Chopping up some firewood or kindling can be a difficult chore, as well as a time-consuming one. Using a log splitting machine makes things easier on you, but it wastes even more of your time than just doing it yourself with an axe.
Luckily, there are ways to keep the chore that speedy while cutting down on the effort needed. There are axes out there specifically designed for splitting wood that can make the work much easier and faster for you while giving you excellent control over the cutting process.
Here, we will show off the best wood splitting axes out there right now and give you all the relevant info on them as well as our opinions and reviews.
Why Buying a Wood Splitting Axe?
You might think an axe you already have does the job well enough, or that your log splitting machine works better, but you will be surprised by how effective these axes are and how much they can improve your work.
Axes that are specifically designed for wood splitting are a bit different than the regular kinds. All splitting axes are quite top heavy and use that weight to give more impact to your swing, of course. These axes are even more top-heavy and most, having smaller but thicker and weightier heads, almost resembling a maul with a sharp edge. The dull side of the head can even be used as a maul or a hammer if the need arises and is made with that in mind.
This design offers a lot of benefits. The first and one of the most important is that this makes splitting wood far easier and more efficient at the same time. The increased weight in the head gives your swing more power while at the same time requiring you to exert less effort to make a swing that’s strong enough to split a log.
Another benefit is that the added weight in the head can allow you to use it as an effective hammering tool or a maul. Some even have a head designed with just that purpose in mind.
The way the blade is designed, having a smaller cutting surface and a straight edge, allows for nice and clean cuts that utilize more power. You will almost never have to worry about the blade getting stuck in a hard log, and it will be able to split most pieces in only one swing.
There’s more we could mention, but this is more than enough to make you see how useful these axes can be. They use only your strength for fuel, don’t require a lot of effort to use, and make quick work out of most pieces of wood.
You should be wary when purchasing one of these axes however, since not all of them are good and there are some real duds out there, as we found out while we were testing them. The worst part about this is that it’s hard to tell if one of these axes is good or not without trying to split a piece of wood with it. There are ways, however, and we are here to inform you about them.
In this article, we will cover the top three products we selected and offer you a list of the most important things to consider when purchasing a splitting axe. There’s more than that in here, but let’s not waste any more time and get down to it right away!
Meet the Best Wood Splitting Axes
The Good: It has an extremely long handle, good weight balance and tons of power.
The Bad: The blade dulls quickly, the handle can be slippery, and it can’t be used as a maul.
The Bottom Line: In the end, what this axe provides above all others is an incredible amount of cutting power that will let you break most pieces of wood in one strike. Due to that, it is easy to overlook some of its flaws, and we think it is worth purchasing.
The Good: Portable, has lots of power for its size and can be used as a great maul.
The Bad: The weight is poorly distributed, and it can’t be used for tougher tasks. It’s also made out of soft steel.
The Bottom Line: Overall, this is a great hand axe for use on a camping trip or something similar, but for anything else, it is a no-go. It’s too small for heavy duty use, and it dulls quickly, making it quite limited.
The Good: The blade can hold an edge for a long time; it has a long handle and great weight.
The Bad: It just lacks durability in both the blade and the handle, making it a potential safety hazard.
The Bottom Line: On the surface, this looks like a great axe with tons of cutting power and a sleek design. The issue is that it is shoddily made and will probably break after a few months of use. For this price, that is just not acceptable.
This is just a neat little shorthand, so you get an idea of our opinions. For more details, you should head on down below.
All of the Factors Considered
Splitting axes are a bit different than the regular sort, and you might find that you can’t apply the same standards to both. Because of that, it can be a bit difficult to find the right splitting axe for you but, luckily, we’ve got you covered. In this section, we’ll share with you the knowledge we acquired while testing dozens upon dozens of different axes. Here’s a list of the most important things to consider when buying one of these products.
The blade is the most important part of an axe, without a doubt. Because of that you should put as much thought as possible into picking a good blade.
The size of the blade is the first thing you should consider, specifically the length of the cutting edge since that determines the diameter of the logs you can split with it. Of course, an axe can still split logs that are wider than its cutting edge but not those that are a lot wider.
The sharpness of the edge is also important, as well as how easily it dulls – you don’t want an axe that you will have to sharpen after splitting just a few logs.
Then there’s the shape of the blade. Depending on how its shaped it might cut more or less effectively. It can also have other uses – a pick, a maul or something else.
Weigh all your options before buying and choose carefully.
