What's the Best Weight Splitting Axe?

Phoenix1

Active member
Here's my story. I am an avid camper and I already own a small axe that I use for splitting up kindling wood at my campfire. I'm not sure of the weight of it, but it's a larger size hatchet. I can easily use it with one hand. I was over a friend's house the other day and he's got two splitting axes. I used one and he used one and we split up a bunch of large wet white birch. It took a while, but we did it. I was very happy with his axes and I'd like to buy one for myself. Both of his were around 36" long and I think one was 4 pounds and the other was around 6 pounds. I'm not sure about the second one, but it was definitely heavier than the first. Neither was heavy like a splitting maul, but both did great getting through these large pieces of wood.

Anyway, I'm set with the 36" inch length. I know that's what I want. I'm just not sure about the weight. My friend's 4 pounder was great, but I think I liked the heavier one more. Is there a "best" weight to get for splitting logs like this? I'd say the ones we were splitting were about 16" wide. Those were the largest and they went down from there. He said that he also uses both for white pine, spruce, cherry, maple, and ash and that both axes have no problem with any of that. Any opinions are welcome.
 

CampFireJack

Active member
There are a few things you need to consider. Your size and weight for one. You don't want to have to muscle around a really heavy axe if you're a small guy. Something like 3 pounds and a 28" handle would be good if you're on the light or short side. But since you already said that I like the 4 pound or heavier and the 36" handle, then we'll leave it at that.

If you're planning on chopping down trees as well with this one axe, then you should probably stick with something lighter and maybe a bit shorter. Something like a 30" handle and with a 2 3/4 or 3 pound head. But it you're only going to be splitting wood, go with the 4, 5, or 6 pound head. I'd advise that you don't buy a maul, as they're quite heavy and not much fun to work with. And since you're already satisfied with what you already used, then why not just stick with that. Everyone's opinions will be different regarding this, but you can't go wrong with a 36" and a 4 pound head.
 

Newman

Active member
If you're serious, you really do need a few different axes. One for felling (chopping) down trees and then one to split the logs up. If you're planning on splitting up really huge logs that are oak, maple, or ash, then you should buy a splitting maul. I used to own a really sweet maul for the big stuff. I think it was around 8 pounds and I welded a steel bar to it as the handle. I could get through anything with that beast. But for an all around splitting axe, anything between 4 and 6 pounds is good. If I were you, I would make a visit to my local hardware store to see how each feels in my hand. I also suggest that you buy one that has a wooden handle, as they're easily replaceable. I have broken more axe handles than I can count, so replacement is a must. I know people who have tried out those slick new Fiskars axes and they say they love them. I don't buy it. I had an axe with a plastic handle once and things didn't end well. If you search "broken fiskars" on Google, you'll read the horror stories. I actually replaced the broken plastic handle I had with a nice hickory one and I love that. Even though the Fiskars come with lifetime warranties, it's a real pain to return an axe and have to wait three weeks for a new one. Even if you don't have to return it, the last thing you want is to have to wait weeks for a replacement. If you get wooden, you can jump in your truck and run down to the store to pick up a new handle quickly. And the wood ones are tough! That's why everyone uses them.

Also remember the difference between a chopping axe and a splitting axe. Chopping axes chop down trees. They're thin a sharp and they cut across the wood's grain. Splitting axes are thicker, weigh more, and they split with the grain. As said above, a good all around splitting axe will weight around 4-6 pounds and will have a length of around 30"-36". These things vary though so that's why I suggested you to visit your hardware store or Home Depot. Lowe's - whatever.
 
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