The Kindling Cracker: Safest Way To Split Wood?

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?


  1. stuartb says:

    ‘From my cold dead hands’

  2. knightofbob says:

    So if I already have an axe, a sledge, and a wedge, which together can be found for under $100, and are also necessary to break down the wood to a point where it will even fit in this single-use device, I’d already have the means to do the one thing this does, just with the caveat of having to keep my wits about me.

    Personal story: when I was working at McDonald’s as a kid, they introduced the breakfast bagels. Originally, we would split them in store, to order (they have, apparently, since switched to pre-cut). To ensure uniformity and safety, the stores were sent these horizontal bagel guillotines. Now, the blades were mostly covered, you used a guard to push the bagel, they were “safe.” As an added measure, only employees over 18 were allowed to use it. That went out the window as soon as I became the only person who consistently used it without ever having cut themselves. My point is, the more “safe” you advertise something as, the faster and more dramatically someone will be hurt with it.

  3. Daniel says:

    Your kidding right? Ok then let’s go hiking. But make sure we put in our back pack our wonderfully safe CAST IRON and our HAMMER OR MALLET to beat down our smaller “logs” which we must have found just the right size lying around on the forest floor.

    Ok I poked my fun. But really, for small fires in our ring of whatever we made it of. Those logs had to be chopped/sawed into shorter pieces of logs some way, shape, or form somehow. I got lucky last fall. Neighbor was getting large tree removed from their front lawn. They did not want the OAK wood. So we asked and recieved. Many logs that tree man very nicely sawed into uniform short pieces. Then being directly next door all we had to do was wheel barrow the stuff to our back yard and dump where we later stacked neatly next to the dried, cut and split wood we purchased.

    I say there is no place for cast iron wood splitter, at my home or in my pack. The back pack packing I have never really done except for once. Hiking the GC rim to rim with a group from church and a few Sierra club members, where we drove each other’s cars to which ever rim we wanted to finish at. Slept in a cabin which required a years reservation time then. Like waaaay back then when serving my USAF term at Nellis in North LasVegas. Ok will spare you on the first time I hiked it down the havasupi ? spelling,,, then back up the bright angel on the same rim all in the same day. No pack, no food and not even water. As I recall my buddy and I ran down that havasupi then hiked up the bright angel in one day. Was nice when I was in top form and a stupid nineteen years old.

    SORRY FOR THE LENGTHY REPLY. But that’s per my usual. Could have just said, THANKS BUT NOT FOR ME.
    But how boring would that be. Especially when I do not know how to write and punctuate, spell etc, etc at all. Well some, but far from pro status.

  4. PeterK says:

    I have split kindling exactly once in the past several years. Maybe many years. So the rarely used fiskers hatchet I have is probably good enough for me.

    That is a neat idea, though.

  5. Daniel says:

    Sorry me again. I meant to say there was one, maybe two sources of water. The one I remember was on our way back up the bright angel trail. A spring nicely capped into a large concrete square about 3 to 4 foot high or so. Just the right height. So since it was constantly free flowing over the top edges and down back in the direction of the river. We stuck our mouth/faces into that wonderfully cool spring water and drank till we could fit no more. Ahh the good ole youthful days. And the top form I mentioned I was in certainly did not come from boot camp but while it did help. Came from my track running days from NORTH SIDE HIGH SCHOOL. Home of the Vikings. Lafayette Louisiana

  6. stuartb says:

    Daniel, keep going….. seems like there is a whole story unfolding, dont keep us hanging!

  7. cmeat says:

    because all of my logs are 9″ o.d.

  8. elcas says:

    mmmmh where is the fun in that …
    quite limited to small logs

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The Kindling Cracker: Safest Way To Split Wood?

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