When getting logs ready for winter heat, a log splitter is an invaluable tool. The log splitter can save you a lot of time and labor by splitting the logs without the use of an axe. There are several types of log splitters available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a quick rundown of the different log splitters available.
What Does a Log Splitter Do?
In order to best understand the different types of log splitters, you must know what they do and how they work. A log splitter is made up of an actuating arm that has a wedge shape to the end of it. This arm forces the wedge through the wood until it splits. This pressure is applied through the use of hydraulics or electricity.
Hydraulic Log Splitters
Using hydraulics is a great way to complete a lot of different mechanical processes. Using hydraulics can mean a lot of pressure in a tiny space. These log splitters are most commonly used for large logs and for commercial uses. However, there are some smaller hydraulic log splitters available for home use.
Horizontal Log Splitters
A horizontal log splitter is the most common type of splitter available. These splitters have a long deck on which the log sits. When the arm begins to move, it goes into a horizontal path and meets the middle of the log. As the pressure is applied the ram will push the wedge through the wood. The wood will then fall off on both sides of the splitter.
A vertical log splitter is exactly as it's name implies. It stands vertically with the log standing instead of laying on the deck. The arm is pushed downward and splits the wood in the center. This is a very efficient, and safe way to split wood. It can be used in a variety of land conditions (flat, hilly, soft, muddy and rocky). The wood will gently fall to each side of the splitter instead of falling off the deck.
Electric Log Splitters
An electric log splitter is one that runs from an electric current instead of a gas powered motor. This can be very efficient if you have a lot of wood to split. However, the power of it is limited by the amount of current going to it. If you have large pieces of wood to split, or are cutting through a lot of knots, it can cause the splitter to bog down. The arm will not push as hard and may even become stuck in the wood.
Log Splitter Safety
No matter what type of log splitter you may have, there are universal rules of safety. You should always make sure that your hands or other parts of your body are well away from splitter when going towards wood. Make sure the arm is all the way back before attempting to pick up wood that is split. Let the splitter split the wood itself—do not attempt to push the arm.
Using a log splitter is a great way to make quick work of splitting wood. Choose the one that works best for you, and use simple safety precautions and you will have a safe, enjoyable project.