Buying a Splitting Axe – A Buyer’s Guide 2024

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Splitting Axe Buyers Guide

With a massive increase in wood burners, fire pits, stoves and chimineas in the UK – of course this means that there is going to be an increase in the need for wood too! If you are looking to source and prepare wood for your fire then you are going to need an axe – the tool that dates back to the 30,000BC! A splitting axe specifically is designed to split an cut loads of different types of wood, making them a better size for your fire and also making it easier for them to be dried out so they can be used!

Best Pick – Fiskars 2 in 1 Splitting Axe & Hammer

Fiskars Splitting Hammer (forged), 2-in-1: Axe and Hammer, Weight: 3.9 kg, Hardened Steel Blade/Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic Handle, Black/Orange, SAFE-T, X39, 1001703
  • Poleaxe for splitting difficult logs over 30 cm in diameter for the chimney or in logs, the stove, barbecue or campfire and to cut side branches, Hammer for flattening sharp corners, Suitable for heavy logging to prepare wood steres
  • Sharp forged blade made of hardened steel with a coating for easily splitting wood large pieces of wood, Nose of attachment to raise the wood, Heavy-duty polymer striking head with metal ring for reduced vibration and splintering during use, Does not strike metal against metal, Side dents to facilitate wood splintering and prevent cutting edge jamming
  • Firm grip even with gloves thanks to robust handle with anti-slip and anti-vibration coating, Special rubber cantilever between the handle and the head for shock absorption in the event of a false blow, Ideal balance between head and handle for efficient and less tiring movements
  • Long life product thanks to the hardened steel blade and the fiberglass reinforced plastic handle, Easy sharpening of the blade with a sharpener (available under reference number 1000601), Made in France
  • Contents: 1x Fiskars Splitting Axe X39, Length: 90 cm, Weight total: 3.9 kg, Head weight: 3 kg, Material: Tempered steel/Fibreglass reinforced plastic, Colour: Black/Orange, 1001703

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Only Got 5 Minutes?

The concept of a splitting axe dates back around one and a half million years ago when our ancestors would have used these tools to cut wood and kill animals. Fast forward a few years and there are still many reasons why every shed should contain a splitting axe! A splitting axe requires no electricity – pure manpower – so can be used anywhere it is needed. It is also a quiet and effective way to chop wood, with very little maintenance – so you can be sure that your axe will be ready whenever you are!

Although many people would think all axes are the same, and that there isn’t too much to consider before purchasing, there really are a lot of differences between axes! It is important that you make a purchase that is right for you, as axes can be dangerous tools if they are not right for each individual person!

Despite their simple appearance, there are many different parts to a splitting axe:

Single or double bit

The “bit” is the sharp point on the head of an axe – so the part that actually splits the wood. Axes can be purchased either as a single bit or a double bit (with sharp points on either side of the axe head). There are benefits for both so it is really down to personal preference and considering what is right for you.

Single bits are the most common axes and great for all-round woodcutting tasks, as they can cut faster due to the heavier heads. However, double bit axes tend to be more balanced due to both ends of the head being the same weight. This means that you will have more control when swinging your axe, which equals more accurate chopping.

Weight of Axe head

The heavier the axe head, the more force that will then split the wood that you are working with. However, if the axe is too heavy for the user then this can actually reduce the force, as they can struggle to get adequate swing behind the axe. We would recommend starting with a 1.5kg head on an axe, and then you are more than able to build up to a 2.5kg head once you are more used to splitting!

Best Budget – TOPWAY Wood Splitter Axe with Fiber Handle

TOPWAY 331212 Wood Splitter Axe with Fiber Handle 1.1/4LB, Yellow
  • Carbon steel blade with highly polished cutting edge
  • Ergonomic fibre handle
  • 1.25lb 40cm, yellow and black
  • Durable, rust-resistant design ,ideal for chopping wood

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Length of handle

The length of the handle depends on the type of work that your splitting axe is going to be used for. The longer the handle, the more swing that you will have – which will, in turn, increase the force – therefore these are better suited for big chopping jobs. But a shorter handle is better suited for smaller, more precise jobs.


The traditional splitting axe would come with a wooden handle and therefore many people would be drawn to purchasing this material to maintain that feel. However, a wooden handle has more benefits than just this – they provide great shock absorbers, so can be used for longer. If you feel a wooden handle is for you, look for one with vertical grains in the wood – these will be better quality.

More modern looking splitting axes now tend to come with metal or fibreglass handles which are lighter – so easier to use – and tend to be more durable.

TOP TIP: Many wooden-handled splitting axes will be varnished. As much as this does have benefits in that it protects the wood (and your hands), it will make it much harder to get a grip when using your axe. If you have a lot of chopping to do then this will probably prove frustrating! Simply take some sandpaper to your axe and sand down the first couple of layers, this will make it much easier to grip your axe.

New or Old? That is the Question!

New isn’t always better in the axe purchasing world! Purchasing a new splitting axe will leave you with a shiny new axe, the peace of mind of a never-used tool, and the benefits of more modern equipment. However, there are many reasons why buying an antique splitting axe might be worth considering!

The head of the axe is the most important part, as handles are easy to replace. Older heads will, in general, have been made with more high carbon steel – which is essential for a sharp cut. These old splitting axes will likely be cheaper to purchase, but leave you with a much better axe to do the job – if you are willing to put the work in replacing the handle etc if this needs doing!

Best of the Rest

Faithfull FAILSM6FG 2.7 kg Log Splitting Maul Fiber Glass Shaft
  • Designed to split logs quickly and efficiently
  • Fitted with a hickory handle
  • Can be used as a ha mmer for driving a wedge into oversized logs
  • Length: 81 cm
  • Weight 2.7 kg

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Silverline 793747 Hickory Log Splitting Maul 6 lb
  • Forged steel powder-coated head
  • Polished cutting edge
  • Hickory shaft
  • Supplied with plastic blade sheath
  • High strength and shock absorption

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Spear & Jackson 3715AB/09 - Razorsharp 1.5lb Hatchet Hickory Shaft Carbon Steel Head, Blue
  • 1.5 lb Hatchet manufactured to the internationally recognised DIN standard
  • Drop forged carbon steel head, hardened and tempered for durability
  • Quality hickory shaft for strength
  • Blade guard for added safety when not in use
  • Grow Your Own 2022 Great British Growing Award Winners

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

New to Splitting Wood?

If you are new to splitting wood and are a little unsure of how best to achieve the perfect cut then don’t worry! This video guide will help you to get the perfect swing when you are splitting wood!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a splitting axe and a splitting maul?

When considering which axe is right for you, there is often information that can be found on splitting mauls. These are considerably different from splitting axes in that they have a blunt, mallet-style head. They are also heavier and have much longer handles.

Why do some splitting axes have straight handles and others have curved handles?

Splitting axes come with either straight or curved handles. There is a lot of disagreement between experts as to which is better for cutting wood, but really it is down to what feels best to individual users! Double bit axes will only be available with curved handles so that they can be used on both sides.

What is the difference between a splitting axe and a felling axe?

A splitting axe is used to break down large pieces of wood into smaller, more manageable pieces. This means that they can also be used to break off smaller, low branches if completely necessary – although we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this! A felling axe is used to help you cut down branches and trees – so is better suited to creating cuts in larger pieces of wood!

About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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