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The UK's bestLog Splitting Axes2022 Review

What To Look For in a Log Splitting Axe

Whilst a lot of people choose to buy pre-cut firewood logs, there’s something very rewarding about getting outside and splitting them yourself (not to mention the money-saving element of doing so).

All log splitting axes are reasonably lightweight, but if you’re new to using these tools, look for something under 2 kg. Heavier axes, between 2 – 3 kg will wield more power which you may need to build up to. The more weight that’s held in the blade, the more powerful the axe will be. Contemporary log splitting axes are usually made from fibreglass, with durable steel blades.

They come in a range of sizes to make them suitable for different jobs. If you want to cut standard logs (up to 40 cm in diameter) look for an axe around 70 cm long. This will be suitable for most people, though may be a little short for those over  138 cm (6 ft) tall.

You should also make sure the axe has a bevelled head – somewhere around 35°. This will help split the wood instead of causing the blade to get stuck. 

As my top recommendation, I’ve chosen the Lexivon V28s Log Splitting Axe – it’s the best all-rounder and will suit a lot of different people. Ultra-lightweight, well balanced and 71 cm in length, it’s suitable for users of almost any height.

For more details about this axe, as well as other great alternatives, see the reviews below. 

See the best Log Splitting Axes below

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Read Our Log Splitting Axe Reviews

B084ZF7K3L
0840025239081
Best all-rounder
Lexivon V28s Log Splitting Axe
Top Pick

Best all-rounder

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Design
    Durability
    Comfort
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.7
  • Length
    71cm
  • Weight
    2.86kg
  • Material
    Steel & Fiberglass
  • Our Review

    For a well-balanced log splitter that will help you convert any large logs into suitably-sized fuel for the fire, the LEXIVON V28s Splitting Axe is a great option to consider.

    The balance point is close to the axe head makes it easy to swing without causing fatigue. For reference, the splitting head itself weighs around 1.7 kg, whilst the overall weight of the axe is 2.4 kg, meaning half of the weight is held in the blade. As a result, it’s much more easy-going than a traditional axe, and the difference is noticeable in terms of the speed at which you can split wood and get through the log pile.

    Weight is kept down thanks to the fibreglass shaft, which is much lighter than its wooden equivalent would be. Plus, at 70 cm long, it’s a suitable length for users of almost any height and build. The only thing to bear in mind here is that a solid wooden handle would likely be able to cope with tougher work and offer more shock absorption, but this LEXIVON axe is certainly still up to the task of splitting logs.

    With a head made from drop-forged carbon steel, it’s an undeniably strong tool. It comes with a sharp blade meaning you can get to work straight away, and the hardened cutting edge assists the blade’s movement through wood. As is common with log-cutting axes, the V28s Splitting Axe is wedge shaped, encouraging the wood to split apart much quicker than a flat blade would.

    A protective sheath for the blade comes included, offering a little more peace of mind for when it’s in storage or being carried around. The blade protector can be clipped on and off, and stored until needed.

    Ideal for basic wood splitting tasks, and a great way to prepare firewood to burn over winter, this axe is a useful tool to have in the shed. However, you might find it struggles if you need to cut a lot of harder wood, like oak.

    Nevertheless, seeing as the majority of us aren’t hacking down oak trees for our wood burners, this will likely be more than up to the jobs you need it for – it’s a good splitting axe if you’re after a decent all-rounder.

    Pros

    • Splits through smaller logs (under 40 cm diameter) without issue.
    • The weight of the shaft and the head create a well-balanced swing.
    • The handle is lightweight which means it does not result in fatigue as quickly as heavier axes.
    • Arrives with a sharp edge, ready to use.
    • The splitting-maul head shape can split wood better than a thinner axe.

    Cons

    • Heavier woods like oak may require a more powerful tool.
    • The blade cover could be of better quality.
    • The handle is not solid all the way through, it has a core made of a different material.

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B00YKUFVOG
6411501224736,6411501702777
Best lightweight option
Fiskars Splitting Axe L X21

Best lightweight option

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Design
    Durability
    Comfort
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.625
  • Length
    71cm
  • Weight
    1.75kg
  • Material
    Steel & Fiberglass
  • Our Review

    Who isn’t after a reliable log splitter that consistently delivers on performance?

    The Fiskars Splitting Axe L X21 ticks all the above criteria; it’s well balanced and easy to use, with features that really help make a difference when splitting logs: a solid blade that won’t go blunt quickly, a lightweight construction, extremely strong shaft and anti-shock technology.

    Overall, it’s the best splitting axe if you need something lightweight and manageable, but effective.

    It makes light work of medium-size logs, with a forged-steel blade that is well suited to splitting logs with a 20 – 30 cm diameter. With this axe, Fiskars have created a powerful tool that isn’t fussy about wood type either: pine, birch and even oak will all meet their match.

