How To Split Wood With An Axe: A Chopping Guide
When you have a stack of logs or fallen trees, you can cut them to make some firewood. But do not cut them as you like. Firewood needs to be sized right for burning; otherwise, your fire will go out too soon or might not light at all. With the proper technique, it should not be a struggle. If you know how to split wood with an axe, you can build roaring fires. Check out some useful tips and practical techniques featured in this article.
Splitting Wood with an Axe
It takes a little patience, mastery, and simple skill to know how to split wood with an axe. For safety, make sure that it is set firmly upon whatever surface you will be splitting on. Otherwise, it can roll with a lousy chop and some untoward foot accident. Here are some tips and techniques to guide you to have that useful and low-effort wood splitting:
- It would help if you were in the right position first. Stand with your feet placed evenly and shoulder-width apart. You can also try to stand with one foot slightly in front of the other. Don't overdo it, though, because it'll prevent you from using your hips to add power to the swing you are about to do.
- Raise your splitting axe above your head and let it drop. There is no need to use strength, trying to execute a big swing.
- As the axe drops, your dominant hand, which should start with gripping the handle just beneath the axe head, must slide down to meet your other hand at the base of the axe’s handle.
- You need to bend your knees as the axe drops and pull your hips back so that your butt sticks out. Your hips and legs will be used in this, a secret technique to make wood splitting easy and doable for long sessions.
- If your axe gets stuck, you can either pull it out safely and try again. A little patience could get you through as you learn how to split wood with an axe.
- If you are about to split large rounds of wood, you must aim for a point midway between the edge of the round and the center. Trying to break it in the center will be more difficult wood fibers hold the whole thing together. Take note that the edges are weaker and more comfortable to cut. Don't worry, once you've split around once, it'll be much easier to break it further into smaller pieces.
- For large or long logs, the same principle applies. You should start at one end of the log, near where it has already been cut. Don’t try to split it in the center, because it will mean extra struggle and a waste of time.
Safety Tips for Splitting Wood
- It would help if you used proper safety equipment such as safety glasses or goggles, gloves, and appropriate footwear, preferably steel-toed boots and thick working clothes.
- You have to use a chopping block for more comfortable splitting; it can be a round of wood or a tree stump. A clean wooden chopping block will help to make sure that your tools last longer.
- Try to have another person nearby, if possible, to help you carry and sort the wood. They are also helpful if you get an accident or injury. Remember that learning how to split wood with an axe, safety is also a priority.
- If the wood has nails in it, don't proceed. It is not worth the risk of damaging your axe, or for that matter, your eye when that nail goes flying. And if it's curvy, don't bother because it may cause unwanted accidents.
- If it's got a knot in it, you have to skip it and don't get through it. The exception is if you can find a line through the center that doesn't get close to any knot, then the knots won't interfere. That center is defined by the grain or splits in the wood.
Splitting wood is something that you don’t need to do every day, but you can enjoy it as a break from your daily routine. You can make it as an exercise, too. Those pieces of wood that you made small can become a significant accomplishment once they start a fire. Split wood burns more efficiently, especially the tiny pieces. Knowing how to split wood with an axe can give you a feeling of satisfaction. Don’t forget the safety tips and, most of all, have fun. Here's how to learn more about splitting wood.
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