The Kindling Cracker
If you think that a Kindling Cracker is a new type of sport, you may keep reading to learn about a tool we now consider a fixture on our off grid homestead.
See the video format if you prefer that format.
It’s Fall, and suddenly we are feeling it!
Within the past week, we made our first fire in our woodstove, and this week, fires have become a regular occurrence. I find cozying up near the woodstove to be a simple pleasure worth indulging in.
Because of our two wood stoves, we end up using a lot of firewood. Greg and the boys do all of the log splitting, and a good share of the fire building. I make a fire, sometimes–often enough to stay in practice.
We found a handy tool that I wanted to share with you. It makes starting our fire easier, safer, and a little bit faster.
For a couple years, we’ve been using the Kindling Cracker King. It’s a simple tool, that doesn’t look like much, but it just makes splitting logs into kindling safer.
The Kindling Cracker was designed by a 13-year-old girl as part of a science project. She wanted to find a way to split in a safer way for her and her family. She came up with this design, and the world loved it. Her idea spread and became popular in homesteading circles, for good reason. Now, I see that her original design has been copied by many other brands.
Introduction to the Kindling Cracker Idea
I remember a couple years ago, every time I opened Facebook, I would see an advertisement for the Kindling Cracker. I thought that it looked pretty cool, but since I wasn’t the one doing the wood splitting, I was not completely sure if it would be all that useful.
There are so many tools out there that boast of their usefulness, but then they actually don’t deliver. I would have just left the idea in the advertisements, had I not seen a picture of Greg’s brother’s kids using the very tool that I had seen in all these advertisements. At this time, the kids were pretty young–under eight or 10–they were chopping away, to make kindling for their woodstove. I asked Greg’s brother and sister-in-law about it, and they said that they really found the Kindling Cracker to be very useful.
That got me intrigued, and we decided to let Greg give it a try by giving it to him for a Christmas present that year.
When Greg received the gift, he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. It came complete with a 4 pound sledgehammer.
It took a little while to make the Kindling Cracker a regular part of our wood splitting chores–mostly, because until you use it, you don’t know how useful it really is. Once he started using it, though, he really did find that he liked it. The boys liked it too, and pretty soon everyone was using it every time they needed to make a fire.
As you can see from the pictures, the Kindling Cracker is simply a piece of sturdy cast iron with a sharp blade encased by a circular opening that you put your log into. It accommodates about 9 inches wide, and is quite sturdy. We have never had it try to tip on us, even with some pretty heavy wood that we’ve used.
Using the Kindling Cracker
When you use the Kindling Cracker, you use the sledgehammer to pound the wood through the opening down onto the blade. This breaks the wood into smaller pieces that you can further breakdown by repeating the process.
Why Use the Kindling Cracker?
The advantage of using the Kindling Cracker is that you eliminate the need for a hatchet or an ax when making kindling. This makes it a lot safer for fingers, toes, and shins. Believe me… We have had all of those injuries while splitting wood at one time or another. The Cracker keeps the hands out-of-the-way, and stabilizes the log to make it easier to break it down.
Not Just for Men
I have only recently begun to use our Kindling Cracker, mostly as I have found myself home alone more as the guys have been out doing their thing more these days. I found that it was very easy to use, and I’ve really did feel a lot safer about doing it that way rather than pounding a piece of wood with a hatchet.
Makes Splitting Wood Easier
I’m not a terribly strong person, and I found that making the kindling with the KC made it easier for me to get the wood split down.
We are always looking for new ways to make life on the Homestead a little bit easier. If you burn wood for heat, or even if you just wait to make a lot of campfires, you may want to check into the Kindling Cracker and see if it would be a useful tool around your homestead.
Kindling Cracker is available in two sizes.
The original size is smaller than the one that we use. I didn’t figure that it would be a big deal to have one that was too big, but I didn’t want one that was too small. I have not regretted the choice to buy the bigger one. ￼
(This reminds me of the story in the Little House in the Big Woods book. Pa tells the story about the big cat door and the little cat door. You don’t need two–the little cat can use the big cat door, just like the little log can use the little KC).
The larger size is the Kindling Cracker XL King, and it accommodates logs up to 9″. The height is 17″, to handle large pieces of wood.
The smaller Original Kindling Cracker has an internal diameter of 6.5″ and is 12″ tall. It’s perfect for making tinder and small pieces of kindling.
You would just decide which size best fits your needs, based on the size of the wood you generally split. Since we most often have large and long pieces of wood, it just makes sense for us to use the large version.
Anchoring the Kindling Cracker
If you have a permanent place that you want to put your Kindling Cracker, you can bolt it to something sturdy. It has holes for mounting it. We have not mounted ours, because we like to move it from one place to another. We also have never had a problem with it tipping , and we use the biggest logs that it will accommodate.
Check it out if you think the KC would help you on your homestead. You can never have too many useful tools.