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Best Axe for Wood Splitting in 2018 – Top Options to Consider

Introduction

Whether you need to split wood for firewood or bring down a shaky tree, an axe is something can become a necessity. Chopping wood can be quite a task, especially if you do not have the right kind of axe to do the job.

A splitting axe is especially designed for this purpose, to split wood chunks into more manageable pieces. However, with the number of options that are currently available these days, finding the best axe for wood splitting can turn out to be a challenge.

In order to help you reach a sound decision before purchasing, we have come up with this guide. This includes a list of the best product options out there, including a guide on how to select the best one for your specific needs and preferences.

Take the time to review the details provided below, and compare the features accordingly. Having your own splitting axe will all be worth it in the end.

Types of Product

When it comes to the task of splitting, there are different types of axes that need to be considered in order to make the right selection.

Splitting Axe

A splitting axe is a tool which is designed to split wood grain effectively in order to break its fibers apart. They usually come with a tapered head. As you swing this type of axe down, force on its wedge results to the splitting of the wood. It is also typically lighter than an actual splitting maul.

Splitting Maul

A splitting maul looks like a big sledge hammer that comes with a pointed axe head. It usually has a duller blade edge and a longer handle, bluntly splitting wood. This is generally based on pure force. There is a disadvantage in choosing a splitting axe. Since it is heaver, there is a need to exert more energy while doing the job.

Top Brands

With the number of brands in this industry, determining the best one can give you a good idea of where to start. Among the top brands available these days include the following:

Fiskars

Fiskars is an international brand which was first established in 1649 in a small village in Finland. Eventually, it has grown and has become a leading company offering different products which include gardening tools. These tools are reliable and well-designed. Products under this brand are known for their user-friendliness, functionality as well as longevity.

There are several axe models under the Fiskars brand, with some of them listed in this review. This only goes to show that a lot of people have trusted this brand in terms of their quality and performance.

Estwing

Estwing is another brand that has spearheaded the production of different types of tools that make the lives of homeowners easier. Among their line of products include knives and axes, as well as other gardening tools. This company was established in 1923, and has seen maintained the reputation of producing high quality products under this brand.

A number of axe models under this brand is also included in this review. They are known for their design and performance. They are also known to use materials that provides the assurance of longevity.

Cold Steel

Cold Steel Inc. is described as a knife and tool company which has been designed in creating the sharpest and strongest swords, knives, machetes, tomahawks, cutlery and other related tools. They make it a purpose to meet the requirements and standards of many users.

This company distributes its products worldwide, though the company headquarters is situated in California. Since the company focuses on sharp products, there is an assurance that they know what they are doing, especially in the manufacturing of these products, axes included.

Reviews of the Best Axe for Wood Splitting

Cold Steel Trail Hawk American Hickory Handle

Cold steel trail hawk

Trail Hawk is another axe under the Cold Steel brand that has made itself to our list of top options. It is designed with precision in mind, drop forged from the use of 1055 carbon steel. The process of drop forging is considered as the best method in manufacturing impact weapons, especially those with edges.

This model uses an American Hickory handle, with an overall length of the axe reaching 22 inches. This means that it is quite convenient to use regardless of the body type of the user. The quality of edge used in this axe makes it capable of performing different types of splitting and cutting tasks.

This axe has received its fair share of positive reviews. One customer even said that blade arrived very sharp, with the head coated in black epoxy, making it well protected against rusting. Another customer praised its steel construction, alongside the use of a solid handle.

Things We Liked

  • Affordable price
  • Solid handle
  • Dependable solid construction
  • Ideal for different cutting tasks

Things We Did't Like

  • Regular treatment needed for carbon steel edge

Verdict

One thing that makes this model a good option is the type of technology used in the construction of its blade. It uses drop forging, a technique which is effective in making sure that the blade is sharp for any cutting task. Aside from that, this model is also affordably priced, which ensures value for your money.

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe

fiskar X27 splitting Axe

If you are looking for a garden axe tool that can do the job of crushing through big rounds, this is the axe to choose. This Fiskars garden axe comes with a length of 36 inches, and a weight of 6.6 pounds. It has the capacity to split wood fast and hard.

Among the features well-loved about this model is the fact that it uses a convex blade which works like a maul when plying wood apart. Its textured handle, along with its slight curve right at the base also helps in ensuring control.

Some positive feedback were left by customers who have already tried this product. One customer mentioned that he has a height of 6’8”, which means that this axe is the perfect option for him. Even though he is not an actual lumberjack, he needs to chop bigger woods regularly for firewood, and finds this option a great axe for splitting wood.

Things We Liked

  • Ideal for larger users
  • Available in 4 length options
  • Blade is especially designed to remove from wood easily
  • One time swing per split
  • Lifetime Warranty

Things We Did't Like

  • The straight, long shaft can be difficult to control
  • Needs to be sharpened to work effectively

Verdict

This model is ideal for taller people. If you are one, then this might be ideal for you. This axe is also designed to chop bigger sizes of logs. Among the things loved by users of this axe is the fact that the blade is designed in a way that removes itself from wood quite easily. This is something that can be annoying with other models.

