Useful Tips

How to chop wood, choose a cleaver and work according to the rules


Many people like to watch the living flame, so the installation of wood-burning fireplaces in summer cottages and in private houses is very popular. This is not an easy task, but you can handle the installation of a fireplace if you wish. But even if the fireplace is already installed, then melt it without fuel will not work. Therefore, it will be useful for owners of wood stoves to learn how to chop wood correctly.

Probably, many will be surprised at the question of how to chop wood. Indeed, in this process, it would seem, there is nothing complicated. You just need to wave the cleaver, splitting the logs into even chocks that will fit in the fireplace insert. However, faced with the need to cut firewood in practice, many are faced with difficulties. We’ll figure out how to chop wood correctly so that this hard work can be done easily and quickly.

The easiest way to see how to chop wood is in the video. But the oral advice of an experienced splitter will never be superfluous. Therefore, let us dwell in detail at each stage of this difficult but fascinating affair.

If you have a bathhouse or a fireplace in the house, then the ability to correctly chop wood will definitely come in handy. Of course, you can not bother yourself and buy ready-made, chopped firewood, but it’s such a pleasure to wave the ax in the fresh air, breathing in the smell of fresh wood, and get a boost of energy and positive energy.

Yes, and in the campaign this skill may be needed. And if so, then it will be useful to find out all the secrets of chopping wood (see. Which firewood is better).

What do you need to chop wood?

Firewood is chopped, setting the log blocks on a flat and solid base. The deck is best suited for this - the thickest and knotty part of the sawn tree trunk. It is desirable that two or three knots were not cut down, but stuck out of the deck: with their help it would be easier to transfer it from place to place.

It is very difficult to split such a deck, as the knots and twists in its body seem to pull it together and perfectly resist blows.

Ax or cleaver

Experienced woodcutters almost always choose a heavy and blunt ax — a cleaver — for chopping firewood, especially if the trunks are cut with long logs.

To wave them, you need physical strength, but a cleaver, under the influence of its own gravity, better splits a block of wood. Its blunt blade does not get stuck in the wood, but works like a wedge.

But the ax should not be pulled far into the corner - it is easier for them to chop short chocks and fresh, raw, recently sawn firewood. In addition, you will definitely need it in order to chop wood chips for kindling.

Process description

To make it easier to cope with the work, follow the following procedure:

Chipping the edges of a thick block

  1. Place the block on the deck so that the knots or most of them remain below.
  2. Find a crack, which is almost always at the end of the sawn log, and rotate it so that the splinter hit it.
  3. If there are no cracks, try to get an ax or cleaver between the knots or along them. When chopping firewood with an ax, it can get stuck in a log, hitting a bough. In this case, the ax, along with the log, must be turned with the butt down and forcefully hit it with the deck.
  4. It is more convenient for very thick log blocks to chop not in the middle, but to chop off the blocks closer to the edge.

Tip: you do not need to put a lot of effort, lowering the cleaver on the block. Just lift it above your head and lower it with acceleration - the severity of the cleaver itself is enough for him to do his job.

Safety precautions

  • To prevent the ax from flying off the ax, on the eve of chopping firewood, lower it into a container of water. The ax will swell, and the ax will sit firmly on it.
  • During work spread your legs wide: this is convenient and will protect you from accidental miss.
  • Make sure there are no people nearby, especially children., since when chopping firewood can fly quite far in different directions.

What should be the logs?

If you do not want the wood to burn too quickly or not completely burned, leaving firebrands, then the thickness of the logs should be 7-10 centimeters. How to split firewood so that they turn out just like that?

It depends on the thickness of the logs. Thin split in half into two blocks, and then each - again in half, getting the so-called fours.

Firewood chopping scheme

Thick logs will have to be split into eights, that is, halve each four. If you come across very thick logs, then each octagon is split in half, but not in radius, but across so that two smaller logs are formed: one trihedral, the second tetrahedral.

The chopping blocks (halves of the block) can be split not into two, but into three trihedral parts (or two trihedral and one tetrahedral) to obtain logs of the desired thickness - sixes.

Tip: it is easiest to chop wood when they are dry, but raw firewood is best to chop if they lie in the cold. If there is no urgent need, do not rush to chop the freshly sawed raw logs - let them dry or lie down under a canopy until winter.

How to store firewood?