The most important thing after the blade is the other main component of an axe – the handle. Again, there are various things you ought to consider when it comes to this.
First and foremost, there’s the length of the handle. Depending on how tall you are you will need a handle of different length to use the axe comfortably. It also depends on your arm length and preference – test axes before buying them if you can, since this is not an exact science.
The length of the handle also affects how powerful an axe can be, as a longer handle gives you more leverage for stronger swings. However, it also makes the swing more difficult to control and properly aim, so you need to strike a fine balance here.
There are other things to consider about the handle, other than length. The comfort it provides is also important, and there a few things that factor into that. The shock absorption properties, for example, as well as the design and the materials used in the construction are important. Since you will be using an axe for long time periods, getting a comfortable one is a must.
The weight of an axe is something that greatly influences its power and usability, and you have to balance between those two things finely. Some people will tell you to get an axe that’s as heavy as it can be because it will have more power – however, that is of no use to you if you can’t even lift the thing, let alone swing it at a piece of wood.
You also don’t want to get an axe that’s too light, since it won’t have enough power in the swing to cut anything and it will only be useful as a paperweight. Remember, the weight of an axe does most of the cutting for you.
Another thing to consider when it comes to weight is the balance. An axe should be top-heavy, that gives it the cutting power it has, and a weighty axe won’t have a lot of power if the head is not heavy enough on its own.
There’s a lot to consider here, and you should think long and hard before making your purchase.
Of course, durability is an important quality for a heavy-duty tool like a wood-cutting axe. For starters, they can cost a lot, and you want them to last for quite a while, instead of having to buy a new one every year. There’s more to it than that though, as a poorly made axe can also be a safety hazard. If the handle and the head are not properly put-together, the head can fly off and hurt someone. The same goes for a shoddy handle that breaks when you hit a particularly nasty piece of wood. It’s best to get a sturdy axe so you won’t have to worry about that.
The most durable axes can have one of two variants – either have a blade deeply embedded into the handle instead of sitting on top of it, or have the handle and blade be made out of one part. Of course, the other option makes the axe weightier, but it might be worth it for extra durability. Metal and fibreglass handles are usually the best. Wood handles can be okay, but they are also more prone to rotting and other sorts of damage.
A rust-resistant and well-made blade is also important, especially if you’ll be working with the axe outdoors. You should also make sure to find a blade that doesn’t dull easily since those that require a lot of sharpening will wear out faster.
That’s what’s most important about splitting axes. Now check out how the top three products were rated in all these aspects.
In-Depth Reviews of 3 Wood Splitting Axes
A strong Blade that Dulls Easily
This blade has a more than decent cutting width at 3 inches, and most of the axe’s weight lies in it, which is good. It also has an anti-friction coating, and it rarely gets stuck. The issue is that it dulls rather easily, meaning that you will have to sharpen it a lot more often than you would probably like.
Long, Comfortable Handle
This handle has a simple design, but it works It’s quite long meaning that you get a lot of power in the swing and it seems durably made. It also has supreme shock absorption capabilities. Due to the materials used, mostly fibreglass, it can be slippery but if you use gloves that shouldn’t be an issue.
Medium Weight, Well Distributed
This is a 4-pound axe, which might not seem like a lot for its length, but since most of the weight is concentrated in the head it works well. It’s not too hard to lift, and it offers plenty of power and control to the user.
For the most part, this is a durable axe that won’t break apart even under heavy use. The blade and the handle fit together well, and they won’t break off easily. The blade dulls quickly though, which means it will wear out quicker than you would think. It is resistant to rust.
Who Should Buy This Product
If you want a strong axe with an exceptionally long handle, this is the one to get. Its 36-inch handle will provide you with a lot of leverage and allow you to strike powerful blows that will cut most logs in half in one strike. It’s also comfortable to use, and the weight is well distributed.
What to Watch Out For
There are a few things that are wrong with this axe, but most are easily remedied. One of them is not – and that’s the issue with the sharpness. The cutting edge tends to dull quickly, and you will need to sharpen it a lot to make this axe useful. Another thing to consider is the fact that this axe isn’t useful as a sledgehammer.
Overall, this is quite a good axe despite some flaws it might have. The good weight balance, as well as the exceptionally long handle, give it tons of power, far more than most other wood splitting axes out there. The edge will dull quickly though, and it has no use as a maul, which is something you should consider before buying. Other than that, it is an exceptional product.
The blade of this axe has a wide cutting edge for its size – 2 3/8 inches in total. It is also decently made and can cut well. The issue is that it is made out of soft metal, so it doesn’t hold an edge well. It will need plenty of sharpening.
