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Stihl vs. Husqvarna – Who Reigns Supreme?

The battle of the chainsaw titans – Stihl vs. Husqvarna – sparks a relentless debate among woodcutters worldwide. Choosing between these chainsaw giants often perplexes users, each brand boasting distinct features.

This guide aims to navigate the chainsaw landscape, empowering users with insights to decide the ultimate wood-cutting companion.

Decoding the Wood-Cutting Giants and Their Strengths

Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws display unique traits, each catering to specific needs:

  • Performance: Stihl’s prowess lies in raw power and torque, ideal for tackling large, dense hardwoods. Conversely, Husqvarna prioritizes cutting speed and fuel efficiency, excelling in lighter tasks and swift limbing.
  • Ergonomics & Handling: Stihl’s sturdy builds offer control for seasoned woodchoppers but may overwhelm beginners. Husqvarna focuses on lightweight designs with innovative features like vibration dampening, ensuring comfort and ease.
  • Maintenance: Stihl may require more frequent upkeep, demanding regular sharpening and occasional adjustments. Husqvarna, generally needing less maintenance, features sealed bearings and quick-adjust tensioning systems.
  • Price: Stihl often comes with a premium due to premium materials, while Husqvarna offers a wider range of prices, appealing to both budget-conscious and professional users.

Top Chainsaw Models by Stihl and Husqvarna


  • Stihl MS 881: A monster chainsaw reigning in raw power, effortlessly tackling massive trees. With its hefty price and weight, it’s suited for professionals and seasoned woodchoppers.
  • Stihl MS 261 C-M: A versatile mid-range option striking a balance between power and weight, perfect for homeowners and occasional woodcutters.
  • Stihl MSA 120 C: A battery-powered wonder, offering quiet operation and zero emissions, perfect for light trimming tasks.


  • Husqvarna 572XP: A lightweight powerhouse boasting impressive cutting speed, a favorite among professionals and large-task enthusiasts.
  • Husqvarna 435 II: Ideal for small jobs and firewood prep, catering to beginners and casual users with its fuel efficiency and intuitive design.
  • Husqvarna 540i XP: A cordless beast delivering professional performance with exceptional cutting power and long battery life.

Which one to choose between Stihl and Husqvarna

Picking the champion chainsaw involves understanding your requirements:

Heavy-duty logging or large firewood processing? Stihl’s raw power and torque may be your answer. Landscaping, limbing, or quick firewood prep? Consider Husqvarna’s cutting speed and efficiency. Prioritize comfort and ease of use? Husqvarna’s ergonomic designs and innovative features may fit your bill. On a budget? Husqvarna’s varied price points offer versatility in choice. Seeking zero emissions? Explore battery-powered chainsaws from both brands.

Remember, specs matter, but hands-on experience is invaluable. Visit local chainsaw dealers, test various models, and select the one comfortable and suitable for your needs.


Which brand is more reliable?

Both brands boast reliability and durability; choose based on features and performance aligning with your needs.

Are gas-powered chainsaws always better?

Gas chainsaws offer power for heavy-duty tasks but produce emissions. Battery-powered ones are quieter, emission-free, ideal for small jobs and convenience.

What safety precautions should I take?

Wear protective gear, use proper cutting techniques, and never operate alone. Regularly maintain your chainsaw for optimal performance and safety.

How often should I maintain my chainsaw?

Regular maintenance is essential. Sharpen the chain after a few uses, oil the blade, and inspect for wear and tear.

Where can I learn more about chainsaws?

Online resources, local dealers, and safety courses offer valuable insights and techniques.

Final Word

This detailed guide provides insights to help both seasoned woodcutters and beginners choose the perfect chainsaw for their needs. Prioritizing safety and comfort while balancing performance and budget is key. Armed with these insights, anyone can become a wood-cutting champion.

Remember: Choosing a chainsaw is about understanding needs, prioritizing safety, and finding the right tool for comfort and budget. With this guide’s insights, conquer timber titans safely and efficiently.

Bonus Tip: Sharpen your chainsaw regularly for effortless wood-cutting and reduced accidents.

Happy wood-cutting!

CategoriesArticles Reviews

The Best Splitting Mauls: Maximizing Value for Your Wood-Chopping Needs

The resounding thud of a maul striking a log—a primal rhythm marking victory over stubborn wood. But before reveling in your firewood conquest, there’s a critical decision: selecting a splitting maul offering optimal value. Fear not, wood-chopping enthusiasts! This guide delves into the world of mauls, arming you with insights to find a budget-friendly weapon for your firewood conquests.

5 Best Splitting Maul Reviewed

Discover some fierce competitors vying for your budget and providing excellent value:

1. Estwing Camp Axe

The Estwing Camp Axe stands tall as a formidable force in the world of wood-splitting tools. It’s a testament to raw power, featuring a robust cast iron head that effortlessly crushes through gnarled knots and seasoned oak with the resounding satisfaction of one or two swings.

Estwing Camp Axe review
Estwing Camp Axe review

Beyond its sheer might, the Estwing Camp Axe boasts a shock-absorbing hickory handle, a true ally for prolonged chopping sessions. This combination of strength and ergonomic design ensures extended use without succumbing to undue fatigue, making it a go-to choice for seasoned woodchoppers.

