Learning how to split firewood is a skill that every adult, regardless of age or location, needs to perfect. However, despite the importance of knowing how to split wood, very few people are familiar with the appropriate technique and methodology.
4 Tips for Correctly Splitting Firewood
When it comes to building fires in the winter, most people take shortcuts. Whether it’s a gas fireplace, automatic wood splitter, or firewood from the local hardware store, there are plenty of ways to get a warm fire without chopping your own wood. However, there’s something to be said for acquiring the skill – which makes building a fire much cheaper and more sustainable.
Everyone who sources their own firewood has their own techniques and preferences, but here are five helpful tips that will allow you to split firewood correctly.
1. Choose the Right Wood
The first step is to choose the right wood. While it’s easy to simply work with what you have on hand, you’ll be thankful later if you take the time to identify the best pieces and toss out the ones that will be a waste of time.
Seasoned wood is almost always going to split better than green wood, though some people will go ahead and split green wood just to get it over with. You’re also going to have an easier time working with wood that’s free of big knots.
2. Use a Quality Axe
Even with the right wood on hand, you still need the right tools. Everyone has their own preferences, but if you’re only going to be chopping wood a couple of times per year, you might want to consider a multifaceted tool that serves as an axe, but also handles other tasks around the yard. The Pulaski Axe from Barebones Living is a good choice.
As Barebones Living notes, you can “swing the weighted head with ease as its wide angle, 1055 high carbon steel split blade keeps its edge time after time. The 1/3″ solid steel core through the wood handle secures the head with a tightening hex bolt and connects it to the steel pommel end to help you maneuver easily around rooting and trenching.”
3. Secure the Logs
Swinging a heavy, sharp tool isn’t the safest activity, especially if you don’t properly secure the logs you’re chopping. While there are plenty of fancy tools designed to keep logs secure, some of the best solutions are the simplest. This video shows you how to make your own with nothing but an old tire and some wood.
4. Split Along the Lines
Like anything, chopping wood is a skill that you will perfect over time. The first few times you do it, don’t be surprised if it feels awkward. You may even miss the log altogether a couple of times. The key is to aim for the lines and try to make contact in the same place. Eventually, you’ll get good at consistently hitting a spot. This will provide that nice, satisfying crack.
While the goal is to split a log into big, even chunks, you’ll also end up with a bunch of smaller chips. Don’t toss these – they’ll be used to get your fire started.
It’s Never Too Late to Learn
When asked about why they don’t split their own firewood, most people will tell you they’ve never tried. Quite frankly, this is a poor excuse. It’s never too late to learn and you should always be willing to expand your skillset.
Using the advice in this article, anyone can try their hand at chopping wood – no experience necessary. Are you willing to give it a shot?