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Axe Head - Dull vs sharp

Post in 'The Gear' started by karri0n, May 11, 2009.

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  1. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    I've seen people say you need your axe to be sharp, and just as many say you need it dull for splitting. I would imagine for chopping a sharp head would be the way to go, but I can see why the sharp head could be a problem when splitting with getting stuck in the round etc. Anyone have any opinions or experience in one direction or the other?

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  2. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    For spliting with axe sharp but very rounded or blunt rise behind edge, chopping use a long smooth angle to sharp edge so axe can sever wood fibers. How I was instructed anyway.
  3. mtarbert

    mtarbert Minister of Fire

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    An ax is Not very good for splitting. A Fiscars splitting maul or a Home Depot knock off (32.00)
  4. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Sharp axe.

    Slightly dull maul.

    Use the right tool for the right job. Anything under 5-8" in diameter get the axe treatment...one good blow and its blown in 2 nice and clean (this assumes good grain and low knottage, etc). That size and bigger or knotty stuff gets the maul treatment or the wood grenade.
  5. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    Sharpen the ax. I only use the ax for the smallest of rounds. Since the maul is my default tool, it is fun to use the ax once in a while. Kind of like bowling 10 pin for a while then switching to candlepin.

    Sharpen your maul. It helps a lot. The maul's head is so wide that it rarely gets stuck in most species. Elm is one of the exceptions (stupid elm).
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    When splitting with an axe, it helps a lot if you come down onto the log at a very, very slight angle. That will usually get the split right away from the log and also you will not have the axe hang up so much. Naturally it depends upon what wood you are splitting. Some say oak has to be split with a maul or hydraulic splitter. We did not know that years ago so just went ahead and split with the axe and had no problems except for the knots and that is where we used a sledge and wedge.
  7. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I've split 8 or 9 cord so far this spring with an ax, and that is after a lifetime of maul splitting. As far as I know Fiskars does not make a maul.
  8. ken999

    ken999 New Member

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    Sharp.

    My Gransfors Splitting Maul has made a believer out of me.

    Truely gnarley grained wood get's a 12lb sledge and wood grenade, but most stuff will pop for me with the Gransfors. I wish it were 2" longer and 2-2.5lbs heavier though.

    If the rounds 'stick' and I can pick them up WHILE stuck on the head of the maul, flipping the round and dropping the combo maul first onto the chopping block usually will bust the stuck round....very slick and not as dangerous as it sounds...lol...

    Sure beats trying to pry the maul out of the wood or fetching the sledge/wedge. Just pick it, flip it, drop it....DONE!.
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