How to Split Wood Without An Axe

For a woodworker, an axe is a tool that is used for wood cutting, falling, and other related tasks. And what if you need to break a piece of wood and you don’t have an axe or it’s dull?

Would you try to find another method to finish the work, or would you just sit and wait for the next axe to arrive?

The great thing is that you do not have to choose the latter choice. There are numerous methods for splitting wood without an axe, and we’ll go through each one in this piece.

There are eight alternative ways for splitting wood listed below, none of them need the use of an axe. Take a look around for a minute.

8 Ways To Split Wood Without An Axe

8 Ways To Split Wood Without An Axe

Cutting wood is an essential survival technique, especially in the winter. But, as I just found, it isn’t as simple as I remembered.

Finding new ways to slice wood is the answer. While I can’t pretend to be a specialist on almost everything, I can state that there are some novel approaches as well as those that have been around for a while. 

This is not an important thing if the technique has been there for a long period of time or not;  It’s discovering one that works for you and allows you to prepare your wood for the wintertime.

You can do a lot with wood, but you don’t always have an axe with you. One of the most basic survival skills a person should acquire is how to split wood without an axe.

It comes in handy when it’s freezing outside, for cooking and lighting. So, learning how to split wood without an axe is essential.

The nice thing about contemporary technology is that it has produced equipment and technologies that can assist you in splitting wood when you don’t have an axe. 

Don’t worry, there are alternatives to using an axe to split wood. Keep reading to learn how to split wood without an axe in this post.

Use Sledgehammer And Wedge

Use Sledgehammer And Wedge

If you don’t want to spend the money on a specific wood slicing tool, you may cut wood utilizing a wedge and hammer. 

A hefty hammer is used to push the wedge into the end of the log. While it is a slow process, it is nevertheless useful for someone who does not have a lot of wood to split.

Use Hydraulic Log Splitter

Use Hydraulic Log Splitter

The hydraulic firewood splitter is the original and most well-known alternative. These are available in a range of sizes and from a variety of manufacturers. 

To force a wedge through the wood, they utilize a hydraulic cylinder (think hydraulic bottle jack). 

Based on how and where firewood you need to split, you may choose a splitter with a manual pump or one with an electric engine and pump.

Hydraulic splitters are effective, although they can be costly. A small one can cost a few hundred dollars, while a huge one might cost 9,000 US Dollars or more. That is, after all, a corporate unit. 

And they all look a little like commercial establishments to us. 

I might not be comfortable spending the money if I’m not trading firewood or using it to heat my house full-time.

Use A Table Saw

Use A Table Saw

Some may consider this cheating, but sawing a log halfway through on a table saw makes splitting it simpler. 

Simply cut the log along its length, tearing it in numerous places. The wood is already partially split when you hit it with an axe, maul, or wedge. 

Only the middle of the log, which the blade couldn’t reach, has to be split. Push the log through the saw with caution. 

You don’t want your fingertips to unintentionally come into contact with the blade. You wouldn’t want the wood to turn as you force it through, either. 

As a result, the log may tie up the blade and function as a brake. This may cause the saw to come to a halt or cause the log to be flung by the blades.

Use A Smart Splitter

Use A Smart Splitter

A smart splitter is a gadget that splits wood by using weight as the driving force. 

This instrument must be attached to a stump or piece of wood that will serve as a workpiece surface. 

The hardwoods to be broken are placed on the operating area and are wedged by the smart splitter. 

The downside of utilizing such a smart splitter without an axe is that it is not the fastest way to split wood.

Use Log Splitter For The Home

Use Log Splitter For The Home

A log splitter is a piece of heavy-duty industrial equipment. These monsters rip across hardwood like butter. 

Say goodbye to the aching backs and shoulders you’ve come to expect from the modest axe. Because this Winter, a log splitter will be a blessing.

However, there is one drawback to such a strong piece of gear, the price. 

A Gas Log Splitter can cost over a thousand dollars unless you intend on splitting many cords of wood each season. 

While a gas wood splitter is the best equipment for splitting logs quickly and efficiently, not everyone can afford to spend that much money. 

When you can purchase a gas splitter, then lifestyle may be about to alter in ways you could never imagine.

An alternative is to purchase a log splitter built for residential usage that will not cost you a mortgage payment. An electrically powered splitter is the solution. 

