Best log splitting wedges: metal wedges for splitting timber
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Best log splitting wedges reviewed
‘He’s a lumberjack, and he’s ok….’ Most of us know the famous Monty Python song, but when it comes to splitting logs, most of us are not lumberjacks, and a lot of the time we are not ok! Splitting logs is hard work, no matter what Hollywood or advertising executives would like you to believe, and to try to tackle the task armed with only an axe will soon leave you feel tired and frustrated.
You can make things much easier on yourself by purchasing a log splitter, either manual log splitting, electric log splitting or petrol log splitting or you can save yourself more than a few pennies and invest in the best log splitting wedges. As simple as they are, when used correctly, log splitting wedges will seriously reduce the effort it takes to get the job done. So, do yourself a favour and take a look at our best log splitting wedge reviews to see what’s on offer at the present time.
Log Splitting Wedge Buyer’s Guide
To ensure you’re buying the best product for your needs, it pays to be informed on the best things to look out for when buying a log splitting wedge: –
Traditional or wood grenade/bomb?
Deciding between the two main types of wood splitting wedge can be a little hard to do, and to be perfectly honest, they both work fine. I’d say it is easier to start off with a wood bomb because it has a single point and not an edge like traditional wedges, but in my experience, the latter give you a cleaner break in the logs.
Make sure you’re buying a splitting wedge
Sometime there are products advertised as splitting wedges when in actual fact they are felling wedges and not made for the same purpose. Felling wedges are usually made from weaker materials and will not withstand the same treatment as a splitting wedge.
Ideally, you want a splitting wedge that has been made from hardened carbon steel. These products will take a beating, and although a little mushrooming will occur with pretty much any wedge after a while, it is easily sorted out with a grinder.
1. Estwing E-5 5 Lb Sure Split Wedge
I’d heard a lot of praise from my customers about the Estwing E-5 sure split wedge, so I had high hopes for it performing well in our tests. Once out of the packaging, first impressions were good. It is relatively lightweight, but has enough to it to not feel underweighted , and the carbon steel construction means that it is incredibly solid.
The dimensions of 22.56 x 6.35 x 4.45 cm means that it is longer than your average log splitting wedge too.
You can imagine my surprise when I tried it for the first time, and it didn’t rely do anything. Feeling a little perplexed, not to mention disappointed, I took it out and looked it over and then it hit me- I hadn’t remembered to put an edge on it! Duh.
After a few minutes with the hand grinder, I was ready for my second attempt, and lo and behold, the 20-inch log was split completely in two in just a few minutes. It had certainly lived up to the hype, and continued to do so throughout our day of testing. I can’t help but think that the Estwing E-5 log splitting wedge’s excellent performance has something to do with the shape of the product.
Not only is it longer, and has a fast tapered head, it also features fins further up the body of the wedge, and in my opinion, it is a combination of these factors that make the difference. Definitely my choice for top spot on this list, the Estwing E-5 is simply excellent once you grind an edge onto it.
2. Roughneck ROU65504 Wood Grenade Splitting Wedge
A very close contender for the best log splitting wedge is the Roughneck wood grenade model, available from around 10 pounds less than the Estwing E-5, yet still giving it a good run for its money.
The strength of the Roughneck wood grenade lies in its shape. Having a rounded striking diamond shaped cross section makes it much easier to get the wedge to stand up once inserted into the grain, and keeps it standing stable too, with no slipping. Notches etched into the sides of the wedge also help it to stay in place once in the log.
At 1.46kg, it is on the heavier side of things when it comes to log slitting wedges, but at just under 18cm, it is shorter than the Estwing. The tip is a lot narrower too, and this has its pros and cons. The upside is that it helps to cut into the wood without any pre-cuts, but it does mean that you can easy blunt or snap of the very end if you use too much force. I would not recommend using a large sledgehammer for this, and instead go with a smaller, club hammer.
If you follow this advice, you will have a log splitting wedge that performs really well, and will keep you happy for a long time to come.
3. Rolson 10780 Wood Grenade Log Splitter
Another wood hand grenade, Rolson’s offering is a steal at the current price of 11 pounds or so. In many ways, it is very similar to the Roughneck product: it has overall shape, with a diamond shaped cross section, at 17.5cm long it is roughly the same size, and it also features etched notches along the sides to prevent slipping inside the logs you are trying to split.
The Rolson log splitting wedge is very good for dealing with logs up to around 25cm in diameter, and can handle larger logs, however I found that controlling the direction of the wedge became a little harder when doing so. Then again this could have has something to do with the fact that I had to use a larger and heavier hammer for the larger logs too, so I had less finesse in my swing.
Well designed, does what the manufacturers say it does, and only costs a little more than a tenner, there’s a lot to like about the Ronson wood grenade log splitting wedge. The only real downside is that it is made of a softer metal (cast iron is my guess) than the carbon steel used for some of its competitors and that makes me question its long-term durability somewhat. It’s highly unlikely to fall apart, but you might have to keep grinding an edge onto it more frequently than you’d like.
4. Bahco WS15 Splitting Wedge WS 9-Inch
The Bahco WS15 is a traditional log splitting wedge. It doesn’t feature any fins, or specially shaped cross sections, and instead sticks to the good old standard wedge shape.
What it does have over many of its rivals, is its long length of 23cm, and a good deal of weight behind it at around 1.5 kilograms. The combination of these two help the Bahco to split good sized logs with ease.
Made from solid steel, you can rely on its robustness as you pound it into timber, but I would just like to note that to prevent the striking surface mushrooming, you should start with a smaller sized hammer. Once the wedge is settled into the grain, you can then reach for the ‘big guns’ and use more force and weight to drive the wedge in.
Overall, a very good product. There are no fancy features that the manufacturers are trying to sell to you, it is just a solid, traditional, log splitting wedge that is available at an affordable price.
5. Am-tech A3455 1.5 kg Log Splitter
On sale at the moment for under 9 pounds, the Am-tech A3455 log splitting wedge is the cheapest of our featured products, but how does it match up? Well, for a start it is made from hardened carbon steel and certainly feels very solid when you first get it in your hands.
On closer inspection, there were some signs that the metal might be a little too hard, and actually end up being a bit brittle; there were some imperfections in the metal, and this has been reported to me by customers too, so that is something to look out for. Apart from that, this is a good wood splitting wedge.
At over 17cm long, and featuring the popular wood grenade design, it does a good job of spitting logs as long as you are prepared to use a fair bit of ‘grunt’ behind your swings, and use a good-sized hammer.
The imperfections did bother me though, and when you can buy a better product for not a few pounds more, I think I would end up doing just that.
6. Deuba Wood Splitter Log Bomb 170mm
One thing about using log splitting wedges, is that at some point, they get stuck inside the logs. Now, this isn’t the end of the world and usually a few good hard whacks with a heavy sledgehammer finishes the job and frees the wedge, but there are times when you need to cut it out, or use another wedge to help.
In these situations visibility is always helpful, so with this in mind Dueba have made their splitting wedge bright red, so there’ll be no problem finding it. To be honest, it sticks out so much you could probably spot it from across the road! Apart from the helpful colour, there is nothing special about the Dueba wedge, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good product.
It is a good length, has plenty of weight behind it at 1.6kg, and the carbon steel construction makes it robust and durable. Like a lot of these types of wedges, the tips do tend to break off if you use a very heavy hammer too soon, but apart from that, I’d say it’s worth the 18 pounds or so that they’re asking for it.