1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Close calls with the Fiskars

Post in 'The Gear' started by dave11, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    604
    Loc:
    Western PA
    I'm a fan of the Fiskars, and have been using them for four years now. But I've had some close calls, especially at the beginning, and since it seems like more and more newcomers are gravitating toward them, thought it would be useful to talk about how to use them safely, rather than debate their strengths and weaknesses.

    I own several other type of mauls, but have to admit the fiskars (both the x27 and the original shorter one), make me a little more cautious when I swing them. The X27 is longer than my other mauls, the short fiskars is shorter than my other mauls, and so it requires a conscious adjustment in distance to use them safely, every time I swing. This is a real issue because, IMO, the fiskars brands are more likely to deflect, either glance off a less-than-perfect round, or split off a corner of the round and come flying toward my ankle. This doesn't happen with my other (heavier) mauls.

    So with the fiskars, IMO its vital to keep your feet far apart, as far as you can safely swing without losing balance. Also, very important to swing the splitter in exactly the midline of your body, directly from overhead. Not doing these two things puts your ankles and shins at risk.

    I also learned not to split with the fiskars while the round is more than a few inches off the ground. I never split rounds up on another round or tall chopping block, using the fiskars at least, though I do use a short block that's only a few inches tall, to strengthen the blow, or I just split with the round on the ground.

    I only split wearing steel-toes, and chainsaw chaps with kevlar, to protect my shins and ankles. I always wear eye protection.

    I'm a fiskars fan, but have to admit they are riskier to use, both the long and the short.

    Am curious what others have to add, or whether they agree/disagree.
    raybonz and TreePointer like this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,110
    Loc:
    Old Lyme CT
    Time for a log splitter;)
    MasterMech likes this.
  3. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    604
    Loc:
    Western PA
    Why's that? I know people who've been injured by those as well.
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Generally not the fault of the machine tho. ;) I know of no-one who has been injured by a well-maintained, properly operated hydraulic splitter.

    Used properly, a hydraulic splitter is safer than any axe or maul I know of to use. Of course, there are ways to mitigate the risks of using an axe/maul but there is always the chance that something can go wrong and that head winds up being where it shouldn't.
    Defiant likes this.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    For sure I am odd but I've never considered any safety equipment when splitting wood. Only thing I've ever done is make others stay away. Well, I do most times wear gloves....
    Defiant likes this.
  6. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,043
    Loc:
    Richmond, VA
    I'm no expert, but I don't think chaps will provide much protection from a splitting ax. I believe they work by layering fibers that clog up a chainsaw and stop the chain almost instantly. I've never heard that they'll do much for direct-cut protection. I'd think that soccer shin guards or snake-bite gaiters might provide more protection. Can someone provide knowledgeable info?
  7. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,027
    Loc:
    Western PA
    EXCELLENT ADVICE!

    When I first got my original Fiskars Super Splitting Axe (28") years ago, I put it in my foot! I was wearing heavy leather steel toe boots, but it hit just above the toe, and I was fortunate that it didn't damage anything other than requiring a cleaning and 3 stitches. Mind you, I had been splitting by hand for decades and am a stickler for safe practices. It was toward the end of a long day and I wanted to try it on a few rounds. After a few splits and a growing smile on my face, I decided to see if I could split a couple rounds in fairly quick succession. By increasing my speed, I didn't pay attention to where my foot was (among a few other things).

    The 36" X27 gets almost all the manual splitting work these days instesd of the original SSA. Another safety practice I use with it is I try to hit the round anywhere from center to the back side. Hitting on the near side increases chance that the swing arc can come near me.
  8. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,027
    Loc:
    Western PA
    Chaps? I think they can help. Instead of a cut through jeans and flesh, it might just cut through a few layers of chaps instead of skin. Even if the axe gets to skin through the chaps, it could be the difference between a scratch and something requiring stitches in an ER. I do know for certain that chaps can prevent splits from banging too hard into shins, thighs, and groin (d'oh).
  9. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,539
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    I'm pretty careful to keep my feet well apart and split on a block. I have heard a number of folks say but I don't follow why some are so worried about being too close with the x25. With the x25 I have great control of where the head will land, much more so than my maul. Granted the maul is heavier.

    In general I think you're only likely to get into trouble with the Fiskars when you are using the tool for something it is not suited or wasn't intended for. I would not want to have to do w/o it.
  10. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,206
    Loc:
    Central IA
    After a 10 hr day cutting/splitting Fall 2011,was getting tired, X25 bounced off a knot.Always use a splitting block (18" diameter 10" long very knotty Eastern Red Cedar). Have worn steel toed logging boots for 30 yrs,both on the jobsite years before OSHA made it mandatory & working part time in the woods.Leather almost 1/4" thick,immediately stopped took boot & heavy sock off - small scratch on foot,1 drop of blood on sock. I quit for the day then.

    Attached Files:

  11. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    592
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    I think I'll stick with my monster maul. If it hits and deflects for any rare reason, it has so much momentium that it ends up in the dirt next to the chopping block, not near my feet. No doubt the Fiskers is a great splitter, but be careful there folks.
    Defiant likes this.
  12. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,110
    Loc:
    Old Lyme CT
    Split by hand for many years, shoulders and back are sore, had rotator cuff surgery, not sure if I am getting lazy or smart:cool:
  13. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    604
    Loc:
    Western PA
    I haven't had a close call in a couple years now, though I still wear the chaps. The last close call I had, the splitter head hit my shin just above my ankle, just above the top of the boot. It nicked the surface of the chaps. but only gave me a bruise, and I think it would have been worse without the chaps. At the very least, its an extra layer between the sharp edge and your skin.
  14. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    604
    Loc:
    Western PA
    Very true. Glad you added that. I wish Fiskars would include a little handout about these things with the splitter itself.
  15. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Bruised my "begonias" pretty good this fall when a log blew apart with some seriously explosive force. Dropped me to me knees, vomiting and water gushing out my eyes before I even realized what happened. I thought something failed on the machine!

  16. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    You watch "Axe Men"?

    "Begonias" and Shelby :)
  17. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Yeah, I'd imagine most of the folks on here do, though one of my friends at work has been saying that for years too.

    DexterDay likes this.
  18. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    782
    Loc:
    indiana
    I definently have a different stance when using the Fiskars.


    Clear down range ...

Share This Page