What’s more, it offers this power-packed performance at a budget-friendly price, making it an undeniable champion for those seeking optimal value at under $50.

2. Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe

In the diverse landscape of axes, the Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe emerges as a true hybrid, effortlessly melding the raw power of a maul with the agility of an axe.

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe
Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe

It’s an exceptional tool that conquers logs of various sizes with remarkable ease. What sets the X27 apart is its patented Power Wedge, a genius design element that deftly initiates splits, effectively dealing with the most stubborn logs with seamless precision.

Despite its lightweight fiberglass handle, this axe doesn’t compromise on power; each swing delivers a potent force, turning wood chopping into a genuinely enjoyable experience. Its versatility to handle a wide range of logs makes it a standout choice among wood-chopping enthusiasts.

3. Husqvarna Splitting Maul

For those seeking unadulterated power without the frills, the Husqvarna Splitting Maul reigns supreme as a reliable companion in the battle against stubborn logs.

Husqvarna Splitting Maul
Husqvarna Splitting Maul

Featuring an impressive 8-pound cast iron frame and armed with a wedge-shaped head, this maul bulldozes through the toughest of woods. Although its fiberglass handle may lack the shock-absorption capabilities of hickory, it offers a secure grip for precise and controlled swings.

What makes it even more attractive is its affordability; priced under $60, it represents an excellent value proposition for those prioritizing raw splitting power without breaking the bank.

4. Razor-Back 8 lb. Wood Maul

Stepping into the domain of budget-friendly options, the Razor-Back 8 lb.

Razor-Back 8 lb. Wood Maul
Razor-Back 8 lb. Wood Maul

Wood Maul is a choice that holds its own in delivering substantial splitting force without bearing a hefty price tag. Tailored for newcomers or occasional users, this maul boasts a cast iron and hickory combination that promises power while maintaining a balanced weight of 8 pounds.

However, for more demanding tasks or larger logs, a heavier alternative might be necessary.

5. Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe

Finally, the Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe emerges as an exquisite masterpiece in the world of wood-splitting tools.

Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe
Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe

Its hand-forged steel construction sets it apart, showcasing impeccable craftsmanship that excels in both splitting and chopping tasks.

This multifunctional efficiency is complemented by a balanced weight, a razor-sharp edge, and an aesthetically stunning hickory handle. While priced higher than others, its unparalleled quality and enduring performance make it a lifelong investment for enthusiasts seeking a superior, long-lasting tool.

Smart Tips for Budget-Savvy Maul Shopping

To make the most of your investment, consider these savvy strategies:

  • Match to Needs: Select weight and head design based on log size, physical strength, and frequency of use.
  • Quality Matters: A higher-quality maul might cost more upfront but ensures better durability and performance.
  • Shop Around: Compare prices online and in stores, hunt for discounts, and consider used options for bargains.
  • Care & Maintenance: Regular sharpening, proper storage, and adding a handle protector can extend your maul’s lifespan.


Selecting the ideal splitting maul on a budget means balancing value, performance, and personal needs. Invest in a quality tool that fits your requirements for enduring service. With the right maul, you’ll conquer firewood piles and savor the crack of success!

Remember, it’s not merely about the price; it’s about finding a maul that offers long-term value and performance. Happy splitting!

Splitting Maul FAQs

What should I prioritize when choosing a splitting maul for the money?

Durability, head weight that matches your needs, and comfortable handle material are key. Don’t forget a good warranty for peace of mind!

Is a heavier maul always better?

Not necessarily. While heavier mauls pack more punch, they can be tiring to swing, especially for smaller users. Choose a weight that balances power with comfort for enjoyable wood-chopping sessions.

What’s the difference between a maul and an axe?

Mauls are all about brute force splitting with their heavier, cylindrical heads. Axes offer more versatility with lighter, wedge-shaped heads suited for both splitting and chopping. Some models like the Fiskars X27 blur the lines, offering the best of both worlds.

How often should I sharpen my splitting maul?

The frequency depends on how often you use it and the hardness of the wood you’re splitting. Generally, sharpening after every few heavy-duty sessions ensures efficient splitting and keeps your edge razor-sharp.

What safety precautions should I take when using a splitting maul?

Safety first! Always wear eye protection and gloves. Use proper splitting techniques and swing in a clear area free of bystanders. Don’t overexert yourself, and take breaks to avoid fatigue. Remember, with the right knowledge and a well-chosen maul, your firewood battles will be won with satisfying swings and minimal sweat. Happy splitting!

CategoriesArticles Reviews

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe Review for 2024

When the Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe made its debut, it promised innovative design and seamless wood-splitting abilities. A year has passed since its arrival in the wood-chopping scene. It’s time to reevaluate: Is the X27 still the reigning wood-splitting champion or just a fading trend?

The Impressive Features That Broke Expectations

Imagine the X27—a composite fiberglass handle exuding unparalleled durability, the patented Power Wedge ensuring efficient log splitting with minimal effort. Its lightweight construction and razor-sharp blade shattered the notion of hefty, unwieldy axes.

