How To Split A Large Log: Know To Split Logs With Or Without A Log Splitter

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Do you often work in your backyard and want to know the right way of splitting large logs, with or without a log splitter? If yes, then you’re certainly in the right place

Splitting a large log is pretty easy, as long as you know how to split large logs using a log splitter. It is incredibly fast, easy to use, and offers reliable performance. As long as you’re aware of the necessary safety precautions, you’ll be able to split large logs with ease.

In this article, you’ll get to know all about splitting large logs, how to split a large log, how to split logs using a chainsaw, how to split large logs without a log splitter, and the safety precautions you need to keep in mind. Continue reading to get all the answers that you’re looking for.

Splitting large logs at home

There are very few methods of home heating that are as rewarding as burning wood. The whole experience is even sweeter if you’re cutting and splitting it yourself. The hard, physical work of splitting firewood is what’s missing from most other heating methods. Moreover, there isn’t a sense of accomplishment when your home is toasty during a blizzard.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, who doesn’t love splitting large logs and basking in the warmth? There are many tools for splitting wood out there. It’s important to know how to split logs with a log splitter and how to split large logs without a log splitter. If you’re not certain how to split a large log, then this article will be of great help to you.

How to split a large log with a log splitter?

  1. Ensure that your log splitter is in a stable position.
  2. Remove any jewelry or loose clothing that could potentially get caught in the machine. Remember, as with any other machine, your safety will be most important with this one too.
  3. Only one person must be operating the log splitter at a time. You may feel that it’s faster to have one user loading the logs and the other one operating the log splitter. However, any slip-up in timing could result in an injury.
  4. Load the large logs one at a time. Then, start the splitting from a safe operating position. Once you have done so, stop the log splitter or allow it to stop by itself.
  5. Remove any wood that is still on the splitter before you split the next log.
how to split a large log - man splitting large logs

How to split big logs without a log splitter?

Splitting large logs using a chainsaw

A chainsaw will help you make short work of anything that you put in front of it. Here is how you can split large logs using a chainsaw.

1. Place the log on a chopping board

The first step would be to place the log or round wooden piece on a chopping block. This will allow you to prevent any damage to the chain that you’d be doing if you were cutting on the ground. The gravel and grit in the earth could degrade the chain’s performance. If you haven’t got a chopping block at hand, you can also use a block of wood or smaller logs to keep it off the ground. You should then turn the log around and then repeat the cut from the other end.

2. Make a clean cut down the whole length of the log

Make a cut down the entire length of the log or round of wooden block. If you’re splitting it in go, then it’s great, and if you aren’t, that’s fine as well. You will need to repeat the process and reposition the wood as needed until you’ve split it.

3. Finish off the split

If you’ve got an axe, you’ll be able to finish off the split with a few strokes if needed.

Splitting large logs using an axe

1. Take a proper stance

You’ll need to stand with your feet placed evenly and shoulder-width apart. In case you find it more comfortable, you could stand with one foot in front of the other. However, remember not to exaggerate it. This could prevent you from using your hips to add more power to the swing, which is actually the secret to effective, low-effort wood splitting.

2. Raise your axe above the head and swing

Now, you’ll need to split the axe or maul above your head and then let it drop. You won’t have to use any strength trying to execute the massive swing.

3. As your axe drops, your dominant hand will meet the other hand

As the axe drops, your dominant hand, which will start with gripping the handle beneath the axehead will slide down and meet your other hand at the base of your axe’s handle.

4. Bend your knees and pull back your hips

As the axe drops, you should bend your knees and then pull back your hips so that your butt sticks out. This will add a fair bit of extra kinetic energy to the swing. You will be using your legs and hips in this, and this technique will be the secret to making log splitting easy, even for long sessions.

5. Aim for the midway point

When splitting large logs, you should aim for a point midway between the center and the edge of the round. Trying to split it in the center would be more difficult due to the way wood fibers hold the entire thing together. The edges are weaker and comparatively easier to split. Once you have split a round once, it’ll be easier to split it into further pieces.

6. Work your way from one end to the other

If you’re splitting large logs, the same principle will apply. Start at one end of the log, near where you’ve already cut it. If you try to split it in the center, it’ll mean extra struggle and time spent. Then, you should work your way from one end of the log to the other.

how to split a large log - man splitting large logs using log splitter

Splitting large logs using a wedge

1. Position the first wedge

You should position the first wedge such that it’ll go into or follow an existing split in the wood fiber. You can start off on the face of the log cut as well.

2. Use a hammer for driving the wedge in

You’ll be using a hammer or maul for driving the wedge in. If you’re splitting a tough or green, you may have to make a couple of cuts with an axe or saw for creating the first split. Depending on the type of wood you’re using, you might have to sharpen the wedge to get the best results.

3. Once the wood is driven into the wedge, leave it there

Once you have driven the wedge into the wood, you should leave it there. Then, continue to split with an axe/maul or more wedges. You can leave the butt of the wedge sticking out a bit so that you can pull or tap it out of need. Otherwise, it might be stuck, and you won’t be able to split the rest of the log. It can be quite cumbersome to pull it out. This is especially true if you’ve only got one wedge.

Basic precautionary measures involved with using a log splitter

For homeowners looking to split serious amounts of wood, it is recommended that they should use a quality log splitter. A log splitter is fast, pretty easy to use, and will work amazingly well considering its high price tag. Here are the basic safety precautions involved in splitting large logs using a log splitter.

  • Wear a pair of high-quality safety goggles, thick work gloves, and earmuffs. You shouldn’t do any wood splitting without these items 
  • Wear tough work pants, a short sleeves shirt, and steel-toe boots for protecting yourself from log-induced bruises.
  • Use a chainsaw for cutting logs to splitting length (the length of your stove or burn box minus 2-3 inches)
  • Check for oil and gas before firing up your log splitter
  • With your hands away from the wedge and log, pull the lever and hold it in position until it has fully split the log 
  • Make sure that you’re wearing protective chaps over your pants when you’re using a log splitter  
  • Lift one of the cut logs to the bed of the splitter and position it such that the end rests against the steel baseplate 
  • Retract the lever and wait until the wedge returns to the starting position, once it is done, position one of the split log halves against the baseplate and then repeat the process
Splitting Large Logs - The Bigger They Are the Harder They Fall!


Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about splitting large logs, how to split a large log, how to split logs using a chainsaw, how to split large logs without a log splitter, and the safety precautions you need to keep in mind. If you know how to split a large log, the entire process will be pretty easy and seamless. Using a log splitter for splitting large logs is a smart choice as it is incredibly fast, easy to use, and offers reliable performance. As long as you’re aware of the necessary safety precautions, you’ll be able to split large logs with ease.

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Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.