Best Axes for Splitting Wood & Buyers Guide

Best Axes for Splitting Wood Featured Photo

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of splitting wood by hand. It’s a skill that takes time to learn, but is definitely worth it. And, of course, you need the right tool for the job – the best axe for splitting wood.

In this buyers guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best axes on the market and what makes them so great for this task. So whether you’re just getting started or are looking for an upgrade, read on for all you need to know about choosing the perfect axe!

We spent hours researching for the best axes for splitting wood available online and got to chopping. Below is a quick overview of the products we feature in this article. 

If you’d like a more detailed review, keep scrolling through our product review section and be sure to read our buyer’s guide as well, for key considerations to make before choosing the right splitting axe for your needs.

Our Top Picks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Dimensions: 3.25 x 7.75 x 36 inches
  • Weight: 10.4 pounds
  • Brand: Fiskars
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 26 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 3.44 pounds
  • Brand: Estwing
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 27.6 x 8.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Weight: 6.17 pounds
  • Brand: Husqvarna
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 4.75 x 1.13 inches
  • Weight: 1.38 pounds
  • Brand: Estwing
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 14.25 x 5.83 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • Brand: Estwing
View On Amazon →Read Our Review

Table of Contents

TopicPage
Quick Intro to Wood Splitting Axes2
Best Axes for Splitting Wood Reviews
– Best Maul
– Fiskars IsoCore Maul
– Best Axe with Low Vibration 
– Estwing E45A Axe
– Best Fiberglass Axe
– Husqvarna 28 in. Axe
– Best Camping Axe
– Estwing Sportsman’s E14A Axe
– Best Compact Maul
– Estwing Fireside Friend Axe E3-FF4




3 – 7
Bonus Products8
Best Splitting Accessories9
Buyers Guide for Splitting Axes
– Types of Wood Axes
– Mauls
– Hatchets
– Felling Axes
– Important Features of a Splitting Axe
– Handle Material
– Wood
– Metal
– Fiberglass
– Length and Weight





10 – 11
FAQs12
Conclusion12

Quick Intro for Wood Splitting Axes

Axes are one the most basic yet essential tools ever invented. Axes have been used for hundreds of years for warfare, agriculture, camping, hunting and forestry. In this article, we’ll be going over one the most common iterations of the axe namely, the wood splitting axe.

The wood axe is still commonly used worldwide because of its cheap price tag, effectiveness, low maintenance and ease of use. The act of splitting wood involves swinging the axe unto a log to chop it in half. There are different ways to achieve this such as a wedge or a maul to then hammer the splitting edge into and through the log. 

Fiskars IsoCore Maul

Best Axes for Splitting Wood Reviews

Best Wood Splitting Maul

Fiskars IsoCore Maul

Specifications: 
  • Total Length: 36 inches
  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Heat treated steel
Features:
  • Isocore shock control system
  • Softgrip handle
  • Lifetime warranty
Fiskars IsoCore Maul Hammer Head
Overview:

This heavy-duty splitting maul from Fiskars offers users with high penetration with the optimized blade geometry allowing you to punch through logs like it was already paper.

Ideal for splitting small to medium logs, this 3 foot maul works by either splitting the log in one strike or using the hammer side to drive wedges into the wood.

The Fiskars splitting maul features the IsoCore shock-absorbing handle that reduces the amount of vibration your body takes while striking. This covers the heat-treated steel shaft which connects to the riveted cutting head that withstands even the most punishing strikes. The mauls cutting head has rust resistant coating for longevity in outdoor settings.

On top of all these features that help the maul stay effective longer, you get a lifetime warranty. If you need a maul that’ll outlast even the hardest powertools, this is the axe for you.

Check out the Fiskars IsoCore 36 inch Maul here:

Estwing E45A Axe

Best Axe with Low Vibration

Estwing E45A Axe

Specifications:
  • Total length: 26 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Forged single piece steel 
Features:
  • Nylon sheath included
  • Shock reduction grip
Estwing E45A Axe Overview
Overview:    

This splitting axe from Estwing comes with an anti vibration that dampens 70% of the shock impact from the impact. 

Ideal for felling small to medium sized trees, splitting wood and notching timbers, this axe provides users with your essential outdoor wood cutting needs. Built from a single piece of forged steel and polished to a smooth finish, this axe will take even the strongest of strikes while protecting the user from the harsh shock. 