The X27’s exceptional features set high expectations, sparking anticipation for groundbreaking performance.

Testing the X27’s Mettle

Reality versus expectation—over the year, the X27 faced seasoned hardwoods, obstinate logs, and tangled knots, revealing its genuine capabilities.

How the X27 Performed in Different Situations

Splitting Efficiency

  • Small & Medium Logs: The X27 emerged victorious! Slicing through smaller and medium-sized logs—oak, maple, birch—it made the daunting task seem effortless. Its lightweight yet powerful design not only streamlined the process but made it surprisingly enjoyable.
  • Large & Knotty Logs: Here, the X27 faced hurdles. While capable of handling larger logs with some effort, splitting knotty sections demanded more swings and muscle power. For such demanding tasks, a traditional, heavier axe appeared more suitable.

Durability & Design

  • Unbreakable Handle: The fiberglass handle lived up to its promise—no cracks, no flexing—an unequivocal testament to its innovative construction and a substantial win for the X27.
  • Sharpening & Edge Retention: As anticipated, the initial razor-sharpness wore off with time. Regular sharpening became essential for maintaining optimal efficiency. However, the high-quality steel ensured that the sharpening process was relatively quick and manageable.

Assessed and Reassessed: Is the X27 Still Worth It?

The Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe’s performance remains noteworthy, particularly for handling smaller and medium-sized logs with finesse. Its lightweight and efficient design make wood-splitting surprisingly enjoyable. However, when faced with larger and knotty logs, it exhibits limitations, requiring more effort and swings. The fiberglass handle’s durability, as promised, remains unmatched, while the blade’s edge retention necessitates regular upkeep.


The X27 isn’t just a passing trend; it’s a tool that has redefined wood-splitting for many. Its innovative features have introduced efficiency and ease into the wood-chopping domain, especially for less demanding tasks. While not flawless, its unique capabilities still make it a preferred choice for many woodworkers.

X27 Super Splitting Axe FAQs

Several questions often arise regarding the X27’s performance:

Is the X27 worth its price tag?

For those managing smaller logs and prioritizing ease of splitting, yes. However, for those dealing with larger logs or searching for more budget-friendly options, a traditional axe might serve better.

Is the handle truly unbreakable?

While highly durable, no material is entirely indestructible. Extreme misuse could potentially damage the handle. Nonetheless, its robustness and shock absorption capabilities are undeniable advantages.

How crucial is the Power Wedge design?

It notably assists in splitting smaller logs but isn’t a universal solution. Larger logs may require conventional splitting techniques.

Can the X27 be used for chopping, not just splitting?

While it can handle small branches, it’s primarily designed for splitting tasks, not heavy chopping.

X27 vs. traditional axes—what’s the comparison?

It’s not about better or worse; it’s different. Traditional axes offer more power for larger logs but can be tiring. The X27 shines for smaller logs, making it an excellent companion to traditional axes.

CategoriesArticles Reviews

The Best Wood Stove Fans to Buy in 2024

Wood-burning stoves exude a nostalgic allure, filling spaces with warmth and ambiance. Yet, the challenge often lies in distributing this warmth evenly across the room, leaving certain corners chilly. Enter wood stove fans: the unsung heroes of heat circulation, ensuring uniform warmth throughout your space.

Decoding the Dynamics of Heat Distribution

Wood stove fans operate on the principles of thermoelectricity. Housed with a Peltier plate, they convert heat absorbed from the stove into electricity, propelling blades to circulate warm air, fostering a consistent, cozy environment.

5 Best Wood Stove Fans

1. Ecofan Original

Known for its quiet operation and self-starting feature, this compact and straightforward design suits most wood-burning stoves.

Ecofan Original fan

2. Caframo Ecofan Starfire

With an impressive 300 CFM rating, this powerhouse circulates heat effectively in larger spaces, offering adjustable blades for customized comfort.

Caframo Ecofan Starfire

3. IstaHeat EcoChoice Wood Stove Fan

Offering durability and quiet operation, this budget-friendly fan is ideal for smaller spaces.

IstaHeat EcoChoice Wood Stove Fan

4. CWLAKON Heat Powered Stove Fan

A sleek and modern choice with high-efficiency blades and whisper-quiet operation, ensuring stable placement and efficient heat circulation.

CWLAKON Heat Powered Stove Fan

5. Voda Heat Stove Fan

Versatile and efficient, this fan boasts an 80% increased heat circulation compared to standard models, catering to various stove sizes and room configurations.

Voda Heat best Stove Fan

Critical Considerations for Choosing the Ideal Wood Stove Fan

  1. Matching Heat Output: Align the fan’s CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating with your stove’s heat output for optimal performance. For instance, a 5000 BTU stove pairs well with a 150-200 CFM fan.
  2. Size and Placement: Select a fan that fits comfortably without obstructing airflow or the firebox. Compact designs suit smaller stoves, while larger models cater to expansive rooms.
  3. Noise Levels: Opt for a fan that operates quietly if you prefer a peaceful ambiance without background noise.

The Best Wood Stove Fan should have these features!

