About 10 years ago I bought the special ax pictured here. The unusual thing about this ax is the it has two levers which, when you strike the wood, spread out, pushing the wood apart. In the picture you can see one of them. If you can't imagine it, think of diving head first into the crack of the wood, putting your hands on each side, and keeping your arms straight. As you move into the crack, your arms would push the two halves of the log apart. This ax has mostly sat in my shed, while I used a normal ax for splitting. But I thought I'd give it another try today, and it really worked quite well. Working with large cypress rounds, I split the wood at a faster rate than normal. You don't get the satisfying feeling of the ax going all the way through the wood. Instead, it stops near the top, but the two halves of the log fly apart. Also, the ax never gets stuck in the log. If the log doesn't split, I either try again, or pull the ax out and and work with my wedges. The head is a little heavier than I prefer -- can't get it moving as fast, but it has won me over, and I plan to use it primarily in the future. I originally paid $35 for it, and I don't know if these are still available. So, if you see one of these, know that it's not just a gimmick.