Estwing has been making quality axes since the early 20th century and continues to innovate till this day. This splitting axe is a great choice if you’re looking for a durable axe that isn’t as punishing on the wrist. Check out the Estwing E45A Splitting Axe here:

Husqvarna 28 in. Axe

Best Fiberglass Axe to Split Wood

Husqvarna S2800 Axe

Specifications:
  • Total length: 28 inches
  • Weight: 6.17 lbs
  • Steel axe head, Fiberglass handle
Features:
  • Non-stick coated axe head
  • Hammer functionality 
  • Lifetime warranty
Husqvarna S2800 Axe Hammer Head
Overview:

Husqvarna is an industry recognized brand that is best known for forestry tools like chainsaws and this splitting axe in another example of their innovative solutions. 

This fiberglass axe is great for homeowners looking for an axe with excellent balance and weight distribution capable of splitting small to medium sized logs with ease.

The fiberglass shaft has a stainless steel reinforcement that protects it from the shock in case the cutting head misses the log and with most of the weight of this axe located in the axe head, new users might be caught off guard with the balancing of the axe.

This axe is great for the casual homeowner looking for a firewood and log splitting axe that is designed to deliver all the force where it’s needed most, leaving the user with minimal vibration and a smooth strike.

Check out the Husqvarna S2800 Axe here:

Sportsman's E14A Axe

Best Camping Axe for Chopping Wood

Estwing Sportsman’s E14A Axe

Specifications:
  • Total length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 1.38 lbs
  • Forged single piece steel, leather handle
Features:
  • Nylon sheath included
  • Genuine leather grip          
Overview:

This lightweight and compact axe is great for camping trips and is easy to transport in a bag or belt.

Estwing Sportsman's E14A Axe Label

Its lightweight yet durable construction allows users with excellent cutting quality without bending and weakening.

This Estwing axe is forged in one piece of forged steel making it durable and long lasting. This axe is great for chopping small logs, branches, splitting firewood and other camping needs. 

The genuine leather lacquered handle offers users a great looking finish while having a comfortable and firm grip. 

The Estwing E14A not only looks amazing, it’s functional as well and offers users with a great camping tool to bring along.

Check out the Estwing Camper’s Axe E14A here:

Best Compact Maul To Split Wood

Estwing Fireside Friend Axe

Estwing Fireside Friend Axe E3-FF4

Specifications:
  • Total length: 14 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Forged single piece steel
Features:
  • Shock reduction grip
  • Hammer functionality
  • Nylon sheath included
  • Hand polished
Estwing Fireside Friend Axe E3-FF4 Label
Overview:

This mini maul from Estwing offers users the benefit of having an axe and hammer in one small and lightweight package. 

Capable of hammering wedges, splitting small logs and cutting branches, this maul is the best companion for small scale backyard wood chopping and camping trips. 

Featuring Estwings shock reduction grip, this maul has superior vibration dampening capable of absorbing upto 70% of the force from the strike. This gives the user better comfort when striking and prevents injury to the wrist.

If you’re looking for a durable and easy to use multi purpose splitting tool, this mini maul from Estwing offers users with comfortable splitting power in a compact   and lightweight package. 

Check out Estwing Fireside Friend Axe E3-FF4 here:

Bonus Products

Here are some products that didn’t make our list but we think you’d like to check out as well.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 1.37 pounds
  • Brand: Schrade
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 27.17 x 7.87 x 5.91 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Brand: Cold Steel
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 27.5 x 8 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 4.19 pounds
  • Brand: TABOR TOOLS
View On Amazon →Read Our Review

Best Wood Splitting Accessories

Here are some accessories we thought you might want to look into to help with your wood splitting activities.

TABOR TOOLS TR5A
TABOR TOOLS TR5A
Features:
– 4 lbs 
– Wood splitting wedge
– Splits wood in two
– Traditional wedge design
– Durable material
Estwing Sure Split Wedge
Estwing Sure Split Wedge
Features:
– 5 lbs 
– Hand sharpened
– Sure Split splitting wedge
– Forged steel
Lansky Puck
Lansky Puck
Features:
– Dual Grit Multi-Purpose Sharpener
– Coarse grit 120
– Medium grit 280
– For sharpening cutting edges
– Pocket-sized
– 7.7 ounces

Buyers Guide for Splitting Axes

Types of Wood Axes

Axes come in a wide variety of axe head shapes and handle lengths. These affect the depth of cut and the strength of the strike. While wood axes generally do the same thing, some are more efficient at cutting and are better for certain tasks.

