The Noodling Of Firewood And What To Know About It

You’ve probably stumbled into this word before when dealing with firewood related things, but what does it exactly mean? Why is it called that way? These are the questions I will be answering here on today’s article.

What is noodling?

Noodling of firewood is a way to saw the rounds in half, or in as many splits as you want, by tilting the wood on its other end; that is, on the bark side.

Why would you want to do it?

People noodle wood mainly because they can’t get through it with a splitting maul.

You know how it is, some wood is just harder to get split. No matter how hard you try with the maul (or a wedge), it just doesn’t budge.

Using the chainsaw to saw that gnarly round in half may be all that’s needed for you to be able to split all the stuff that’s left.

But don’t do it too much!

Now even though you can indeed noodle any round into as many pieces as you want, you should do so only when you actually need to do it.

You see, to put it simply, “splitting” wood this way is just a pure waste of fuel.

If you want to do some noodling on a round, I would only suggest halving. Quartering, or running the saw for even longer just to get more pieces is a waste, of time too.

Maybe try ripping?

Ripping firewood (as most folks seem to refer to) is an act of cutting rounds along the grain, just as they sit on the ground, as opposed to noodling where you lay the wood on its bark side and cut that way (this is along the grain too, just from a different angle).

Ripping, as to what I’ve heard, seems to be even harder on the chainsaw, as you literally dig the chain in such a way it might not be made for, (on homeowners’ saws, that is), not to mention you literally need a bigger saw, because this tasks it that much more.

The point I’m trying to get to here is that you can just make a slit this way right across the round, without needing to cut through it whole to begin with.

Doing so may be all that is needed for you to get going with a splitting maul, or a wedge if you have one.

The reason why noodling is called noodling

Doing so creates a ton of shavings, or “noodles” as they say.

Yup… that much

So unless you have a way to use up all those shavings somewhere, you should think twice whether you really need to noodle it…

Rent a splitter instead

If you have a bunch of wood you think of noodling, anyone who had done that before extensively would probably suggest you to get a splitter for a day or two and get it done it that way.

Noodling really is not as fun as it might sound at first.

There is a certain technique on how to do it right, which you only get to figure out once you do it a bit. Not to mention the need of a bigger saw, better chain, more fuel… it’s just not that worth it.

Having to bend down for long periods of time like that is just an icing on why you should steer away from this idea as much as you can, and try something else instead, like a log splitter.

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  1. Of course splitting rounds in this manner may be necessary if the rounds are either too heavy to load into your wood hauler or too heavy to lift into your log splitter LOL.

  2. Not heard it called noodling in my country, don’t know we have a specific name for it.
    Easiest way to do it is to lay two half rounds on their flat sides on the ground and put the one you want to cut on top of them and go at it. Adds a bit of height and keeps the tip away from the ground.

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