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)

Hardest Wood to Split by Hand???

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by iod0816, Apr 3, 2011.

?

Hardest Wood to Split by Hand? 6 Months or less bucked to 18" for those who want.

  1. Oak (any)

    9.8%
  2. Hickory

    5.4%
  3. Black Birch

    2.2%
  4. Beech

    57.6%
  5. Other (post the other)

    25.0%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,628
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Just get the elm after it's been standing dead for a few years . . . with the bark falling off . . . then it's a whole different critter while splitting it vs. splitting a fresh cut elm. One way will be a bitter and frustrating experience . . . the other way will make you scratching your head wondering what the big fuss about splitting elm is all about.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    972
    Loc:
    East Central, NY
    Another one for elm. Haven't worked with gum, so can't comment.
  3. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    888
    cherry. Around here the stuff grows in bizzare curves and it's impossible to split by hand.
  4. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,235
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    Elm, the wood of the beast!

    I did have a heck of a time with some Crab Apple a few years ago.
  5. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,527
    Loc:
    N.W. Ohio
    Elm , never tried gum.
  6. sixminus1

    sixminus1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    87
    Loc:
    Coastal NJ
    Sweet Gum, definitely. Even after they're split, the pieces have to be peeled apart. I'll still take it, but I have to use the hatchet to separate every last split. 2-3x times the work.
  7. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    455
    Loc:
    east coast canada
    Yellow birch with a twisty grain. I've had wedges disappear into rounds that did not even flinch.
  8. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Elm isn't THAT bad...but yes it does suck.

    Gum is literally the devil.
  9. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    604
    Loc:
    Western PA
    It's not a common tree, but a dogwood tree is the worst I've seen. I've split elm, and its bad, but not like dogwood. Dogwood is hard as stone, and twisted, and full of knots. I'd split a cord of elm over a quarter cord of dogwood, any day.

    But any wood can be bad, if its a big piece full of big knots and twisted grain.
  10. coolidge

    coolidge Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    181
    Loc:
    Maine
    The wood thats not bucked, Elm, yellow Birch Although i do have a piece of GNARLY ash that the splitter wont take apart.
  11. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    304
    Loc:
    Greenville, SC
    I say another one for Gum. Haven't worked with Elm, so can't comment.
  12. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,071
    Loc:
    Silicon Valley
    petrified :coolsmile:
  13. trailrated

    trailrated Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Loc:
    Maryland
    I'll second that. I split some black gum today with the 26 Ton splitter. The rounds were only 8-10 inch rounds and the splitter was working its arse off to get through it.
  14. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,466
    Loc:
    Virginia


    Make that 2 for the Gum
  15. wood-fan-atic

    wood-fan-atic New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    870
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY

    Elm sux the big one.....Elm is why hydraulics were invented.
  16. Splitter77

    Splitter77 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Oregon
    Hickory and HardMaple are really tough
  17. ChillyGator

    ChillyGator New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    329
    Loc:
    NorthFlorida
    No elm, any Gum stays in the woods, live oak not tried.
    Water oak splits like butter - green or dry.
    Other: partially dried White Oak, took 12 whacks with the 8 lb mail to split a 12" round, made the hydraulic splitter groan.
  18. uggabugga

    uggabugga Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    DC area, MD
    siberian elm, and some mystery wood that I haven't figured out yet..
  19. Puffins

    Puffins Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I gave up on whatever this is, using my Fiskars x25. It just wouldn't. Temps were in the 30s this morning when i tried. Tree company must have taken it down when they felled four white oaks for me back in April. Any ideas as to what it is?
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1353874971.903766.jpg
  20. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Loc:
    Capital Region, NY
    I had what someone told me was slippery elm and it tore apart on the splitter. very stringy stuff.
  21. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Other. Elm. Nastiest stuff up here to split.
  22. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    592
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    I'm blessed in that I don't have all these really tough suckers you all are identifying on my acreage ........ notty twisted pignut and ironwood/hophornbeam are my toughest foes. They all eventually fall pey to the monster maul, or get noodled up with my saw. As for that wood above, bark looks like a couple things, but nothing your Fiskers shouldn't have handled.
  23. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    868
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    My guess is gum. Good luck 2 you.
  24. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    Western Mountains ,NC
    Gotta ..agree here BB . Gum is thee toughest wood ive ever tried to split by hand, an it just devours the wedges you pound them down inside the rounds
    it just laughs at every axe as it bounces off over and over again. And a splitter just shreads it with strings everywhere

    Oak should not even be on here,it splits very easy
  25. Puffins

    Puffins Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I agree with that. 'Long as it's green or in cold weather, oak is a nice wood to split. I love that *pop*!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page