Survival

How To Split Firewood

Learning how to split firewood is a great way to ensure continued warmth as the nights in the remaining part of the year are about to get colder.

Learn with us how to split firewood in no time.

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How to Split Firewood | Two Ways

How to Split Firewood With a Maul

Things You’ll Need

  • Chopping block
  • Wood Logs
  • Maul
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves

Instructions

1. First, place the wood logs on the cutting block one at a time, and ensure it is centrally placed and stable on the block as much as possible.

Remember: Always ensure the logs are stable because swinging a maul at unsteady wood logs can be dangerous as a single blow can make the wood fly off or cause it to strike your legs. This will reduce any risk of accidents.

2. Next, examine the logs before swinging your maul. Doing this will help spot cracks on the wood, making the splitting easier if you run your maul’s blade along the cracks’ direction.

3. Choose the spot to strike the log first and stand with the maul held on that spot. Your feet should be set square at this time.

Tip: Tapping onto the wood will make a small notch that will give you an excellent visual cue to guide the maul if the fiber pattern isn’t clear.

4. Moreover, firmly grip the maul with your less-dominant hand near the edge of the handle, and support it with your dominant hand, between the edge and the head of the maul.

5. After that, slightly flex your legs, extend your arms straight, lift the maul directly above your head and move it down onto the log on the chopping block. However, if your swing is not enough to split the wood in one touch, forcefully pull out or twist the metal part of the maul lodged in the wood.

Tips:

  • If the lodged maul does not come out, rock it up and down to force it through the wood, and ultimately out. However, this will only work if the piece of wood in question is small enough for you to rock.
  • Alternatively, treat the stuck maul as a wedge because you can hummer it with a sledgehammer.

6. If your maul doesn’t get stuck, repeat the swings until the firewood splits. For more success, try striking the same spot every time or at other areas of weakness.

7. Repeat the steps and split the firewood into your desired sizes. Usually, people split their logs in half, and each half into quarters until they have the size they want.

8. Once done, stack the split firewood to allow air circulation for the wood to age thoroughly before burning it.

Tip: Cover your stacked firewood to protect it from rain.

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How to Split Firewood With Wedges

Things You’ll Need

  • Chopping block
  • Wood Logs
  • Several wedges
  • Sledgehammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves

Instructions

1. Firstly, start by placing your wooden log on the chopping board one at a time, as in the first method.

2. Next, hold a wedge in position on the log, and tap it into the grain with a sledgehammer. For this, you need to hold the wedge as you would a nail and tap it until it stands on its own.

Tip: You do not have to have a big sledgehammer; a short one will do just fine, depending, of course, on your log’s sizes.

3. Next, with firm but steady blows, beat the wedge into the wood following the fiber pattern until it splits. In case you beat the wedge in and it doesn’t split, insert another wedge in the crack. Ensure you insert your second wedge near the edge because this will cause the force to split the log lengthwise.

Tip: During hammering, stand at 90 degrees to the firewood you are spitting and wedges to avoid the wedge popping onto your feet.

4. After splitting, there will likely be wood-fiber attaching the split logs. Cut these off with a maul, and use it to section the split pieces further.

5. Repeat the steps and split the firewood into your desired sizes. Once done, stack the split firewood so there is enough air circulation to allow the wood to age thoroughly before burning.

Pro Tips:

  • It is crucial to plan accordingly beforehand since different types of firewood split in different ways. While Oak logs are easier to split through the center, maple logs split towards the edges.
  • Avoid large knots or spots where limbs were removed because they have a gnarly and crooked grain, which you should avoid.
  • Having several wedges is paramount. The best combination is a sharp starter wedge to get started and another wider but blunter wedge to continue splitting once you have started chopping.

Watch this video from This Old House on how to how to split firewood by hand or machine:

There you go, homesteaders. Remember, splitting firewood has little to do with strength. That is to say, it has everything to do with mastering the correct technique.

Splitting firewood can be an uphill task, but splitting firewood has never been easier and safe in your backyard with the information in this guide.

How do you like splitting your firewood, in halves or quarters? Let us know in the comment section below!

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