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How to Split Logs for Firewood

Learn how to safely split firewood with these tools and techniques.

In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shares tools and techniques for quickly, safely splitting firewood.

Tips for Splitting Wood Logs

  1. Don't use an ax to split firewood. The narrow head will become stuck in the wood.
  2. Short logs can be split into firewood using a steel wedge and sledgehammer, but it's a slow process that requires two people.
  3. A maul combines a sledgehammer with a wedge in one tool. It's heavy but does a good job of splitting logs.
  4. A splitting axe is similar to a maul, but it has a narrower, lighter head that easily slices through logs.
  5. Always stand the log on a short chopping block, never on the ground.
  6. Keep the area around the chopping block clear and free of debris.
  7. An electric log splitter provides an easy, quiet way to split logs, but it's rather slow and has limited capacity.
  8. Gas-powered log splitters can be rented for splitting virtually any size log.