Do not put firewood in a woodpile (see Drovnitsa with your own hands) immediately after cutting them. If the weather is sunny and dry, let them lie down in the open air with a slide, even if the logs were originally dry. If the weather deteriorates, they need to be covered with tarpaulin, and it’s better to immediately lay the imposed hill under a canopy so that unexpected rain does not catch you by surprise.

Firewood stacked in a neat woodpile can be laid for several years without loss of quality. If during chopping firewood was completely fresh, then it is best to start using it after a year.

We hope that our tips will help you chop wood quickly without overworking. When taking firewood for the first time, do not immediately strive to set a quantitative record. Otherwise, the next day you may wake up with muscle pain and bloody calluses on the palms of your hands.

How to choose a suitable cleaver

A cleaver for chopping wood, this is a kind of ax - a heavy and dull ax-sledgehammer and on a long ax. The main thing when splitting logs is the impact force, the more the better. The second condition for the successful preparation of firewood is the creation of bursting efforts in the chock, from which it cracks. The usual ax - with a sharp light thin blade is not an assistant here. The cleaver should be heavy and thick.

Experienced craftsmen usually choose an ax a little longer, but for beginners and ordinary home use, it is better to adhere to an average standard.

The weight of the cleaver is recommended on average 2.2 - 2.5 kg. Experienced workers choose a little harder in order to create a stronger blow with the developed movements.

The hatchet is made of strong, but not solid wood. More commonly used are birch. The softness of the handle material is very important. The material should dampen the vibration, if it does it badly, it will break itself, and will give an unnecessary strain on the hands of the lumberjack.

Eared or wedge cleaver

Eared cleaver - with a sharp broadening of the blade. As planned, this leads to better cracking at the same impact force. The tool is used for exceptionally dry wood, with reduced fiber cohesion. In a wet log, he knows how to get stuck tight.

A wedge-shaped cleaver can also chop a wet tree, which is always more difficult than dry wood.

The expert advises - it is not necessary to undertake to chop raw firewood. Let the lumps lie down for at least six months - a year under a canopy. But frozen raw wood is pricked not bad - frozen water bursts inside. So you can just wait until winter ...

How to chop wood

A big mistake in trying to exert extra effort to strike. You need to deal a lot of blows, energetic diligence will quickly take away strength with the help of a heavy cleaver. It is necessary to make maximum use of the weight of the tool and the length of the handle - the moment of force is directly proportional to both.

  • A die (deck) is chosen - the largest, wet and heavy, with a flat surface, not high. All cracked chocks should stand confidently on it.
  • It is better to turn the chock so that the knots are at the bottom.
  • To split, you need to beat along the visible bitch, and not reproach him.
  • You need to try to get into a visible crack.
  • Too big chunks of firewood first chop at the edges,

Expert recommends. You should not drive an ax cleaver into large logs, lift them on an ax by weight, turn them over and hit with a butt on the block - there is a lot of energy in vain and the creation of dangers, it is better to chip around the edges.

What size firewood should be

For a confident entry into the winter, it is important that the results of logging are pleasing. The length of the poles should be at 3/4 of the length of the furnace. Typically, sawers (loggers) of wood adhere to standards in this case. But the chop is always individual. The average recommended size for the furnace is 10 cm. Thin firewood will burn out faster, but during this time they will give all the energy inherent in their mass. Thick firewood will have a smaller burning area, they burn longer, and are better suited to maintain long burning. In general, there must be large and small ones in the blank, and over time, the optimal size of firewood will be found for a specific firebox and heating system.

Security measures

  • The cleaver is heavy. Do not joke with this tool and work while intoxicated or with fatigue.
  • It is important to maintain balance and not to put your legs in front of a split log, it is more convenient to place them wide.
  • Chopping block, the deck should be larger than the processed chock and stand only steadily and without staggering.
  • Do not chop firewood under trees, wires. Hooking an ax against an obstacle, deviating from the trajectory, can cost too much ...
  • Work in tight clothes in a headdress, and with glasses. Flying chips are always unpredictable.
  • Soak the cleaver ax in water for several hours before working, so that the wood swells. Do not work with a non-serviceable tool. The reliability of attachment to the ax must always be monitored.

