The L-shaped froe leads two lives as a splitting tool. As you drive it into the wood with a wooden mallet, it acts as a wedge. Once it has entered into the wood, you pull back on the handle, and the blade acts as a lever to pry the two pieces apart. The virtues of splitting wood to shape are twofold. First, the speed and ease of the process exploits the weakness of the wood. Second, because the process follows the grain, the resultant piece retains the grain's full strength.