De Boomdokter seems to think so. I got a Fiskars because I needed an axe, and they're all the rage here on hearth.com, with a dissenting opinion from Dennis and a few others. It has a non-stick coating that supposedly reduces effort. I haven't used enough axes to have a strong opinion on it, but for $35, I'm happy. http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/fiskars-splitting-axe-maul.102859/ Processing firewood is definitely back-breaking work. I wasn't suggesting that you split lots of wood, but measuring the moisture on the outer surface instead of splitting it open would not give you useful data. If you're not going to split it before measuring, then I suggest the marimba method. Tap on it with a hammer, if it "plinks" like a bowling pin or marimba note, it's good to go, IME. If it gives more of a dull thud, there's too much water in it.