A froe is a tool for cleaving wood by splitting it along the grain. A froe is used by hammering its blade into the end of a piece of wood in the direction of the grain, then twisting the blade in the wood by rotating the haft (handle). A froe uses the haft as a lever to multiply the force upon the blade, such that it possible for wood to be torn apart by even a small froe with remarkably little force applied to the haft.

s because the blade is not swung.

Froes are similar in general form to axes, in that a froe is an L-shaped assembly of a blade head (typically steel) set at a right angle to a handle called a "haft" (traditionally wood). A froe can be thought of as an axe which is sharpened along the top of a long, narrow, rectangular head, instead of (as the axe is) at the end of a broad curved head. Some froes are made of a single piece of metal with no perpendicular haft. Instead, the handle is the unbeveled end of the blade which extends directly from the blade. These froes must be hammered through the entire piece of wood, as their lack of vertical haft makes it extremely difficult to lever the wood apart.

A given froe can split a piece of wood no wider in its narrowest dimension than the length of the froe's blade; that is, when you place the froe, it must cross the surface of the wood completely.

A froe is also unlike an axe or maul in that (with the exception of users with absolute expert aim) the froe can be placed exactly where the user would like the split to begin. This technique can be used with enough precision that regularity of measurements can be kept when cutting shingles, ground stakes, or even small rails or planks.

afety considerations

When hammering the portion of the froe blade projecting from the wood, the handle must be held fast and firm, otherwise the blade may lever the handle with equal force toward the user. This commonly happens when the froe encounters a hidden knot in the wood.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • froe — froe; froe·man; froe·be·lian; …   English syllables

  • Froe — (fr[=o]), n. [See {Frow}.] A dirty woman; a slattern; a frow. [Obs.] Raging frantic froes. Draylon. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Froe — Froe, n. [See {Frow} the tool] An iron cleaver or splitting tool; a frow. [U. S.] Bartlett. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • froe — [frō] n. [also frow ( frower): ? contr. of FROWARD, in sense “handle turned away”] a cleaving tool with the handle set into the blade at right angles to the cutting edge …   English World dictionary

  • Froe|bel|i|an — «frer BEHL ee uhn», adjective. of or having to do with Friedrich Fröbel, (1782 1852), a German educational reformer, or his kindergarten system …   Useful english dictionary

  • froe — also frow noun Etymology: perhaps alteration of obsolete froward turned away, from Middle English; from the position of the handle Date: 1574 a cleaving tool for splitting cask staves and shingles from the block …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • froe — /froh/, n. frow. * * * …   Universalium

  • froe — noun /froʊ/ a cleaving tool for splitting cask staves and shingles from the block …   Wiktionary

  • froe — n. cleaving tool used in woodworking; slattern, dirty woman …   English contemporary dictionary

  • froe — [frəʊ] noun a cleaving tool with a handle at right angles to the blade. Origin C16: abbrev. of obs. frower, from froward in the sense turned away …   English new terms dictionary

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