This Amazing Family Handyman Approved Log Splitter Is All It’s Cracked Up to Be and More!

Take a swing at this clever, well-made and easy to use Family Handyman Approved log splitter.

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Since the start of the pandemic, many of my friends and family purchased or built wood fired pizza ovens, smokeless fire pits, and extravagant backyard bonfire setups.  For many of these, you can’t simply toss on any old logs and expect it to burn. You need a well-constructed fire to ensure consistent oven temperature or bonfire longevity.

While surfing the web, I came across a photo of a neat-looking, cast iron log-splitting contraption. I did some digging and discovered the Kindling Cracker!  Out came the credit card, and a few days later the king-sized version showed up at my door.

What is the Kindling Cracker?

The Kindling Cracker uses a stationary blade and a blunt object like a hammer or mallet to easily split logs into smaller manageable pieces or kindling. A New Zealand teenager looking to stay warm and safe in the winter developed it as a school project.

The Kindling Cracker comes in two sizes. The original can split logs up to 6-1/2-inches in diameter; the king can handle up to 9-in.-dia. wood chunks. Usable indoors or out, the Kindling Cracker features mounting options on the base so it can be permanently affixed near your fireplace hearth or an outdoor wood pile.

The Kindling Cracker isn’t portable. It’s heavy (a bit over 20 lbs.) and bulky. And it ships without a mallet or blunt-force instrument; you’ll need to provide your own.

How We Tested It

I chose 49 logs from my wood pile to run through the king size Kindling Cracker, a mixture of aspen, birch, oak and a boxelder tree. They ranged from three to nine inches wide and 12- to 19-inches long.

I planned on quartering these logs into four semi-uniform pieces, using several hammers and mallets to test and see how they compared. With a few friends heading over for a bonfire this weekend, it was time to get cracking!

All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Fh22d Approved Kindlingcracker 06 09 003 Family Handyman Approved Kindling CrackerFamily Handyman

The Kindling Cracker is an impressive tool.  Splitting wood is still labor intensive, but I had all 49 logs quartered and re-stacked in a little over an hour.

As when splitting any wood, this tool works best on straight grained and adequately dried logs.  Even when I came across a chunk with a big knot in it or a weird grain pattern, the Kindling Cracker was up to the task with an extra hammer swing or two.

Speaking of hammers, my handheld four-pound club hammer was the clear winner with the Kindling Cracker.  My long-handled framing hammer wasn’t stout enough, and my 10-lb. full-size sledgehammer worked well on the greener logs but was overkill on most others.

I even tried using another log as the mallet, as shown on the packaging. This also worked, but swinging another log proved awkward. A three- or four-pound club hammer is the way to go.

The Kindling Cracker is a great conversation piece as well.  While quartering the pile of logs, two neighbors struck up a conversation about the tool’s ins-and-outs and the neat story behind its invention. The Kindling Cracker is unique and interesting. From now on, I’ll keep it right next to our woodpile for all to see.

Foolproof to Use

I really like how easy and safe the Kindling Cracker is. There’s no swinging of a sharp axe or hatchet blade, and no dangerous splitting machines. With just a blunt object, a little elbow grease and the Kindling Cracker, nearly anyone, young or old, can split firewood perfectly in no time.

Why You Should Buy This

If you’re looking for an effective, safe and interesting way to split firewood for your pit, fireplace, stove or oven, try the Kindling Cracker.  It’s well-made, easy to use and available in two sizes, though the king size is the way to go!

Where to Buy

Kindling Cracker 118990 High Quality Manual Cast Iron Original Firewood Splittervia merchant

Both sizes of the Kindling Cracker are available at Walmart and Northern Tool, and on

Buy Now!

Ethan O'Donnell
Ethan is Family Handyman’s go-to editor for finding and testing the latest and greatest products, tools, and gear in the DIY space. Ethan has experience building custom woodwork, sets, props, and exhibits. Over the course of his career, he has completed projects for several Fortune 500 companies as well as for the United States Park Service. During his spare time, he likes to ride anything on two wheels, read, draw, or spend time with friends discussing recent Formula 1 events.