If you rely on a wood-burning stove for cooking, or an open fireplace, for heating, you will probably be used to chopping up wood into smaller pieces, to use for kindling.
This is traditionally done using a chopping axe but as the logs get smaller, it gets harder to hold them in place in order to split them.
Using an axe safely also requires some skill and a fair amount of physical strength and there is always the element of danger involved in this activity.
This is where the kindling splitter comes in.
This nifty tool is designed to make chopping up kindling both easy and safe. It does not rely on physical strength and even the most inexperienced person can use it safely and effectively.
After researching the various kindling splitters that are available and learning from the feedback of users about these products, it is clear that the Kindling Cracker is the top performer and everyone’s favorite kindling splitting companion. It’s an extremely durable tool that will last many lifetimes and very easy to use.
It has a great story as well, so keep reading!
Before we dive into my top kindling splitter though, let’s give you the full list of best woodchoppers available.
|Best kindling splitter||Image|
|Best overall & safest kindling splitter: Kindling Cracker|
|Best portable kindling splitter: KABIN Kindle Quick Log Splitter|
|Best kindling splitter for large logs: Logosol Smart Log Splitter|
|Best simple budget kindling splitter: SPEED FORCE Wood Splitter|
In this post we'll cover:
- Buying guide for finding the best kindling splitter
- Best kindling splitters on the market today
- Kindling splitters FAQ
- How does a kindling splitter work?
- What is kindling?
- Will my cast-iron kindling splitter rust?
- What safety equipment should I wear when splitting wood for kindling?
- Where should I place my kindling splitter?
- What size should kindling be?
- Is it better to split wood wet or dry?
- What can I use instead of kindling?
- What’s the best wood to use for kindling?
Buying guide for finding the best kindling splitter
Kindling splitters come in many weights and designs, so you need to be aware of what features to look for when it comes to buying the one best suited to your needs and your pocket.
Here are some of the features I look for when purchasing a kindling splitter:
Kindling splitters are generally made from either steel or cast iron. They need to be both sturdy and durable. Some of the newer ones can be quite attractive and decorative in their design.
Blade material and shape
The blade is one of the most important parts of your kindling splitter. Splitter blades don’t need to be razor-sharp, but they do need to be made from a sturdy metal that will maintain its sharp edge.
Wedge-shaped blades made from forged titanium or cast iron are best.
Size of the splitter and diameter of the hoop
Most kindling splitters feature a hoop design. This enables you to keep your hands away from the log you are splitting.
The size of the hoop will determine the maximum size of the logs that can be placed in the splitter. A heavy-duty splitter with a large hoop will make it less portable.
Stability and weight
Manufactured from metal, the larger kindling splitters can weigh a significant amount. Increased weight, however, adds stability and can indicate a higher quality casting.
To increase the stability of your kindling splitter, look at those options that have pre-drilled holes in the base. This will allow you to bolt it down for maximum stability.
Best kindling splitters on the market today
Now keeping all that in mind, let’s look at my top 4 favorite kindling splitters in each category.
Best overall & safest kindling splitter: Kindling Cracker
The Kindling Cracker is a small to medium size splitting tool. The size of the safety ring allows you to split logs of up to five feet, seven inches in diameter.
It is made of high-quality cast iron which makes it sturdy and durable. This is a kindling splitter that is going to last you and your family a lifetime if you maintain your cast iron well (see tips in FAQs below).
It weighs ten pounds. It has a wide flange for better stability and two holes for permanent mounting. There are two vertical beams that support the wedge-shaped blade, to penetrate the log more easily.
There is a safety ring at the top of the vertical beams.
Did you know this amazing tool was invented by a school kid? Here is the original promo video to see it in action:
- Material: It is made of one solid piece of high-quality cast iron which makes it both stable and durable.
- Blade material and shape: There are two vertical beams that support the wedge-shaped cast iron blade.
- Size of splitter and diameter of the hoop: The hoop allows you to split logs of up to five feet seven inches in diameter.
- Weight and stability: It weighs ten pounds and has a wide flange with two holes for permanent mounting.
Best portable kindling splitter: KABIN Kindle Quick Log Splitter
The KABIN Kindle Quick Log Splitter is made of premium quality cast steel with a black all-weather coating which makes it both stable and durable, ideal for outdoor use.
It weighs 12 pounds but is easy to carry due to its inventive curved handle design. The inner diameter is 9 inches, so it can split logs of up to 6 inches in diameter.
There are four pre-drilled holes on the base for permanent mounting.
Due to its portability, this is a good wood splitter to take with you on camping trips. The X-shaped base allows you to carry the chopped kindling easily.
It is slightly more expensive than the Kindling Cracker but looks a lot sleeker as well.
Another downside would be the blade is a bit thick and dull, meaning you need to exert more force to get the wood to split.
- Material: This splitter is made of cast steel with a black all-weather coating.
- Blade material and shape: The sharp and wear-proof steel blade ensures quick and easy splitting, and there is no need for a dangerous axe.
