202 of 211 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Fiskars 7884 X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch (Lawn & Patio)
I've been reading about others who have been using various Fiskars splitting tools over the last few years, always treating them with some skepticism and never really feeling the need to get one of the 28" short handled versions. With the release of teh 36" X27 splitting axe however I decided it was time to try it for myself and see what all the fus was about. Got my new X27 when I came home from owork one night and I was unable to resist, immediately unboxed it, went outside and gave a hard maple round (about 14" across and 20" long, no branches or knots) and good solid whack. The head bounced right off the thing. Hit it again, same result. No split, no cracks, no nothing. Curious, I grabbed my trusly old fiberglass handled 8lb maul and blew the round into 2 equal sized chunks on the first hit. Thinking I must have gotten it started with the X27 I grabbed another round, smacked it with the old maul and WHAM! popped it on the first hit. I took one of the halves and again, the X27 disappointed.
Figuring I had a problem here because there is just no way THAT many people reviewing this thing could possibly not have used a standard 8lb splitting maul similar to mine, I did some hunting and even contacted Fiskars tech support. I was able to trace my problem back to the cutting edge on the axe. The Fiskars needs a shapr cutting edge in order to work right and while they're supposed to be nice and sharp right from the factory, for whatever reason, mine was very dull...it could be that the supplier that ships them for Amazon levaes them dull to avoid lawsuits, or my particualr axe wound up with an extraordinarliy thick coating of the non stick application on the head...but whatever the reason, my thumb was in no danger of being cut by running it over the edge. Fortunately I purchased the Fiskars sharpener with the axe, so I took that out of the package, ran the axe back and forth over the sharpening wheel about 10x and now the thing is so sharp it can cut paper like a good chef's knife.
Armed with a now seriously dangerously sharp aplitting axe I went back to my woodpile. One hit, and POW! the hard maple rounds stand no chance. Now the thing is, I was able to split these same rounds with my old maul, but I'm not applying anywhere near as much force to the X27 and because the head is barely half the weight of the maul, its not as tiring a process with the Fiskars as with the maul.
Bottom line, this product really does work the way people describe it, but the thing has got to have an edge on it...if you don't keep it sharp, its going to disappoint. For this reason I recommend people use a splitting stump or other hard wood surface and maybe avoid splitting on the ground, otherwise you're going to be sharpening the edge a couple times a day.