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Post in 'The Gear' started by Nofossil, Oct 29, 2007.
I like a full compliment of weapons when i split wood, but a sharp ax does the bulk of the work : )
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The more I review my style and my preferences, the more I realize that I'm an axe partisan. I've used heavier sledges and mauls, but I've never felt as effective with anything over 10 pounds. I really feel best with a splitting maul that's six or seven pounds, and I'd love to try an axe with a splitting head in the five pound range.
This axe is be best I have used in many years. It does not get stuck, kill your back, and can blast through anything.
What's your secret? I have that one, or one very much like it, and it gets stuck all the time. I do like it and do the bulk of my splitting with it, but it does get stuck when it doesn't penetrate far enough for the "wings" to kick in.
Perhaps I was too zealous when I said it will blast through anything...I have no problem with Black Locust, Any kind of Oak, Some Maples, ( all depends on the twist of the wood). The hardest things to split with it are the Elms, and Gums. I like to think of it as kind of like golf. Over the head, and swing through the wood with a slow and short wind up. Pratically averything I split is with that. If that ax will not do the trick, a few wedges and a 10# sledge will. And if that fails, fire up the Hydraulic splitter.
I recently bought a new ax like that at the local Meijer for $30.00. Apapretly you can't motivate it with a sledge too many times...
I just broke the handle on my Fiskars splitting maul with the supposedly unbreakable handle. So I called them and the customer service gal said that she would send me a new one free. How is that for customer service?
Anyway, since there are 2 different Fiskars with a 28 inch handle, I had to take some pictures and send it to her. So I looked on the website and indeed, there are 2 models. But low and behold, the other one is much better!!
4# instead of 2, same handle which I liked. More pronounced wings on it for better splitting. I think I am going to order me one of those to complement my 8# maul.
Take a look: http://www.fiskars.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&langId;=-1&catalogId=10101&categoryId=10277&productId=10528
You guys that like your axe and/or 6 lb anything. . .are you splitting ash or what? ANY axe or concave face maul, IMHO, will not work on hard maple or the like.
A blunt edge on a monster maul with steel handle works best for me. Forget multiple strikes, those are for girls :coolsmile:
But one thing I found interesting here . . . I have ALWAYS found hickory handles will last at least five times longer than ash . . . The steel handles don't break, but they do bend after a while.
What do you guys think of this thing? At 15 lbs, I think it might just break my back. Dunno.
This is what I like to use, I generally use a sledge and wedge to split large rounds in half then I use that big sucker one hit right through. The only wood that gives me trouble are the notorious ones elm and hickory, usally two or three swings. It will split small rounds with one swing.
I should probably add to my previous post I'm 26, this might make a difference in your decision.
I just ran over my plastic handle tonight with my tuck and trailer, and it still looks fine, no bends or breaks. I used it tonight on some Black Locust and a huge Red Oak log. It all depends on how you plan your splits, attack the perimeter and then widdle it down the the core.
That's the Fiskars that I have. I love it, but I need one with a 34" handle and a 5-6 pound head. I was amazed at how much less effort it took to split logs with the Fiskars splitting axe, even though it's way small for me. My wife loves it - maybe I'll just let her split it all ;-)
Yeah, at 59 I may just pass on that 15 pounder. I'm only 165 lbs, too. My 8 lb sledge is enough of a workout when driving 2x4's into the ground for batter boards, esp in shist. I may also weld something up and give that a whirl. Doesn't cost much. j
With the 4lb splitting axe (MD), in rough order of decreasing volume: red oak, white oak, cherry, red maple, ash, mulberry, locust, hickory, pear, pine, poplar, beech, elm. Of those, elm, red maple, cherry, and one particular load of white oak were the biggest pains and would have benefited from a heavier head with a less concave face. For those I now have a 12lb monster maul. But I can swing the lighter axe twice in the time it takes to move the monster up and over, and more easily modulate how much effort I put into each swing.
With the 6lb maul (MI): Sugar maple, red maple, beech, yellow birch, hemlock, balsam fir, cherry. There are always one or two gnarly ones I can't get through, but the monster maul struck out on most of those as well. (Mostly yellow birch.) The 359 had no such problems.
Am curious: How long of a round (birch, cottonwood, spruce) can one split by hand? Some of these gasifiers burn 40" wood (and round, too) but I don't think I can split 40" wood by hand. I don't plan on splitting much, either, but I guess all this cottonwood I am about to fell should be split. So.... length? Thanks. j
The longest I have split was about 20'' long, about 4' in diameter. Red Oak. Good luck with a 40'' piece. The longest my Hydraulic will fit is 25''.
That picture of the maul you use looks like the one they have at Lowes. It that correct? 4# head?
I liked the design and thought;" for $30 it is worth a shot." Apparently, you can drive over it and it does not break. Great. I am not a fan or replacing handles.
I am really debating that axe and the Fiskars Nofossil has. He loves his and I have the lighter version of that Fiskars axe and I always liked my fiskars. But it is $58. However, it does have the lifetime warranty.
I might even have to get the mine axe from Fiskars just for making kindling.
I don't do a lot of really big stuff, but I do the gamut of red oak, beech, apple, red cedar, locust, white birch, hickory, and so on. I leave the really gnarly ones for the hydraulic splitter that I borrow once a year, but I like to split as much as I can right where I cut it, in the woods.
I've used traditional splitting mauls for years, but I was blown away by how much better the little bitty Fiskars toy with the concave head worked. I'd estimate half the effort to split the same log as a splitting maul with a head twice as heavy. If the Fiskars were big enough to fit me, I'd be there.
So - is this a conspiracy to taunt me? Titan posts a picture of an axe that you can't even buy in this country, and Lignum posts a couple of pictures with glowing recommendations no indication of where you can get them or even look at them....
My Greenwood only takes 18" . . . but since the combustion chamber is not steel, you roll them in east/west, not north/south. Which has some definite advantages.
1) The wife can put wood in since the chunks are lighter
2)Most chunks can be rolled in without splitting
3) Splitting 18' beats attempting splitting 40"
My first year wood supply assumed a Centrel Boiler at 40". Sux to cut every piece before loading >:-(
Sure I did, at the top of this page. There are two types of this axe. The one at Lowes and Home Dumpo have a supposed ergonomic handle that I could not get the feel for after a few years with the one with a regular axe handle. The last place I bought one like that was at local Meijer store. The google search says True Value also carries them but I have not been inside one to find out for sure. And they run on average of $30.00. Even Amazon.com carries them for $41.00.
I got that one - thanks. The one I was whining about was the yellow-handled one (below). How would you compare the two in terms of feel, quality, durability, and effectiveness? I saw the True Temper model at Mall-Wart and it had a terrible ridge running down the handle from a bad mold. They only had one, so I don't know if that was an exception or not.
Were the ones at Wal-Mart all made like that? The feel is well balanced with the red handled on that I purchased at my local Meijer store. I bought the last one they had tonight just because I wanted another one for my son. I know my signature says my son is 6 but he can swing that one just enough to bust apart some Locust. It surprised the crap out of me when he picked it up and busted one apart. I like the weight of it, you can swing it all day long, no cramping in the hands, no back pains like lifting a heavy lump of a maul. I would not buy any other splitting implement besides a hydraulic splitter.
And no that design does not have that ridge in it from either the ax handle or the crap ergonomic handle from either Lowes, Home Dumpo, or Meijer, all the same. Maybe that is why Wal-Mart had only the one left because it was a turd.