The Hardest Types Of Wood To Split

Any homeowner who makes firewood by himself knows that the whole job is definitely not of the easiest ones, especially when time comes to split the wood using your own hands.

As if the task wasn’t hard enough already, it can only get more difficult if the wood falls under some categories i explain below.

The cursed three

The hardest firewood to split, at least in my opinion, is elm, sweetgum and cotton wood.

It’s ‘hard’ to explain why these three can be so hard to work with, but one thing is certain – if you want to have a better time making firewood, avoid them if you can.

A splitting wedge stuck in a rather gnarly piece of wood.

Thankfully all hope is not lost – making sure that the wood is more dry, at least in these examples, can make splitting a lot easier, so keep that in mind.

*Sure, a good log splitter can deal with stuff you may not be able to by hand, but throw knottier pieces at it, and i bet it’ll struggle as well.

Yup, that’s what i’m talking

It’s not always the type

Sure, elm can be annoying to pop apart, but so can really any type of wood out there. It all really depends on just how grainy, knotty, twisted or simply large the rounds are to begin with.

Ash is known as the easy-to-split type of wood, but get one which is a bit different in structure, and you have a whole load of headache to go through, regardless of its species.

Invest in better gear

Wood can be split a lot easier if you use proper modern tools, like this Fiskars splitting maul you can get on Amazon. Also, you should consider getting a pair of wedges too.

There’s rarely any wood you can’t split by hand, but eventually you might just grow tired of it, which is why you might want to get a log splitter.

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  1. My buddy left a log a my house that made my 20 ton splitter whin.I am not sure what type of wood it was.It seemed to have a circular grain, kind of rosey in color and a sweet smell when split. I was only able to split it starting from the outside edge the inside just tore apart and the fibers just held tight.

  2. Yeah I had some sweet gums cut down in my yard. cut them and tried to split while green. Nearly impossible. Let they sit for 6 months and tried again and still couldn’t wedge them apart. Rolled them into the woods and let the bugs have them!

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