These aren’t as strong as the gas models, but they’re ideal for homeowners who want to split logs more quickly.

Use Auger Splitter

Splitting Cones Log Splitter Wood Splitter

Another tool that has been around for a long time is the auger splitter. They come in a variety of designs, some of which are meant to bolt onto the axle of a lawn tractor, while others are self-contained and driven by an electric motor. 

The auger is envisioned as a large screw that is pushed into the timber. This screw, on the other hand, is rapidly widening. 

As a result, it acts as a wedge, pressing on the log from the inside and eventually shattering the wood.

Auger splitters, similar to hydraulic splitters, are very costly despite their effectiveness. 

If you have a great motor, purchasing only the auger screw and utilizing this with the existing motor or axle can save you a huge amount of cash.

Use LeverAxe

Leveraxe Classic MX

Leveraxe Classic MX - 36 inch Splitting Axe, Vipukirves
  • LEVERAXE CLASSIC MX is very efficient and enjoyable tool for chopping wood
  • Leveraxe's innovated design produces a levering action as it sinks into the wood. Less force is required to split the wood compared to traditional axes.
  • The hook on the back of the axe is a brake. This feature stops the axe on top of the wood, not allowing it to go into the ground or the user's leg.

The LeverAxe is a completely revamped axe that makes breaking hardwood a breeze. 

This application was just removed from one of the audience funding platforms, and the cost has increased significantly. 

Even at its increased price, though, this tool is well worth the money, as it makes splitting wood considerably simpler.

Due to the extreme way the weight pushes against it, the LeverAxe’s off-center head seems to be a much broader wedge than it actually is. 

In the footage I’ve watched, the LeverAxe operator didn’t even lift it all the way up like a conventional axe or maul. They were just about two feet well above wood to be broken when they lifted it.

This appears to be a much more efficient method of splitting wood, especially if you’re cutting large woods.

Using A Knife With A Fixed Blade

Using A Knife With A Fixed Blade

You can usually break hardwood with a knife having a fixed blade for thinner pieces. 

Saw or score a groove in the head of the hardwood (preferably using a saw, but even a tiny one like the one found in a Swiss Army Knife would suffice), then smash the blade into the wood. 

Start making sure to utilize the portion of the knife blade closest to the grip, because it will be bigger and heavier. 

After you’ve firmly pressed the knife into the wood, use a larger hammer (or another block of wood) to alternately tap the rear of the displayed blades and the handles, gently pushing the blade down through the wood.

Other Ways

The techniques or gadgets described earlier are only a few of the numerous options for learning how to split wood without the need for an axe, but there are plenty more options. Other wood splitting methods are listed below.

  • Consider hiring somebody to do it for you.
  • Construct a screw log splitter.
  • By using a kindling cracker and a cutting maul to break the wood.

Notes When Splitting Wood

  • Every time, dress appropriately, shoes, eyewear (or any type of glasses) and a decent pair of pants. 
  • Thick trousers can shield you against flying debris, including stripes, if they are hurled at you suddenly.
  • Please ensure you’re working with wet soils or a piece of wood below the log you wish to split.
  • Place bigger pieces of wood between two pantyhose on soft ground when splitting (or on a shorter chopping block). If the wood splits in this manner, you won’t have to lean over as much to pick up the pieces.
  • Because there are so many various kinds of trees, some are softwoods and others are rough. Some woods are simple to split and require little effort. Other woods are more durable.
  • You will not be able to divide hardwood like an expert straight immediately. Precision and competence, like everything else, takes time and practice.

Choose The Correct Log

Among the most prevalent misunderstandings is that the difficulty of breaking hardwood is determined by the axe you use. 

It will be much easier to split the log if you choose the proper one. The kind of log and how green it is will frequently determine how difficult it is to cut.

The species is the most essential consideration when it comes to greener or dry logs. It may be easier to split the logs when they are damp in some situations. 

This is especially true in the case of oak trees. You may need to wait until they are completely dry at other times. Some pine species are an example of dry logs.

It’s preferable to depend on your own personal knowledge. It’s a good idea to let the log dry if you try splitting it and it is springy the axe may bounce off. 

The log begins to crack as it dries. You’ll be able to simply split the timber using these fractures. 

