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As outdoor firepits get more popular, so does the demand for firewood. If you have access to wood, it’s a lot cheaper to split it yourself. It’ll allow the wood to be perfectly dry before you burn it.

A wood-splitting axe is a crucial part of your arsenal if you have a firepit or chimney. It’s not just limited to firewood – it also helps you make your own slivers and sticks of kindling.

The only complaint is that wood-splitting axes come in various sizes and weights. How do you know which is right for you and the task? The axes for splitting larger logs or making kindling aren’t the same, but you could find mid-sized options that can do both jobs.

Luckily, we’ve done all the research and testing to find the best splitting axes in the UK. Here’s everything you need to know about our top five picks.

Best Buy Wood Splitting Axe

Explore reviews, delve into technical specifications, and evaluate the pros and cons to discover the ideal wood splitting axe for efficiency, durability, and precision. Equip yourself confidently for any wood splitting task with our carefully curated list, ensuring you have the right tool for the job in 2024.

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A top-tier choice delivering unmatched efficiency and power, making quick work of wood-splitting tasks. Perfect balance, durable design, and cutting-edge performance.

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Engineered for precision, this axe ensures clean and accurate splits. Crafted with high-quality materials for durability and optimal splitting control.

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Tackle the toughest woods effortlessly. With a robust design, this axe offers superior strength and durability, making it a go-to tool for challenging wood-splitting projects.

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Experience extended reach and control with Niwaki’s long-handled hatchet. Perfect for comfortable and efficient wood splitting, this tool combines power with ease of use.

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Compact yet powerful, Roughneck’s axe is tailored for smaller wood-splitting tasks. Its portable design doesn’t compromise on performance, making it a versatile choice for various applications.

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Splitting Axe vs. Splitting Maul

The terms splitting maul and splitting axe are often used interchangeably, but they have a big difference. You may think a heavier axe may be a splitting maul, but that’s not true.

The head of a splitting maul is more like a sledgehammer used to strike poles or pound stakes. It features a splitting sharp blade edge on one end and a hammer shape on the other. But unless it’s specified as a splitting maul, it’s better not to use it for anything other than splitting wood.

Plus, splitting mauls are also heavier and bigger than splitting axes. Axes typically weigh around 1.5 to 3 kgs, while mauls are 3 to 5 kgs. Also, splitting axes are 50 to 80 cm long, and mauls are 80 to 85 cm long.

There’s one thing in common: each tool has a broad, wedge-shaped head, which allows them to push wood apart along the grain instead of against it.

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Best Wood-Splitting Axes in 2024

We’ve tested and reviewed the best splitting axes in 2024. Learn more about their pros, cons, and specs.


Best Overall

Fiskars splitting axe

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Reasons to Buy

  • Comes with an extended warranty
  • Comfortable grip and well-balanced
  • Great design features
  • Durable wood handle
  • Versatile uses

Reasons to Avoid

  • Quite expensive

The Fiskars Splitting Axe scored its spot as the best axe for splitting wood for more reasons than one. This beautifully made and well-designed axe is made from premium-quality materials: a sturdy wood handle and a carbon steel head.

Even with robust materials, this axe maintains a light weight of 1.3 kg. The straight handle is very comfortable to hold, and the shaft length is 50 cm. This length is perfect for those who want to split wood at a safe distance without putting in too much effort.

Plus, this one from Fiskars is big enough to use with both hands. That means you can generate enough force to split logs up to 20 cm wide. At the same time, it’s small and light enough for you to perform precision work: making kindling, trimming branches, and carving.

Although the axe is quite expensive, its versatility makes up for it. You won’t need to buy two separate splitting axes to perform two different tasks.

The best part is that the carbon steel head has an anti-friction coating, so the axe won’t get stuck in the wood. Plus, the precision-ground cutting edge keeps the blade sharpness at a maximum. The wood handle also has a special Fibercomp™ overstrike protection on its top half, making the axe virtually unbreakable.

The connection is over-moulded, so you don’t need to worry about the axe head flying off.

Why do we recommend the Fiskars splitting axe?

The Fiskars N12 is more than just a well-made splitting axe – its handle makes splitting wood as easy as possible. Plus, it serves multiple tasks, making it a wise investment. If that’s not enough to convince you, the 25-year warranty is also a great plus.

  • Handle Length: 50 cm
  • Handle Material: Wooden handle
  • Head Material: Carbon steel
  • Head Weight:
  • Total Weight: 1.3 kg

The Fiskars Splitting Axe is one of the best axes in terms of various tasks. It’s suitable for making kindling, splitting logs, and a lot more.


