Splitting wedges are just as crucial for splitting logs and large rounds of wood as a decent axe or maul. They enable you to do more with what you already have, namely your own physical strength and your primary splitting tool, and they make the splitting process safer and simpler. Using splitting wedges, you can expand the break and maintain it open while forcing the wood fibres apart. This keeps it from getting pinched and stuck in the log and enables you to split later on (if splitting a log) with your primary splitting tool.They also result in cleaner splits because you can simply hammer in the wedge rather than repeatedly swinging your axe at the same spot to deal with a difficult section, mangling it and producing an unsightly job. You can continue on and try there even if it doesn’t completely force the fibre apart.
Best Splitting Wedges
Estwing Sure Split wedge
The 5-pound Estwing Sure Split wedge has extra “wings” on either side that are intended to widen the wedge’s splitting potential and keep the edge from becoming pinched and caught in the wood fibre. It is also reasonably priced because it is built in Rockford, Illinois, using American steel. It offers excellent value for the money.
Hooyman Splitting Wedge
Another 5-pound wedge without the wings of the Estwing is the Hooyman Splitting. Despite this, it is a fantastic, inexpensive wedge. It is made of 1045 high-strength steel, which has an HRC (hardness) value of 45 to 60, and is nine inches long by 2.25 inches wide. Additionally, it comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, so you should be protected if anything goes wrong.
Halder Splitting Wedge 6.5
The Halder 6.5 lb splitting wedge is an improvement over the first two. Although it is 1.5 pounds heavier, it twists with each strike at a 20-degree angle to aid in splitting the wood. Additionally, it is forged with a number of steps or grooves that lower friction and aid in preventing it from sticking or springing out of the wood.
Collins Forged Steel Diamond Splitting Wedge
A different form of wedge is the Collins Diamond Splitting Wedge. This type of wedge is frequently referred to as a “wood grenade” or a “splitting diamond” due to the way it pulls the wood fibres apart in all four directions using a diamond or 4-pointed star form. In actual use, the wood will only split in half as it would with a standard wedge. However, because of the design, pressure is initially applied in all four directions, and if you’re lucky and skilled, you might only need a few blows to split a large log or round of wood. The 4.5-pound Collins Diamond Splitting Wedge is slightly bent to help it properly pierce wood. A good diamond wedge at a good price.
Helko Werk Handforged Twisted Splitting Wedge
German toolmaker Helko Werk is known for producing extremely fine axes, and their splitting wedges are of the same high calibre. This 4.5-pound, handforged, German steel splitting wedge is comprised of C50 high carbon steel, which has a hardness between 53 and 56 HRC. Its twisting shape, notches, and central groove all work to prevent slipping. It’s wonderful that it includes an axe guard oil bottle and a leather sheath. It costs more than other, mass-produced wedges on the market, but unlike wedges made with lower-quality steel in locations where the emphasis is on quantity rather than quality, you can be certain that it won’t start warping or mushrooming after a few splitting sessions. In comparison to wedges constructed of softer, “scrappier” steel, the high carbon steel edge will also assure significantly better penetration and edge retention.
Mighty Hand Firewood Splitter
This is less of a dividing wedge and more of an honourable mention. But if you want to split firewood with a diameter of less than 9 inches, this is a decent option. You just set the round of wood on the blade and within the ring holder before giving it a solid blow with a hammer or other striking implement. The Mighty Hand splitter’s blade edge will cut straight through, sending the fragments tumbling down and out. If you don’t feel like messing with with a dividing wedge or if you’re not as flexible and mobile as you’d want to be, this is a wonderful alternative. particularly if you’re splitting very small firewood rounds. When you reach this stage, you might want to think about investing in a true log splitter.
How to use Splitting Wedge?
When splitting a large, long log that a splitting axe or maul can’t handle on its own, or when working with knotty wood that has to be held open while you work on a difficult knot, splitting wedges come in very handy. As long as you follow a few basic rules, using a splitting wedge is not difficult. If you’re using a splitting wedge for the first time, save yourself some trouble and avoid attempting to drive it in perpendicular to the wood fibres. As the tree develops, the edge should go up and down rather than across.
Splitting wedge placement
The wedge should be positioned as centrally as possible. That will both make it easier for you to divide it into two equal parts and weaken the fibres the most. However, if it’s a large chunk, the wedge doesn’t necessarily need to be in the exact middle of the log lengthwise. When I say “centrally,” I mean across the middle. This holds true for large timbers. You can of course start at one edge of a large, tough round of wood with one wedge, place the other in the middle, and then use a maul, an axe, or a third wedge on the opposite edge to split it. The split must be in the middle. You can start breaking off-center to weaken the fibres of the outer rings if it’s still too difficult or tangled, then work your way in.