How to Make a Kindling Splitter





In this Instructable, I am going to show you how I made a stationary wood splitter, it can be used to split logs or make kindling. Making kindling is what I need it for, using this stationary splitter is much safer than trying to split wood using an axe or hatchet. The top has a square cage to keep the hammer or your hand away from the blade when in use.

It works by holding the wood over the blade and then hitting it with a mallet or another piece of wood. For those of you who can't swing an axe or don't feel comfortable swinging an axe, you can use small taps with a hammer and still split wood.

Note: this Instructables was stolen and reposted on this site and not following the creative commons fair usage for non commercial use, this is not my post:

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

There are very few materials needed to make the splitter, but a welder is required.


  • 10 foot long rebar cut to:
    • 4 pieces @ 8"
    • 5 pieces @ 7 1/16"
    • 2 pieces @ 12"
    • 4 pieces @ 5"
  • 7 3/4" x 1.5" x 1/4" steel plate


  • Welder
  • Angle grinder with cutting disc and grinding disc
  • Hack or metal bandsaw (optional)
  • Welding Magnets (optional)

Step 2: Video

Here is a video assembling the wood splitter:

Step 3: Design and Build

The design is very simple but effective, I got inspiration from pictures I saw online.


  • Make an 8" square from the two 8" pieces and two 7 1/16" pieces of rebar, do this twice so there are two squares;
  • Tack weld the squares to hold;
  • Using the welding magnets, line up the 12" rebar perpendicular to one side of one of the squares and then tack weld in place;
  • Repeat on the other side;
  • Weld on the second square that will be the top of the cage.


  • The blade is made from a piece of 7 3/4" x 1.5" x 1/4" thick steel plate cut into a semi-circle like the head of an axe;
  • The blade is welded to a 7 1/16" piece rebar;
  • An edge was ground into the plate steel using an angle grinder and a grinding disc or sanding flap disc, it doesn't have to be super sharp, just sharp enough so it will split wood.


  • The blade assembly was welded mid way between the two vertical 12" rebar pieces, this keeps the blade high enough so when the wood splits there is room for the wood to go and keeps you from striking the top of the cage with the handle of the hammer;
  • Using the 5" rebar pieces, they were ground with an angle so they could be welded between the bottom square and vertical 12" rebar as support bars;
  • All the welds were reinforced with additional welding before use.

Step 4: How to Use

The use of the splitter is very straight forward, hold a piece of wood over the blade and hit it with a hammer or another piece of wood. You can split wood into very small pieces and you hand is never close to the blade. Lining up smaller pieces of wood is super easy.

An option is weld on a few pieces of flat bar and then drill some holes so the splitter can be screwed into a chopping block so it stays steady when in use. This would be particularly good if you want to chop large logs.

Hope you found this Instructable useful and check out my other ones.

Note: Based on some of your comments: the blade is positioned high enough so that handle of the hammer never makes contact, at least during my use for making kindling. I could see if you were splitting larger logs that it would be possible to hit the handle, you could protect the top rail with a piece of foam or rubber.



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    14 Discussions


    3 months ago

    Wonder if it would work with multiple parallel blades to split a bunch of kindling at a time


    2 years ago

    What a great idea! I'm eager to try to make it.


    2 years ago

    did you use 1/2" rebar?


    2 years ago

    Nice design. For those without a welder: checkout the kindling cracker, designed by a 14yo in New Zealand:


    2 years ago

    I think you might have problems with the mall handle striking the edge of your cage. I came up with a similar concept awhile back by using two car tires stacked and bolted together. You simply drop in the log and strike it as many times as needed to get the size kindling needed. The tires hold the wood pieces in place preventing the user from chasing them all over the place when they split.

    car tire wood splitter.jpg
    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I took that into account, the designs I have seen have the blade too low. My blade is 1/2 up so all it take is one wack, no issues so far. I like your design with the tire, that will keep things tidy!


    Reply 2 years ago

    A suggested modification to your design might be to attach a motorcycle tire around the upper frame. It would provide some protection for the mall handle should too much force be used on the downward stroke. Call it Mod 1. ;p)


    Reply 2 years ago

    In addition, the edges of the tires make a good cushion to prevent damage to the mall handle.


    2 years ago

    Nicely done. I've seen one of these on youtube that used square tubing. I want to make on for my rocketstove.


    2 years ago

    looks like you'd be going through quite a few slug hammer handles, also very awkward, I think the old fashion way of simply placing the log on a large log with a good sharp edge is much more effect, but the good old fashion engine splitter is my favorite, hey whatever floats one's boat, lol


    2 years ago

    Oooo the functionality. Looks great!