Fiskars X15 Chopping Axe

fiskar X15 splitting Axe

The Fiskars X15 chopping axe comes with an all-purpose design. As such, felling trees can be completed easily and quickly. As a model under the X-Series, X15 is a combination of perfect weight distribution, ultra-sharp edge, advanced blade geometry, as well as a virtually strong and unbreakable design which further maximizes performance.

All of these features work together in allowing the blade to bite even deeper into the wood while chopping. With better blade penetration on every swing, you can easily chop more wood in a shorter period of time, with less strain on the hand and less effort.

Most of the reviews coming from actual customers of this product have been positive. One customer even recommends the purchase of this product as it is ideal for those who frequent camping, as well as other outdoor activities. One even said that this model is virtually unbreakable, and comes with better durability compared to other models.

Things We Liked

  • Enough length to accomplish cutting tasks
  • Effective in cutting harder wood
  • Amazing Durablity
  • Edges built for wood chopping
  • Shock absorbing handle

Things We Did't Like

  • Need to constantly sharpen the soft steel blade

Verdict

As a product under the Fiskars brand, you can be assured of quality with the Fiskars X15 Chopping Axe. This is ideal if you are looking for a splitting axe that will perform well when felling trees. In every swing of this axe, it chops deeper into the weed. In terms of convenience, this axe is also designed to have perfected balance, with ergonomics in mind.

Cold Steel Trail Boss Hickory Handle

Cold Steel Trail Boss

This trail boss from Cold Steel is compact and light. It is designed to be carried all day conveniently, or even strapped on a backpack. Despite looking so convenient and easy to use, it is designed to perform tough and heavy chores.

Among its amazing features include the use of a European style head which is equipped with a 4-inch blade, as well as a 4 ½ inch cutting edge. This translates to a big bag in every swing. On top of that, the Hickory handle is stout and straight-grained, which is perfect for any cutting and splitting tasks.

One customer refers to this axe as a tool that ‘works like a boss’. The customer appreciates that it is durable designed to perform. It is quite easy to sharpen, and with a design that can be brought anywhere easily. Another customer also commented that this axe has the capacity to perform different types of tasks, including chopping, splitting, delimbing, carving, and even felling smaller trees.

Things We Liked

  • Light and compact design
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Ergonomic American Hickory handle
  • Affordable price
  • Ideal for handling different cutting tasks

Things We Did't Like

  • Did not come with a sheath

Verdict

If you are searching for a garden axe that can help you complete different types of tasks, and is ergonomically designed to ensure comfort and convenience while using, the Cold Steel Trail Boss Hickory Handle is worth your time reviewing. It is made by a brand that is known in this industry to provide quality cutting tools.

Estwing E3-FF4 Splitting Axe - Best Budget Axe

Estwing E3FF4 Axe

If you are searching for a splitting axe that is meant for heavy duty tasks, this one might be the best option for you. For one, it is built with a single piece, which in itself, is already beneficial. This avoids the dangers of having the head flying off from the handle while chopping wood.

This axe is not just handy, but it is also equipped with several efficient features. For one, the handle of this axe is designed with shock absorption feature. This is very important, knowing that the tasks involved in splitting wood is not a simple task, and may even cause stress on your body.

Quite amazingly, this axe has received perfectly positive reviews coming from different users who have already tried using it. One customer praised the design of this axe, particularly its use of a handle that helps in absorbing shock to your body while chopping wood. Another also loved the fact that it comes in one solid piece. This removes the potential dangers associated with the head unexpectedly flying off.

Things We Liked

  • Ergonomic handle design
  • Shock absorption feature
  • Strongest construction steel used
  • One solid piece
  • Safe to use

Things We Did't Like

  • A leather sheath needs to be purchased separately

Verdict

Estwing E3-FF4 Wood Splitting Axe is ideal for individuals who wants to have an axe that is safe to use. One common problem that is associated with the use of splitting axe is the possibility of the head flying off, posing danger to the user. With this model, however, this is avoided, considering that this axe comes in a single, solid piece.

Estwing E45A 26-Inch Camper's Axe-All Steel

Estwing E45A Ax

The Estwing E45A axe for splitting wood comes with a molded and bonded shock reduction grip that helps in reducing shock coming from swings up to 70%. This only means that you can expect that this grip will not come off. With a 4-inch cutting edge, cuts are deeper and faster, thus making chopping easier for you.

This axe also comes together with a printed leather sheath, making it standout from its competitions. This axe is ideal for splitting wood, thanks to its unique design, protecting your eyes from possible flying dust or other particles. It has a weight of 5 pounds, with a length of 26 inches, making it also best for splitting maul.

According to one customer who left a review, this axe is a happy hacker, and a useful tool. Another customer praised this axe, being a beautiful and well-crafted axe. The same customer loved its black finish, as it makes the axe very pleasing in appearance. One customer recommends making sure that this axe is oiled regularly, especially when placed in sheath, and when not in use.

