Splitting firewood

It's easy to become frustrated while splitting firewood by hand. First of all- it's hard work! But if you're doing it incorrectly or with the wrong tools, it can be near impossible.

The most important factor is whether you are using the right tool for the job. Splitting wood with a thin axe may not be the best way to go about your business. Why? Because the more cheeky or thick an axe is, the better it will be for splitting. This is why a maul is often times used to split wood. If you are not familiar with a maul, it is a heavy axe that is shaped almost like a wedge.

Sometimes using a thin axe is just what the doctor ordered. For example, if you are splitting ash or pine(which splits easily), you will be more efficient with a thin axe. Because the thinner axe is also lighter, you will be able to split longer without becoming fatigued.

Choosing the right spot to split the wood will help you too. Knots make it difficult because they hold the wood together. If possible try to split around knots, you'll save yourself time and aggravation.

The size of the wood is also a factor. A large diameter log is going to take greater effort to split open. This is why I usually don't bother with wood greater than 18-20" in diameter when splitting by hand. Personally, I'd rather deal with the really big stuff with a hydraulic woodsplitter.
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