It might take up to six months for the log to dry out sufficiently to cut, based on the circumstances.

Keep Yourself Safe

When splitting firewood, it’s critical to make sure you’re keeping safe. To avoid injuring someone, make sure no one is standing close to you when you’re swinging. 

Before separating, make sure you have all of the necessary safety equipment. Slicing fuelwood is a potentially hazardous activity. 

There’s a possibility that someone will be badly hurt if you don’t take measures. Accidents can be avoided by taking a few basic precautions.

Firstly, please ensure no one is in the vicinity when you’re breaking firewood. People will be less likely to be injured by a flying piece of lumber if they are kept out of the vicinity.

It’s also a good idea to double-check for any potential stumbling blocks. Splitting wood on flat ground is always the best option. 

This will help you to achieve the proper stance while avoiding getting imbalanced. Make sure there isn’t something in the way of your axe’s stroke.

Do Not Really Cut All Of The Logs

You may not want to divide every log for a variety of reasons. Metal objects, such as nails, can become trapped in them, which is one of the most serious concerns. 

This might pose a serious threat to one’s safety. Avoid curved logs as well, since they may be quite unstable when split.

Make sure to check logs completely before splitting them. You could see that they have metal embedded in them in certain situations. Nails or screws, for example, might protrude from the surface.

If this is the case, attempt to get the metal out of the way. It’s preferable to avoid chopping the log if you can’t.

Obtain The Correct Tools

If you’d like to break wood, you’ll need to have the appropriate equipment initially.

While chopping wood, a good axe is usually the most crucial tool. A maul, wedge, and sledgehammer may be required next. 

This will assist you in dealing with larger logs, which are harder to break.

The sort of timber you’ll be dealing with will frequently dictate the equipment you’ll require.

As previously said, you’ll need a decent axe to get started. In the vast majority of situations, this is all you’ll need to divide logs. 

You may select between a fiberglass or hardwood handle for your axe. 

The fiberglass handles provide a better grip and are more pleasant to hold. It is, however, a matter of personal choice. 

You should experiment with both types of axes to discover which you prefer.

Always Get Proper Methodology

It’s time to work on improving your technique once you’ve obtained the appropriate tools.

The first thing you should do is concentrate on your stance. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart when you stand. 

This will allow you to strike the log with the most amount of force possible. After that, look at how you’re gripping the axe. 

You’ll have better control if you put your dominant hand behind the axe’s head.

When splitting wood, the method you choose may have a big influence on how simple it is to slice through the log. 

The first step is to ensure that you are in the proper position.

Your legs should be shoulder-width apart. It’s critical to ensure that you’re operating on level ground. This will assist you to avoid stumbling in the middle of a swing.

After that, raise the axe. It should be placed over your head. Now it’s time to line up your shot. 

Each time you shoot at the same spot on the log, you should be successful. This will allow you to create a deep fracture in the log, which you can then utilize to split it. 

Allow the axe to fall when you’re ready, guiding it with your dominant hand.

Recognize What Section Of The Wood To Strike

It’s usually better to search for natural fractures in the log. Start at the edges and work your way back to the center while separating. 

Try to stay away from the knotted logs. Because these are the densest portions, they will be the most difficult to divide.

You can substantially minimize the amount of time it takes to divide a log if you know which portions to target.

You’ll be able to locate a crack in most logs. This is especially true for wood that has been exposed to the elements throughout the summer. 

You can minimize the amount of effort required to split the wood if you concentrate your attention on striking the fracture. If you can’t see a crack, you may need to use a maul to create one.

It’s also crucial to ensure that you’ll be beginning from a position of strength. The timber in the log’s center is thicker and more difficult to cut through. 

If users begin on the corners, you’ll be able to start weakening the fibers, making it easier to separate the denser portions later.


Using each method will need a different level of expertise. Take time to analyze your circumstances and workload so that you can make the best decision.

After understanding how to break hardwood without an axe in various methods, you can now split wood without an axe with ease. 

Because the axe is too hefty to carry all of the time, it is also inconvenient to use on a regular basis. 

It’s a good thing there are contemporary tools to fall back on when your axe isn’t accessible. 

Depending on your preferences and where you are more convenient, you may select from the techniques and tools listed above.