How To Baton Any Size Of Wood
How to Baton Wood
Batoning is a survival technique that involves using an ordinary utility knife and a makeshift mallet (known as a “baton”) to split wood. Since batoning places a lot of strain on a knife blade, you should always use a hatchet, awl or saw to process wood whenever possible. Assuming that you’re caught without one of these tools, however, you can use your knife in a similar fashion—place the edge of the blade against the end of a log, then strike repeatedly along the spine to drive it through the wood.
Selecting Suitable Tools
Opt for a fixed-blade knife.A full-tang blade with solid one-piece construction will offer the most durable striking surface and decrease your chance of breaking the knife by accident. Even better is one with a slightly convex cutting edge, which will essentially perform the same function as an axe or hatchet.
- Unless you have no other choice, don’t waste your time with cheap pocket knives. These are practically guaranteed to snap the moment you apply the least amount of force.
- Likewise, the impact of batoning can easily separate a folding blade from its handle.
Make sure you're using a long enough blade.In most cases, a blade of at least 5 inches (13 cm) will provide the best results. The more of the tip that’s left sticking out of the wood, the bigger your target will be when placing your strikes.
- Another type of blade, such as a machete, bolo, or sturdy carving knife may also get the job done—just work slowly and make sure you’re not too tough on it.
Find a makeshift baton.Search your surroundings for a piece of wood that you can use to hammer the blade through the log you need to split. A short, heavy club that you can hold securely in one hand is ideal. However, almost any piece of hardwood with a decent amount of heft can be used as a baton as long as it’s not hard enough to shatter your knife.
- Look for fallen branches and thick sticks that are tapered on one end to provide a convenient handle.
- Make sure the wood you select is as dry as possible. If it's too wet, it could dent or split when it starts to take a pounding.
- It's a bad idea to strike the blade of your knife with anything denser than hardwood.
Avoid using stones to baton.Unlike wood, rocks and other solid objects like bricks and chunks of concrete have zero give, which means there's nothing there to soften the impact. Their irregular shape make it difficult to get a proper grip, as well, making them a clumsy and ineffective tool.
- The same goes for metal, whether scavenged or in the form of premade tools like hammers and mallets.
Splitting the Wood
Stand the wood up on one end.Use one hand to hold the log upright and pin it to the cutting surface, just as you would when splitting wood with an axe. Take hold of the baton with your dominant hand.
- If possible, find a flat, stable platform to serve as a chopping block.
- Never try to baton a piece of wood from the middle—when done this way, you’ll be cutting against the grain.
Position the blade near the edge of the wood.Rather than attempting to drive the blade straight through the center of the log, move it an inch or two off to one side. That way, there will be less material for it to make its way through. You’ll also be sparing your knife any unnecessary stress.
- Batoning is superior to other wood splitting methods in terms of accuracy, as it makes it possible for you place the cutting edge exactly where you want it.
Tap the back of the blade to wedge it into the wood.Strike the knife a few times just above the handle.To avoid breaking your knife, it’s vitally important that the edge be facing straight down. Once misplaced blow to the edge of the blade could cause it to snap.
- The deeper you can sink the blade initially, the better it will stay on course.
- When you’re first wedging the knife, hit it at the base of the blade where the tang is the widest. Once you actually begin batoning, you’ll want to switch your target to the tip section that’s protruding out of the wood.
Hammer the blade of the knife while pushing down on the handle.Continue pounding the blade squarely along the spine near the tip. Use the hand gripping the handle to guide the blade as it makes its way through the wood. After a few good strikes, you should be able to cut clean through and move onto the next piece.
- Be careful not to strike the knife too hard. You just want to guide it down a few inches at a time.
- Don’t rely on the baton to do all of the work. Without the pressure from your knife hand, the blade will move much slower.
Reset the wood and baton it again if necessary.If you’re contending with a sizable log, it may help to first shave off one side, then rotate it 90 degrees and go to work on the adjacent edge. Once you’ve removed the outermost layer of wood, you’ll be left with a narrow core that you can split down the middle with ease.
Look for old, dried wood.You’ll want to make sure that the pieces you collect are soft enough to get through with an average-sized knife. Pass over anything that’s too damp or green—since young wood tends to be tough and supple, it can be a nightmare to try to get through, even with conventional tools.
- Wet wood quickly becomes pulpy, which creates extra resistance.
- Avoid woods with rich grain patterns or visible knots. These can wreak havoc on even the strongest blades.
Select a piece that’s proportional to your knife.The wood you’re splitting should be several inches shorter in diameter than the length of the blade. If you’re using a knife with a blade of 5 inches (13 cm), for example, you’ll want to look for a piece of wood no more than 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that the blade might not make it all the way through.
- Inspect the wood to make sure it’s a consistent width. It’s easy to lose a short blade in a log that widens on one end (and a pain to get it back out).
- Unless you’re equipped with something closer to machete size, it will be best to stick to thin tree branches.
Repurpose wood from your environment.You may not always be lucky enough to find wood just lying around. When it comes to tracking down usable materials, get creative—break down a discarded pallet board by board, or strip the upholstery from a piece of furniture and disassemble it to expose the frame underneath. There are everywhere, if you know how to look for them.
- One of the upsides of salvaged wood is that it’s often treated and usually dry from being indoors.
- Batoning isn’t just a skill for surviving in the wilderness. It can also come in handy in urban disaster scenarios and household emergencies.
- Take your time. Impatience tends to cause mistakes, which more often than not will result in the destruction of a perfectly good knife.
- Knives with cushioned grips will help absorb the impact from the baton. This can make the whole process much more comfortable.
- Using a knife to split wood rather than a much larger axe or saw will allow you to pack lighter, making your camping trip or backwoods trek less arduous.
- If you’re worried about damaging your favorite knife, buy a couple inexpensive choppers or miniature machetes to use specifically for batoning.
- Make sure that the knives is perfectly centered in the wood, and that you’re driving it straight down. Striking at an angle is the most common cause of broken blade.
- Be extremely cautious when handling knives, especially in such an unorthodox manner. Injuries are much more serious when they occur in the wilderness miles from help.
Video: How To Baton Wood With a Survival Knife (like a BOSS)
Sodium Hypochlorite Topical Reviews
How to Make a Quick Decision
Should I Be Concerned About Varicose Veins
20 Charming Pixie Haircuts for Women over 50
5 Ways To Use Smoked Paprika
Forever Patio Rockport Loveseat with Cushions NC280-LS-CO
Cancer, Marriage, Baby, and My Dog With Epilepsy
Emilia Clarke To Headline Bonnie and Clyde
10 ways to eliminate stress from your life
50 Chicago Flag Tattoo Designs For Men – Illinois Ink Ideas
Slow Cooker Monday Beans and Chicken