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How to Use a Splitting Wedge – 7 Effective Steps

A splitting wedge is a triangular tool made of metal that is used to drive into logs of medium to large sizes with the help of a sledgehammer.

The function of the splitting wedge is to divide the log into smaller pieces. A splitting wedge is very effective in splitting logs for firewood.

To learn everything on how to use a splitting wedge, keep following the article.

Usually, a short splitting wedge with a wider angle is more effective in cutting wood. However, it requires greater force to do so. On the contrary, a longer wedge with a smaller angle requires less work. Larger logs of wood can be difficult to use, and they need to be cut into smaller pieces to be used effectively. We have brought you some effective techniques and tips on how to use a splitting wedge.

How to Use a Splitting Wedge
via Pxhere

How to Use a Splitting Wedge

It might seem quite difficult to understand how a small wedge piece can split logs. However, it is a very simple process, and you can learn how to use a splitting wedge in easy, simple steps.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

First and foremost, you need to gather all the items you need. Following is a list of supplies you will need:

  1. Splitting wedge
  2. Sledgehammer
  3. Safety gloves
  4. Safety goggles

 It is a good idea to have two splitting wedges on hand. If one of them gets stuck or breaks, you will have the second wedge to finish your work. Moreover, you can use both splitting wedges together for larger logs.

A splitting wedge often gets confused with a felling wedge. Both are very different tools, so be careful while purchasing one. A splitting wedge resembles a maul without a handle. In comparison, a felling wedge is somewhat flatter.

You cannot use the splitting wedge on its own. You will need a sledgehammer to drive the wedge into the log. If you don’t have a sledgehammer, you can improvise by using the blunt side of an axe. However, this method is much riskier and can cause injuries, so be careful.

Step 2: Gear Up for Safety

Taking all safety precautions before getting to work is very important. When the wedge is driven into the log by the hammer, it may cause broken pieces of wood and splinters to fly off. They can seriously injure you.

The safety goggle will protect your eyes from getting any splinters into your eyes. The gloves will protect the hands from splinters and reduce the damage if you accidentally hit it with the hammer.

The good-quality wedges usually have a soft metal base where the hammer strikes. It is to prevent hard collisions causing the wedge to break or crack or the metal pieces to chip away. Even when using a good-quality wedge, you must always wear safety gloves and goggles.

Step 3: Locate any Existing Cracks in the log

Once you are geared up and have gathered your supplies, it is time to start splitting. Take the wooden log you want to split and place it outside in a safe open area.

Now observe the grains of the log to locate any cracks in the log that exist already. Locating the existing crack will make it easier to split the log. Finding the natural points in the grain of the log will help you split it more efficiently.

Align the splitting wedge edge with a crack, and this will serve as the point of your first split. You can easily split them from the middle when working on smaller logs. However, it is best to start splitting near the edges with larger logs, working your way around.

Step 4: Hit the Splitting Wedge in the Crack

Now hold your wedge with one hand and hold it straight. On the other hand, hold the hammer and start striking gently onto the wedge. Keep the hammer close to the wedge and keep tapping gently to set the wedge in the crack.

It is important to keep the wedge at a right angle. If the wedge is not straight, it may be difficult to make a straight clean split of the log. Do not start pounding the hammer yet.

Right now, your only goal is to set the wedge in the log. Drive the wedge into the log far enough so that it can stand freely.

Step 5: Strike the Hammer

Once your wedge is all set in the log and is standing freely and well supported, you can now start striking the hammer on the splitting wedge.

Before striking the hammer with full force, begin with gentle strikes. Hold the sledgehammer from the middle to get more balance and control over your swings. Once the wedge has been driven into the log at a right angle and has made a proper crack.

After the wedge has been set properly in the log, hold the sledgehammer from the bottom and start taking swings on the splitting wedge. Holding the sledgehammer from the rear end of the handle will give you greater leverage.

Now it is pretty much simple. Keep striking the hammer on the splitting wedge until the log splits. It is pretty similar to hammering a nail.

Step 6: Drive the Splitting Wedge Through the Log

Lastly, keep pounding the wedge with your sledgehammer until the wedge is completely driven through the log and makes a clean split.

If your wedge gets stuck in the log, you will not be able to pull it out. The best solution to this problem is using another wedge.

If you take this approach, remember not to put the wedge directly onto the first wedge and strike it. It will damage the blades of both wedges and may cause the metal to chip.

Place the second wedge along the initial crack and start striking it with the sledgehammer. The second wedge will help split the log and free the first wedge stuck in the log.

How to Use a Splitting Wedge 2
Hooyman Splitting Wedge 5 Pound Log Splitter Tool – via

Step 7: Keep Splitting!

Using the splitting wedge is relatively simple, and with our effective guide, we have taught you everything you need to know on how to use a splitting wedge.

Splitting wedges are a perfect tool to split larger and denser logs, and they have proven to be more effective than an axe and a maul.

Splitting Wedge Vs an Axe and a Maul

Our careful research and experience have observed that a splitting wedge can split wood much better than an axe and a maul.

It is perfect for hard, dense, and large pieces of log. An axe puts a lot of strain and requires a lot of force, but the splitting wedge gives it leverage.

On the other hand, the maul is quite dull and thus consumes more energy and takes more time to get the job done.


Using a tool is only difficult when you do not know how to use it. For your assistance, we have covered how to use a splitting wedge in detail. With all these effective techniques and helpful tips, you are all set to split your logs.

For any queries, leave a comment!