If you are in the market for wedges to split your felled trees, you may not know which wedges are best for you. There are different types of heads that you can get on them. Each one has its own advantages.
We have done an in-depth review of the various splitting wedges on the market and put together a list of six that may be of interest to you.
|Estwing Sure Split Wedge Tool|
|Redneck Convent Manual Diamond Wedge||2 lbs||4.5/5|
|Truper 33040 4-Pound Super Wood Splitting Wedge|
(Best for the Money)
|Felled Manual Diamond Splitter Wedge||3 lbs||4.2/5|
|The AMES Companies 5-Pound True Temper Wedge||5 lbs||4.1/5|
The Estwing Sure Split Wedge Tool is made out of softer steel that isn’t as shrill and loud when you hit it with your sledgehammer as it is when you hit hard steel. It’s lightweight at just one pound.
Even though the whole head is a softer steel, the cutting edge has been hardened. The tip is hard and sharp. It has a nine-inch-long by 1 ⅞-inch-wide edge with fins further up the wedge. The fins allow for extra chopping distance and help to prevent it from getting stuck. Note that it’s not good with very knotty wood.
The Redneck Convent Manual Diamond Wedge is made of heat-treated and hardened railway steel, with a sharp-pointed tip to allow it to pierce the wood to start a split.
The diamond-shaped cross-section tip weakens the wood from four different points on the blade. There is the potential that the wood can split up to four different ways at once. Four cuts at once obviously make splitting much faster than with a flat-head wedge that only makes one cut at a time.
However, the four-way cuts only work in softwood. This wedge doesn’t work well with knotty wood or large-diameter hardwoods. It also tends to jump out of green wood.
The Truper 33040 4-Pound Super Wood Splitting Wedge has a drop-forged, heat-treated head with a diamond tip. Truper put a broad pointed tip on it in hopes that it would cut through the wood better, but it is too thick to start a cut with unless you have an existing crack already. If you try to insert it into the wood without an existing fissure, the wedge will bounce back out towards you, especially with hard wood.
When you get this wedge out of the box, the tip isn’t sharp at all and will require sharpening before you can use it. Once you get it sharp enough to use, it is too narrow to split entirely by itself, but the four-pound weight will help you get a good start.
The Felled Manual Diamond Splitter Wedge is heat-treated and hardened railway steel with a diamond tip. The wedge is seven inches long and three inches wide at its widest point. The pointed tip and four-pound weight help to drive this wedge into your wood.
This wedge is not recommended for knotty woods or hardwoods that are large in diameter, since it’s made of softer steel. This steel is soft enough that it warps over time under the force of the sledgehammer. You also need to be careful if you try to use it on green wood, as it has a tendency to bounce back at you unless the wood is at least partially dry.
Diamond tip wedges advertise that they can split up to four cuts at once. The point on this wedge isn’t strong enough or wide enough to get four angles.
This AMES Companies True Temper Wedge has a forged heat-treated steel flat-tip head that weighs five pounds. The metal is soft and can get damaged easily, so it isn’t recommended for heavy use. It also isn’t quite thick enough to get the job done completely.
The Fasmov 4.5 lb Diamond Wood Splitting Wedge weighs 4.55 pounds with a 7×5-inch carbon steel head. The edge is very dull. It is almost rounded, rather than a point that will cut across the grain of your wood.
Once you get the cutting edge sharpened, it does the job; however, the steel is soft, and it won’t last as long as a higher-end wedge will.
A splitting wedge is simply a piece of hardened steel that’s shaped like a long, thin triangle and is pounded into the wood with a sledgehammer to get it to split.
1. The sharpness of the edge
Not all edges need to be razor-sharp. They do need to be sharp enough to cut across the grain, though. The sharper edge cuts deeper into the tree, leaving a smaller chance of the wedge bouncing back on you. It also takes less effort.
2. The material it is made of
The wedge needs to be made of steel that’s strong enough to handle the beating it will take. Carbon steel or railway steel are both durable and will last a long time.
3. Size and weight:
You want the wedge to be sizeable enough to get the job done, but not so heavy that it is a pain to carry. That being said, it also can’t be too light, or it will bounce back at you.
You can get some wedges that have been heat-treated. That just means that your steel is even harder than if it weren’t, and can handle that much more force.
1. Have the right tools:
The ax is used to split manageable-sized pieces of a stump into your desired size of logs.
The maul is used to try to split a whole tree stump before getting out the wedge, especially if you see at least one weak spot. The maul isn’t as heavy as a sledgehammer and won’t use quite as much energy.
The sledgehammer is used to drive the wedge into the tree stump.
d. Steel wedge:
You’ll want at least two different wedges. One will need to have a sharp point, so if there isn’t a crack in the wood, you can tap it into the wood to give you a starting point. The others don’t necessarily have to be sharp because they are used once you already have a crack to place them in. It’s a good idea to have a few different thicknesses for the varying size and strength of the trees you’re cutting.
2. Use your chainsaw to cut stumps into manageable-length pieces.
3. Use one of the larger-diameter stumps as a cutting block for splitting smaller logs.
4. Look for weak points in the grain, like a crack from the wood drying. If you find one, that is the best place to do the first split.
5. To save your energy, try using the maul once or twice to see if it will split without using the wedge.
Note: When swinging an ax or a maul, raise the tool over the shoulder of your dominant hand, and have your feet apart for a proper, sturdy stance.
6. If the maul cracks the wood but doesn’t split it completely, place the tip of your wider and heavier wedge into the crack and tap it in until it stands up without you having to hold it.
7. Grab your sledgehammer and force the wedge deeper into the crack by swinging it like you did the maul. Keep hitting the wedge until it’s about as far in as it can go, yet leaving you something to grab onto to get it out.
8. If your wedge is thick enough, the log will split completely into two pieces. The wood may splinter some, but that is okay. You may have to chop around some large knots.
9. Repeat with the wedge until you get the large stumps into workable pieces.
10. Place smaller chunks on your cutting block, and continue splitting the wood into the size of logs that you desire, with your ax.
11. When you’re finished using your tools, clean them up, and sharpen any edges that got dull, so they’ll be ready to use next time.
There are two types of splitting wedges, flat-blade or diamond tip. We have chosen the Estwing Sure Split Wedge Tool as the best all-around wedge. It has a sharp, heavy blade, but is a soft enough metal not to make as much of a horrible noise when pounded on.
The Redneck Convent Manual Diamond Wedge is our favorite diamond tip due to its having the hardest tip of all of the ones we reviewed. We rated the Truper 33040 as the best for the money because it isn’t too heavy, and the steel is good enough to get the work done without breaking the bank.
The last four are all excellent choices for their price points, but remember that you get what you pay for. Don’t expect a Ferrari if you buy an Escort.
1. Estwing Sure Split Wedge Tool – Top Pick
2. Redneck Convent Manual Diamond Wedge – The Runner-Up
3. Truper 33040 4-Pound Super Wood Splitting Wedge – Best for the Money
4. Felled Manual Diamond Splitter Wedge
5. The AMES Companies 5-Pound True Temper Wedge
6. Fasmov 4.5 lb Diamond Wood Splitting Wedge
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!