Log Splitter or Axe – Are Axes Obsolete?

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Most people would say that chopping wood using an axe is old-school, which can’t be further from the truth. Many people find joy in using an axe, and I don’t think an axe will ever become obsolete. 

So, should you use an axe, considering how technology has changed? Before you conclude, let’s first dive into both axes and a log splitter, then you can decide which you prefer.

How To Split Logs With An Axe


First, you must have a good axe. Secondly, understand that using an axe the right way is a skill you learn over time. It takes time to perfect your axe chopping skill. 

When using an axe, ensure the log is placed stably on a stable surface, since the log can roll when you slightly miss. Here are a few useful tips.

  1. First off, know how to position yourself. Your feet should be positioned evenly and shoulder-width apart. It’s okay to stand with one foot somewhat in front of the other but not too far apart.
  2. Raise the axe over the head and drop it. But don’t use your strength, instead carry out a big swing.
  3. When you’re dropping the axe, your superior hand should slide down and meet with the other hand at the foot of the axe.
  4. If the axe is stuck, take it out and swing again. Being patient will help you as you learn slowly.
  5. You should aim between the log’s edge and the center if you’re splitting big logs. Remember that the edges are weaker and easier to cut through. Once you’ve split a log into halves or quarters, chopping into smaller sections will be easier.
  6. The same procedure should be applied for large and longer logs. You’ll start at the edge, close to where it’s already cut.

Advantages Of Using an Axe

  • Using an axe is a great form of exercise and has great health benefits.
  • Helps improve your accuracy and concentration skills.  It also boosts hand-eye coordination skills. 
  • An axe is always ready. No source of power or fuel is needed.
  • It is cheaper than a log splitter
  • You can participate in log splitting games
  • A great skill to learn
  • It makes a good hobby
  • Less noisy
  • Great when camping
  • They are fun to use
  • Easy to store and transport

Drawbacks of Using an Axe

  • They are heavy
  • Very hard to split hard and big logs
  • Tiresome and time-consuming 
  • It’s a manual job using an ax
  • Only for domestic application

How To Split Logs with a Log Splitter

log splitter

If you’re going to split logs using a log splitter, your first task will be to cut them into smaller sections that fit in the splitter. This is mainly done using a chainsaw or power saw. Then:

  1. Switch on the log splitter
  2. Slowly position the log on the splitter against the edge. Keep your hand away from the blade by holding the log from the sides. 
  3. Stand on the side of the machine. Pull the safety bar in your direction.
  4. Pull the bar for around two seconds. It will start up the piston, pushing the log towards the blade and cutting it in half. Reposition the log and power the hydraulic system to split further until you are satisfied.

RELATED: Best Wood Splitter For The Money – Reviews

Advantages Of Using a Log Splitter

Log splitters make log splitting a lot easier. You save time and effort by investing in such a machine.

  • Very powerful – In just an hour, you will have chopped logs that would have taken you months if you were using an axe. All you need to do is place the log on the splitter. 
  • Saves time – you can get more done since you’ve saved time and effort. 
  • They are portable – splitters are portable and easy to store. They are also easy to set up, use and maintain. 
  • Environmentally friendly option – manual and electric log splitters don’t produce fumes. 
  • Electrical models can be used indoors
  • A good log splitter will serve you for a lifetime
  • Little or no maintenance is needed
  • Less messy
  • You can start a firewood selling business or rent

Drawbacks Of Using a Log Splitter

  • Not everyone can afford one. They are costly.
  • It requires electricity or gas to operate.
  • Gas-powered log splitters are loud.
  • Gas-powered models produce fumes.
  • Log splitters are bulky 
  • Like most other power tools, they are dangerous
  • Not everyone can use them
Which Is Faster An Axe or a Log Splitter?

Wrapping it Up

It’s a fact that the most effective and effortless way to split logs is using a log splitter. However, an axe still remains a great method to split firewood. It has great health benefits, and it’s a great hobby and skill to learn.  Axes are especially great when you want to split just a few logs and when camping. That’s why whether you own a log splitter or not, I’d recommend buying an axe and maul


What should I be looking for in an axe?

The most important considerations include head shape, weight, handle length, and material. Do not buy a heavy or long axe, if you can’t handle the weight.

Can I move my log splitter by hand?

Log splitters are very heavy, weighing hundreds of pounds. Luckily, most models have handles and wheels, which make moving simpler. Larger models can be towed

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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.