How to Split Wood with an Axe (5 Simple Steps)

Who doesn’t love some scented wood logs in winter to warm up the place? You can split wood yourself as it has twice as many benefits as the already chopped one. People think of it as a complex task as most of them don’t even know how to split the wood with an axe.

You won’t be needing any equipment other than an axe and chainsaw, and you’ll easily split any kind of wood with an appropriate technique. Don’t have a chainsaw with you? Click here to buy one and read more about its usage!

How to Split Wood with an Axe

Steps to Split the Wood with an Axe

In this blog, we’ll be briefing you about the correct method of splitting wood with an axe all by yourself.

You may be wondering what’s the most efficient and simple way of splitting wood and we’re here to spill the secret.

1. Cut the Logs in Sections

The initial aspect that you’re required to do is to score the logs that you’ll be planning to use. Before getting your hands on the axe, you first have to use a chainsaw to section the log. These sections will be restricted according to the size of the surface where you’ll keep it. Also have a look at the best axes in the market.

Cut the Logs in Sections

The shorter sections are easier to split but you’ll have to be careful as a little imbalance can affect the entire procedure. Your blade should be facing towards the log away from you so in case of any kickbacks, it won’t attack you.

2. Place Section on Chopping Block

Once you’ve sectioned the logs, keep them on the chopping surface. This chopping surface elevates the wood so you don’t have to bend. Most people take the thicker part of the trunk, so it won’t put any strain on your back. It is integral to avoid any kind of injury.

3. Split the log

The main aim of splitting wood is to literally cut the log into two pieces. All it takes is a correct stroke and the wood will cleanly cut into triangles without much effort. Take your axe and swing it down to hit the log on its upper surface. If you swing and hit properly then your log should split into half. However, if you fail then you can detach it from the log and always try again.

How to Split Wood with an Axe

Swinging majorly requires control instead of just moving the axe around. You should be precise in getting your axe to the exact position where it’ll strike. Don’t be too insecure and let it drop in a natural way which will boost the dropping pace of your axe. For adding extra force, you can place your free hand on the bottom.

4. Stack the logs

After you’ve successfully split the log into pieces, you can easily stack them. These are quite easy to stack due to its triangular shape and ready to be lit on fire for your cozy night.

5. Precautions of Splitting Wood with an Axe

Before cutting wood with an axe, you have to take precautions as a minor unmindfulness can cause serious harm. Firstly, you have to be focused as you swing the axe because as you swing it, it’s speed increases and any stray glance can hit you, resulting in dreadful injury.

Precautions of Splitting Wood with an Axe

Moreover, you have to dress properly by wearing a protective uniform suitable for it. Leather gloves, solid boots that are often steel-toed, safety glasses specifically designed for wood chopping are recommended to wear. It will protect your hands, arms, and feet appropriately. You should also keep a phone near you so that you can call in any case of emergency. Also read, how to remove the tree roots.

Factors to Consider Before Splitting Wood with an Axe

There are many factors to consider before handling an axe to split wood. You must have the answer to the following questions to keep the process easy and efficient.

1. Do you have an axe that can cut heavy wood?

If you want to split the wood log into pieces then you need an axe that delivers a fine split with a single strike. You won’t have to put extra effort or time, if your axe is sharpened without adding any stress on your hands. (Please have a look, how to sharpen an axe)

Your axe swinging technique also counts as it’ll add your blade’s power which will make splitting more easy.

Factors to Consider Before Splitting Wood with an Axe

2. What size of wood will you be dealing with?

Another aspect that matters while splitting wood with an axe is the size or the density of wood you’ll be dealing with. If you’re using the logs for barbeques then small logs would be enough but when organizing a bonfire, medium logs are essential.

Depending on your wood, you’ll be required to use an axe that can handle the reactive force by the wood. Choosing the right axe for the wood can boost your swinging speed giving you extra strength.

3. Do you have a proper surface for chopping?

It is important to choose an appropriate surface where you can split the wood. This surface should be sturdy and elevated so that your wood can stay in place and you don’t have to kneel down to hit the strike. If your surface will be muddy or slippery then it is risky to work with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to split the wood outdoors?

If you’re aiming to split the log then it is wise to choose an open space away from animals or people especially children. An open space has lesser risk which is important for safety purposes.

Is it important to sharpen the axe before splitting?

Yes, as wood is quite a rough material. Whether hardwood or softwood, by using proper strategy and a sharpened axe you can cut them into pieces.

Name some hardest wood categories to split?

Some of the hardest wood categories to be split are Cottonwood, Elm, and Sweetgum. It isn’t often recommended for beginners who’re splitting at home as it’s hard to get separated.


Most people are conscious when it comes to splitting wood with an axe due its difficult nature. However, if you have the right tools and protective gear then nothing is impossible. All you have to do is keep a steady hand and be focused on what you’re doing. Splitting the wood on your own gives a fresh scent when you burnt it. Regardless of the event, it will not only save your money but would also be time-efficient.

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