Last Updated on May 25, 2021 by Bruce
What is Batoning?
Batoning is a skill that’s used to cut wood with the help of several different tools instead of using just one tool. Usually, you would use a baton or mallet to hit against a chisel or knife to split the wood in half or into smaller pieces for use as fuel to make fire.
It’s good to learn several different important things about batoning and as such it’s wise to learn this bushcraft skill from a trained professional instead of experimenting it yourself.
When using a baton with an axe or knife, what you are doing is hitting the tool into the wood. As such, you’ll always pounding the axe or knife with the baton. In other words, the baton acts as a sledgehammer to split the wood. However, it’s recommended to use another tool besides the baton to drive the edge of the blade into the wood piece so as not to damage the spine of the knife that you are using.
Besides “what is batoning”, the other question that people normally ask is “why do this?”
We love to chop wood directly and efficiently to save time. Although batoning can be seen as a waste of time, there are some advantages too. Firstly, there are certain types of wood that are nearly impossible to cut or split using an axe. They are so tough that the axe head would literally bounce right off of the wood. These types of wood are usually filled with knots. You cannot cut or split wood efficiently or perfectly when it is filled with knots with an axe or knife.
To make it easier, batoning is often used to cut or split this type of wood without accidents or getting injured. As an added advantage, it gives precise cuts as well. Batoning is also used when you want to get that perfect cross-grain cut. Chopping with an axe or knife puts strain on your body since all the bending and swinging place undue stress on the back which does not bode well in the long run. With this, you don’t encounter those types of stress.
What is a good Batoning technique?
With regards to batoning, what is a good technique to use? As with anything else in the world, it pays to do things in the right way. If you do things the wrong way, you will most likely break your knife.
It’s important to ensure that your knife is straight before hitting it into the wood. If the tip is crooked, it can damage the knife and render it useless. It’s always good to use a baton that will be comfortable to the hands if you are using it a lot. It will prevent blisters on the hand which are definitely painful.
There are several types of knives that can be used for it. Although you can use any of them, there are some knives that are more efficient than others due to their design. Fixed-blade, full-tang (Read here on what is a knife tang) knives are often used for batoning. They are efficient for batoning since the metal on the blade extends through the handle for added strength hence, there will be fewer worries about breakage when using it.
It’s always good to have common sense and confidence when you are batoning. As with everything else, practice makes perfect and that applies to batoning as well. Before starting, remember the safety precautions. Test out the blades before pounding them with full force to be on the safer side.