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The 5 Best Splitting Wedges (2023 Review)

A splitting wedge is a simple and affordable tool that makes splitting logs of wood easier and more precise. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best splitting wedges on Amazon to help you find the one that’s right for you.

Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter and Redneck Convent Manual Log Splitter Wedge isolated on an off-white graph paper background Courtesy Amazon

A quality splitting wedge makes for effortless, clean cuts when you’re splitting large pieces of wood. Because these tools come in different sizes, weights, and more, choosing one for your needs can be a confusing process.

To help you with your search, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best splitting wedges on Amazon. Learn about our recommendations below.


In This Guide: Top 5 | Buyer’s Guide | Benefits | FAQs | Why Trust This Old House

Compare Top Splitting Wedges

Product Material Type Weight Dimensions
Product Material Type Weight Dimensions
Estwing Sure Split Wedge Steel Finned 5 pounds 8.9 x 2.5 x 1.8 inches
Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter Cast iron Mounted 10 pounds 9 x 13 x 9 inches
Redneck Convent Manual Log Splitter Wedge Steel Diamond 4 pounds 3 x 3 x 7 inches
Edward Tools Classic Log Splitting Wedge Steel Traditional 3 pounds 8.4 x 4.3 x 2.4 inches
Hooyman Splitting Wedge Steel Traditional 5 pounds 9 x 2.3 x 1.8 inches

Top 5 Splitting Wedges


Best Finned: Estwing Sure Split Wedge

Estwing sure split splitting wedge for wood with product label

Estwing Sure Split Wedge

  • $29

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This splitting wedge has a hand-sharpened end that’s designed for precise and effortless splitting. The additional fins on either side give the edge more power as it’s pushed deeper into the log. At five pounds, it’s heavy enough to handle knotty wood but light enough to control.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Made in the United States
✔ Forged from durable steel
✔ Has a hand-sharpened, honed cutting edge

✘ Doesn’t come with a lifetime warranty like many splitting wedges
✘ Has a bulkier build than standard wedges without fins

What Customers Are Saying

Customers with positive feedback stated that this splitting wedge was heavy enough to split tough, knotty, and unseasoned wood. Once it was driven into a log, it didn’t bounce much. However, some users thought that the fins didn’t make the wedge any more or less effective than a traditional one.


Best Mounted: Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter

Kindling Cracker cast iron firewood splitter

Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter

  • $100

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Although this wood splitter isn’t a traditional wedge, it still achieves the same purpose of splitting larger pieces of wood. Practically maintenance-free, it’s made using strong cast iron. For ultimate stability, you can mount it to a surface using the built-in bolt holes.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Doesn’t use a sharp blade near your hand
✔ Made with durable cast iron
✔ Requires less force than an ax

✘ Not as compact or portable as true splitting wedges
✘ Can’t fit logs that are larger than 6.5 inches in diameter through the top ring

What Customers Are Saying

Many happy users felt safe using this wood splitter. A common complaint from unsatisfied customers was that the blade wasn’t sharp enough to cut through large logs or hardwoods. Others struggled to keep it in place until they used the bolt holes to mount it.


Best Four-Direction: Redneck Convent Manual Log Splitter Wedge

Red Redneck Convent manual log splitter wedge

Redneck Convent Log Splitter Wedge

  • $25

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This diamond-shaped splitting wedge cuts logs of wood into four pieces. The heat-treated, hardened steel is designed to last countless strikes with a hammer or ax. If you need to cut oak, hickory, walnut, or other softwoods, this tool is your best friend.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Made from heat-treated and hardened railway steel
✔ Has a mid-range build, weighing four pounds
✔ Has a bright red color to see where you’re aiming

✘ Has a dull end that’s initially difficult to stick into wood
✘ Struggles to split knotty woods

What Customers Are Saying

Although some users said that it took a good amount of effort to split logs using this wedge, they thought that it felt both durable and secure. The diamond-shaped design also limited bouncing, which was a valued safety feature for many users. Conversely, some users cracked or shattered their splitting wedge after owning it for a few months.


Best Lightweight: Edward Tools Classic Log Splitting Wedge

Black Edward Tools classic log splitting wedge

Edward Tools Classic Log Splitting Wedge

  • $20

Prices taken at time of publishing.

With a two-directional edge and a three-pound build, this durable splitting wedge is a straightforward, no-frills option for breaking up lighter and softer wood. Your purchase also includes a lifetime warranty should your product have a defect. 

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Splits the wood instantly once you hit it with a sledgehammer
✔ Has a sharpened edge for quicker splitting
✔ Includes a lifetime warranty

✘ Meant for light-duty use
✘ Has a small striking head

What Customers Are Saying

Positively, customers valued the size and durability of this splitting wedge, stating that it felt like the perfect mid-range option. Ease of use was another highlight in positive reviews. Negatively, some users struggled to cleanly split larger, harder pieces of wood using this wedge.


