Splitting wood for kindling is easy and safe this way. It is ideal, not only for beginners, but also when swinging an axe is not safe due to low light levels or there are many people in close proximity to you.
Lightly knock your axe or hatchet into the wood as it lies lengthways. Be careful not to trap your knuckle between the wood and the bottom of the handle – it can be very painful! Then bring both the hatchet and the wood down onto a hard surface together. This momentum forces the axe deeper into the wood and effects a split. Then lever the axe-handle sideways in the wood to pry the two pieces apart. If this proves difficult then repeat the process a little further down the wood thereby opening the previous split up until the two pieces of wood part company.
click on the video below to see how this is done