Good Thinking

This device could make you King of Kindling

This device could make you Kin...
The Kindling Cracker King is designed to make kindling-splitting safer
The Kindling Cracker King is designed to make kindling-splitting safer
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The Kindling Cracker King is made for use with larger pieces of wood than its predecessor
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The Kindling Cracker King is made for use with larger pieces of wood than its predecessor
The Kindling Cracker King is designed to make kindling-splitting safer
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The Kindling Cracker King is designed to make kindling-splitting safer

Would you rather risk hitting your hand with something sharp or something blunt? If you answered "blunt" – and you have some big pieces of wood to split into kindling – then you might be interested in the Kindling Cracker King.

The cast-iron device is actually a larger version of the existing Kindling Cracker, which was designed by New Zealand youth Ayla Hutchinson when she was just 13. That model has gone on to sell around the world.

To use it, you just place a piece of wood in vertically, so its bottom end is resting against the Cracker's up-facing blade – then you hit the top end of the wood with a hammer. The force drives it down into the blade, splitting it. No swinging a hatchet perilously close to your hand is necessary.

The Kindling Cracker King is made for use with larger pieces of wood than its predecessor
The Kindling Cracker King is made for use with larger pieces of wood than its predecessor

Hutchinson has turned to Kickstarter to finance production of this latest model, where a pledge of NZ$220 (about US$158) will get you one – assuming it reaches production.

If you're interested in another unique approach to kindling-splitting, you could also check out Mr. Quicksplit.

Source: Kickstarter

13 comments
Derek Howe
She wont reach her goal, because her price is way too high. That would be a great price at $29, reasonable at $49. I wouldn't pay more then that...let alone 3 times that price. Good luck to her though, they say there's a sucker born everyday.
piperTom
I wish the young lady good luck with her business. However, I already have a froe; it keeps my fingers away from the blade quite nicely.
NicholasHimebaugh
Or, you could just baton the wood with another piece of wood and the knife you are already carrying (no hacking, chopping or unsafe movement required) and essentially split the wood using the exact same method - without carrying around the extra weight and bulk of that thing.
MQ
So it is a piece of functional art, not a utility tool...
Bob Stuart
This is for people who seldom build fires, but think they will need a lot of kindling. If you set up two fairly dry split logs with a 3cm vertical gap, and lay another on top to reduce the draft, you only need a few little scraps or a propane torch to light them, because they radiate at each other and are not cooled by excess air. You can easily push a hatchet into the end of a 2 X 4 enough to stick and let you safely swing both items together to get 2 X 2s and then on down.
zr2s10
I heat my house with wood, not interested in this. For kindling, I use whatever chips come off in the splitting process (I hand split everything), which doesn't get much. But nature has a better option: sticks. Trees are always dropping small branches which have died. The wood is very dry, and very easy to snap into smaller pieces by hand. I wrap these bits in shipping craft paper that my company normally throws it in the recycle bin, so it's free for me, and burns longer/hotter than newspaper (Paper grocery bags are a good alternative). Then I throw some more sticks and regularly split (though smaller) wood on top of that. In my woodburner, this has NEVER failed to produce a good fire. Normally, I'm only doing this once every couple weeks, when we are gone from the house too long to keep it going. 1 more tip: Get a good pair of long cuff MIG welding gloves for tending to an active fire. You can actually grab burning logs with no injury (short term of course), and the long cuffs protect any arm hair you may have. They're durable, and less than $20 at most welding supply stores.
DavidRogerBrown
Geeeez. This is a quality heavy duty wrought iron product that should last decades. Not a cheap piece of China made crap knockoff. I applaud this young woman's ingenuity and diligence. One gets sick of all the critical comments of those "arm chair quarterbacks" that haven't invented anything in their lives. Certainly a quick,useful,safe item for those of us that use wood burning stoves for months at a time.
Expanded Viewpoint
How does one remove the blade for resharpening it? It does look to be pretty robust, so long life can be expected. The price does seem to be a sticking point though. There's no way it should cost that much being as how simple a device it is and the amount of material involved in making it. But kudos to her for thinking of it and actually making one!
kwalispecial
I agree with David Rogers Brown. Is it a bit pricey? Yes. But I think it's a great idea and I hope it goes well for her. A good axe or maul will cost you at least $50, and that is just for a wedge of metal with a cheap wood or plastic handle. This thing obviously has more complicated production than that. For now I will keep using my hatchet, but if I had more money to burn or used my wood stove as a primary heat source, I could see getting something like that.
Grunchy
The photo shows this thing outside on a stump but cast iron doesn't like the weather much before it turns into rusty. I think this is a thing to go inside the house, beside a fireplace. I was confused, ok which part is the up-facing blade? I guess it's the curved edge that looks sharpened. It looks like the arms above make a circle into which you can put a log or whatever to get chopped, and then you just bash it. The fingers below must act as a wedge to split the wood apart. To me this makes sense if you didn't prepare any kindling when you haul in a load of wood for the fireplace, and now you want to start a fire. Or else if you want to break down a bigger log to smaller chunks. I might combine it with fireplace tending tools.