Best for Precise Splitting

Davaon Pro Log Splitting Axe

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Reasons to Buy

  • Can split logs up to 20 cm
  • High-quality head and handle
  • Also works as a felling axe.
  • Excellent control and weight distribution
  • Durable carbon steel axe head

Reasons to Avoid

  • Somewhat heavy
  • Not for camping
  • Needs to be used with a splitting wedge

For those who need to split smaller logs or perform precision work, the Davaon Pro Log Splitting Axe can be a great pick. It also doubles as a felling axe. With a fibreglass handle and carbon steel axe head, this splitting axe is more robust than it needs to be.

Unlike a traditional wood axe, the fibreglass handle is entirely weather-resistant and hard-wearing. It has a textured grip, so your hands won’t slip or feel fatigued after long splitting hours.

The 71 cm length keeps you a safe distance away from the wood without being on the heavier side. But that does mean you’ll need to put in quite a bit of effort to split tougher wood. However, with the help of the right splitting wedge, you can make your task easier.

Don’t judge this felling axe by the size of its head – it only weighs 1.7 kg, but it features a concave shape and a thin edge. It can even split logs up to 20 cm wide, mainly thanks to the incredible weight distribution.

The best part is that it comes with a robust protective sheath to cover the blade when not in use. Combine that with Davaon’s 100% money-back guarantee, and you have the best axe for splitting wood with precision.

Why do we recommend the Davaon Pro Log Splitting Axe?

The Davaon Pro Log Felling Axe has a longer handle for an easy swing, allowing you to fell trees, work on smaller pieces of wood, and carve with ease. Although you’ll need to buy a separate splitting wedge, the premium quality materials and weight distribution make up for it.

  • Handle Length: 71 cm
  • Handle Material: Fibreglass handle
  • Head Material: Carbon steel
  • Head Weight: 1.7 kg
  • Total Weight: 2.4 kg

The Davaon Pro Log Splitting Axe is suitable for splitting big logs and fallen trees.


Best for Tough Wood

Gedore Ochsenkopf Spalt-Fix Axe

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Reasons to Buy

  • Wedge-shaped head to cut through large rounds
  • Secure head-to-handle connection
  • Comes with a protective steel collar
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Longer handle to split big logs.

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavy head weight
  • Hard to control
  • The narrow blade edge can get stuck in large rounds.

There’s no piece of wood that the Gedore Ochsenkopf Spalt-Fix Axe can’t conquer. It’s built to split the toughest of woods so that you can collect your own firewood regardless of the tree type.

With an overall weight of 3.7 kg, it’s definitely a heavier axe than our other options. But the weight is necessary, contributing to the overall force applied when splitting big and tough logs. It’s also lovingly nicknamed “The Finisher,” and we can tell why – it gets the job done every time, without fail.

The Ochsenkopf is German for “ox head” since it powers through the toughest, knottiest piece of pine. It even split the logs that our other axes had been struggling with.

This axe belongs to a family of axes from the Gedore brands. All the models are similar in most ways, except for the head shape and weight.

We picked the Spalt-Fix Axe with a 2.4 kg head weight and 80 cm handle length because we needed something robust on our list, too. Its specs may not seem too different from the other axes on our list, but it will shock you in terms of performance.

The head’s wedge-shaped design features a thin blade edge and a massive back end. While the crisp blade powers through the wood’s knots, the splitting wedge pushes the wood apart with ease.

The handle’s grip isn’t anything phenomenal; it’s pretty comfortable with a slightly flared end. It’s also much thicker near the head, making it easy to maintain control over the axe while splitting.

You also don’t need to worry about the head ever flying off since it’s connected with a Rotband-Plus system. If you like this axe but wish it was less hefty, we recommend the 1.2 kg Ochsenkopf model.

Our only problem with this axe was that it often got stuck in large rounds during testing. Since it’s quite heavy, unlodging it wasn’t easy either.

Why do we recommend the Gedore Ochsenkopf Spalt-Fix Axe?

We recommend the Gedore Ochsenkopf Spalt-Fix Axe for many reasons: it’s robust, sharp, comfortable, and effective. In simple words, it gets the job done, no matter how big the log is. Thanks to its heavy-duty build, it’s more like a splitting maul than an axe.

  • Handle Length: 80 cm
  • Handle Material: Hickory handle
  • Head Material: Steelhead
  • Head Weight: 2.4 kg
  • Total Weight: 3.7 kg

The Gedore Ochsenkopf Spalt-Fix Axe is suitable for finishing tough logs with its incredible splitting power.


Best Long-Handled

Niwaki Hatchet

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Reasons to Buy

  • Well-balanced build
  • Comfortable to use
  • High-quality materials
  • Great for precision work
  • Long wood handle

Reasons to Avoid

  • Short warranty
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Can't cut knotty pieces

The Niwaki Hatchet is the perfect combination of an axe and a hatchet. Don’t let its 45 cm length and 1 kg weight fool you; this hatchet is a powerhouse.

