How to Adjust your Log Splitter

Adjusting your log splitter to work with whatever size logs you have to split is a routine part of using such a machine. A wood log splitter can greatly reduce the amount of physical labor you are forced to exert when preparing firewood for the cold season. You still have to load the logs onto the splitter, but there is no need for hours of chopping. The machine does the vast majority of the work for you.

Adjustments for Manual Log Splitters

Manual log splitters are of the variety that uses hydraulic force from a lever or foot pedal to split logs. Since the foot pedal or lever is moved in accordance with your level of strength, there are no adjustments to be made on that end. The adjustment occurs with the position of the log splitting wedge. Some of the simplest and most effective types of manual log splitters sit and operate vertically. You simply position the log to split on the platform and adjust the splitting wedge to suit the length of the log. The splitting wedge is adjusted by removing the safety pin and sliding it up or down on the vertical beam into the right position. Replace the pin through one of the many evenly placed holes for just such an occasion. Whether it is a lever handle or a foot pedal, once the splitting wedge is adjusted, you simply pump, and the log will split. Manual log splitters usually exert up to 10 tons of force.

Adjustments for Gas Powered Log Splitters

For gas-powered electric log splitters, the adjustments can be a little more complicated, but not much. They still utilize hydraulic pressure to split wood—up to 25 tons or more of force. Unlike manual log splitters, however, there is no lever or foot pedal to pump. The hydraulic force operates electrically under gas power. Because far greater horsepower can be applied, a greater amount of force is available to split wood. Electric models can be freestanding or tractor log splitters that are mountable to your tractor for easy mobility and greater pressure.

Rather than adjust the splitting wedge, which on a gas powered tractor is fixed, adjustments made to electric hydraulic models requires a change in pressure. On the inlet side of the hydraulic jack there should a cap, under which you will find a slotted screw. This screw, when turned, increases or decreases the pressure exerted upon the jack, providing more or less force. Check with the specific manufacturer’s recommendation, but a common technique is to turn the screw all the way clockwise to test what the motor will take. It may kill the engine, but it won’t do any damage. You are simply testing it out. Turn the screw back to find a happy medium to resume with the right pressure.

Adjustments can be made to both manual and electric log splitters. For manual models, it is a matter of adjusting the position of the wedge, whereas for gas powered splitters, the pressure of the hydraulic jack must be adjusted. In both cases they are routine operations that allow you to adapt your work according to the size and density of the wood.