  • Multiple Fans: Strategically place multiple fans for expansive areas or rooms with uneven heat distribution.
  • Safety Features: Prioritize fans with automatic shut-off mechanisms to prevent overheating.
  • Aesthetics: Choose a fan that complements your stove’s style, enhancing the room’s overall ambiance.

Advantages of Using Wood Stove Fans

Beyond mere heat circulation, these fans offer an array of benefits:

  1. Energy Efficiency: By redistributing warm air more effectively, they enhance the stove’s efficiency, reducing fuel consumption.
  2. Noise-Free Operation: Opt for models designed for silent operation if you prefer a quiet environment.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Utilizing the stove’s heat to power the fan saves on electricity bills.
  4. Even Heat Distribution: Eliminate cold spots and ensure every corner enjoys consistent warmth.

Exploring the Science Behind Wood Stove Fans

Understanding how these fans function can enhance their selection and usage:

  • The Peltier Effect: The heart of wood stove fans lies in the Peltier effect, where a temperature differential across two different conductors generates electricity. This electricity powers the fan, facilitating heat circulation.
  • Optimized Blade Design: Advanced blade designs are crafted to maximize airflow and efficiency, ensuring effective heat distribution.
  • Safety Features: Modern wood stove fans incorporate safety measures like bi-metallic strips or automatic shut-off systems to prevent overheating, ensuring safe operation.

Final Words of Warmth and Comfort

Wood stove fans are your companions in banishing cold spots, ensuring winter evenings brim with consistent warmth. By understanding your needs and choosing wisely, transform your wood-burning stove into a hub of cozy comfort. Embrace the mesmerizing flames, knowing your fan is spreading warmth far and wide.

Remember, the perfect wood stove fan awaits discovery. Let this guide navigate you toward warmth and comfort, elevating your home’s coziness. Embrace the crackling fire and unwavering comfort brought by the ideal wood stove fan, creating a haven of warmth and tranquility.

In conclusion, wood stove fans aren’t just devices; they’re instruments of comfort, efficiency, and coziness. They transform your winter experience, ensuring every nook of your home embraces the warmth, allowing you to revel in the serene ambience and comforting glow of your wood-burning stove.

Wood Stove Fan FAQs

Do wood stove fans need electricity?

No, wood stove fans are self-powered by the stove’s heat.

How long do wood stove fans last?

With proper care, a good-quality fan can last 5-10 years.

Are wood stove fans safe for children and pets?

Keep them out of reach to prevent potential burns.

Can I use a wood stove fan with a pellet stove?

Yes, most wood stove fans are compatible with pellet stoves.

How do I clean my wood stove fan?

Use a soft brush to remove dust or debris from the blades regularly.

CategoriesArticles Reviews

The Best 6 Modern Wood Burning Stoves in 2024

In the realm of home heating, modern wood burning stoves have emerged as an epitome of elegance, efficiency, and environmental consciousness.

These stoves, characterized by Scandinavian craftsmanship and innovative technology, redefine the traditional hearth, offering not just warmth but also aesthetic allure and eco-friendly heating.

If you’re considering investing in a modern wood burning stove, this comprehensive guide will navigate you through the top picks, their unique features, and what sets them apart.

Exploring the Top 6 Picks: Best Modern Wood Burning Stoves

Westfire Uniq 45 SE: Overall, best wood burning stove

Danish innovation at its peak, the Uniq 45 SE stands out with an impressive 86% efficiency rating. Its sleek aesthetics coupled with an optional heat storage system not only optimize heat extraction but also elevate its visual appeal.
Westfire Uniq 45 SE burning stove
The Uniq 45 SE is more than just a numbers game with its impressive 86% efficiency rating. Crafted with Danish precision, this stove seamlessly blends efficiency with aesthetics. The large viewing window allows for an unobstructed view of the flames, creating a mesmerizing focal point in any room. The optional heat storage system ensures warmth lingers, making it a practical choice for those chilly evenings.

ACR Neo 1P Eco: Eco-Friendly Heating Excellence

Setting new benchmarks in environmental responsibility, the ACR Neo 1P Eco meets rigorous Ecodesign 2022 standards. Its contemporary design and customizable side panels exemplify style with a commitment to minimal emissions and maximum fuel efficiency.
ACR Neo 1P Eco
While the ACR Neo 1P Eco excels in fuel efficiency, its eco-friendly design steals the show. Meeting Ecodesign 2022 standards, it minimizes emissions, making it a responsible choice for the environmentally conscious. The panoramic glass door not only adds to its modern appeal but also allows you to immerse yourself in the dance of flames.

Woolly Mammoth 5 Widescreen: Budget-Friendly Comfort

Delivering 5kW of heat output without the hefty price tag, this stove exemplifies value and functionality. Its durable cast iron build ensures longevity while offering a panoramic view of mesmerizing flames through its widescreen window.
Woolly Mammoth 5 Widescreen review
Affordability meets aesthetics in the Woolly Mammoth 5 Widescreen. Delivering exceptional value, this stove provides 5kW of heat output without breaking the bank. The widescreen viewing window offers a panoramic view of the fire, creating a cozy ambiance without compromising on budget.

