A splitting axe is a tool used in cutting, shaping, felling, and splitting wood. Having the right tool for the right task is critical for gardening. Therefore, it is necessary for you to be aware of the fact that using a felling axe for splitting wood is a lost cause. A felling axe cuts through the wood fibers as opposed to the splitting axe, which is designed specifically for the purpose of splitting the fibers into smaller chunks. A splitting axe is used to divide the fibers of the wood and not cut through them. The force with which you swing the axe down causes the wood to split. A splitting axe is generally lighter than a mauling axe which allows you to work for a longer amount of time without getting tired.
Having the right amount of knowledge and doing your research before buying any product is very important to make a valuable investment. There are two types of handles your splitting axe can have, a wooden or a composite handle. Both these handles do the job just fine but the composite handles are more durable and lighter than the wooden ones. However, some people might still opt for the wooden handle because they prefer the feel of it.
A splitting maul is practically a huge sledge hammer with just the added feature of an axe head. This tool uses our brute force to split wood. It has a dull blade and a longer handle, the only disadvantage that you may have when choosing the mauling axe over the splitting axe, is the extra weight of the mauling axe. This might mean that you will have to apply a little extra energy into the task at hand but it will get the job done. In the end your, personal preference will decide which of the two, is the best fit is for you.
- Top 10 Splitting Axes
- How to choose the best splitting axe
- Splitting Axe Reviews
- Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch
- Estwing E3-FF4 4-Pound Fireside Friend Wood Splitting Axe/Maul with Shock Reduction Grip
- Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36 Inch
- Mintcraft PRO 34004 Wood Splitting Maul with Fiberglass Handle
- Husqvarna 30″ Wooden Splitting Axe
- Helko Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter
- True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul
- Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe Set
- True Temper Large Eye Splitter Maul
- Truper 30957 6-Pound Splitting Maul
- Our Pick
- Estwing E3-FF4 4-Pound Fireside Friend
Top 10 Splitting Axes
How to choose the best splitting axe
Before you go out to buy any tool or machine, there are a few things you must consider in order to make an informed decision. In the case of a splitting axe, you should consider the following factors in order to land the perfect one for your needs:
Antique or New
The most important part of any axe is its head. The material of the axe’s head is highly important as it has to be sharp enough to split the wood fibers with minimum effort. While the handle of the axe can be repaired rather cheaply, the axe will be of no good if the head does not work sufficiently. The axe being brand new does not guarantee that the steel of the head will be created from effective material or that it will be long lasting. Similarly, buying a used axe will not mean that the axe head will be useless or ruined. Buying a used axe is definitely a safer and cheaper option.
You are more likely to be pleasantly surprised with the used axe. If the used axe performs effectively then you have sufficient proof of the high quality material used. However, you may also go for a brand new axe if you don’t want the hassle of sharpening the old axe and repairing its handle. While buying a new axe, it will be safer to opt for well-recommended brands and companies that are known for putting out quality products.
It is necessary to do your research about different axe brands in the market beforehand. Going for a renowned brand might be relatively more expensive but it is a long term investment that you will not regret.
Single Bit or Double Bit
The single bit axe will allow you to cut faster due to its weight while the double bit axe will give you a more balanced swing and additional versatility. Furthermore, a double bit axe will give you less wobble when you use it. This means it will allow you to have greater control thus giving you more accuracy.
At the end of the day, whether you go for a single bit or double bit axe will be a matter of preference. However, if you choose the double bit axe, you will require situational awareness and should be more careful. The single bit axe will save you from this hassle.
The length of the handle
The length of the handle is a highly important factor to consider before buying your splitting axe. A longer handle will allow you to swing with more force. However, it might be better to opt for a relatively shorter handle because longer the handle, the less control you will have over the accuracy. The right size of your handle should be an even blend between force and accuracy.
Weight of the Axe Head
Considering the weight of the axe head is also necessary before buying your splitting axe. While in most cases, a heavy axe head is preferred as it provides more force, it might come at the expense of accuracy. If you are a beginner, getting an axe with a heavy head is not recommended for you and opting for a little lighter weighing axe head will be advantageous for you. This will give you with the right amount of control and accuracy, while also getting the job done.
