If you’re an avid outdoorsman or outdoorswoman and love sitting around campfires, a kindling splitter is something you should consider. Kindling splitters are also great for indoor, wood-burning stoves or for those who go on frequent camping trips. No matter who you are or how many fires you’ve started, kindling is something that isn’t always readily available.
However, that’s where kindling splitters come into the picture. In this article, we’ll go into more detail about what a kindling splitter is, why you need one, and how to choose the best kindling splitter on the market.
Today’s Best Kindling Splitters
What is a Kindling Splitter?
As the name depicts, kindling splitters are specifically designed for chopping wood into kindling-sized pieces. Kindling is essential for starting a fire, and people typically like to use wood kindling. However, small, dry pieces of kindling aren’t always readily available, and you may be forced to make your own.
The typical way to make your own kindling is to use an ax or a hatchet and chop away at a log of wood. While this may get the job done, the result is typically uneven pieces of wood, and it can be dangerous if you have to hold the log with your off-hand while chopping with the other. Kindling splitters make creating kindling easier, safer, and cleaner.
How do Kindling Splitters Work?
The construction of kindling splitters is simple and straightforward. They’re typically 18″ to 24″ tall and have a circular ring at the top through which you slide a piece of wood. The log sits on top of a sharp wedge similar to an ax or splitter. You then use a hammer or sledge to hit the top of the log, which forces it down onto the wedge and splits it.
You can take each successive piece of wood that breaks off and repeat the process until you have the size of kindling that you want. While kindling splitters aren’t guaranteed to make every piece of kindling the same, they’re a much safer alternative to using an ax.
Considerations Before Buying a Kindling Splitter
As with all consumer products, there are a lot of different kindling splitters, and it can be difficult to know which one to purchase. Here are some of the things to consider before making your final decision.
Blade Material and Shape
Ultimately, the blade is the most essential part of your kindling splitter. You can have one that’s the right size, stability, material, and everything else, but it’s useless with a bad blade. It’s more important to have an edge made of the right material, and that’s the right shape, than it is to have one that’s sharp. Wedge-shaped blades made from forged titanium or cast steel are best because they are durable and robust.
What Kind of Wood Are You Splitting?
Whether you’re mainly splitting hardwood or softwood should also play a role in your kindling splitter selection. Splitters with a single blade are best for hardwoods, while splitters with a double blade are best for softwoods. If you’re unsure which type of wood you’ll be working with the most, you should opt for a single-blade splitter. Single-blade splitters can work with any type of wood, whereas double-blade splitters struggle greatly with hardwoods.
How Big Are the Logs You’re Splitting?
There are various sizes of kindling splitters, just like there are various sizes of logs. It’s crucial that you purchase one big enough to work with the type of logs you plan to split into kindling. However, if you plan to take your splitter from place to place, you’ll want one that’s easy to transport.
Stability and Weight of the Splitter
Your kindling splitter is going to be put under a ton of stress if you use it often. It’s essential to choose one that’s stable and solid so that it doesn’t tip over every time you split wood. It’s also important to choose a splitter that’s lightweight enough to transport if you do a bunch of camping. Finding a happy medium is sometimes tricky, but it’s essential to get the most out of your kindling splitter.
The Best Kindling Splitters
Now that we know how to choose a kindling splitter and what to look for let’s dive into each of the top kindling splitters on the market.
1. Best Overall Kindling Splitter
Kindling Cracker is a company that is to kindling splitters, how Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops is to outdoor goods. They’re the number one name in kindling splitters and were the first to produce one. The Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter is an excellent option if you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a splitter or if you simply want to make sure that you have a top-notch product.
Splitting kindling with this product from Kindling Cracker is safe, easy, and convenient. It features a 6.5-inch diameter ring capable of fitting small to medium and even some large logs. It’s also made of extremely durable material, requiring little maintenance and limited sharpening.
- Made of high-quality cast iron
- Requires less force to split firewood than a standard ax
- Bolt holes for increased stability and permanent mounting
- It’s 12 inches tall and weighs 10 pounds which makes it easy to transport from place to place
- 6.5 in hoop opening limits log size but will fit most
2. Best Extra Large Kindling Splitter
Just as Kindling Cracker makes the best overall kindling splitter, they also make the best large one. The Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter XL is essentially a plus-sized version of the one listed above. It’s made of the same durable and sturdy Australian material, and it’s equally as reliable and maintenance-free.
The Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter had a diameter ring of 6.5 inches, but the XL has a diameter of 9 inches, which is big enough to fit most logs. The XL is also effective at splitting smaller logs. It merely has a larger capacity with extra flexibility. If you plan to split logs of all sizes and aren’t going to worry about taking your splitter from place to place, you should opt for the XL version.
- At 17″ tall and having a 9″ diameter ring, you can split logs that are longer and wider than the typical splitter
- This kindler doesn’t have a moving blade, which makes it one of the safest options for splitting wood
- Splits firewood with less force than a standard ax
- It’s heavier and larger than typical splitters, making it less portable
3. Best Large Kindling Splitter
In many ways, the Mighty Hand Kindling Splitter XL is just as good or better than the Kindling Cracker XL. It’s not quite as big as the Kindling Cracker with a ring diameter of 8″ rather than 9, but it’s just as solid, stable, and durable as the Kindling Cracker. Setup is effortless with this kindling splitter as well. All you have to do is take it out of the box and start splitting wood once the splitter is on a level surface.
