There’s nothing quite as comforting as a fireplace. And while an electric fireplace is great, it’s hard to compete with the crackling sound and pleasantly smoky smell that comes from a wood-burning fireplace. Of course, the most important part of a wood-burning fireplace is the wood itself. Anyone who’s ever had (or tried to have) a bonfire can tell you that just having a few large logs isn’t good enough. You need tinder to spark the fire, kindling to spread it, and larger logs to keep the flame going.
Whether you buy logs or chop them down yourself, you’ll still need to take some of the larger blocks and turn them into smaller pieces. There are a few different ways to chop wood. One of the most innovative is with a Kindling Cracker, the brand name for a unique style of manual wood splitter. It has a wedge in the middle and a hoop that holds a block of wood. You then use a mallet to split the wood against the wedge. It’s easier and safer than using an ax — it requires less force, and there are no sharp edges to cut yourself on. The wood splits evenly with a little help from basic physics.
We’ve rounded up some of the best firewood splitters on Amazon, including the original Kindling Cracker and budget alternatives. These are the log splitters to get.
1. Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter
The Kindling Cracker is an innovative and simple way to split logs and make kindling. It features a hoop at the top that the wood is put through and an angled wedge in the middle. You simply balance the wood in the hoop, hit it with a mallet, and the force will cause the wedge to split it. It takes minimal force and is safer than an ax. The tool is made from durable cast iron, and there are mounting holes on the bottom if you want to permanently install it somewhere.
Pros: Innovative and safe manual wood splitter. Made from sturdy cast iron.
Cons: Not very tall, so it may be awkward to use with longer pieces of wood.
2. Fiskars Splitting Ax
If you prefer to Lumberjack it, this splitting ax from Fiskars is one of the best options. Fiskars is known for producing the most iconic pair of scissors on the market — suffice it to say, they know about cutting. Like Fiskars’ scissors, this ax has a distinctive orange grip. The grip has a textured surface for more comfortable holding, and this ax has an extra-long handle, giving you extra leverage when chopping.
Pros: Extra-long handle for better leverage. Made by trusted DIY brand.
Cons: Handle may be too long for shorter or smaller users.
3. EasyGoProducts Firewood Kindling Tool
This firewood splitter from EasyGo products has a unique cross-shaped design, which is intended to split the wood four ways, rather than two. This option works similarly to the Kindling Cracker. You line up the wood in the splitter and hit it with a blunt mallet or sledgehammer. The splitter weighs a modest 18 pounds, so it can be moved around. But if you have a permanent spot for it, the four drill holes on the bottom allow it to be mounted.
Pros: Cross-shaped design helps to split the wood four ways. Can be mounted using the drill holes.
Cons: Can potentially require a lot of force.