It is recommend that you start off with a 3-lb head on a full-size ax and a 2-lb head on a “boy’s ax.” As you get more experienced with the tool, you can opt for a heavier axe head.
The Material of The axe handle
Most axe handles are made of plastic but it is better to opt for a wooden axe. While a wooden axe will be comparatively more expensive, it will be a useful investment.
If you opt for a wooden axe then there are a few things you need to check before you buy your splitting axe. You should preferably choose wood that is hickory or ash and you will have to further inspect the grain direction, the quality, and the growth ring of the wood.
Grain handles that run perpendicularly are usually weaker and might snap when you strike a tree. The grain handles should run parallel to bit handle of the axe in ideal situation. You should make sure that the growth ring is tight, narrow, and numerous. This is because wood with such a pattern tends to be stronger.
Curved or Straight Handle
While considering whether you should opt for a curved or straight handle, you need to be sure about whether you want a single bit or double bit splitting axe. If you have chosen a double bit axe for yourself then the only option you have, is a straight handle, as they are only made with straight handles.
If you choose a single bit splitting axe for yourself, then it is suggested that you opt for the curved handle. This will allow you to have a more natural feel and will be easier to manage.
No Varnished or “Artisanal” Handles
Most axes that you buy in a hardware store are varnished. The varnish prevents you from getting blisters in your hands while working. However, the varnished material makes it harder to grip the axe and limits your control. If you have wet hands the axe could go flying out of your hands! It is suggested that you use sandpaper and elbow grease to sand the varnish off for better control and grip of your axe.
Artisanal handles have paint on them, this is even more slippery and it is definitely not recommended to use while working as it is a huge safety concern. However, such axes are usually made for decoration purposes so you don’t have much to worry about! Keep them for decorative purposes and you will not end up harming yourself.
Splitting Axe Reviews
Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch
The Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe is ideal for tall users and can be used for splitting medium to large sized logs. Its power to weight ratio increases swing speed to multiply power and is designed in such a way to offer you maximum efficiency. Features of such increase your chances of one swing splits! Furthermore, its advanced bevel convex blade geometry, not only gives you more power but makes it easier for you to remove the axe from the wood. The best part of this axe is that it comes with a life time warranty! The warranty will ensure you of the brand’s high quality and service. This axe is definitely an investment that you will not regret.
- Cost effective
- Lifetime warranty
- Sharp head
- Light weight
- Blade might get damaged relatively easily
- Relatively larger size of the handle might limit your control and accuracy
Estwing E3-FF4 4-Pound Fireside Friend Wood Splitting Axe/Maul with Shock Reduction Grip
The Estwing E3-FF4 4-Pound Fireside Friend Wood Splitting Axe is forged into one piece using the finest steel! Its cutting edge is hand sharpened, giving you better chances of splitting your wood with lesser force required. Its shock reduction grip reduces impact vibration by 70%, making it easier for you to work longer and giving you a better control. For your added safety and protection, this tool comes with an added ballistic nylon sheath.
- Shock reduction grip
- Ballistic nylon sheath provides you with more protection
- Cost effective
- A little heavier comparatively to other axes
Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36 Inch
The Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul is the ideal product for splitting wood or driving wedges. Its optimized blade geometry not only offers better penetration, but also but also blasts through logs apart. This tool reduces the punishment your body takes in the forms of vibrations and shock thanks to its Patented IsoCore Shock Control System. Moreover, it transfers two times lesser than the original shock amount. This magnificent tool comes with a life time warranty, which is all the more reason for you to opt for this axe. It will be a safer choice and most likely be one that you will not regret!
- Shock resistant
- Lifetime warranty
- Good penetration
- Insulation sleeve captures initial shock before it reaches your hand
- Well balanced
- Really heavy
- Relatively expensive
Mintcraft PRO 34004 Wood Splitting Maul with Fiberglass Handle
The Mintcraft PRO 34004 Wood Splitting Maul with Fiberglass Handle offers you truly amazing wood cutting results. Its sharpened edge gives you easier splitting of the wood. It is durable and strong, so you will not have to worry about repairing the handling repeatedly. This tool is however, a little heavier than a standard axe but not as heavy as maul. The extra weight of the head provides you with more force and makes it easier for you to split the wood, without that much of an effort as compared to the standard splitting axe. The rubber coating of the axe makes it very easy to grip and therefore, gives you better control and more accuracy, while doing the task.
