Fracturing of wood and its composites is a process influenced by many parameters, on the one hand coming from the structure and properties of wood itself, and on the other from influences from outside, such as loading mode, velocity of deformation, moisture, temperature, etc. Both types of parameters may be investigated experimentally at different levels of magnification, which allows a better understanding of the mechanisms of fracturing. Fracture mechanical methods serve to quantify the fracture process of wood and wood composites with different deformation and fracturing features. Since wood machining is mainly dominated by the fracture properties of wood, knowledge of the different relevant mechanisms is essential. Parameters that influence the fracture process, such as wood density, orientation, loading mode, strain rate and moisture are discussed in the light of results obtained during recent years. Based on this, refined modelling of the different processes becomes possible.