I recently moved to a small farm on the outskirts of Baltimore. My favorite feature of our new humble abode is the outdoor fire place. However, I have been run ragged keeping up with splitting enough logs. The backbreaking labor was not helped by the older axe that came with the place. After that handle broke I decided to look for a better solution.
The Fiskar’s 36″ Splitting Axe is like night and day when compared to other splitting tools I’ve used in the past. While I’m envious of those who have a hydraulic wood splitter, I can’t emphasize enough how painless this splitting axe makes the process. Where as my previous axe would get stuck, and require swing after swing, the Fiskar’s cuts like butter. I don’t know why I was so surprised given Fiskar’s stellar reputation (or the fact that they’re designed in Finland, a country where forestry is a religion). The head, unlike a traditional axe blade, is closer in design to a splitting wedge which helps cleave through wood with ease.
Unlike my old axe, the Fiskar has a permanently fixed head. While this may worry some diehard woodsman, it’s a boon for the rest of us. After several long days splitting wood, the head remains as tight as the day I started using it, and shows no sign of letting up. If it does, it’s covered by the generous lifetime warranty. Another distinguishing feature is the plastic handle which is very comfortable and seems to reduce some of the post-strike vibration. My version is 36″ long which is just the right size for my 6’3″ frame; they do, however, produce a smaller model for those shorter in stature.
One nice design feature of the axe is the non-stick coating. I’ve only had the axe get stuck a few times, and even then the wood was wet and it only took a bit of wiggling to remove (which was nothing compared to when it would get lodged with my older axe). I also use Fiskars’ axe and knife sharpener to keep the edge sharp as that was recommended by several resources online.
Splitting wood can be unpleasant backbreaking work. This axe makes it a lot more pleasant.
[Note: This replaces the previously reviewed Chopping Axe that Fiskars no longer produces.--OH]