Things We Liked

  • Equipped with a gripped handle
  • Sharpened blade included
  • Comes with a fitted leather sheath
  • One piece of steel construction

Things We Did't Like

  • Quite heavy

Verdict

The Estwing E45A axe can be considered as among those axes that comes with several amazing features to do the job. Among the bonuses that you can expect is its affordable price, as well as the fitted leather sheath that comes with it. This is something unique compared to other axes.

Fiskars Iso Core - Best Axe for Wood Splitting

Fiskars Iso Core Axe

If you are interested in looking for an amazing multi-purpose axe, this is the option to go. This option comes with two sides, one for mauling, and the other for splitting wood. This specific axe was also designed to incorporate shock absorption while being able to deal with bigger logs. As a Fiskars splitting axe, it also comes with a lifetime warranty.

One feature that makes it special is the fact that it is designed with blade geometry in place. This means that this axe has been designed especially to work on cutting larger logs quite easily. Of course, it can still chop smaller wood chunks, but it works superb on bigger ones.

There are several responses from customers about this axe. Among the things that they like about it is the fact that it comes with a shock absorbing design. This means that it can withstand stress as a result of constant usage. Another customer feel that this axe is made of high quality features, making it very durable.

Things We Liked

  • Equipped with a shock absorbing feature
  • May be used for splitting wood or mauling things
  • Designed with unique blade geometry
  • Designed for cutting larger logs quite easily

Things We Did't Like

  • On the heavier side
  • Does not have a sheath

Verdict

With the number of positive feedback and responses that this axe receives, there is no doubt that it is one of the best options out there. For one, it is a multi-purpose axe, which means that you can do the splitting on one side, while the other allows you to maul things. While it may be on the heavier side, it is quite easy to remove it from the wood.

Buying Guide

How to Choose the Best Axe for Splitting Wood

Before making a purchase, there are things that you need to take into consideration when it comes to choosing the best axe for splitting wood.

Single Bit vs. Double Bit

Single bitted axes are designed to cut faster. They often come with an added weight with its poll. Double bitted axes, on the other hand, offer better versatility and a balanced swing. The balance is because both edges of the head come with equal weight and length.

Axe Head Weight

Another factor to consider is the weight of the axe head. Some users want the heaviest axe because of the force produced. Some prefer the opposite because they believe that it gives them better control. Most manufacturers and experts, however, recommended choosing an axe with a head weight of five pounds or less. This gives a balance between force and accuracy.

Handle Length

Some choose an axe with a longer handle as it gives more force. However, experts explain that it is actually going for a shorter handle that will give you enough force to give you control. An ideal axe for an average adult user has 28 inches in length for its axe handle.

Material Used in the Handle

Most hardwood store axes come with plastic handle. However, if you really want to go for a more durable axe, choose one that is made of wood, such as ash or hickory.

How to Use a Splitting Axe Correctly

Here are some tips on how to use a splitting axe accurately:

Split Along the Lines

This includes putting the piece of log on its end. As the user, place yourself in a position that will allow you to swing using straight arms. As you do so, the blade will end up hitting the wood in the center.

Use a Chopping Block

Some experts recommend the use of a chopping block when splitting wood. One reason for this is so that you will not have to bend your body too much when splitting wood on a low ground. However, if you do not have a chopping block, make sure that you put your log on solid ground, so that there will not be any resistance on the surface where it is placed.

FAQ

Why do axes come in different designs and handle length?

Some axes are designed especially for a specific group of people. Some cater to a more general group of users. Therefore, when purchasing an axe for splitting wood, it is highly recommended to look into its intended users, as some of these axes have even longer handles to cater to taller users. Even the weight of these axes vary too, which means that you also need to check if it fits you.

What is the difference between chopping and splitting wood?

While these two terms may seem to sound alike, they are quite different. Splitting wood involves cutting a vertically positioned log or piece of wood using a single downward stroke of your axe.

On the other hand, chopping wood involves cutting horizontal logs into smaller segments using multiple downward, sharp strokes of an axe. Knowing the difference between these two will help you choose your axe better. Chopping wood, for example, needs higher blade penetration with every swing, making it easier for you to chop more wood in a shorter period of time.

What is the importance of the shock absorbing design of an axe?

Not all axes come with shock absorbing design. However, those that do generally perform better compared to others. A shock absorbing feature means that the user will be protected from the pressure and the stress that usually goes into the arms and body while splitting axe. Some brands focus into the incorporation of this feature in their axes as part of their safety features.

Conclusion

Generally speaking, having a garden axe tool is already considered as a necessity for most modern homeowners. Getting the best axe for splitting wood gets you in the position to be always ready when it comes to chopping wood, clearing trail, making kindling, and other splitting tasks. A splitting axe, as explained is different from other types of axes, such as a chopping axe, for example. It is designed for splitting vertically positioned log or piece of wood. This calls for the need to familiarize the process as well, as this will also help you in making a good decision with your purchase.

When it comes to pinpointing the best axe for splitting wood, there is no doubt that the Fiskars Iso Core is the best option that you can take into consideration. It is an amazing multi-purpose axe. This axe is also intelligently designed, purposely created to absorb shock while being capable of handling bigger logs. As a bonus, it even comes with a lifetime warranty.

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