Although most of us subscribe to the belief that we’re physically built and as healthy as a horse. But even if you’re built like Arnie, the thought of bending over and picking up or moving heavy objects is simply out of the question.
Luckily, the smartest engineers in the world have made it possible to roll huge cylindrical objects like logs without needing to bend all the way over. Cant hooks are a sawmill worker’s best friend. These long, thin tools make moving, pivoting, and lifting logs effortless and stress-free.
Why would I need a Cant Hook?
If you purchase pre-pampered lumber from your local retailer, chances are you won’t ever need to use or see a cant hook – a panel cart or lumber cart will help you transport thick pieces of wood to and from your vehicle. But if you plan on upping your woodworking game by purchasing stock from a sawmill or milling your logs, then a cant hook is an invaluable investment which can save you a ton of money of hospital visits and lower-back massages.
Ultimate Cant Hook Buying Guide
Seeing as there aren’t as many moving components in a cant hook, it makes sense that finding a working model wouldn’t be too difficult. But there’s are several significant differences between “good” and “great” cant hooks. In this guide, we’ll go over what things to watch out for when shopping for one of these babies.
The most important aspect of a cant hook is the material used to make the tool. The materials play a role in how long the tool will last, and since you’ll use the cant hook to lift heavy logs one after another, it pays to invest in a heavy-duty product. The best cant hooks’ hooks and handles are typically made of stainless steel, while the handles use either steel or wood (hickory or oak).
Generally speaking, a longer cant hook is ideal since it offers the best leverage and lift height. They typically measure in at between 45 and 60 inches long, giving you a wide selection to choose from. However, the ideal length depends on how tall you are and/or how comfortable you are using long cant hooks.
Log Size Capacity
Another important factor to take into account is how wide of a log the cant hook can fit in its metal hook. Cant hooks aren’t as large as peaveys, so you may need to flatten one side before moving it. However, finding a cant hook with the optimal hook diameter will save you a lot of prep work over time. Cant hooks typically have different lifting and rolling capacities, so familiarize yourself with how large of a log you regularly work with before settling on a particular cant hook model.
Whether the cant hook is made in the USA, China, or elsewhere doesn’t matter nearly as much as the materials that go into making the tool. However, it’s work giving the cant hook a thorough look-over to check for dents or chipped paint since any imperfections could dramatically reduce its utilization. Checking on the quality of the cant hook’s assembly is a lot harder to do online, so it’s worth going over what customers have to say about the product.
This really goes without saying, but using a cant hook for several continuous hours can take a toll on your palms, hands, and wrists. The shock of dropping logs isn’t nearly as bad as the risk of your hand slipping and causing the log to fall and damage your toes. Keep an eye out for cant hooks with long rubber grips. These grips will offer a ton of support and keep your palms from becoming calloused after a hard day of work.
Although the design of the hook is usually more than enough to keep grasp the log while repositioning it, it never hurts to have additional features that improve the grabbing power of your cant hook. One such feature is serrated teeth found on or near the hook – each tooth will dig deep into the log’s bark for more controlled movement while leaving the beautiful inner bark and sapwood completely intact.
A built-in lever is a nice-to-have feature on a cant hook. As you tumble the log around by swinging the cant hook away from you, the lever, upon making contact with the ground, will give you extra leverage in lifting the log for better repositioning. A lever adds convenience to using a cant hook and is by no means a deal-breaker if the tool doesn’t come with one. If you don’t plan on lifting logs, the lever may end up obstructing the cant hooks downward trajectory and inhibit rolling logs.
Cant Hook FAQs
What’s the difference between Cant Hooks and Peaveys?
The main distinction between the two is the metal piece on the end of the tool located near the hook. Cant hooks have a bent piece of metal that grasps onto the log, whereas peaveys have a metal spike. The spike is for jamming into rough logs and repositioning them without any lifting or dragging. In a nutshell, cant hooks are for moving already-organized mounds of wood, whereas a peavey is for working with unorganized lumber.
Can this Cant Hook roll/lift X-pound logs?
There’s generally no weight limit to a cant hook, but everything must be taken with a grain of salt. The weakest point of any cant hook is the connection between the hook and the handle. This part may snap as a result of attempting to move or lift an overly large log for too long.
What accessories can I get for my Cant Hook?
Accessories for cant hooks include T-bars (levers), wheels, and handle extensions. Some models come with these extensions in the kit, while others may not be compatible with any accessories at all. Always check with the manufacturer to see whether there are any accessories available for your cant hook.
Cant hooks are one of the most invaluable tools any miller could ever own. There’s no reason why you should do the heavy-duty lifting, even if you’re built like Arnie in his heyday, if you have a trusty cant hook around.
Finding the right cant hook for your milling needs isn’t the biggest challenge you’ll ever face. The most important things to consider are its handle length and durability. Everything else is of lesser importance compared to these your comfort and the tool’s longevity.
For those of you who are looking for a way to arrange disheveled piles of lumber, a peavey with a pointed spike, in the end, would make for the far-better organizing tool. However, any good woodworker knows that both tools are essential for efficient, effortless pre-milling prep.