The best way to cut firewood

Written by brenda priddy
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The best way to cut firewood
Splitting logs is the best way to make firewood. (Flame of a fire and fire wood in fireplace image by Aliaksandr Zabudzko from

Cutting firewood is a tricky process that few people know how to do. If you do not split the firewood logs so that the interior flesh of the wood is exposed, then the wood will take much longer to burn and it will be nearly impossible to start a fire. Splitting the logs into quarters is the best way to cut firewood to make it burn easily and heat quickly.

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Things you need

  • Protective eyewear
  • 2.7 kg (6 lb) wood splitter maul
  • Saw
  • Stump or hard ground

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  1. 1

    Choose a tree that is suitable for cutting into firewood. Pine, oak and elm all burn well and are inexpensive. Know when to cut each kind of wood. Oak is the easiest to split and splits easiest when it is green. Pine splits best when dry. Elm is a harder wood to split and is best to cut after you have some experience with log splitting.

  2. 2

    Remove any branches from logs with a saw. Set the branches aside for kindling.

  3. 3

    Cut the logs into sections between 30 and 60 cm (12 and 24 inches) long. The length will depend on how big your fireplace is.

  4. 4

    Place the logs with the wood grain exposed on a stump or hard ground surface. You don't want to place the log onto soft ground as the ground will absorb the velocity of the strike and make it harder to split the log.

  5. 5

    Plot the strikes to hit the edge of the wood rather than the centre. Hitting the edge makes it a lot more likely that you will start to split the log.

  6. 6

    Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Wear protective eyewear. Plot the strike by performing the strike in slow motion. Take a half step back before making the actual strike.

  7. 7

    Lift your hands over your head and bring them down quickly to make the cut. Always look at the spot that you wish to cut as you are swinging. This is the only way to ensure safety while you split the logs.

  8. 8

    Split each log onto quarters. After making the first half split, turn the log over so it rests on its bark. Use the same technique to split the log in half once more, working from the outside edges in. For small pieces you may be able to split the log in one strike.

  9. 9

    Stack the wood so that air can reach each piece of wood to dry it more effectively.

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