- Size and diameter of the hoop: The inner diameter is 9 inches so it can split logs of up to 6 inches in diameter.
- Weight and stability: There are four pre-drilled holes in the X-shaped base for mounting on a flat surface.
Best kindling splitter for large logs: Logosol Smart Log Splitter
The Logosol Smart Splitter is an easier and more ergonomic way of splitting logs for kindling.
This is a unique design compared to the other kindling splitters as the wood is split by raising and lowering the striking weight. The weight delivers up to 30 000 pounds of force and hits the same spot every time.
Here’s how it works:
It is a highly efficient way of producing kindling. There is no strain on the back or shoulders, and it is safer than using an axe.
This tool comes with a splitting wedge and a kindling wedge, both made of steel. The striking weight is made of cast iron. It can split logs of up to 19.5 inches in diameter.
While this is one of the more expensive wood splitters on the market, it is extremely efficient and can be used by inexperienced woodchoppers.
Plus it handles large logs of unlimited widths and a recommended maximum length of around 16 inches.
- Material: The Swedish-designed wood splitter is made from a variety of quality materials.
- Blade Material: The splitting wedge and the kindling wedge are both made of steel. The striking weight is made of cast iron.
- Size and diameter of hoop: This splitter features a different design to conventional wood splitters and doesn’t have a hoop.
- Size: This splitter weighs 26 pounds, which makes it heavier than the hoop models. The striking weight weighs 7.8 pounds and requires a fair amount of physical strength to raise it. Good for splitting larger size logs.
Best simple budget kindling splitter: SPEED FORCE Wood Splitter
This one is a lot simpler, and perhaps a bit less safe than the options above, but the price can’t be beaten.
It works well and can be a great option for those weekend warriors than only need to split firewood every now and then.
Simply mount the cracker on a flat surface, a nice big stump will do, with the four provided screws and you are good to go.
Since there is no hoop to place the wood in, you can pretty much split any size log on this splitter. The blade is fairly small, so you can aim precisely. It will need sharpening every now and then.
The downside is that it’s less safe to use. The safety cover provided will keep the blade sharp and safely covered when not in use.
- Material: The base and cap of this wood splitter are made of high-grade nodular cast iron with an all-weather powder coating in orange.
- Blade material and shape: Made of cast iron with a simple straight edge.
- Size and diameter of hoop: No hoop which makes it suitable for all sizes of wooded logs.
- Size: This splitter weighs only 3 pounds, which makes it very easy to install and handle.
Kindling splitters FAQ
How does a kindling splitter work?
To split a piece of wood or a log, you simply place it inside the hoop of the splitter and strike it with a hammer or rubber mallet. This drives the wood down onto the blade for a quick, easy split.
The size of the hoop does restrict the size of the logs you can split but most of the bigger models can deal with most logs.
What is kindling?
Kindling is smaller pieces of fast-burning wood. It is an essential part of starting any form of a wood-burning fire, whether it’s in a traditional open fireplace or a wood-burning stove.
Firewood kindling plays an important role in getting a fire going as quickly as possible, reducing the likelihood of smoke being produced or the fire going out.
It is usually placed between the fire starter, such as newspaper and the main material to be burnt, such as logs. Softwoods like pine, fir, and cedar are the best for kindling because they burn faster.
Will my cast-iron kindling splitter rust?
All cast iron can rust, even if it has a coating. Maintain your cast iron kindling splitter with a light coat of oil or beeswax every season.
Alternatively, you can coat your splitter with paint, repainting any time you notice chips.
When not in use, store your wood-splitting tools inside, away from the rain.
What safety equipment should I wear when splitting wood for kindling?
You should always wear protective eyeglasses or a face shield. This will protect you from any shards that fly off the wood.
It’s also a good idea to wear gloves and closed-toe shoes. This will protect your hands and feet while lifting and moving heavy logs.
Where should I place my kindling splitter?
You should place your kindling splitter on a sturdy, flat surface. Many individuals place their splitters on a tree stump. Think about your back when placing your kindling splitter.
Elevating the tool can reduce the amount of bending and strain placed on your back.
What size should kindling be?
I find a mixture of kindling sizes is helpful when lighting the fire. Choose logs of between 5 and 8 inches (12-20 cm) length.
I prefer logs with a diameter of around 9 inches (23 cm) or less as I find these easiest to work with.
Is it better to split wood wet or dry?
Wet. It may be slightly more difficult than splitting dry wood, but many people actually prefer to split wet wood because it encourages faster drying times.
Split wood contains less bark, so moisture is released from it more quickly. Here are some of the best wood moisture meters reviewed to get really precise.
What can I use instead of kindling?
As a substitute for kindling, other small bits of wood can be used, such as dry twigs, leaves, or even pinecones.
What’s the best wood to use for kindling?
The best type of wood for kindling is dry softwood. Cedar, fir, and pinewood catch alight very easily, particularly when dry, so try to source these woods for kindling.
Now that you are aware of the features that you should look for when purchasing a kindling splitter, you are in a strong position to be able to select the very best tool for your specific needs.
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I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.