    The FiberComp™ shaft has been expertly designed to be lightweight, yet stronger than steel – it minimises fatigue and makes the axe virtually unbreakable. Plus, there are further reasons why this log splitter is so pleasant to use: the comfortable handle (with anti-shock coating) reduces vibration, so you are not left with numb or trembling hands after a morning of chopping wood, and the handle has a textured surface helping you grip without slipping.

    All Fiskars Splitting Axes have a 35° cutting bevel angle for wood splitting. The blade’s shape makes it less sensitive to fracture, and the insert-moulded head is firmly attached.

    Compared to many splitting axes of a similar weight, this Fiskars axe can generally take on larger challenges. As a result, there’s less need to use additional tools like a splitting maul or wedge.

    It also seems to hit the sweet spot, being the best chopping axe for people of most builds; however, if you are over 6′ it might be a little on the short side.

    Fortunately, if you are not sure what size would be best, the Fiskars website has a great guide for helping you find the right tool for a variety of jobs.

    Pros

    • Good size for medium size logs - can cut slightly bigger logs too with a few extra swings.
    • Fiskars have created a quality instructional video to help use their axe effectively.
    • Good balance of durability, weight and value.
    • The blade stays sharp even after prolonged use.
    • The grip is both comfortable and sufficiently non-slip.

    Cons

    • If you are over 6' this axe may be too short for you.

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B018GH2ROU
4078500015172
Best for versatility
Gardena 2800 Log Splitting Axe

Best for versatility

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Design
    Durability
    Comfort
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.325
  • Length
    70cm
  • Weight
    2.96kg
  • Material
    Steel & Plastic
  • Our Review

    At 2.96 kg, the GARDENA Axe 2800 S Axe is the heaviest log splitting axe featured here. That might not sound ideal, but the majority of the weight is positioned in the axe’s hardened-steel head, which a lot of people prefer for splitting wood. When the axe is brought down, the head weight provides more force to split the log.

    With a wedge-shaped head, and a 70 cm shaft, this GARDENA axe has been designed to be comfortable and efficient; the head splits the wood easily, whilst the length allows for a decent swing. This weighted head also allows for larger logs to be split, and the coating results in a blade that is easier to pull out of wood if it gets stuck.

    In contrast to the head, the shaft is made from lightweight fibreglass-reinforced plastic, creating a much lighter axe than would be the case with a wooden shaft. The handle and head have been secured in an innovative fashion, creating a stronger join than is sometimes found in axes with fibreglass shafts.

    If necessary, the side opposite the axe head can also be used as a hammer to drive a splitting wedge into tough wood. In most cases when splitting firewood this won’t be required, but it’s a notable feature which could occasionally be useful.

    If you’re used to a heavier axe for splitting wood, just be aware as you start to use this one – the lightweight shaft can feel a bit odd and precarious to start with, but you should get used to it after a few swings.

    Pros

    • Protective case for blade allows axe to be carried safely.
    • Coating on the axe head makes it easier to remove from wood and it doesn't get stuck as easily.
    • Protective metal plate on the shaft, near the head, protects it from accidental overstriking.
    • Heavy head weight gives a lot more power when chopping.
    • The splitting-maul shaped axe head works well to split wood.

    Cons

    • Arrives blunt - some people prefer this for safety, but others would rather buy a sharpened blade.
    • The shaft is not solid fibreglass; it's fibreglass with a plastic stem.
    • Not as effective at splitting harder wood like oak.

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How to Choose The Best Log Splitting Axe

Chopping and splitting wood for your fire is very rewarding, but the right tool for the job is essential.

A log splitting axe does exactly what it says on the tin, helping you split logs that can be used as fuel.

There are a lot of different models on the market, so I’ve put together the following guide to help you make an informed purchase:

The Benefits of a Log Splitting Axe

A log splitting axe is a great tool for chopping firewood, designed to split logs along the wood grain.

Splitting axes typically have tapered heads – the force of the axe’s head coming down into the wood causes it to split, and the tapered cutting edge slices further into the log. The thicker part of the blade follows, and succeeds in splitting the log apart.

An axe for splitting wood generally weighs between 2 – 3 kg, so they are a lot lighter and easier to use than splitting mauls. As a result, you’ll find they make it easier and safer to chop your own wood. A splitting maul is longer and heavier.

Another benefit to owning a log splitting axe is that it will save you money – instead of having to buy logs from a company (who are charging for the privilege of them splitting the logs for you!), you can skip the middle man and make it more economical.

What’s more, log splitting is an extremely good workout, so you’ll even be getting fitter as you slice up wood for the fire. It’s an activity than can burn between 400 and 500 calories in an hour and can activate the same muscles as doing an abdominal crunch!

Knowing Which Type of Axe to Buy

Not all axes can do the same job, and the axe required for splitting wood is not the same as the axe needed to fell trees.

Two of the most common types of axe are log splitting axes and felling axes. Here’s more information on each axe so you can make sure you’re getting the right one for the job:

Log Splitting Axe

Log splitting axes have thicker ‘cheeks’ on the blade head compared to felling axes. They also have a shorter blade.