Mauls

Mauls 

This variant of wood axe is distinct due to its sledge hammer like end at the opposite side of the axe head. This makes mauls multipurpose tools capable of driving wedges through a log and whatever else you might need a hammer for.

Mauls are built heavier and more durable because of the amount of force they’re expected to withstand.

Hatchets

Hatchets

Hatchets are essentially small wood axes although they are not hand axes. Hatchets have a hammerhead at the back of the axehead. The hammerhead is less distinct as that of a maul but gives similar multipurpose functionality.

Hatchets can be used for hewing, pruning, splitting wood and are great for camping and other outdoor activities like yard care.

Felling Axes

Felling Axes

This is the most common and oldest iteration of the wood axe. These axes feature longer handles and larger axe heads that bite deep into a tree trunk. These axes can also be used to split logs in half and the longer handle allows the user to use greater force with less effort. 

There are double bladed variants that allow you to chop down a tree and switch sides to cut the logs down to size.

Features of a Wood Splitting Axe

Handle Material

Wood

There’s something about the look of a varnished wooden axe handle that gives it a very classy and natural look. Wooden axe handles are commonly made with hardwoods such as hickory or ash because they are strong and durable. As a material, wood is much lighter than steel and absorbs more vibration unless the steel axe has a specialized handle. Wood does wear out over time though and can break given enough force. A wooden handle offers more customization options such as engravings and carvings.

Metal

The most sturdy axes are made with hardened steel. These can come in full tang or half tang variants with pros and cons to each. 

Full tang axes have their shaft extend from the axe head to the end of the handle, are forged from a single piece of metal and are the most durable variants around. Full tang axes are the heaviest and have the most vibration. Manufacturers often put shock absorbing material around the handle to mitigate the force.

Half tang axes have the shaft end halfway through the handle so that the handle can be made with vibration absorbing material. These are lighter and have better vibration absorption but these run the risk of the handle breaking over time.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass axes are made with different materials such as rubber or other vibration absorbing material for a handle, a stainless steel core and a hardened steel axe head. The mixture of lightweight materials make these axes very well balanced with most of the weight in the axe head. 

Despite being lightweight, fiberglass can be surprisingly durable as a material and is relatively cheap to manufacture compared to steel or wood. Fiberglass will last a lot longer than wood with enough care but the durability can be questionable especially compared to steel.

Length and Weight

The length and weight of an axe will determine certain factors such as the force of the strike, amount of vibration, balancing, portability and cost. 

 Axes with longer handles will significantly help with the force of the strike but are heavier and require much more strength to use but absorb more vibration depending on the material. The weight distribution of an axe will help in making it easier to swing and carry around.

FAQs

Q: Which wood axe do I need?

A: This depends on what you plan to do with the axe, your strength, budget and if you have a preference on how a certain material looks. 

If you need an axe for camping trips then a hatchet is definitely the go to option. If you know that you don’t have enough strength then, no worries, the maul might be the one for you plus a good splitting wedge. If you have a small to medium sized tree you want to cut or need to keep fallen trees out of the way of a trail then a general purpose wood axe will do just fine.

Q: What kind of maintenance does a wood axe need?

A: A wood axe is easy to maintain. It’s one of the many reasons axes have been used for hundreds of years. Here are a couple of tips on how to maintain a wood axe.

  • Make sure to sharpen the axe head with a whet stone or a sanding belt every once in a while for consistent cutting quality.
  • As much as possible, avoid missing whatever it is you’re striking and end up hitting the shaft. This could bend, crack and weaken the shaft.
  • Store your axe away from moisture and exposure to open air. It might also be a good idea to invest in an axe with rust preventing coating or you could buy anti rust paint. Having a sheath for the axe head will also help protect the edge and expand lifespan.

Conclusion:

There we have it, our list of the best axes for splitting wood. We hope that you learned a thing or two about wood axes, their important features and which one is best for you. Happy cutting!

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