With a long and slender handle, this is the right tool for tree felling, splitting, and clearing undergrowth. Whatever you’re cutting will be at a safe distance from you, and the lightweight build won’t make you put too much effort into lifting.

Its swing speed is incredible and airy – you won’t find yourself huffing and puffing after a long wood-splitting session. But wait, that’s not all! The Japanese white oak construction is robust and durable without compromising on aesthetics.

Meanwhile, the head is made from Japanese carbon steel, featuring an ultra-crisp blade edge. To avoid unnecessary cuts, the axe comes with a protective vinyl sheath for easy storage.

What we really loved was how we were able to cut smaller pieces of wood with just one hand using the Niwaki hatchet. The weight distribution allows for complete control over the force and speed of the axe. We recommend using it to make kindling, carve, and take it to camp.

We will admit that this axe is more expensive than any other option we tested. The two-year warranty doesn’t make up for it either since other splitting axes are protected by their brand for much longer.

Why do we recommend the Niwaki Hatchet?

We recommend the Niwaki Hatchet to anyone who needs a compact, lightweight tool to take on their camping adventures. It offers incredible control, weight distribution, and sharpness. You can also buy a Niwaki Sharpening Stone to keep the blade in tip-top shape.

  • Handle Length: 45 cm
  • Handle Material: White oak handle
  • Head Material: Japanese carbon steel
  • Head Weight: 1.04 kg
  • Total Weight: Unspecified

The Niwaki Hatchet is one of the best axes for softer woods, making kindling, carving, and woodland work.


Best Small

Roughneck ROU65640 Axe

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Reasons to Buy

  • Well-balanced build
  • Affordable
  • Incredible design features
  • Premium Materials
  • Lightweight handle

Reasons to Avoid

  • Limited Versatility
  • Not for large rounds

The Roughneck ROU65640 Axe is a lot smaller than all other models on our list, but that’s its main strength. It’s lightweight enough to take on camping trips and make your own kindling and firewood.

The fibreglass handle and carbon steel head are built to last, but we also love how the impenetrable, over-moulded connection gives you peace of mind when swinging. The handle is also comfortable to hold, with an overall weight distribution that makes your task simpler.

You can also use this axe with one hand for light-duty tasks and two hands when you need more force. Plus, the shaft length of 13.5 cm is just enough to chop small logs without breaking a sweat.

Plus, the head has an anti-friction heat-treated coating, so it won’t get stuck in knotty pieces of wood and prevent overstrike damage.

Its only downfall is that it doesn’t work on large rounds, no matter how much force you apply – the blade simply isn’t robust enough.

Why do we recommend the Roughneck ROU65640 Axe?

We recommend the Fiskars Norden N10 to anyone willing to invest in a compact but reliable tool for precision work on camping. While its use cases are limited, the premium quality materials and impressive performance make it a worthwhile investment.

  • Handle Length: 13.5 cm
  • Handle Material: Fibreglass handle
  • Head Material: Carbon steel
  • Head Weight: 0.8 kg
  • Total Weight: 1 kg

The Roughneck ROU65640 Axe is suitable for making kindling, one-handed use, and precision work.

Buyer’s Guide

While it is a crucial feature, the best axe isn’t the sharpest one. Buying the perfect splitting axe from your home can be a lot more tricky, so we’ve done the research for you.

Before we tested the best splitting axes on the market, we chose them with our tried-and-tested criteria. Our experts made sure all our choices checked our boxes in terms of length, material, size, shape, and weight.

Here’s a complete guide to help you find the right axe and split wood expertly.

Handle Length

The ideal handle length depends on your height and personal preferences.

Opt for a longer handle if you want to stand away from the wood for safety and split wood directly on the ground. It’ll also provide more leverage to increase your swing speed. Still, a longer handle may be hard to control for precision work.

Meanwhile, a shorter handle will require you to stand closer to split firewood. You’ll also need to put the wood on a chopping block to get proper access. While you won’t be able to generate as much speed, you can perform precision work with shorter handles.


If you want your wood-splitting axe to last, regardless of the kind of wood it’s dealing with, take a close look at the materials. They should be premium, robust, and well-connected.


Wood-splitting axe handles are typically made from wood like American Hickory.

American Hickory is the traditional axe handle material because of its heavy, dense nature and straight grain pattern. These features make hickory wooden handles solid and shock-resistant, making for the best axe for splitting wood.

The best part about wood handles is that you can replace them if they split or crack or even sand them down to reshape them. On the other hand, they’re also quite heavy, making splits and cracks more common.

