"Whats the best splitting axe?" I know what you're thinking. "Why get a splitting axe? Why not just get a maul?" I happen to own a multitude of axes and mauls and the upsides to a splitting axe that I see is that it can handle more than one job around the homestead and it's lighter - therefore easier to swing more accurately and for a longer period of time.
However, this is something that I get asked on a regular basis. I'm going to preface this post with a note that these are just my opinions and I realize that everyone has their preferred way of splitting! I just thought that I could help a person or two down their road to buying a new splitting axe whether it be to replace an old one or to have a backup for when the gas powered splitter goes down. Below I'm going to go into a few axes we carry that are particularly suited for splitting. I will not be diving into the wild world of mauls in this post though.
1) 8lbs Firefighter Pick-head - $130
This is one of my favorites because of it's size. For smaller rounds of wood you can pretty much let it fall straight down and the weight of the head alone is enough to tear through the wood and for bigger rounds it's hefty enough that if you put just a little more energy into the swing it can usually bust even the most tough of round. Another upside to this beast is the fact that the fiberglass handle really helps save your hands and shoulders from fatigue by absorbing a lot of the extra impact of the strike. The size is a plus to this axe but it is also a downside. This axe is not one to swing when you're tired and it is not easy to course correct after the swing. Where you send it...it goes.
2) 3.5lbs Classic Michigan Double Bit - $85
This is the axe most people think of when you think of the homesteads on the frontier and there is a reason for that! This guy does it all! It has such a great weight and balance that it is hard to not swing this axe fast and accurately! It is better suited for well aged, semi dry wood as the slimmer bit does have a tendency to find itself stuck in bigger rounds. Despite that fact, this axe is a joy to swing for a good while! On top of being a good splitter, this guy is great at felling, bucking, and limbing!
3) 6lbs Flat Head - $75
The 6lbs Flat Head is a great compromise between the weight of the 8lbs Pick Head and the slim bit of the Classic Michigan Double Bit. It is slim enough that it really bites in hard to the round but it's just heavy enough that it doesn't get stuck nearly as often but light enough that it's not a chore to swing. This beautifully painted head sits atop 36" of American hickory that just feels great to swing. I like the fiber glass handles for their durability and solace they offer my broken shoulders but there in nothing that will beat the feel of power and control that a wooden handle provides!
4) 3.5lbs Classic Jersey - $75
This guy right here is hands down my favorite axe to go to when some wood needs to be split, again, this is just one mans opinion! This axe swings quick, aims easily, and bites hard. If I ever want to impress my wife while she's doing yard work and perhaps shooting me secret glances from the garden this is the axe I pick up. More times than not a swing ends with a clean split. Both the straight and curved variations of this axe are great splitters but I tend to favor my straight haft over my curved. The bit is a great shape for landing dead center in a branch round and the bevels on the bit help bust the rounds open. I also used this axe to fell a 45" ash tree a friend needed removed off their property a while back. I truly can't say enough good things about this axe. The Sport Utility Version of this axes is just as praise worthy an seems even more rust resistant than its classic brother!
These are just a few of my thoughts on the axes we sell that make great partners in the task of making fire wood! I hope that perhaps I may have offered you a few insights into your axe purchasing endeavors. Have a good day, stay safe, and swing on!