How to Split Wood With an Axe (All you need to know)

Are you wondering how to split wood with an axe? Splitting wood using an axe can be tedious and unexciting. However, with the correct technique, you could make your work look effortless by manipulating all wood types efficiently.

This article will help you learn about splitting wood with an axe, splitting maul, splitting wedges, a chain saw, and a mechanical splitter.

Tools you Need


You can split dry, seasoned wood and greenwood regardless of the wood type. 

Depending on the type of logs you need to split, ignoring the diameter, the log should range from 16 and 20 inches (40-50 cm) long. It is the maximum size that fits standard wood stoves.

Splitting Axe or Maul

Mauls are for splitting wood only. However, due to its wide cheeks and duller edge, you can use it to split large pallets of wood. Unlike axes with flat, thin cheeks and edges which stick into the wood after cutting, mauls force the wood apart. 

Mauls averagely weigh 7-10 lbs (3-4.5kg), including a handle weight of roughly 6-8 lbs head weight. 

On the other hand, splitting axes have thinner cheeks than mauls but wider cheeks than normal axes.  They have less blunt and lighter edges than mauls, making them perfect for various tasks. Also, they’re adaptable and more flexible than mauls.

Iron-splitting axe

Splitting Wedge

A splitting wedge is ideal if you want to make your experience uncomplicated.

When using it, force open one end of the log while splitting the other at the center. 

When splitting using splitting axes and mauls, the log closes back up when you detach your axe for the subsequent swing. However, this is different for splitting wedges. Just drive a composite plastic wedge or metal into an already-made cut or natural split within the log.

Doing this will lengthen the cut and split the log with fewer strokes.

Additionally, when splitting a large and hard log, use more wedges to force it apart.

Splitting wedge

Splitting wedge


Chainsaws are ideal for ripping logs and pallets of wood apart. 

To use a chainsaw, ensure it is perfectly oiled, in good working condition, and the chain is sharp and suits your job. Also, when cutting dirty, hard, frozen, dry, and hardwood, you should use a half-chiseled chain.

On the other hand, If you need to cut logs and wood pallets on the ground, use an old, worn-down chain. The hard ground you may cut into will quickly wear down a new chain. 


Mechanical Log Splitter

Log splitters make the wood processing process easier than swinging an axe.

Additionally, its unique design makes burning far and stacking wood piles easier and more efficient. Also, it saves your time and back in that you will use less time and accomplish a load of work with zero back pain.

Log Splitter

Log Splitter

How to Split Wood With an Axe or Maul

  • Stand with evenly spaced feet and shoulder width apart

You may prefer standing with one foot slightly in front of the other if this makes you feel more comfortable. However, overstressing this position hinders you from using your hips to increase energy to the swing.

  • Lift your maul or splitting axe above your head, then let it drop.

It is pointless to use strength to execute a big task

  • As the axe drops, make your dominant meet with your other hand at the base of the axe handle.

Your dominant hand first starts gripping the handle underneath the axehead.

  • Bend your knees and pull your hips back as the axe drops.

Bending knees gives the swing extra kinetic energy besides making splitting wood doable for long hours.

  • When splitting large rounds of wood, aim for a midway point between the center and the edge of the round. 

The edges are easier and weaker since the wood fibers are not as strong as they are at the center of the wood.

  • When splitting large or long logs, start at one end of the log.

Starting at one end saves time and energy.

Precaution:  You need to set the log firmly to the surface you will be splitting on. Failure to adhere to this may cause the wood to roll or even divert the axe to your foot. Equally important, keep your feet from where you will chop your wood.

Likewise, we recommend that you place them within the constraints of an old tire. It will prevent them from flying away when split, and also, in case you miss your swing, the tire catches your axe.

How to Split Wood With a Wedge

When splitting large logs, a wedge is ideal. 

  • Position a wedge in that it follows a split inside the wood fiber.

Alternatively, we prefer you start on the face of the log 

  • To drive the wedge in, use a maul or hammer.

When spitting tough or green wood, you must make a few cuts with a hand or chain saw to make the first split. Moreover, depending on the wood type, we prefer you sharpen your wedge. 

  • Once your wedge is inside the wedge, please leave it in that position and keep on splitting it with an axe or maul.

For the best results, we recommend you leave your wedge sticking out. If it gets stuck, splitting the whole wood will be hard, mostly if you have one wedge.

How to Split Wood With a Chainsaw

  • Place the round of wood or log on the chopping block.

If you lack a chopping block, place a smaller log under the end to raise it above the ground.

  • Make a cut aligned down the whole length of the wood or log. 

When doing this, you can strike it repetitively until you split it.

  • If you have an axe, complete your split with some strikes if necessary.

How to Split Wood With a Log Splitter?

  • Stabilize your wood splitter efficiently. Safety is of priority when dealing with any hydraulic machine.
  • Essentially, one person should handle a log splitter at a given time. Any mistiming of the machine could be fatal if there are two operators.
  • Load the bundle -one by one- then start splitting from a safe operating position. When done, stop the hydraulics or give it time to halt by itself.
  • Before splitting another log, remove any wood on the splitter.
A person using a log splitter.

A person using a log splitter.


Wood splitting doesn’t have to be an everyday activity. You can partake in it to break from your busy routine. We recommend exploring various splitting machines to find the easiest way to split wood. 

In case you need any more clarification, kindly reach us.