Splitting axe handles are also often made from composite materials, which are more lightweight than hickory but still impact-resistant. While you can’t replace them, you won’t need to in most cases – they’re very strong.

Luckily, whether you choose wood or composite materials doesn’t matter since the handle material doesn’t impact the axe’s splitting performance. It’s all about the looks – wooden handles look traditional, while composite handles are modern.

Axe Head

Most axe heads are made from carbon steel. This material isn’t just robust; it’s also easy to sharpen and corrosion-resistant. Most axe heads are made from medium-carbon steel, but you’ll also find high-carbon stainless steel heads at a premium.

You’ll also find cheaper models made from standard steel, which are still pretty rugged and reliable. However, they will wear and erode much faster.

Head Size and Shape

The size and shape of the axe head impact the splitting performance significantly. It’s exactly what separates a splitting axe from a splitting maul or cutting axe. Splitting axes have broader, wedge-shaped heads than cutting axes.

But you’ll still find variety among splitting axe head shapes and sizes. For example, the Husqvarna S2800 model has a narrower blade and longer blade edge than other models. It allows you to split large rounds of wood and perform precision work on smaller logs.

On the other hand, the Ochsenkopf axe has a large and heavy head. It’s not speedy or efficient, but it is powerful. The massive head allows you to split knotty logs that most axes won’t power through.

Overall Weight

The overall weight of your axe has a massive impact on its splitting performance, but it depends on your body type.

For example, a heavy axe may be ideal for a taller person with big and strong hands. Meanwhile, smaller users will benefit from a lightweight axe. With the correct technique, splitting axes of any weight will cut bigger and smaller logs.

Let’s get into the physics to make it a little more interesting. We all know that force = mass x acceleration. That means smaller axes can generate the same force as a large axe, only with a little more speed.

That’s why you must find an axe matching your body type and swing speed. To get the right momentum, the splitting axe should weigh around 4-5% of your body weight.


The best wood-splitting axes have specific features that make them easier to use and store.

For example, axes with anti-vibration technology can reduce fatigue and discomfort after long work hours. These axes are made from materials that can dampen the impact when the head hits the wood, reducing the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

The ideal axe will also have a non-slip grip. This is crucial for safety and prevents your hands from sweating or getting scratched by wood chips. Textured or rubberised handles have the best non-slip grips.

Lastly, ensure that your splitting maul or axe of choice has a protective sheath to cover the blade. This cover not only avoids scratches and cuts when the axe is not in use but also keeps the axe head in top condition in storage. Leaving the axe blade uncovered can lead to rusting and dullness.

Safety Equipment

We all know how dangerous splitting axes can be. Before you begin splitting wood, gather the right safety equipment to protect yourself.

First and foremost is eye protection, which is non-negotiable. When splitting wood, shards of wood will fly everywhere- most often to your face. A pair of durable safety glasses will do the trick.

You also need a pair of work gloves since splitting wood requires moving large logs of wood. You’ll also be grabbing and swinging the splitting axe multiple times, which leads to cuts, blisters, and scrapes. Opt for reasonably priced leather gloves.

We recommend investing in steel-toed work boots in case you drop the axe while splitting firewood. You’ll be moving around heavy wood rounds, and some larger logs weigh around 30 to 40 kg. You don’t want to drop them on unprotected feet.

Lastly, prep your area before you put your splitting axe to use. Keep a flat, level surface away from your valuables, with plenty of space to hold pre-split wood and firewood.

How We Tested The Products

During our testing process, we tested many axes for splitting wood from top brands. Each splitting axe was assessed based on how they performed in various areas, answering questions like:

  • Design: Were the splitting axe head and handle made from quality materials? Did the design allow for a better grip? Was the handle texturised or rubberised? How was the axe head connected to the axe handle?
  • Comfort: How comfortable was the splitting axe to hold and use? What was its weight and size? Did the handle length have good ergonomics and grip? Did it prevent friction during long hours of splitting work?
  • Performance: How well did the splitting axe cut various sizes and types of wood? What’s the maximum diameter it could cut? How did the materials hold up against tougher firewood? Did the blade get stuck in knotty logs?
  • Price: Was the cost worth it, considering all the features? Did the splitting axe come with a warranty? Does the manufacturer offer a money-back guarantee?


Proper maintenance involves regular sharpening with a file or sharpening stone. Keep the blade clean and store it in a dry place to prevent rust.

While primarily designed for splitting wood, some axes are versatile enough for other tasks. However, it’s recommended to use specific tools for different purposes to maintain performance.

Always wear safety gear, including gloves and safety glasses. Maintain a stable footing, and ensure a clear work area. Practice proper swinging techniques, and never swing the axe overhead.