Best Wood splitting wedge

While log splitting machines represent the current pinnacle of the market if you’re looking for a convenient and quick way to split wood, they can also represent quite an investment in money and storage space. If you would like to cut down on some of the back breaking labour, but without the hefty investment, wood splitting wedges may well be the answer for you.

What is a wood splitting wedge, anyway?

The devil’s in the details- a wood splitting wedge is exactly what it says it is. These shaped, robust pieces of metal have been used for literal millennia to take some of the ache out of the back-breaking task of splitting awkward logs. While the basic idea hasn’t changed much over the many, many years man has been using them, innovations in construction, design, size, shape and materials make all the difference between a great wedge and one that will blow up- literally- in your face.

How do you use a wood splitting wedge?

Used in conjunction with a splitting maul and axe, you will use several wood splitting wedges to get the task done. Placing the wood you want to chop on a chopping block to provide resistance, increase penetration and prevent dulling on the blade [as well as enhancing safety] after the final chop, you will use your bodyweight momentum to bring the maul, axe and split wedges down at a splitting angle on the logs until the task is done.

While this manual way of splitting logs is still one of the most labour intense ways of preparing firewood, it can also be a very satisfying one, and many people actually enjoy the protracted manual labour. Additionally, these tool are very simple and have next to no effect on your pocket book, so if you’re looking to get the job done for a minimal expenditure on the budget, this is the way for you to go.

What do I need in a good wedge?

Contrary to many opinions you may read, a good cutting wedge should never be sharp. It’s the job of your axe to be sharp, in order to bite into and stick in the wood. However, the wedges should have a shaped but not sharpened end in order to facilitate ‘punching’ through the wood and encourage the cleaving of the wood. If the wedge is sharpened, it will instead ‘bite’ into the wood and remain stuck there, which is the converse of what you really want.

A good wood splitting wedge needs to be of a robust and not brittle construction in order to facilitate the slight ‘bounce’ needed in the wedge as the maul strikes it. It needs to be able to stand up to force while maintaining its shape over years of use. It also needs to be designed in a way that will prevent it ‘bouncing’ out of the wood on the first strike. Not only can this be exceedingly dangerous, but immensely frustrating.

Here are our top 5 wood splitting wedge picks:

Timber Tuff TMW-19

While it looks more like a futuristic design for a Dubai building, this timber splitter gets the job done for an easily affordable price. It offers 7” by 3” construction and the unique design assists with splitting to make a laborious task slightly less vexing. It is better suited to dry wood then wet would, where the 4 pound design can be prone to popping out. It’s a great cold weather splitter as well. Customers report up to a decade of good service for these simple, budget friendly wedges.

Truper 33040 Super Splitter Splitting Wedge

Another 4 pound splitter, this one features a drop-forged design and heat treatment to ensure strength and durability. The range does also offer different wedge sizes, although this one remains a versatile customer favourite. It’s a good budget friendly choice for softer woods.

Estwing E-5 Sure Split wood splitting wedge

By far the customer favourite, even in a good field, this 1 7/8 cutting edge wedge is a firm fan favourite. With over 9” of length, a taper head to make starting easier [and help prevent bouncing] and a solid 5 pounds of weight, this USA made favourite boasts a fin styling to help with the wedge, and a design that allows movement below the wood line for steady splitting. It’s a pewter wedge that never needs sharpening and can tackle 18” by 18” loads. Most users find it indispensable.

Ludell 11605 Steel splitting wedge.

If you’re looking for a traditional wood splitting wedge, this is the one for you. The 5lbs offering in the serious may not boast special designs or fancy fins, but this high-grade steel wedge is strong and durable. This traditional choice holds up well under the pressure of a sledge hammer, and it’s a tried and true design with high quality construction that’s more then up to the job.

Ames True Temper Torpedo wedge

A 4 pound wedge with four direction splitting power, this allows for efficient use of your hammering stroke and offers a 7” long splitter that’s both durable and effective. Although not the best for hard woods, it’s a great choice for softer woods. It digs in well, preventing bounce despite a physically small size, and holds up well to heavy pounding.

Each of these wedges represents great value for money while still providing a good clean user experience and long length of service. They stand up to the often vigorous needs of splitting wood over many years, and make the often arduous task simpler and faster. As wood splitting wedges go, these are all great picks worth having in your tool shed.

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