- Sharp edge
- Good grip
- The heavy weight of the edge provides you with more force
- Durable and strong
- Relatively cost effective
- Lighter than the standard maul
- Requires more energy
Husqvarna 30″ Wooden Splitting Axe
The Husqvarna 30″ Wooden Splitting Axe is best fitted for the cutting of thicker wood. As it is wooden axe, it is more expensive but relative to other wooden splitting axes, you’re still getting a cheaper bargain. The head is secured to the hickory wood with both, a wooden and steel wedge. This ensures that the axe does not break as easily and is more durable. The design of the head of this beautiful tool allows it to cut through the wood with relative ease and the long handle creates extra power. The longer handle can however, result in lesser accuracy and control. It also comes with leather cover for the edge. The curved shape of the handle allows for a better feel when doing the task.
- 90 day warranty
- Curved handle
- Perfectly balanced
- Sharpe blade
- Since it is a wooden axe it will be heavier
- Relatively expensive compared to non-wooden axes
Helko Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter
The Helko Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter is made in Germany. This beautiful axe is made out of German C50 high grade carbon steel which allows for a durable steel. The handle is made out of A-grade American hickory and therefore, we can say with certainty that the wood is durable and strong. The curved ergonomic design of this magnificent splitting axe provides us with the perfect balance between force and accuracy! It comes with a head weight of 6.7 lb. and a Length of 36 inches. The total weight of the product is 8.5 lb.
- Well balanced
- Greater accuracy
- Durable steel
- Durable handle
- Sharp edge
- A little heavy comparatively
True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul
The True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul comes with an axe head weighing four pounds. The fiberglass included is of 36 inches and offers maximum strength to the user. Its molded handle guard won’t slip or come loose and the balanced head will provide you with an easy and more effective swing. These features are primarily why this is the ideal axe when it comes to cutting and splitting of wood. The head of this splitting axe is relatively lighter than that of a standard axe, but if you are a beginner, then this is the best starting axe you can use. The lighter weight of the head allows for better control and accuracy, but it will require more effort on your part, as the reduced weight of the head leads to less force. This splitting axe is however, relatively more expensive.
- Light weight of the head gives you more control and accuracy
- Sharp edge
- Molded handle guard.
- Balanced head
- Less force in the head due to lighter weight
- Might need to be sharpened often
Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe Set
The Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe contains two items, 36 inch and hatchet 14 inch. The Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch is the ideal axe for tall users and is designed for cutting medium and large wood. The 14 inch hatchet is ideal for chopping small to medium sized logs. This tool chops deeper each time you swing, allowing you to get more work done faster. Furthermore, its perfect balance increases the swing speed, giving you more power while cutting. The Proprietary blade-grinding technique provides you not only with a sharper edge for better contact, but also gives you cleaner cuts. Both these products come with a lifetime warranty! This means that there is no way you can go wrong, when choosing this tool! If you have any second thoughts, the life warranty makes sure that your investment is not wasted.
- Better balance
- Sharpe edge
- Life time warranty
- Cost effective
- The long handle may mean less accuracy and control
True Temper Large Eye Splitter Maul
This particular splitting axe comes with a head weighing 6 pounds and a 36-Inch fiberglass handle with molded polypropylene cover. Its unique design provides you with extra strength and longer durability. It offers you true value for money. Moreover, its integrally-molded handle guard will not slip or come loose which further increases it durability. This tool is well made and well balanced therefore, it is perfect for when you want to get the job done with minimum effort.
- Extra strength
- Integrally molded hand guard
- Cost effective
- Light weight while gives you more control also requires more force on your part
Truper 30957 6-Pound Splitting Maul
The Truper 30957 6-Pound Splitting Maul is a must-have tool for splitting firewood! Its Double injected fiberglass handle with rubber grip, provides you with improved handling and control while cutting the wood. It has an overstrike, protected with rubber guarded handle, with a round bevel edged striking face. It is relatively cost effective when compared with other splitting axes. This axe is on the heavier side as compared with your standard splitting axe.
- Relatively cost effective
- Better grip provides you with more control an therefor better accuracy
- Relatively Heavy therefor harder to control
- Short handle
- Not as durable compared to some other axes