A log splitting axe is wider because the head of the axe acts as a splitting maul, pushing the log apart and causing it to split. A splitting axe isn’t intended to chop through the whole piece of wood, but rather force the wood apart. It cuts with the grain of the wood, not against it.

Even the best log splitting axe shouldn’t be used to fell a tree because the blade isn’t sharp enough or the right shape. It will take a really long time compared to other axes, and way too much energy.

Felling Axe

A felling axe has a long, narrow head. They are sharper and better designed for cutting deeper into larger pieces of wood – like tree trunks.

Using a felling axe for splitting firewood will result in the axe getting stuck a lot. The blade is sharp, but it is relatively thin all over, so it won’t create the same ‘splitting’ action.

Instead, it’s good for working away at larger objects.

Choosing the Right Handle Length

The length of the handle can vary between axes. Your choice will depend significantly on your height, as well as how much swing you need.

A longer handle will provide you with more swing. This means more momentum, which increases the force that the axe can deliver. On paper, this results in it being easier to split larger logs. However, of course, other factors do come into play.

The downside of an axe with a longer handle – especially one that is too big of heavy for you – is that it may be harder to control.

A short handle has its advantages, being easier to manage and likely lighter than a longer axe. But a smaller swing arc can also prove dangerous – if the swing is too short, the axe will not be stopped by the ground in front out you. As a result, it could come into contact with your legs which is incredibly dangerous.

Which leads us on to…

How to Make Sure the Axe Handle is the Right Length

There is a good ‘general’ guideline to follow, to make sure that your axe handle is neither too short or too long depending on your height.

Your inseam measurement is generally the same length as the axe handle you should get. Measure your inseam using a tape measure, measuring your inside leg from the crotch to the ankle bone. Alternatively, you can measure a pair of your trousers, from the crotch to the hem of the trousers, to get this measurement.

The axe handle can be a few centimetres longer than this measurement, but in general try to get it as close as possible.

Selecting the Handle Material

Wooden Handles

Traditionally, splitting axes have a wooden handle and this still remains a popular choice.

Wooden handles will absorb shock well meaning they’re more comfortable to use for a longer period of time.

However, they are often varnished for durability, which can make them harder to grip. Those that are unvarnished can swell and shrink depending on the humidity and temperature.

Fibreglass Handles

Fiberglass axe handles are lighter, easier to use and more durable than wood. Whereas a metal handle can rust, a fibreglass handle won’t be nearly as sensitive to the environment.

However, they are hard to replace, meaning you may have to purchase a brand new axe if your fibreglass handle breaks.

Steel Handles

Steel axe handles are the most durable of the three handle types, but they tend to be the hardest to find.

The downside to steel handles is they don’t offer much shock absorption. The more expensive models may have shock-reduction grips to make the axe more comfortable to use.

Single vs Double Bit Axes

The ‘bit’ is the sharp part of the axe that cuts through the wood – often also referred to as the blade.

Splitting axes usually have either a single or a double bit. An axe with a ‘double bit’ will have two ‘blades’, one on either side of the axe head.

Single bit axes tend to be more popular and, due to their weight distribution and heavier one-sided head, they lend themselves to having more splitting power.

Double bit axes tend to be better balanced, offering more control while you chop. Of course, whilst it’s always important to be extremely careful when using an axe, double-bit axes need to be used with a lot of caution due to their two blades.

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Log Splitting Axe FAQs

Can I use a log splitting axe for chopping kindling?

If you’re trying to make kindling, a tool like the Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter will be much more beneficial. There will be too much power behind a log splitting axe, wasting energy whilst also making the kindling fly everywhere. For this job, you need a smaller tool that you can use with one hand, such as a hand axe, kindling axe or hatchet.

Can I use a log splitting axe for felling trees?

A splitting axe is not a good tool for cutting down entire trees. It is designed to split wood along the grain rather than across the grain. To cut down trees you will need a felling axe.

What’s the difference between a chopping axe and splitting axe? 

Chopping axes and splitting axes are used for different tasks.

The blade of a chopping axe is slimmer and sharper than that of a splitting axe – it’s designed to cut through wood fibres and chop logs across the grain (like cutting horizontally through a tree trunk). If you try to use a chopping axe to split logs, you will find it gets stuck a lot because you are trying to make it cut down the grain, not across it.

An axe for splitting wood is intended to cut vertically in one downward stroke. They cut along the grain of the wood.

Can I take a log splitting axe on a camping trip?

In the UK, there are strict rules about where, and under what circumstances, it’s legal to carry a a bladed item. Axes fall under the category, as well as knives. It is illegal to carry any bladed item in a public space without “good reason”.

If  you’re thinking out taking an axe camping, you should familiarise yourself with UK knife carrying law and make sure to read all the sections carefully; it may not be legal for you to take the axe with you. The safest thing to do is to leave it at home. There are also particular ways that the item would need to be transported, used and stored (if permitted at all) so these should all be researched in detail as well.

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Log Splitting Axes Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Log Splitting Axe Prices Found Today

Prices last updated: 17 May, 2022

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