing to keep you on point in the wild.