In some places (hello Alaska! Woot woot!) winter ain't coming, it's here. That means the usual litany of preparation, including splitting firewood, a privilege with the added benefit of the possibility of self-inflicted grievous bodily harm.
To make it safe get a well-designed splitting axe like the Fiskars X27. Available in four lengths from 17 inch hatchet to the most efficient and effective 36 incher – seriously, go big or go home – the X27 makes short shrift of that cord of hardwood that's been staring you down all summer.
Take off the included handy blade guard with built-in handle and heft the X27 to feel the quality. The hardened forged-steel head has most of the weight while the synthetic handle absorbs vibration better for more comfort during extended wood splitting sessions. It's also tougher than nails; it's really hard to even chip the X27, despite taking quite a few strikes to work out the kinks in our technique.
The X27 has a "low friction head" whatever that entails, but we can report it doesn't stick much at all. That makes a big difference over the course of hundreds of swings on a winter morn. Really, the X27 is all you could possibly want in a splitting axe, complete with lifetime warranty.