How to Use a Wood-Splitting Wedge

Written by jeremiah blanchard
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With today's modern technology, manually splitting wood is no longer necessary if you have access to the proper machinery, such as a mechanical log splitter, which does the work for you at the push of a button. However, without such apparatus, wood must be split using conventional tools such as a wood-splitting maul, an axe or a sledgehammer and splitting wedge. Splitting wood by hand requires a touch of technique combined with a little brute force, and using a sledgehammer and wedge is only practical for hard, thick pieces of wood.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Splitting wedge
  • Sledgehammer

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  1. 1

    Prepare the logs to be split, if you have large pieces, by cutting them into "rounds" of about two feet in length.

  2. 2

    Stand a log round vertically on a chopping block or flat-cut tree stump.

  3. 3

    Hold the wedge a few inches from dead centre over the outer growth rings in the wood and tap the wedge into place with your sledgehammer. The middle of the log is the hardest part to split, so positioning the wedge off-centre or closer to the edge of the round will provide an optimum striking point. If the placement of the wedge causes the wood to tip over, move the wedge slightly back to centre until you achieve balance.

  4. 4

    Stand over the wood and hold the sledgehammer at waist level. Bring the sledgehammer up over your head, holding it with both hands. Aim at the striking point on the top of the wedge. Using as much force as you can, slam the sledgehammer down onto the wedge.

  5. 5

    Hit the wedge as many times as it takes for the wood to be split according to your satisfaction. The process may include repositioning the wedge to split the wood into more than two pieces if you desire.

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