Firewood chopping on video

Many procurers have their own working technique. Chopping wood is desirable with a minimum of effort. How to swing a hatchet to betray maximum energy to a strike, and at the same time make the best use of inertia. Let's look at the video on the personal experience of people who often have to do this. An individual technique for working with a cleaver when chopping firewood is the main high throw, without much effort.

Also chopped firewood will help ordinary broken car tires. They can be used as a bandage, which speeds up and simplifies the work.

How to chop wood with mechanical devices. A selection of videos of mechanized harvesting of firewood. A lot of presses, wood processing lines, home-made and in design bureaus capable of chopping wood have been created. Do they get cheaper than a lumberjack .... Watch a video about chopping firewood with cars ...

What is necessary for chopping wood

In order to get even and beautiful logs suitable for melting the stove and fireplace, you will need a minimum of devices. Despite this, it is necessary to pay close attention to their quality, because the success of the event will depend on this.

The scheme of splitting firewood.

So, the base on which the wood blocks will be installed must be very dense and strong, which will allow the splitting process to be carried out without damaging its surface. It is best to use decks sawn from a log as a base. The deck should be the thickest and knotty part of the tree.

In order for the deck to be easily transferred to the right place in the plot, when sawing it, you can leave two or three knots on it that are convenient for grabbing with your hands. It is the twigs twisted inside the wood that give the deck the necessary strength and hardness.

Also, in order to chop wood, you need a sharp ax or cleaver - also an ax, but only blunt and heavy. It is quite difficult to work as a cleaver, because this requires a lot of physical strength and dexterity. The advantage of the cleaver is that due to its own gravity, it more quickly and successfully breaks down wooden logs.

If you need to chop large and dense logs, it is better to use a cleaver. Once in the thickness of the wood, a thick and blunt blade works according to the principle of a wedge, breaking the log into two parts. If you want to split thin and recently sawn logs, you need a sharp ax. In addition, a sharp blade will be necessary in the case when it is required to cut chips for kindling.

Wood chopping rules

Despite the fact that the process of chopping wood does not look very complicated, and many consider its success to be completely dependent on the availability of physical strength, you need to know a few basic rules that will allow you to get even and well burning firewood. In order not to injure anyone while chopping logs and not cause yourself an accidental injury, you will need to use the following recommendations:

  1. Before you start chopping churbaks, you should pick up an ax, wave it, choose the most convenient pose for work, get used to the weight of the instrument and the location of the deck.
  2. It is advisable to wear gloves on your hands that can protect your palms from injury. It should be remembered that in the case of large volumes of work, even the most durable gloves can break through after two to three days. Sometimes it is necessary to wear several pairs of gloves at once, which will protect the finger joints from vibration that occurs when the ax blade enters the wood.
  3. In order for the chips or ax bouncing from the logs not to injure the legs, you need to protect them with boots or berets made of dense material.
  4. It is necessary to break away from the chopping regularly and clean the place under your feet of chips and pieces of wood that have accumulated there, which you can stumble about at the most inopportune moment.

But, in addition to safety measures, it is necessary to think about how not to spend all your physical strength on the process of splitting firewood. So, you should carefully inspect each log and evaluate their capabilities.

For example, if a block of wood has several twisted branches, it is very difficult to split it. The best option in this case is to throw the chock aside and do it when all the rest of the work is done.

If the logs have a diameter of more than 30 cm, do not try to cope with them with the help of an ax.

It is better to use a cleaver with which the log can be divided into several parallel plates. And only then these plates can be cut with a sharp blade into thin and even firewood. The same technique should be used when chopping chocks with knots: first, the plate with knots is cut off from the log by the cleaver, and then the whole log is divided into several parts.


Firewood chopping is not an easy task, as some people who have not experienced this think. Those people who have ever attempted to cut logs on their own will agree with the statement. At first glance, it seems everything is simple, you need to pick up an ax and start chopping, but there are also some nuances of how to chop wood correctly. This knowledge and skills come with experience, but you can use the tips and avoid mistakes. Let's figure it out.

Chopped firewood stacked in the garden to dry

First of all, you need to understand what is useful for chopping wood and how to choose the right place.

The technique of chopping wood when working with an ax and a cleaver

Both professionals and beginners must adhere to a specific splitting technique:

The device of the ax splitting firewood.

