splitting swing style

gggvan

Member
Dec 6, 2012
66
Do you choke up a little and get on top of the swing using a lot of forearm; or with both hands at the end like a cleanup hitter and rear back with a wider swing?
 

CincyBurner

Minister of Fire
Mar 10, 2015
506
SW Ohio
At beginning of splitting stroke
  1. With strong/ favored arm grip just below head of ax/ splitting maul
  2. With weak arm grip ax/ splitting maul at butt of the handle.
  3. On the upswing bring splitting head overhead, then . . .
  4. as you proceed with downswing motion continuously slide strong hand down handle to meet with other hand at the end of the swing.
This video sums it up fairly well - https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-split-firewood/
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,258
NE Ohio
Do you choke up a little and get on top of the swing
I choke up at the sight of all that nice firewood once its cut/split/stacked in my backyard... ;)
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,710
Marshall NC
IMG_3071.JPG

Here is my brother two months ago whacking a white oak drum with my Fiskars. I use the same technique.
 

ClintonH

Member
Jan 4, 2014
85
NW OH
At beginning of splitting stroke
  1. With strong/ favored arm grip just below head of ax/ splitting maul
  2. With weak arm grip ax/ splitting maul at butt of the handle.
  3. On the upswing bring splitting head overhead, then . . .
  4. as you proceed with downswing motion continuously slide strong hand down handle to meet with other hand at the end of the swing.
This video sums it up fairly well - https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-split-firewood/
I end up with lower hand near hip/center of mass. For added power, "sit down" by flexing the knees and lowering the hips, keeping back straight. Interestingly, I split right-handed despite being a lefty. Once I get worn out, I switch and split left-handed. Much better power and accuracy, but it doesn't "feel right."
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,117
Lackawaxen PA
At beginning of splitting stroke
  1. With strong/ favored arm grip just below head of ax/ splitting maul
  2. With weak arm grip ax/ splitting maul at butt of the handle.
  3. On the upswing bring splitting head overhead, then . . .
  4. as you proceed with downswing motion continuously slide strong hand down handle to meet with other hand at the end of the swing.
This video sums it up fairly well - https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-split-firewood/
I think the guy in this video has to much upper body movement. His starting point is with the maul 90 degrees to the intended movement. He eventually gets his hands together on the handle at the top of the swing, but he's off balance, and not coming down squarely. He will miss the target point and the maul with not enter the wood straight with the grain.

IMO, Simon's style is the correct finial swing position. To get there I swing the maul, with one hand, hanging straight down on one side. A few swinging back and forth movements, until I get the other hand on the handle and bring it overhead, as Simon's brother is doing. It does require strength. Maul velocity hitting the round is the key. But you do need the mass. I think I have a 8 or 10 pound maul.

All that said, after the hernia operation 15 years ago, the hydro does most of the splitting around here.
 

hickoryhoarder

Feeling the Heat
Apr 5, 2013
479
Indiana
Neither -- not at end of handle or choked up. My emphasis is hitting the piece right where I want to hit it, and moving straight down. letting the weight of the tool head do the work. I'm old and weak, and can split most things without trying to use my own power.

I'll sometimes choke up to split small kindling with a maul.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
I use an electric spitter for everything it can handle. When I have a stubborn round, I swing for the fences like I was still playing softball every time. In my my mind's eye I visualize my maul reaching and biting the base round under the target round I am trying to split.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,710
Marshall NC
Yeah, my buddy played college football. Started for 2 years in the SEC. And he has had total shoulder replacement right side.
Doc told him "Don't ever split any firewood. If you whack one piece, you will be back here in the Operating Room."