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“Hey, what the hell is that thing?”

spiral wedge splitter
Photo from Lee Valley Website

I’ve heard that question more times than I can remember.

On those days that you’re splitting wood in the old school style (i.e. wedges, mauls, sledge hammers), whatever you use to make a large round disappear into uniform pieces of firewood, this thing could be your saviour.

I’ve told you about my favourite splitting axes, but what happens when they just won’t rip through some ugly knot? My solution, I’ve been using a twisty splitter or spiral wedge <THIS IS NOT AN AFFILIATE LINK depending on what you want to call it, for as long as I can remember.  I bought my latest one from Lee Valley Tools <—THIS IS NOT AN AFFILIATE LINK.

These odd looking pieces of hardened steel are incredible. Like their name says, they just twist as you hammer them in.  There’s not much they can’t handle.

I’ve heard they originated on the East Coast of the United States, or they were invented in Finland, yet another story says it was Norway… for sure.

I’ve also seen a picture from pre 1900 that tries to prove they originated in Germany.

Whatever the case, my hat goes off to whomever invented this amazing little 5lb wedge.  I keep two of them in my tool box along with a couple of regular wedges, just in case I come up against the knot from hell.