Axes? Dangerous, even in trained hands. Batoning? Controversial. This however, might be a wood-splitting method we can all get behind.
The Kindling Cracker – which began as a science fair project by a student in Australia – is a solid piece of cast iron with an upward facing (unsharpened) edge. Simply place your log upright on the edge and use a hammer/mallet/baton to force the wood down. A set of vanes below act as a wedge to help facilitate the split.
I know there is a certain contingent of users out there who will never give up their axes, and I can’t fault them for it, but proper attention to technique and your surroundings is paramount. The “problem” with axes is that when a slip-up does happen, the results are often catastrophic. Just ask our esteemed Editor how he got his facial scar due to his own axe-handling mishap.
As far as safety goes, the Kindling Cracker looks well thought out. Not only is your “cutting” edge stationary the whole time, but the ring at the top should also prevent an inadvertent faceplant into the business end of the wedge. A set of screw holes can be used to mount it permanently in place as well.
I can certainly watch this animated gif for hours! Available for around $100, I am very tempted to buy one. What say you?