Dik Geurts Ivar 5: Compact Charm

Combining compact design with robust heating capabilities, the Ivar 5 exudes traditional Dutch aesthetics. Its intricate detailing and small footprint make it an ideal choice for cozy spaces seeking efficient warmth.
Dik Geurts Ivar 5 review
The Dik Geurts Ivar 5 brings a touch of traditional Dutch design into modern living spaces. Despite its compact size, this stove delivers a robust 5kW of heat output. The intricate detailing and tiled top add a dash of Old World charm, making it a standout choice for those who appreciate a blend of history and functionality.

Morsoe 3116 Badger Eco: Sculptural Sophistication

Beyond its artistic form and rounded edges, the Badger Eco impresses with high efficiency and clean-burning technology. Its sculptural design adds a touch of contemporary elegance to any space.
Morsoe 3116 Badger Eco
The Morsoe 3116 Badger Eco goes beyond functionality; it’s a work of art. Its sculptural form, rounded edges, and organic curves make it a visual masterpiece. But it’s not just about looks—the Badger Eco boasts impressive efficiency and clean burning technology, ensuring your home is heated efficiently and sustainably.

Arada M Series 5: Versatility Unleashed

The Arada M Series 5 offers versatility with wood-burning and multi-fuel capabilities. Customization options ensure it seamlessly integrates into your space while providing efficient heating.
Arada M Series 5 stove
Versatility takes center stage with the Arada M Series 5. Offering both wood-burning and multi-fuel capabilities, this stove adapts to your preferences. Customize it with different door styles and leg heights to seamlessly integrate it into your home’s design. The modern aesthetic, combined with high heat output, makes it a versatile performer for larger spaces.

What to Consider When Buying a Wood-Burning Stove

Beyond their fundamental purpose of providing warmth, modern wood burning stoves encapsulate a blend of sophisticated design, cutting-edge efficiency, and eco-consciousness. Originating from Scandinavian heritage, these stoves have evolved into contemporary marvels, boasting efficiency ratings at unprecedented levels while significantly reducing emissions.

The Essence of Modern Wood Burning Stoves

These stoves not only provide heat but also elevate the aesthetic appeal of any space. With clean lines, innovative designs, and a fusion of classic and contemporary elements, they stand as functional works of art. Their efficiency in converting wood into heat while emitting minimal pollutants signifies a commitment to both comfort and environmental responsibility.

Technical Marvels: Efficiency and Functionality

Efficiency ratings of modern wood burning stoves have soared, allowing for optimal heat extraction from every log. Features such as heat storage systems, panoramic glass doors, and customizable side panels not only enhance their functionality but also add to their visual allure. Moreover, the incorporation of clean-burning technology ensures reduced emissions, aligning with eco-conscious aspirations.

Design and Aesthetics: Blending Form and Function

Scandinavian heritage reflects in the sleek designs, minimalistic silhouettes, and attention to detail in modern wood burning stoves. These stoves are not just heating appliances; they’re statements, adding sophistication and warmth to any space. Their ability to seamlessly integrate into diverse interior styles, from contemporary to rustic, is a testament to their versatility.

Environmental Consciousness: Meeting Ecodesign Standards

Ecodesign certifications signify a commitment to reducing environmental impact. These stoves comply with stringent emission standards, ensuring minimal pollution while maximizing heat output. Pairing these stoves with properly seasoned wood further minimizes their environmental footprint.

The Versatility Factor: A Stove for Every Space

Whether you’re seeking a compact stove for a cozy corner or a statement piece for a spacious living area, modern wood burning stoves offer diverse options. Their adaptability to various fuel types, customization possibilities, and sizing options cater to the unique needs of different households.

Final Thoughts

Modern wood burning stoves have evolved beyond mere heating appliances; they’ve become iconic symbols of sophistication, efficiency, and environmental stewardship. Their ability to amalgamate design, functionality, and eco-consciousness has made them quintessential elements in contemporary homes, elevating not just the warmth but also the ambiance of any living space.

In conclusion, choosing a modern wood burning stove involves considering not just heat output and efficiency but also aligning with personal aesthetic preferences and environmental values. As these stoves redefine the traditional hearth, they invite warmth, elegance, and sustainability into our homes, transforming them into havens of comfort and style.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the cost factors associated with modern wood burning stoves?

The prices of modern wood burning stoves can vary significantly depending on factors such as brand, size, and additional features. Basic models might start at approximately $500, while more advanced or premium options can reach several thousand dollars.

How do modern wood burning stoves impact the environment?

Despite being cleaner than older models, modern wood burning stoves still emit pollutants. However, opting for Ecodesign-certified stoves and using properly seasoned wood can help mitigate their environmental impact. These measures aim to reduce emissions and ensure more eco-friendly operation.

What is involved in the installation and maintenance of modern wood burning stoves?

Professional installation is highly recommended for modern wood burning stoves to guarantee safety and compliance with building regulations. Routine maintenance, including regular chimney cleaning and stove inspections, is essential to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Who are modern wood burning stoves suitable for?

Modern wood burning stoves are well-suited for individuals seeking a supplemental heat source, desiring the cozy ambiance of a crackling fire, and having consistent access to dry and seasoned firewood. These stoves are ideal for spaces where the homeowner wants to complement their heating system or add a focal point to their living area.