Best Basic: Hooyman Splitting Wedge

Hooyman black five-pound splitting wedge

Hooyman Splitting Wedge

  • $22

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Weighing five pounds and measuring nine inches, this option matches the description of a standard splitting wedge that can handle both hardwoods and softwoods. Despite its weight and length, it’s thin and compact. A “5 lb” marker is also visible on the front of the wedge.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has the weight printed on it
✔ Measures nine inches long to wedge deep into wood
✔ Takes up minimal space in your garage when you’re not using it

✘ May take a lot of effort to hammer into a separate a large log
✘ May rub off its weight the more you use it

What Customers Are Saying

Overall, users thought that the durability of this wood-splitting wedge met their expectations. Many customers used it repeatedly without experiencing mushrooming on its head. However, some users thought that the long and narrow design wasn’t effective for all splitting tasks.


Buyer’s Guide

Combined with a trusty maul or sledgehammer, splitting wedges are designed to make the task of splitting wood more efficient and less cumbersome. Though all splitting wedges accomplish this task, there are notable differences in shape, weight, and more. Below, we’ve outlined these considerations in detail.

Shape

The shape of a splitting wedge determines its function. Here’s a brief overview of the main types:

  • Traditional: Traditional wedges take considerable effort to split thick or knotty pieces of wood, but they bite into wood efficiently.
  • Diamond: Diamond splitters don’t initially stick into wood as well as traditional ones. However, once you get them going, they cleanly and evenly cut through wood with minimal effort.
  • Felling: Most felling wedges are made of a plastic compound. These specialized wedges are best for felling trees, not for splitting cords of wood.
  • Universal: Universal wedges are appropriate for both felling and splitting wood. While versatile, they aren’t as effective at splitting hardwood as dedicated splitters.

Splitting Direction

Splitting wedges can split wood in multiple directions or sections, with two- and three-way designs being the most common. A two-way wedge looks like a doorstop or wedge of cheese, while a three-way one takes on more of a triangular shape. Four-way splitters are also fairly popular.

Material

Hardened steel and aluminum are the most common splitting wedge materials. Steel is the strongest option when it comes to impact, but it doesn’t hold up well in colder temperatures. Meanwhile, aluminum is softer, lighter, and less durable. Some wedges are made from plastic, but these are usually meant for tree felling, not splitting.

Size

Match the size of the splitting wedge to the type and condition of the wood you’re splitting. For example, knottier, drier, and tougher pieces of wood may require a heavy-duty wedge. On the other hand, this large wedge may be overkill for softer woods.

Weight

Heavier splitting wedges are usually four or five pounds, while lighter ones weigh two or three pounds. This weight difference may not seem that significant, but it can affect the durability of the wedge and the amount of force you need to use. Mounted firewood splitters that sit on the ground may weigh up to 10 pounds or more.

Length

Splitting wedges range in length from as short as four or five inches to as long as eight or nine inches. Generally, a thin and long wedge can drive more force into a log of wood than a wide and short one.


Benefits of Using a Splitting Wedge

A splitting wedge provides other benefits besides making back-breaking splitting a little easier. Perfect as a gift for woodworkers or carpenters, here are some of the advantages of having a splitting wedge on hand:

  • A longer lifespan for your other tools: Splitting wood without a splitting wedge requires more force, which quickly wears down your tools. A wedge absorbs some of that impact for your larger, sharper tools.
  • A safer alternative to a chainsaw: Gas or electric chainsaws, while convenient, present their own risks when splitting or chopping wood. A splitting wedge encourages you to split wood manually. The manual process of splitting firewood may also be more rewarding to some people.
  • Clean, precise cuts: As you continue to strike the head of a splitting wedge with a splitting maul, it goes deeper into the same spot. This is opposed to you striking different areas of the wood, which can result in uneven and jagged cuts.
  • Ease of use: By using a splitting wedge, you’ll have a specific target to aim for instead of hitting the wood wherever you can. This makes the arduous task of splitting wood a little less demanding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should a splitting wedge be sharp?

Yes and no. A splitting wedge doesn’t need to be as sharp as your ax or hatchet. Since you’re using an ax or hatchet to chop into the wood, the splitting wedge only needs to be somewhat sharp.

Who needs a splitting wedge?

Anyone who needs to split logs of wood can benefit from a wedge. This may include homeowners or cabin owners with wood-burning fireplaces or carpenters with woodworking projects to complete.

How many splitting wedges should I use?

A single splitting wedge should suffice for most wood-splitting purposes. However, having a secondary splitter on hand can be useful, especially when you’re splitting large logs.

Splitting wedges are inexpensive, so we recommend multiple wedges if you chop a lot of wood. Some experts recommend having three—two traditional splitters and one diamond-shaped wedge. This covers you for all scenarios, including long logs, thick logs, knotty woods, and so forth.

What’s the difference between a splitting wedge and a felling wedge?

While splitting wedges are designed to split logs into smaller, thinner pieces for fires, felling wedges chop down entire trees. Felling wedges are precision instruments that make trees fall in the appropriate direction. Additionally, since they comprise softer materials, they’re cannot withstand repeated impacts from hammers and axes.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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