1. Choose hardwoods like oak and maple for long, hot burning.
2. Axes are for serial killers—and feeling trees. You want a splitting maul. Try Husqvarna's classic model ($77; husqvarna.com).
3. Head speed is everything. Get it moving fast and true and it'll do the work for you: Grip the handle at the base; Slide your dominant hand up the shaft as you raise the maul, down it during the swing; and, as they say in baseball, swing through your target. And no sandals.