Cutting logs with a wedge can be a bit tricky if you don’t know the right techniques for it. There’s a certain thing you can do to enhance leverage. That way, it’s less tiring to cut down the logs overall.
But do you know the right method on how to split wood with a wedge? If not, then you don’t have to sweat about it.
Down below, we’ll cover everything you’ll ever need to know about splitting wood with a wedge that you can use for the rest of your life.
Why Use a Wedge
Before we move on to the methods to do it, you should know why to use a wedge in the first place.
Well, if you know about big wood blocks, you know that they are super heavy. You can’t handle them easily unless you use a wedge. Now, you might have seen our splitting wedge vs maul comparison, and you should know that using a wedge can make splitting wood so much easier.
It’s going to help you get maximum leverage, thus, saving your energy. So, if you are working with a big block of wood, you should use a wedge in the cutting process.
7 Easy Steps to Split Wood With a Wedge
Now that you know how using wedge can help you make the whole thing easier, let’s go over 7 easy to follow steps that you can use to get the most effectiveness.
Step 1: Gathering The Tools
The first thing you need to do is gather the tools that you are going to need in the process. You are going to need the following things.
- Safety Glasses
It’ll be a good idea to grab 2 wedges when you are getting ready. That’s because the wedges tend to get stuck in the wood. So, you should have a spare one to get it out of the place. You can get Fiskars splitting wedges, which are pretty good wedges to use in that case.
Fiskars Splitting Wedge
- Wood wedge for splitting hardwood for the fireplace, stove, barbecue or campfire, Usable only with a hammer with a polymer head
If you have been searching for a good quality splitting wedge, you must’ve come across Fiskars splitting wedge by now. Fiskars produce some of the best wedges that you can use to chop down the logs without much trouble.
Features of the Product
This wedge is super sturdy thanks to the forged steel 36-42 HRC that’s been used in the construction. Also, the rounded head design helps to avoid splinters, which is very vital in security. It weighs 2.2 kilograms and that allows you to carry it around with you without any problem.
So, if you are looking for a great splitting wedge to chop down some logs, the Fiskars splitting wedge is the perfect fit for you.
- Hardened materials give amazing longevity
- Rounded head design for safe use
- Pretty lightweight to carry around
- Very high-quality wedge
- A bit pricey compared to most other wedges
Now that you have the wedge in place, make sure to get a sturdy sledgehammer to use on the wedge. However, if you don’t have any of these tools, you can search these up in any hardware store.
Once you gather up these things, you are ready to move on to the next step.
Step 2: Wear Safety Glasses
Safety glasses are the most vital object that you’ll need if you use a wedge to split the woods. When you hit the sledgehammer on the wedge, the metal on metal impact can throw tiny steel bits on your eyes, which is pretty dangerous.
Also, there are high chances of the wood bits hitting your eyes as you hit the sledgehammer on the wood. That can cause a very critical eye injury.
To save yourself from that, you must wear safety glasses while you are hitting the wood. Just that little step can help you avoid unwanted accidents. So, make sure to wear your safety glasses before you start with anything else.
Step 3: Find Existing Cracks
Now that you’ve ensured safety, it’s time to find the existing cracks in the piece of wood to make the process easier. That step is for the bigger pieces of wood. If the wood is smaller, you can just put the wedge in the middle and work from there.
But if it’s a big piece of wood, start looking for existing cracks on its body. This is where you are going to place the wedge on for easy splitting. It should have natural cracks in it, which can be easier to split. After you find a good enough one, you can move on to the next step.
Step 4: Tap the Splitting Wedge In
Now it’s time to get into the real work. Grab the sledgehammer close to its head. And place the wedge where the natural crack was, or in the middle if that’s a smaller piece of wood.
Start tapping the wedge into the wood ever so gently. Make sure that it’s straight and not at an angle. Remember, the goal is not to get leverage in this step. You just need to get it deep enough to the point it can freely stand and take some hits. That should be all you need to do here.
Step 5: Choke Down on the Hammer
Now that the wedge is free-standing in the position, it’s time to get some serious hits with the sledgehammer.
First, get a test hit with the sledgehammer onto the wedge to see if it’s going to withstand the hits or not. To do that, slide your hand toward the head of the hammer and then make a hit.
Once you are sure that it’s going to stay in place, you can slide your hand back lower to get more leverage and make a hit. You can opt for maximum leverage on each hit from this time.
Step 6: Drive the Wedge Through
After you hit the wedge on the wood, it’s time to drive it through the whole thing. That’s the final thing you need to do to split the wood with the wedge.
It might take a couple of good hits to get it separated. And sometimes, the wedge can get stuck in the wood, which is a normal case. You just need to reverse hit it a couple of times to get it out of the place.
However, once you get to the end, you can give it one last big hit to separate it easily.
Step 7: Repeat for Additional Splits
When you are working with a log, you are more likely to have more than just one log in front of you. And also, sometimes splitting once is not enough, and you need to do the whole thing again.
In that case, you can simply repeat the whole thing to get it done with ease. Make sure to go over each step every time you do it. Otherwise, it’ll be more difficult for you to split wood with the wedge.
Using a wedge and a sledgehammer is a pretty dangerous task. Wearing just a safety glass might not be enough to avoid accidents if you are not extra careful.
You need to be mindful of a lot of things to ensure safety in that case. Accidents can be very critical if you don’t follow the safety rules properly.
You should never stand where the log will split and fall. That’s going to hurt your legs, which you don’t want to happen.
There is another huge risk, and that’s hitting the sledgehammer. If it slips off from the wedge and hits your body parts, it can cause a critical accident as well. That’s why you need to be always aware of your position.
Keep your feet separate from each other and try to keep at least a foot’s distance from them. That’s going to help you alleviate some stress from your back muscles.
And whatever you do, make sure to take your time with it. Rushing is the #1 mistake that you can make using your wedge and sledgehammer to split woods.
You just went through a lot on how to split wood with a wedge. Now you know the best step-by-step method to do it as well as how to be safe while doing it.
As you saw, it saves up a lot of effort when you know the right techniques to do it. However, you need to make sure that you put safety as the priority. That way, you can avoid any unwanted accidents, which can be deadly at times.
I hope that this article helps you split the woods more easily and faster as well.