Easiest Wood to Split by Hand?

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,893
Marshall NC
IMG_3071.JPG

My brother here is splitting a white oak drum last year. 24 inch diameter, you could drive right up to the tree, zero rot.
What a score! Believe it or not we got it off of craigslist. Took two or three whacks to bust the drum in two with the Fiskars maul but, basically no Problema. Once the drum was split it only took one what to quarter the drum. Easy street.

We got three Nissan truck loads off of this tree. I wish, I only wish, that all the craigslist ads were as good as this one.
 

BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
356
Crystal River Valley, CO
All you people are doing it wrong!
The easiest wood to split is any wood my sons split for me;)

Agree to disagree. Having to split my own wood but not having to deal with any kids is far easier. Rules for a happy life: no pets, no plants, no kids.

Also, that picture of the guy splitting that oak round without safety glasses on is really making me nervous. Yeesh. Monocular vision sucks, and safety goggles are a lot cheaper than a trip to the ophthalmologist.
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,370
Eastern Ontario
Agree to disagree. Having to split my own wood but not having to deal with any kids is far easier. Rules for a happy life: no pets, no plants, no kids
When I was younger (now into my 70es) I loved to split wood
In your happy life no pets no plants, no kids you forgot something
without the above, you have a very boring life or you could say no life
but to each their own
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
696
Eastern Long Island NY
Also, that picture of the guy splitting that oak round without safety glasses on is really making me nervous. Yeesh. Monocular vision sucks, and safety goggles are a lot cheaper than a trip to the ophthalmologist.
I have had inch long splinters hit my safety glasses when splitting. It seems to me that most people wear ear protection when using the saw, but forget eye protection when splitting manually.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,893
Marshall NC
Agree to disagree. Having to split my own wood but not having to deal with any kids is far easier. Rules for a happy life: no pets, no plants, no kids.

Also, that picture of the guy splitting that oak round without safety glasses on is really making me nervous. Yeesh. Monocular vision sucks, and safety goggles are a lot cheaper than a trip to the ophthalmologist.
You wear safety goggles when you split wood? Are you kidding? I never heard of such a thing.
Do you also wear a hard hat?
 

CatfishHunter

Member
Dec 8, 2020
41
Minnesota
For those trying to split wet pine, you need to let it dry. Once the pine sap has dried up it is great for splitting. Do it any earlier and it, your maul, your hands/gloves, and everything it touches is just a sappy mess.

Also, don't forget that if you are burning it inside it creates a lot of creosote because of the sap. I live in a northern coniferous forest which is mostly pine and birch, with an occasional oak or maple. I only use the pine for bonfires and in my sauna, which has a very short pipe that is easy to clean creosote out of to prevent fires. My cabin stove only sees birch because it is much harder to clean the pipes.
 

CatfishHunter

Member
Dec 8, 2020
41
Minnesota
You wear safety goggles when you split wood? Are you kidding? I never heard of such a thing.
Do you also wear a hard hat?
You're a gem aren't you. Don't ridicule others safety precautions. Do what you want on your own.

I didn't use to wear any protection while splitting wood. Two years ago I had a chunk of wood hit an inch away from my eye. Now I wear cheap glasses just in case. Last week, I split a big pine round. As with most of the others, it split nicely into two halves. However, an 8" thin flat piece somehow spun out and put a deep gash in my shin (I was wearing shorts). It took a while to stop the bleeding because of the depth. I finally got it under control, wrapped a paper towel around my shin with duct tape all around (didn't need to rip off all my leg hair), then put on jeans as a safety precaution and split wood the rest of the day.

Who cares if someone puts hazard lights on and wears a condom. Let folks do what they need to do.

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
696
Eastern Long Island NY
For those trying to split wet pine, you need to let it dry. Once the pine sap has dried up it is great for splitting. Do it any earlier and it, your maul, your hands/gloves, and everything it touches is just a sappy mess.