Sturdy and Comfortable Small Handle
This is a smaller axe with a handle that’s only 12 inches in length and intended for one-handed use. It is long enough for that and has great shock absorption. The grip is also fairly
Weighty and Badly Balanced
Its weight of 4 pounds gives this small axe a lot of power, but also makes it difficult to use. The weight is poorly distributed, and because of that, it can be hard to swing it with one hand, as it is intended to be used.
Mostly Durable, but too Soft
This is quite a durable axe because it is completely made out of steel. It is forged in one piece, so there’s almost no chance of it breaking apart and being a safety hazard. The issue is that it’s made of soft steel, so it might not handle tougher jobs well and dull quickly.
Who Should Buy This Product
For people who need a good, reliable axe to chop wood on a camping trip or something similar, this is the perfect product to get. It is small enough to be portable, but it packs quite a mean punch and can handle almost anything you might want to cut with an axe of this size.
What to Watch Out For
The issue with this axe is that it is a smaller one and thus can only be used for smaller jobs. It is meant to be used with one hand and can’t put out much power. Another problem is that it dulls quickly because it’s made out of soft steel, meaning that it might be less durable than it seems at first.
In the end, this is an axe that we can only recommend to people who make regular camping trips and the like. It is not that well-suited for home use since it doesn’t have a lot of power, but it is portable. It also dulls rather quickly, so heavy-duty use is out of the question. It’s good, but only for some uses.
Sharp but Brittle and Narrow Blade
The best part about this blade is the fact that it doesn’t need a lot of sharpening – it can cut well for a long time. Unless it breaks, that is since it is quite brittle. It also has a relatively small cutting capacity for an axe of this size, less than 2.5 inches. It can be used as a sledgehammer, though and it is good for that.
Long Wooden Handle
It’s a straight wooden handle that’s 32 inches long. That comes with some benefits, like good shock absorption and some downsides, like possible splinters and the like. Another issue with it is that it doesn’t fit well into the metal head.
Weighty and Powerful
This axe weighs a total of six pounds, and it is well-balanced, making it quite strong in combination with its long handle. This weight also makes it quite useful if you want to utilise it as a maul.
Plenty of Durability Issues
The biggest black mark on this axe is how easily it can break. Both the cutting edge and the handle are prone to breakage, and it won’t take long before they snap, which can also be a safety hazard. The handle also doesn’t connect well with the head, to make things work.
Who Should Buy This Product
If you’re looking for an old-fashioned wooden axe with a modern sensibility and tons of cutting power, this is the thing to get. It is one of the strongest axes out there due to the long handle and high weight, and it can even be used as an effective sledgehammer. There’s a lot to like about it.
What to Watch Out For
The largest issue this axe has is that it is just not that durable. Its blade is rather brittle, and it can break easily, meaning that you might not get much use out of it. The handle is no better, and it also doesn’t connect well with the head, making this axe a safety hazard. It just doesn’t look good, especially when you consider the price of this product.
When you take everything into account, this axe has a lot of benefits but one major flaw which overshadows all that. Sure, it does offer a ton of cutting power, and it doesn’t need a lot of sharpening, but its lack of durability is just not something that we consider to be acceptable, especially at this price.
The Best Pick – Fiskars X27
There are a lot of great axes out there, and people use them for a wide variety of activities. Because of that, the best axe for a homeowner who wants to chop some firewood now and then, and the best axe for a person who camps frequently and needs something portable, could be massively different products. We can choose the best, but our biases will colour that choice, you must understand that. With that said, after a lot of testing and deliberation we decided that the best wood-splitting axe in our opinion is the Fiskars X27.
If you’re buying an axe like this, you’re looking to split wood quickly and efficiently, and that’s what this product provides. With its long handle and good weight distribution, it can strike exceptionally powerful blows that will easily take care of most logs. Yes, it dulls quickly and can’t be used as a sledgehammer, but it’s still almost unparalleled as a wood splitting axe for home use, and that’s why it is our best pick.
Well, that’s our pick for the best axe out there. Whether you agree or not, we still believe it’s one of the finest products out there and readily recommend it. That doesn’t mean that the other products in this article aren’t worth considering – they’re also great and could fit you even better. You should make use of all the info we presented here to make the best purchase possible and get the axe that fits you the most. If we were in any way helpful to you in that regard, share this article and help us out as well. Until next time, have a good day and good luck.