What safety measures should be taken when using modern wood burning stoves?

Ensuring the proper installation of the stove, including adherence to clearances and using fire guards, is crucial for safe operation. Additionally, following the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding maintenance and operation is pivotal to prevent accidents and ensure the stove’s longevity.

CategoriesArticles Reviews Tips & Tricks

Best Hatchet for Kindling in 2024

The allure of a crackling fire draws us in, but before the magic, mastering the art of kindling preparation is essential. Enter the humble hatchet, the unsung hero in the realm of fire-starting.

Selecting the right hatchet for kindling is the linchpin between effortless firewood prep and a frustrating battle with branches.

hatchets for kindling

This guide immerses you in the world of hatchets tailored for kindling, empowering you to find the perfect companion for your fireside rituals.

5 Best Hatchets for kindling

Ready to elevate your firestarting game? Here are top contenders for kindling mastery:

1. Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe

wedish craftsmanship with a hand-forged head, hickory handle, and perfect size for precise kindling work.

Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe

2. Fiskars X7 Hatchet

Lightweight with patented blade design for exceptional splitting and a shock-absorbing handle.

Fiskars X7 Hatchet

3. Estwing Sportsman Axe

Affordable and durable, with a compact size and curved handle ideal for kindling preparation.

Estwing Sportsman Axe

4. Hults Bruk Forest Axe

Traditional Swedish craft with a modern touch, featuring a lightweight design and sharp blade for small logs and kindling.

Hults Bruk Forest Axe

5. Gerber Gator Axe II

Budget-friendly, compact, and durable fiberglass handle—a good choice for occasional kindling needs.

Gerber Gator Axe II

Understanding Kindling Needs

Kindling, the cornerstone of any fire, necessitates specialized handling. A hatchet for kindling should offer:

1. Precise Control

Delicate tasks demand accuracy and maneuverability for splitting small twigs and branches effectively.

2. Lightweight Handling

Avoid arm fatigue during kindling prep; opt for a lightweight hatchet for an enjoyable experience.

3. Sharp Blade

A well-honed edge is vital for clean cuts, ensuring safety and frustration-free wood splitting.

Exploring 3 Popular Hatchet Options

The world of hatchets unveils diverse characters, each tailored to different fire-starting styles. Meet some contenders:

  • Camp Hatchets: Jack-of-all-trades, perfect for backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts. While lighter, they might pack a punch for some users.
  • Splitting Hatchets: Wedge-shaped blades excel at splitting logs but might be cumbersome for delicate kindling work. Ideal for seasoned woodsmen or tougher firewood.
  • Utility Hatchets: Lighter and more maneuverable, offering decent splitting capabilities alongside good kindling performance. A balanced choice for many firewood prep needs.

Delving into Handle Matters

The handle plays a pivotal role in performance and comfort. Consider:

  • Material: Hickory offers excellent shock absorption and durability; fiberglass is lighter and warp-resistant.
  • Length: Shorter handles provide control, while longer ones offer leverage for splitting larger logs.
  • Grip: Opt for a comfortable, non-slip material for better handling.


Before you embark on firestarting adventures, let’s clear some hatchet-and-kindling queries:

1. What’s the ideal weight for a kindling hatchet?

Aim for a hatchet between 1.25 and 1.5 pounds, offering good control without tiring your arm.

2. Is a full-sized axe suitable for kindling?

While effective, a full axe might be unwieldy for delicate tasks. Opt for a smaller hatchet for precision work and to prevent tool wear.

3. How do I maintain a sharp hatchet edge?

Regular sharpening is key; invest in a good whetstone or file and learn proper sharpening techniques for your hatchet blade.

4. Any safety tips for using a hatchet?

Prioritize safety—wear eye protection, gloves, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and avoid forcing the hatchet during cuts.

5. Can I use a machete for kindling instead of a hatchet?

Machetes lack control and precision, better suited for clearing brush than delicate kindling work—stick to the right tool for optimal safety and efficiency.

6. Where can I learn more about using a hatchet?

Online resources and local stores offer courses on hatchet handling and sharpening techniques—invest in guidance to refine your skills.


Selecting the best hatchet for kindling ensures the perfect balance between control, weight, and sharpness.

Whether a seasoned woodsman or a novice, understanding your needs and choosing the right tool elevates kindling prep from chore to satisfying ritual. So, embrace the joy of creating flames, sharpen your hatchet skills, and craft cozy fire moments effortlessly.

CategoriesArticles Tips & Tricks

How To Start a Fire in a Wood Stove

There is nothing more satisfying and cozy than building a fire in your wood burning stove on a cold day. In order to enjoy your Hallmark moment without filling the inside of your house or cabin with smoke, you should know a few simple things about how to start a fire in a wood stove so you can enjoy the timeless beauty of heating with fire.

Simple, but not necessarily easy

It’s wishful thinking to believe that starting a fire in a wood stove is as simple as setting the thermostat to 88 and walking away. After all, you just open the wood stove, load it full of wood, throw in a match, and close the door, right? Well, if that works for you, then you’ve got extremely dry firewood and (and you’re at risk of over-firing your stove). But in the real world, these are the things to keep in mind if you want a fire that starts quickly, is smoke-free, and burns long and hot.