  1. When working with a sharp blade, great attention must be paid to the position of the hands. So, supporting the log on the deck with your left hand, you should take it to the side, placing only the base of the thumb on the surface of the chock.
  2. The log blocks, which are split by a cleaver, are often quite large and do not require support. The main thing here is to stably place the log on the deck and strike in such a way that it does not fall. You can use the following technique: first strike in the center, then on the far side of the plane of the log, and lastly on the near one. If you change the order of actions, you can damage the ax.
  3. If the actions are too active or incompetent chopping, the ax blade can fly off the ax. To prevent this from happening, experts recommend soaking the tool in water before work: the ax will swell and not allow the blade to fly off.
  4. Putting a log on the deck, you need to pay attention to its end. Usually there are cracks on well-dried chocks. It is advisable to hit with an ax precisely on them - it is easier to chop wood. In the case when there are no cracks, which is often found on freshly sawn trees, it is necessary to strike according to the technique described above.
  5. If, when chopping wood, the blade of an ax or cleaver fell into a knot and it cannot be released, you need to use the following method: the cleaver, together with the logs mounted on it, is turned over and hit with a butt on the deck. Typically, after one or more impacts, the blade is released.

If there is a need to quickly chop wood, you can use the information provided. Even people who have never held an ax in their hands note that the skill of chopping wood arises very quickly. It is enough to cut a few logs, and then things will go like clockwork.

Manual chopping firewood

Для традиционной рубки дров потребуется только колун, ведь топор используется для этого очень редко и получается намного медленнее. По сути, топор применяется при обрубке сучков или для того, чтобы настрогать щепок для розжига.

The best traditional cleaver with a wooden handle. These have been used for many years and are often found in villages. A cleaver with such a handle before chopping wood should be left in the water for several hours so that the ax does not fly off

Classic cleaver models are made with a wooden handle, but according to current technologies they are also made with a plastic handle.

Different types of firewood are distinguished depending on the purpose, origin and quality. Some materials can be considered universal, while others are only suitable for specific tasks. To maximize the beneficial effect of the materials used, it is necessary to select them in accordance with the conditions of use and the tasks set.

The most good splitters are forged or cast. In order to have a long service life, when choosing a cleaver, you should pay attention to whether it is well hardened. Hardening should be checked by its sound. If it is deaf, it means that the cleaver is poorly hardened, but if it is voiced, then this is a suitable option.

You should pay attention when choosing a cleaver:

  • On the handle. She is selected so that it is convenient to hold in her hand.

Advice! As a rule, the handle is best made of birch, as it will be more comfortable to work with in comparison with metal or plastic.

Cleaver of modern design. It can be made with either a wooden or plastic handle

  • The length of the handle and the mass of the cleaver should be selected individually for each person, so that it is comfortable and convenient. The tool should fit well in the hand, then you do not have to wave the extra 20-30 times.

Advice! You should not use an ax or cleaver with a dry handle made of wood. It must be soaked in water, because its use is unsafe. The ax can fly off the handle at any time.

After the cleaver is selected, you need to choose the place where the firewood will be chopped.

Best of all, it would be a spacious area on which nothing can interfere. After the place is chosen, it should be installed on “Plahu” or “Deck”, which serves as a knotted lower part of the tree. Best of all, for ease of carrying, so that the knots stick out of it. This will help to equip a smooth and durable workplace. It is necessary to establish “Plahu” so that nothing interferes, and actions could not entail personal injury. This is important, for the reason that when splitting firewood, splinter, wood chips and logs fly in different directions.

A cleaver stuck in the "Plahu", or as it is also called, a "Deck"

Firewood chopping with appliances

At first, it seems that waving a cleaver is great, but after that your arms and back always hurt. Of course, many homeowners with stove or fireplace heating want to make their life easier with firewood choppers, which have already been invented by a lot of simple and technological ones. Few people will use production plants in a private farm due to their high cost, so let's look at those that are suitable for use in private households.

Mechanical cleaver. Chopping wood with this device is much easier than manually. It works on the principle of leverage

There are a wide variety of types of machines and machines for splitting firewood, such as: mechanical or hydraulic, as well as electrical. In all types, there are models with engines on gasoline or diesel fuel. Let's look at the principle of operation of some of them:

  • Chopping logs mechanically. A machine is used for it, on which a log is attached, after which a cleaver is driven by a lever system. Some models of these devices can split the block into several parts at the same time, but the principle of operation is the same.