- Large opening to fit logs up to 8 in in diameter
- An extra-large base provides increased stability with the option to bolt it down
- Vinyl blade guard protects the blade when not in use
- Shorter warranty than other options, but it shouldn’t matter because of its quality construction
4. Best Lightweight Kindling Splitter
If you’re in the market for a lightweight and easy to transport kindling splitter, the Easy Go Jack Jr. is the one for you. You’ll instantly notice that it doesn’t have the ring at the top that’s typical of wood splitters. However, this isn’t necessarily bad because you aren’t limited by log size. If you or a fearless helper can support the log, you can split it on the Easy Go Jack Jr.
This kindling splitter also has two lower blades below the top one meaning that you can split kindling into four pieces rather than just two. You can optionally mount it to a secure location, or you can carry it with you wherever you go because it only weighs 7 pounds!
- Splits one log into four pieces to create kindling
- Bolt holes are pre-drilled to allow for added stability
- Easy operation requires less force thanks to the patent-pending design
- Hard to split logs larger than 12 x 3 inches
- It doesn’t have the top support ring, making it harder to split logs by yourself
5. Best Mountable Kindling Splitter
If you plan to permanently or semi-permanently mount your kindling splitter, you should opt for the Powerhouse Kindling Cutter. The body is made out of hand-forged titanium, while the blade is made of razor-sharp steel-titanium allow. It’s also removable, which means that you can store it during long periods of not using it to keep it out of the elements. The pre-drilled holes in the splitter base make it ideal for mounting and adding stability.
- Made from hand-forged titanium for excellent durability
- Quickly and safely splits wood without needing to use an ax
- Easy to remove blade lets you sharpen the tool anytime you want
- Very compact design as it’s only 9″ tall and weighs just 10 pounds
- The small inner diameter of 6.5in limits log size
- While its compact design is beneficial in some ways, it makes it difficult to split taller logs into kindling
- One of the more expensive options at just over $150
6. Best Heavy Duty Compact Kindling Splitter
The SnugNiture Firewood Kindling Splitter is an excellent option that falls somewhere between a compact splitter and a heavy-duty one. It’s small enough to be easily transportable and fit into tight spaces, but it’s strong enough to handle heavy or oversized logs. It features a cast-steel blade that is more durable, sharper, and less prone to rusting than the standard cast-iron blade.
This kindling splitter is the definition of portable and even comes with its carrying case! It weighs in at 10 pounds, measures 12″ tall, and has a diameter ring of 7.” No matter where you want to use your kindling splitter, this SnugNiture product is an excellent option.
- Attractive Design
- Comfortable to hold/use
- It can be used as a hammer when not splitting kindling
- Durable plastic material will last for years, even with heavy use in cold weather conditions
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Great price point compared to other alternative splitter options on the market today
- You cannot use it to split overly large logs or hardwood
- May chip if overused, so handle with care
7. Best Kindling Splitter on a Budget
In simple terms, going for a kindling splitter on a budget is dangerous business. The materials it’s made from typically aren’t as good and won’t last as long. The blade also loses its edge faster and isn’t as sharp as a high-quality blade. The VAVFLY Firewood Log Splitter, however, rises above these odds.
At right around $50, this kindling splitter is a happy medium between the liable-to-fall-apart $20 splitters, and the extremely pricey $100 to $150 splitters. The VAVFLY weighs 6.5 pounds and is made of high-quality cast steel that’s meant to last. It also boasts the fact that you should never have to sharpen the blade on this kindling splitter!
This bad boy stands just over 12 inches tall and fits pieces of wood up to 7” round. The base is solid but includes screw holes in case you want to permanently fasten it to something.
- Very lightweight and easy to transport from place to place
- Durable and solid cast steel design
- Can fit most logs and pieces of wood
- Features a blade that you should never have to sharpen
- Very affordable price
- Because of the design of the blade and its sharpness, you may have to apply more pressure to split kindling than you would with other splitters
Do I Need a Kindling Splitter?
If you’re serious about starting fires anytime, anywhere, then a kindling splitter is an excellent commodity. It gives you the ability to quickly and safely create kindling out of whatever logs you have on hand. All you need is your trusty splitter and a small to medium sledgehammer, and you’re in business. Keep in mind that you should always wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles to protect from chipping.
Kindling Splitter for Fire Mastery
Kindling splitters are an extremely innovative invention that has only come onto the market in recent years. Kindling Cracker out of Australia was the first company to start mass-producing kindling splitters after the prototype was invented by 13-year old Ayla Hutchinson of New Zealand. Since their invention, kindling splitters have taken the world by storm and made themselves a commodity worth owning. If you’re ready to take the next step in being a fire-starting master, you should consider purchasing one of the kindling splitters on this list.
For more information on fire building, check out our page on Fire.