I’ve found that rushing the process of starting a fire in the wood stove nearly always results in taking more time to get the fire going. So follow these simple steps, and you’ll be pulling off your sweater and kicking off the slippers in no time.

Materials needed to start a fire in a wood burning stove

To get a nice hot fire burning quickly, and with as little smoke as possible, you need to be prepared with the following items at hand:

  • Tinder (or Paper). More that just a dating app, tinder is actually any dry, easily flammable material used to start a fire. It could be cedar strips or wood shavings, but old newspaper is most common. Be sure you avoid using newspaper with colored ink, or flyers made with glossy paper. In a pinch you can also use computer paper or toilet paper
  • Kindling (Small, dry sticks to catch fire from the tinder). Fatwood is my recommended option , and yes it is safe to use in an EPA rated wood stove. Check out my article on kindling hatchets for more info
  • Firewood seasoned and split to size.
  • Air flow

Basic Physics

Before you get that fire going, you need to know the basic physics of a wood stove (and combustion in general). You might have heard a mechanic say an engine needs three things to run: air, fuel, and spark. Well, your wood stove needs the same elements available in order to successfully start a fire burning.

You need to identify where air enters the firebox. If your stove has a glass door, there should be a narrow strip above and behind the glass. This allows air to flow down across the glass to the front of the fire where it’s cooler and denser than combustion gases. If your stove doesn’t have a glass window on the door, there should be an air inlet somewhere near the bottom of the firebox. The old-style box stoves usually have a lever you can use to open and get airflow into the firebox.

Air Flow & Establishing a Draft

Let’s take some time looking at the issue of air flow. A common cause of smoke filling a room where a wood stove is located is a cold backdraft. This occurs when cold air from outside is drawn down your chimney, into your stove, and into your house. In other words: the air is moving the wrong direction. If you stick your hand into your stove and feel cold air flow before lighting the match, you’re likely to get a backdraft situation, and a room filled with smoke.

This fire is too smokey, but at least the smoke is going outside!
This fire is too smokey, but at least the smoke is going outside!

The easy fix for this is to open the nearest window or door to the frigid outside until you get your fire going. This is a simple case of air pressure. Like any fluid, air will naturally flow from areas of high pressure to low pressure. By adding more available air to the inside of your house, it will help the hot air from burning tinder overcome the cold backdraft and establish a positive draft.

Most people seriously underestimate the airflow needs associated with getting a wood stove burning. In some houses (especially new construction homes with very little draftiness) it’s nearly impossible to get a cold stove drawing air up the chimney unless you’ve got a nearby window or door cracked open to supply air.

Now that you know how to avoid a backdraft, it’s time to get on with building a fire in a wood stove quickly, and without smoke coming inside the house.

The best way to start a fire in a wood stove

Now that we’ve covered what you need, and how a wood stove works, I’ll share my favorite method for starting a wood burning stove. I’ve tinkered with many different methods and variations over the years, but I have to give credit to JG over at for this method. Before discovering this way of starting a fire in my wood burning stove, I used to fiddle with the log cabin method, the tee-pee method, and other random configurations.

This method I’m about to describe is damn reliable, and after you spend the 2 minutes placing your materials in the stove, you can basically drop a match and walk away. No more sitting beside the fire, crumpling up newspaper balls and throwing them in while you blow, curse, and end up with ash all over your face. (Or instead of blowing into a smokey pit of fire and ash, you could just buy a wood stove bellows and make your life much easier…)

The best way to start a wood stove: The Top Down Method

A top down fire ready to light. Credit to
A top down fire ready to light. Credit to
  1. Place normal sized firewood logs for the bottom row on the firebox. They should be well seasoned with a low moisture content below 10%
  2. Place medium-sized kindling atop the base row of logs. Lay these large kindling pieces perpendicular to the base row
  3. Lay down 6-10 pieces of small kindling on top of the larger kindling – again, perpendicular to the previous layer.
  4. The last step is to place tinder or those pieces of newspaper and crumple and twist them, laying them on the very top. I also like to place a few pieces of paper in the space between the bottom row of firewood and the next row of large kindling.

Light the paper and watch as the fire catches the top row of small kindling, and then moves down each layer you created, until the seasoned full-size firewood logs are burning well and hot. The reason I like this method is that you really just have to set it up once, and it’s good to burn for a few hours before you need to add more wood. If you start with a small tee-pee or log cabin, you have to monitor the initial burn closely, and slowly add pieces of full-size firewood as the fire progresses. This method bypasses that process. And when you’re in the business of burning firewood to keep warm, every efficiency counts.

Thoughts on newspaper: crumple, roll, or twist?

Here’s the best way I’ve found to use newspaper to start a fire in the wood stove. The trick is to loosely crumple or the paper — the finer the mass of paper, the quicker it lights. If you mash it into a tight ball or a tight rolled-up snake, it’s not going to burn quickly. So follow this method for the best results.

Take a few sheets of paper and loosely roll them from one corner to the opposite corner. Tie a lazy knot in each strip– this stops the paper from rolling around once you light it.

