Ok. So I tried it. And I tried it. And I tried it some more. Somehow I was looking for an angle that would substantiate Fiskars X17 Block Splitter as a qualified “block splitter”. But, when you’re working with one of Australia’s pre-eminent hardwoods, Eucalyptus marginata commonly know as ‘Jarrah’, using the X17 as a block splitter is, at best, a contortion of the imagination.
Now that’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re so infatuated with this product. As already mentioned with Fiskars X15 there are so many positives that redefine how these tools operate; the enclosed head design – that offers immeasurable peace of mind when you’re swinging this axe well above your head; the splinter-proof/shock-proof handle; and, the PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) coating that protects the metal head from rusting out after the first season of use.
However, a block splitter needs to split blocks – hence the namesake.
To be fair, FISKARS is a Finnish product – from a country where spruce, Picea, is the most common wood available. With a Janka Hardness Scale in the low 400’s – the toughest hardwoods rank somewhere about 4000 – Jarrah fits midway with a score of 1910. This gives you some idea how dubious I was when offered to trial this product initially.
In fact, sourcing a block splitter to break rings of wood (as illustrated in the image above) has almost been a lifelong course for me. I’ve almost had to buy a new one each year. But it now seems that I have come up with the perfect block splitter – a cheap standard version bought at a big box store a few years ago now coupled with a hickory handle. It’s now lasted into its third season.
And to be perfectly honest even this bespoke creation wasn’t able to split the ring in the image above. But, it does double as a sledgehammer and I was able to split them using a steel wedge.
Where Could Fiskars X17 Serve As A Block Splitter?
The Fiskars X17 would be the perfect block splitter in regions where pines and spruces abound. Even many of the Ash’s would be suitable. These softer woods would be perfect for this splitter.
As already mentioned the design of this axe is uncompromising. It offers so many benefits that when used in the right setting would make this a standard option for any person.