An axe might seem like a simple piece of equipment to choose and use, but it really isn’t. The small differences between one model and another make a huge difference in the overall performance; from the ease of use and comfort to cutting ability.

Whether you split wood as part of your work or do so to prepare the wood to heat your home, having the right axe and one that is reliable is the best way to optimize the task of splitting wood.

To help you sort through the specifics of getting the best splitting axe and what each feature indicates, we have developed this comprehensive guide.

Considering the advice of the experts is the only way to ensure you do not waste your money and time.

What to Keep in Mind

Buying an axe generally comes down to the following three things; personal preference, the size of the wood piece, and how much wood you plan to split.

  1. Personal Preference. If you have split wood before then you know the kind of weight of the axe that will be easiest for you to operate and how long you like the handle. This can also determine what kind of handle you would like to have, as the most common two materials for this are wood and composite.
  2. Size of the Wood. If you generally split larger pieces of wood then you should use an axe with a longer handle and one that has a heavier head (around 6-8lbs.). This helps you get more power and means that you will spend less time splitting.
  3. Quantity of Wood. If you have a lot of wood to split then a shorter and lighter axe is needed simply so that you can continue swinging in order to split the wood in the entire pile.

Top 10 Splitting Axes Comparison Table

PictureNameBest FeaturePriceRating (1-5)
Picture
Name
Best Feature
Price
Rating (1-5)
1. 1844 Helko Werk Germany Saxon Splitting Axe Comfortable handle and weight$$$$4.7
2. Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch More one-strike splits$$$4.8
3. Estwing E3-FF4 4-Pound "Fireside Friend" Wood Splitting Axe/Maul with Shock Reduction Grip Shock-reduction grip$4.8
4. Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36 Inch Better blade shape for enhanced efficiency$$4.8
5. Gerber 36-Inch Power Splitting Axe [31-003636] Shock-absorbing handle$$4.4
6. Fiskars 375841-1001 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch. Better blade shape makes it easy to remove from wood$4.8
7. Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul 31.50 Inch Wood Splitting Axe Quality steel to reduce sharpening frequency$$$$4.8
8. Estwing Special Edition Camper's Axe Tempered cutting edge for easy cutting$$4.8
9. Truper 30958 8-Pound Splitting Maul, 36-Inch Fiberglass Handle Fiberglass handle for better control$$4.4
10. Seymour SM-8FG 8-Pound 36-Inch Fiberglass Handle Wood Splitting Maul Sledge and splitting blade combo$$3.7

Features to Look at When Shopping a Splitting Axe

Some axe heads weigh between 3-8 pounds and while handle lengths range from 2 feet to over 3 feet.

This is a huge range in terms of the size that you can get. Whether you choose a medium axe, a combination, or one extreme, you should be sure that the axe is suited to your size and abilities.

Smaller people or those that do not split wood often should consider the smaller options. Not only will this mean that you will not tire as quickly, but it also means that you can split wood more quickly than if you had a heavier axe to work with.

Read the reviews of the axes you are seriously considering to determine which is the best splitting axe.


Top 3 Best Splitting Axe Reviews

1. 1844 Helko Werk Germany Saxon Splitting Axe

If you have the extra money to spend now then getting the 1844 Helko Werk Germany Saxon Log Splitter really is the best of the best. Not only will this axe save you money in the long run, but it will also save you time from the moment that you start to use it.

This tool is a handcrafted splitting axe from Germany. Helko axe heads are made of C50 high carbon steel and individually forged by hand.

In addition, the axe has been designed to stand the test of time in every possible way. This longevity is only made even more appealing when you realize there are built-in safety features to protect you and those around you should the axe fall prey to wear and tear.

The head for example will be kept on the handle if it comes loose rather than being flung off.

While this is not the cheapest option, it is the best splitting axe if you do a lot of splitting work but also would like to be efficient about it.


2. Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch

The Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe has earned the name ‘super’ in more ways than one. The first being that the blade design is superior to that of other axes on the market.

It has been made to stay sharper for longer. This design also means that you can split wood and also dislodged a wedged axe easily.

One of the main issues with a splitting axe is having such a tool undergo such force, so often. This usually means that an axe will break sooner rather than later.

This series of axes from Fiskars have been made essentially unbreakable. From the handle to the attachment of the head, there are no weaknesses in the makeup of this tool.

It should be noted that the length and the size of this axe make it ideal for taller users. The axe itself also comes with a lifetime warranty from the company so if you have any issues, they will replace the entire thing.


3. Estwing E3-FF4 “Fireside Friend”

The Estwing E3-FF4 Fireside Friend is the best axe for splitting wood because it is stronger since it has been forged from one piece of steel. On top of this, there is a nylon vinyl shock reduction grip to ensure the user does not feel the effects or the force from the splitting.

This is the ideal wood splitting axe to bring along with you on camping and hiking trips. It comes with a sheath to cover the blade and it only weighs about 4lbs so you can take it with you without having to worry too much about the addition.

In terms of what you can do with this axe, the applications are limitless. You can use it as it is intended for splitting or for general survival, climbing assistance, and more.

The makeup is sturdy so you can rest assured that your investment in this axe will be well worth it over time.


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Difference Between a Chopping Axe And a Splitting Axe?

Chopping axes and splitting axes have very similar uses and features, but there are also some differences between these tools. Chopping axes should not be used on the same wood you use your splitting axe to split.

The blade of a chopping axe is narrower than the blade of a splitting axe since it’s intended to chop across the grain rather than split apart pieces of wood.

Chopping axes are much less suited for splitting wood than their splitting counterparts.

Chopping axes do not have as narrow a blade as splitting axes, they are intended for use on the uncut end of a log. The direction of the blades cuts across the wood fiber rather than cutting apart strips.

Which One is Easier to Chop Wood With: a Blunt or Sharp Axe?

In woodcutting, having a sharp axe is important in the cutting process. A blunt axe cannot penetrate the tree deeply, and also requires more effort to cut through.

The force applied by the flat side of a blunt axe is distributed to only a small area within the cut whereas a sharp axe is able to create a deeper cut by concentrating its force in a small pointed area. This requires less effort and cuts at a faster rate.