This method will provide you with a long and steady fire with minimal smoke, if any. When the weather is frigid out, you are going to want to sit back next to a warm fire in your home or cabin. Now that you know how to do just that, you can get started on your cozy fire right away.

What’s your preferred method of starting a fire in your wood stove? Leave a note in the comments below.

If you liked this article, check out my review of the best splitting mauls on the market.

CategoriesArticles Reviews

Finding the Best Chainsaw Chain for Hardwood

Hardwood presents a formidable challenge to chainsaw users due to its dense composition and resilient cell structure. Varieties like oak, maple, hickory, and cherry boast robust fibers that demand specialized chains capable of handling their strength without wearing out.

4 Best Chainsaw Chains for Hardwood Mastery

1. Oregon S62 AdvanceCut Low Kickback Chain

Striking a balance between aggression and control, perfect for novice and experienced users dealing with hardwood.

2. Stihl 3610 005 Chainsaw Chain

A full-chisel powerhouse catering to professionals, providing unparalleled cutting speed and efficiency in hardwood cutting, albeit demanding frequent sharpening.

3. Forester Full-Chisel Chain Loop

Known for its durability and wear resistance, ideal for seasoned users tackling heavy-duty hardwood cutting.

4. Oregon S39 Semi-Chisel Chain Loop

A versatile option for users dealing with both hardwood and softwood, offering good cutting performance with extended sharpness.

Different Chainsaw Chains with their Features

Full Chisel Chains

  • Aggressive Cutting: These chains feature square-edged teeth, delivering swift and efficient cutting by digging deep into hardwood. Ideal for seasoned professionals due to their ability to bite aggressively.
  • Quick Wear and Kickback: However, their aggressive nature leads to rapid dulling, necessitating frequent sharpening, and poses a higher risk of kickback, requiring careful handling.

Semi Chisel Chains

  • Balanced Performance: Sporting slightly rounded teeth, these chains offer a middle ground between aggression and durability. Effective for both hardwood and softwood cutting, appealing to homeowners and occasional users.
  • Longer Sharpness, Lower Kickback: While not as swift as full chisel chains, they retain sharpness for extended periods and have lower kickback risks. Not the best for heavy-duty hardwood tasks though.

Micro Chisel Chains

  • Precise and Delicate: Equipped with ultra-fine teeth, these chains ensure smoother cuts with minimal tear-out. Perfect for intricate carpentry and precision-based projects.
  • Steady and Less Prone to Kickback: Despite being slower, their durability and low kickback make them ideal for beginners and those handling delicate hardwood projects.

Choosing the best chain for hardwood extends beyond just the teeth. Here are some additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Chain Pitch: Common pitches for hardwood cutting include .325″ and .404″, with larger pitches offering enhanced durability for tougher tasks.
  • Gauge: The thickness of drive links varies from standard (.063″) for most home tasks to heavier gauges (.080″) for professional users, ensuring better durability.
  • Link Count: The number of links determines the chain’s length, crucial to match with the chainsaw’s bar length.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a regular chain for cutting hardwood?

Technically possible, but using a chain designed for softwood on hardwood will result in slower cutting, increased wear, and a higher risk of kickback.

How often should I sharpen a chainsaw chain when cutting hardwood?

Hardwood dulls chains faster. Expect to sharpen a full chisel chain after every few cuts, while semi chisel chains might go a bit longer. Micro chisel chains typically require sharpening less frequently. Test the sharpness by running your finger along the teeth – if they feel blunt, it’s time to sharpen.

What’s the best way to sharpen a chainsaw chain?

You can hand-sharpen your chain with a file and jig or invest in a powered sharpener for faster, consistent results. Ensure you learn the proper angles and techniques for your specific chain type to avoid damaging the teeth.

Does chain oil matter for cutting hardwood?

Absolutely! Proper lubrication is crucial for any chainsaw task, especially hardwood cutting. Use high-quality, chainsaw-specific oil to reduce friction, prevent overheating, and ensure smooth cutting.

What safety precautions should I take when cutting hardwood?

Hardwood cutting demands extra caution. Always wear proper safety gear, including eye protection, hearing protection, gloves, and sturdy boots. Secure your footing, be aware of the log’s potential movement, and never force the chainsaw.

Are there alternatives to using a chainsaw for cutting hardwood?

For smaller logs or situations where a chainsaw isn’t ideal, consider using an axe or hatchet. However, this requires significant skill and physical strength, so proceed with caution if you’re inexperienced.


Selecting the right chain for hardwood is crucial for a safe and efficient cutting experience. By understanding different chain types, considering individual needs, and practicing proper sharpening and safety techniques, users can confidently handle even the toughest of trees. Conquer hardwood challenges with the right chain, and relish the satisfaction of a job well done.

Beyond the Chainsaw

This guide has primarily focused on chainsaw chains suited for hardwood. Remember, success also depends on factors like the chainsaw’s power, your skill level, and proper tool maintenance. Keep learning, hone your technique, and prioritize safety. With dedication and practice, you’ll master hardwood cutting like a pro!

Happy cutting!

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