Let’s take a moment and be completely honest with each other. Even though every man has a yearning to live up to their inner lumberjack, it’s a lot easier said than done. If you don’t have the time, patience, or muscle to fell trees and chop them down to size with an ax, don’t worry about it – you are not alone.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how inexpensive log splitters – a piece of equipment that automates the log-splitting process – can be the perfect investment for cutting cord after cord to produce high-quality, perfectly sized logs for kindling.
How does a Log Splitter work?
Log splitters are simple tools that harness the awesome crushing power of hydraulic pressure. The hydraulic system pushes the log towards a pointed wedge which splits the log in a blink of an eye. You can produce the same results with an ax and a keen eye, but log splitters are much safer since the splitting tool is built into the log splitter rather than swung around in a wide arc.
Ultimate Log Buying Guide
Log splitters typically fall into one of three categories based on their fuel source: manual, electric, and gas. In this guide, we’ll explain their benefits and disadvantages individually, as well as key features to be on the lookout for.
Manual (Hydraulic) Log Splitters
If you know your way around a hydraulic car jack, then you should have a good idea of how manual log splitters work. When the log correctly positioned on the splitter’s bed, the manually cranked ram will force the log onto a sharp metal wedge which splits the log into beautiful pieces of kindling.
Durable Steel Frame and Bed
Having a strong frame made of steel will make prevent misalignment of the wedge and hydraulic press when struggling to split thicker logs. If these two components are knocked out of place, fixing it can be a cumbersome task that may require professional help.
There’s a possibility that manually pulling the lever can result in uneven pressure, thereby force the log to jump off the bed and onto your foot. Side walls known as log cradles on the splitter’s bed will stop logs from moving around.
Since so many things can go wrong, it’s a good idea to opt for a model with a multi-speed pump. This feature allows you to tweak how quickly or slowly each pull of the lever forces the press the log onto the pointed wedge.
Electric Log Splitters
Electric log splitters are driven by household currents. As long as you have access to a power outlet or portable generator, this type can be used anywhere you need it. The best things about electric tools is that they hardly experience maintenance issues, and they’re safer for the environment compared to their gas-guzzling counterparts.
Although a motor makes the log-splitting process much quicker and easier, there’s a very small chance that the hydraulic press will force the log to jump off the log bed. A log bed guide firmly holds the log in place while the hydraulic and wedge system does its thing. This is especially helpful when splitting long logs.
Wheels and Handles
Electric log splitters are generally larger and heavier than manually operated models. To simplify moving the log splitter to and from the edge of forests, find a model that comes with heavy-duty pneumatic wheels and cushioned handles.
Two-hand operated log splitters require keeping both hands away from the hydraulic press. One hand pulls a lever while a second presses the ON button. This ensures that your fingers and hand will not get crushed in the log-splitting process. Twisting and turning the log is much less convenient, but it’s a heck of a lot safer.
Gas Log Splitters
The major benefits of gas-powered log splitters are their portability and superior crushing power compared to the other types. If you’re splitting long, thick logs for commercial purposes, gas is your most reliable and efficient source of fuel.
Large Bed Capacity
Gas log splitters typically come with larger beds, hydraulic rams, and wedges in order to split logs of virtually any diameter. Choose the size that works best for you and your log-splitting business.
Electric and manual log splitters use a one-point wedge that splits logs in half. Gas-driven models, due to their superior crushing power, can use 4-way wedges to split logs into quarter with a single press. Reduce your work in half by finding a 4-way wedge.
Electric Engine Starter
Pushing the electric starter button is a lot easier than wrestling with long recoil cords. They also reduce the risk of start failures caused by cold temperatures.
Multi-Stage Hydraulic Pump
A multi-stage hydraulic pump allows users to switch between log-splitting speeds based on the diameter and length of the log. With more than one speed, you can work more efficiently at a higher speed or slower but more safely.
Log Splitter FAQs
How much pressure in tons do I need?
This depends on how large of a log you’re splitting and what you’re doing with the logs. For residential as kindling for fireplaces and wood stoves, a simple 6- to 15-ton splitter should be more than sufficient for splitting 6-inch diameter stock. If you’re measuring the log’s thickness in feet, you may need something along on the lines of 20-plus tons of crushing power.
Do I need a commercial log splitter?
Commercial log splitters are larger and more expensive but provide much better splitting efficiency than residential-grade log splitters. Anyone can benefit from the beefiest, most high-class log splitter, but it’s up to you to analyze the costs and benefits.
Is it worth investing in a log splitter?
If you’re on the fence between purchasing a manual log splitter and a reliable ax, ask yourself this one question: is it worth spending more for speed and convenienceIf so, then yes, a log splitter is a sound investment.
Log splitters use the amazing crushing power of hydraulic rams to force long, thick logs into a pointed wedge to split logs much more efficiently than any ax-wielder could hope to achieve. Whether you’re prepping logs for personal consumption or to sell to neighbors and friends, a log splitter can cut your workload by more than half.
To determine which log splitter works best for you, first take a look at the three different types – manual, electric, and gas. Each type offers various levels efficiency, comfort, and capacity, so your decision should be based on the length, girth, and quantity of logs you need cut down to size.