Hydraulic cleaver. It is driven by a motor. The log is fastened and, due to the press, the knife splits the log

  • Hydraulic cleaver. The principle of operation is the same as in the first case, but the force is created using a hydraulic jack. Such a cleaver can work from a manual or foot drive, as well as when using a motor. Hydraulic splitters come in various configurations, as well as power. There is a very large selection on the market, but their cost is rather big.
  • Electrocunnings. They are gradually gaining popularity, since it is quite simple to make them and their performance is good. But when working with an electric dunger, it is necessary to strictly observe the equipment and safety rules, as one incorrect movement will lead to injuries.

Electric cleaver. The motor begins to rotate the cone, which splits the log. There are models with a cross-shaped cone, which are able to split the log block into four parts at once

Advice! These devices are quite expensive, but they can be done with your own hands, saving on a purchase.

Secrets of the correct chopping of firewood

Before you start chopping, you need to learn the subtleties and secrets of mastery. If everything is clear with the use of chopping devices, things are much more complicated with manual chopping. Let's look at the subtleties of chopping wood in the traditional way.

Firewood prepared for the desired length of the firebox. Different variants. In the lower part there are chips for ignition. This firewood can be installed next to the fireplace

Having prepared a place for chopping and cleaving, you can think about firewood. You should find out which ones will be easier to chop and which ones are harder. They lend themselves well to chopping wood when they are frozen or dry. Freshly cut, or as they are also called raw, it is difficult to chop.

Advice! Before chopping, the log blocks should be allowed to dry or freeze well, since after that the work will be made simpler and easier.

The length of firewood should be chosen based on the dimensions of the firebox space. Their approximate length is ¾ the length of the stove or fireplace insert, and the thickness is from six to ten centimeters. Such firewood will burn through a long period of time and evenly, this will achieve minimal ash formation.

The process of traditional chopping firewood

A log is set on the block. If there is a crack, it should be placed so that it is on the part of the one who will be cutting wood. After the block has been exposed, you should hit it with a cleaver, hitting the place of an existing crack. In the absence of it, but the presence of knots, you need to beat so as to get strictly between them.

The log is installed on the "Flank", the cleaver is stuck in it. In this case, the log has no knots and splitting it will not be difficult

Advice! You should not try to split a small chock with many knots, this will take a lot of time, it is better to just throw it aside. You can try when there is a lot of free time.

If you often use stove heating or like to cook food on the grill, you must first take care of creating stocks of flue material. Often, firewood is harvested 1-2 times a year. To prevent unnecessary waste, you must first calculate the volume you need, choose the most suitable method of harvesting and prepare a place for storing wood.

When everything is done correctly, the log splits. If the cleaver is stuck in the block, then you should take a sledgehammer and hit her with his butt. There is another option: deploy the log so that the butt of the cleaver is on the block. Raise the cleaver together with the log, and strike the block.

The correct stance is also very important when chopping blockheads. The legs should be placed shoulder width apart, the knees should be slightly relaxed so that they can spring slightly, which will increase the force of impact. Then, it is necessary to raise a heavy cleaver in front of you, holding it with both hands and then sharply lower it down to the log block.

Correct stance will help to avoid injuries when chopping wood and facilitate the task

Advice! Before you start chopping, you need to free up space. Carefully ensure that children, animals are not in the work area. Since the log may bounce, leave at least three square meters of free space.

Video: how to chop wood

We must never forget about safety. It is advisable to chop firewood in berets or in tight boots. This will save your legs in case the ax bounces. Gloves should be put on your hands, and preferably two (one on the other) to protect your hands from corns and quick fatigue.

How many parts to divide a block of wood?

Many owners of houses with stove or fireplace heating, while preparing firewood, think about which splitting scheme is applicable to one or another block of wood.

The number of parts into which the log is divided depends on its size. The block is small - you need to split it into two or four parts, a very large one - divide it into six, eight or more parts.

The scheme of splitting firewood is one. First, the log should be split in half, and then chop the halves again, you get quarters.

Advice! If the log is very large, then it is best to split it around the edges, and then it is already possible in half.

The scheme of splitting firewood. Depending on the size of the block, it can be split into several parts

Firewood chopping is not an easy thing, however, if you follow the tips, you can quickly master it and avoid mistakes. Whatever cutting method is chosen, safety rules should not be neglected so as not to harm one's health and those around him.