Also, don't forget that if you are burning it inside it creates a lot of creosote because of the sap. I live in a northern coniferous forest which is mostly pine and birch, with an occasional oak or maple. I only use the pine for bonfires and in my sauna, which has a very short pipe that is easy to clean creosote out of to prevent fires. My cabin stove only sees birch because it is much harder to clean the pipes.
Properly dried pine, properly burned, does not create more creosote than other wood.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
810
Massachusetts
View attachment 277252
My brother here is splitting a white oak drum last year. 24 inch diameter, you could drive right up to the tree, zero rot.
What a score! Believe it or not we got it off of craigslist. Took two or three whacks to bust the drum in two with the Fiskars maul but, basically no Problema. Once the drum was split it only took one what to quarter the drum. Easy street.

We got three Nissan truck loads off of this tree. I wish, I only wish, that all the craigslist ads were as good as this one.
Are we sure that's white oak? Looks awfully red to me. As I mentioned in the original post straight grain red oak is the easiest for my money!

RE safety gear when splitting:

I always wear safety glasses. I have some nice, comfortable Orr anti fog glasses that are honestly more comfortable than sunglasses so I kill 2 birds with one stone. They have foam cushions and I have dark, yellow, and clear pairs for all different light conditions. Wood is always flying around so it seems like a no brainer to me.

I'm definitely more lax on the pants front. I always start out in jeans knowing it's the safest option. You'll get a nasty bruise and small cut instead of a huge gash if you get hit...but I often get too hot and end up switching to shorts. I almost always regret it when a log moves/scrapes me or something goes flying but I just can't stand being hot. If it's 50+ the pants don't last long.

I will always wear pants, eyes, and ears chainsawing though regardless of temperature. Really sucks when its summer but that's why we process wood in winter/ spring!
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
976
SW Missoura
Sometimes I forget when splitting but I always try to wear safety/sunglasses when cutting and splitting. I've had enough crap in my eyes over the years to last me a lifetime. I wear steel toes also. Don't ask me how many times I smashed my big toes to learn to wear them lol.
 
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,893
Marshall NC
Seriously, I have never heard of someone wearing safety goggles while splitting with a maul. It has never crossed my mind to do so.
I have been splitting wood for many years. Started in 1983 with a Sotz Monster Maul. Great maul.
Moved up to a Fiskars four years ago. In the past 5 days I have split 3 Nissan truck loads of wood, ash and black walnut.

Never came close to getting an eye injury. If it makes you feel good to wear those goggles then, have at it.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
696
Eastern Long Island NY
Seriously, I have never heard of someone wearing safety goggles while splitting with a maul. It has never crossed my mind to do so.
I have been splitting wood for many years. Started in 1983 with a Sotz Monster Maul. Great maul.
Moved up to a Fiskars four years ago. In the past 5 days I have split 3 Nissan truck loads of wood, ash and black walnut.

Never came close to getting an eye injury. If it makes you feel good to wear those goggles then, have at it.
That's the point about accidents. "It went well for 20 yrs" said the man after his house burnt down. 'I ride here every day's said the man with a broken spine from a motor cycle fall.

Accidents have a low probability. It's that one time, say in your 21st year, where a piece does pierce your eye, and you loose your distance estimating skills.

I had, in a period of about 10 yrs, one piece hit my safety glasses smack in the middle. It would have gone in my eye, and penetrated far in.

It's your eyes, your body, your livelihood. Do as you wish.
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
325
Colorado
They are absolutely right and I wear cheap clear glasses that are light even when I cook bacon on the stove or anything that might splatter hot grease just for safety reasons and if I cut wood and most likely won't will always wear long pants . Why not be safe for we only have so many years of good health anyway--why shorten these good years---shame on you Simonkenton and now that you know just be safe that's all we want for you with excellent health too....clancey
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,370
Eastern Ontario
I have never thought about wearing safety glasses
But in fact, I have been wearing safety hardened lens all my life
I wear prescription lenses started at the age of 5. Now I don't need glasses
cataract removed new lens to my prescription. Then again I let my sons
do the splitting now
 

Max W

New Member
Feb 4, 2021
14
Maine
Fifty years ago so many of us just didn’t pay so much attention to safety like today. We worked in the woods without hard hats, eye and hearing protection or chaps, just the way it was. Despite today’s greater awareness it’s still easy for me to jump into a task without gearing up.

I haven’t split much by hand in a long while. As far as the easiest wood white ash, frozen after a cold stretch, and a long handled ax made for some fun splitting. It’s been a long time since the nights when we used to hear the the woods alive with the sounds of the trees popping In the cold.