As both U.S. coasts bake in near-record temps, building a fire isn’t top of mind for most Americans right now. But, if you live in the mountains where it still gets cold at night, or you’re looking to prep for winter, it never hurts to stock up on the best wood for indoor fireplaces and some new firewood-splitting gear to boot. Chopping and pruning firewood can be more than just a utilitarian chore to keep your digs warm, too. With the right mindset, it can be a rewarding and even therapeutic activity. Sure, it’s hard work, but there are plenty of tools to make the job infinitely easier. Whether it’s a new splitting ax, a kindling cracker, a wood storage rack, or a well-stocked first aid kit in case things go awry, we have you covered. These are the best firewood-cutting tools and accessories of 2021.
Technically, almost any ol’ ax will do for splitting firewood. But, we live in an age of DoorDash and other space-age technologies. Fiskars’ Norden N12 Splitting Axe features an award-winning design that blends classic ax heritage with cutting-edge materials. The 19-inch length works equally well as a one- or two-handed tool while proving long and substantial enough for efficiently splitting logs. The beautiful hickory handle is tumble-varnished while offering overstrike protection and an over-molded head. Most importantly, the blade is overengineered with advanced geometry and a razor-sharp, nearly unbreakable design for years of use and abuse.
A good roaring fire starts with thinly sliced or shaved kindling. The Kindling Cracker XL makes quick work of turning your perfectly chopped logs into perfectly prepared kindling wood. Simply stand your logs vertically inside the cast iron ring, and use a maul or sledgehammer to drive each piece down into the splitting head. It takes less force and work than hacking your logs with a traditional ax, and the design is basically maintenance-free.
Hard work needs hard-working gloves. Chopping wood is messy business, and it requires dry, well-protected hands to get the job done. Milwaukee’s Cut-Resistant Goatskin Leather Impact Gloves feature a buttery soft design that feels great on your hands. Plus, this version offers maximum cut resistance with an additional leather layer across the palm. Enhanced, impact-rated TPR across the back of the hands helps protect against pinches or crushing in the event of errant maul strikes.
After hours of chopping, you’ll want to protect your investment with a well-made firewood rack. The Woodhaven 8-Foot Firewood Log Rack offers plenty of storage, and the black, powder-coated finish is built to last. The included cover protects the top foot of your pile and automatically adjusts to the amount of wood in the rack, keeping it dry for your next use. Plus, it’s built in the U.S. and assembles easily.
Cutting your firewood is only part of the job. If you’re burning it in a fireplace or woodstove, you’ll need a way to lug it inside. This heavy-duty log tote from Inno Stage carries a handful of full-sized logs at a time to minimize trips to your outside log rack. The waxed canvas exterior and thick leather handles are not only handsome but durable and designed to last for years.
Nothing complements a fireplace like a handsome indoor log rack with matching fireplace tools. Fire Beauty’s Fireplace Log Rack is an all-in-one design that works with any decor. At nearly 3 feet wide, it holds more than enough wood to last a whole night, so you needn’t make additional trips to your outdoor firewood storage. A separate storage space keeps small bits of kindling within easy reach, while four included tools ensure you’re ready for nightly fires this winter.
We’ll assume you know what you’re doing when it comes to chopping and splitting wood. Still, if you play around with sharp objects and large tools long enough, bad things are bound to happen. It never hurts to keep a well-stocked first-aid kit just in case. Be Smart Get Prepared’s First Aid Kit is ideal for most home users. It’s not unnecessarily stocked (or expensive) nor too pared-down like most automotive first-aid kits. Instead, it strikes a good balance with more than 300 items at under $40. Short of a surprise finger amputation on the chopping block, you’ll be plenty prepared.
Regularly sharpening your firewood-cutting ax is critical to maintaining its performance. The Hultafors Grinding Stone from Hults Bruk is a compact grinding stone designed for just that purpose. At just 3 inches across, it’s designed to fit comfortably in your hand while keeping your fingertips away from the ax blade. The 180/600 grit surfaces are plenty durable to keep your axes sharpened for years to come. An included leather sheath helps protect and store your stone after each use.
If you’re inspired to get up and chop down some trees to make your own firewood, take a peek at our guide to using a chainsaw before continuing your endeavors (and maybe pack two first-aid kits just in case).
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