Most of us are familiar with what a splitting wedge is: a triangular tool that is one of the six simple machines of the world. The wedge is used for separating two objects by lifting or splitting them apart from one another. The shorter the wedge, the more force is required for it to do the job.
The heart and soul of any wood splitting wedge is its inclined planes, which in this case are placed so that they meet at an edge to form the blade. This edge, when pushed into a solid substance, will force the substance to separate since two opposing forces will overcome the resistance the substance gives.
Splitting wedges have been in use with humans for as long as recorded history dates back. In early times, wedges have been used as flint stones and were used for cutting meat, before the knife was eventually developed to fulfill this task. Wedges, along with saws and chisels, were also used for separating thick materials ranging from wood to metals to stone and so on.
Today, wedges are still put to good use in many of the same applications that they were used thousands of years ago. For example, a drill bit is a modern day wedge that is used to produce holes in solid pieces of wood.
Features of the Log Splitting Wedge
That being said, the log splitting wedges of today are significantly more advanced and durable than they were thousands of years ago, even though the concept remains the same. For a simple and effective log splitter wedge, look no further than the Estwing E-5 Sure Split Wedge with a total length of nine inches and a cutting edge of one and seven eighths of an inch.
One reason why many people will turn to a wedge over an axe or a maul for splitting wood is purely for safety reasons. Whereas a number of safety hazards and risks will immediately present themselves when you bring that blade over your head and swing it down. The wedge takes a little more practice to master but is still safe if you know what you’re doing.
There are a number of distinct advantages to the Estwing E-5 that sets it apart from some of its competitors. First of all, it’s designed right here in the United States and Estwing is well known for making high quality products.
Secondly, this wedge is designed to hold an edge well over time, so as a log splitting wedge, it will go well through the wood line to ensure a sure split. The head is tapered so you can easily begin work without having to wrestle with the wedge.
Because of these advantages, the Estwing is among the safest and efficient wedges to use out of all the ones on the market, which makes it an excellent choice for the apprentice when it comes to splitting wood. With a sledge hammer and the Estwing E-5, you can make short work of anything from hardwoods to oak trees. The only scenario where you might encounter trouble with the E-5 is if you run into some very knotty wood, but this holds true for pretty much any wedge that you can find.
Something else that sets the E-5 apart from other wedges on the market is that it is made out of ‘soft steel.’ Learning this fact is sometimes what turns people away from the E-5 and similar wedges. The real truth is that harder steel can sometimes crack after extended wear and use, especially if you find yourself in a predicament with a knotted log and are ramming your sledge hammer forward.
The Estwing E-5 has a sharp edge with a harder steel, but the actual inclined planes (or blade) is longer and made out of a softer metal, allowing it to split into the log before it can become stuck or cracked in such a manner. For this reason, many of the chisels that you will see on the market will use the same technology: a soft steel with a hard steel at the very tip of the blade for an enhanced cutting edge.
Specifications for Splitting Wedge by Estwing
Weight: One Pound
Cutting Edge: 1-7/8″ / 48 mm
Overall Length: 9″ / 229 mm
Dimensions: 8.9 by 2.5 by 1.8 inches