How to choose the right wood splitter?
To make the right choice among the different types of wood splitters, there are certain criteria that must be taken into account.
Indeed, each model is intended for specific needs or modes of use. Here are the main selection criteria:
- the amount of wood to be split at each use
- the dimensions of the wood (diameter, length)
- the engine power, which must define the nature or frequency of use (professional or private; intensive or occasional)
- the comfort or level of maneuverability sought
- additional functions (Led lighting, integrated vacuum cleaner, security elements, etc.)
- the annual requirement in stere (s)
- the budget : the more powerful the engine, the higher the price will be
The different types of wood splitters
- The manual log splitter : the quieter and easiest to use, on the other hand, it requires the strength of the user’s arms, although this is less important than with an ax. The manual vertical models are more practical, comfortable and safe but cannot work as quickly as the horizontal versions. To use it, all you have to do is fix the device on a wooden log that serves as a support, then place a log on the cutting axis, lift a weight and let it fall along a metal rod.
- The electric wood splitter : it allows faster and more precise work. This is the most common model. This tool will be very useful for you if your wood consumption is around 10 cubic meters per year. Intended for private individuals a priori, the electric splitter is recommended for cutting logs from soft wood and very little knotty. It exerts a force of 5 and 10 tons and can slice logs up to 50cm long for a diameter of 25 to 30 cm for the horizontal models, against 45cm for the vertical versions.
- The thermal wood splitter : is most often used by professionals or individuals needing to store a larger quantity of logs, i.e. more than 12 cubic meters per year. It runs on a gasoline engine and shows greater autonomy. Most often, the thermal log splitter is mounted on a transport trailer. With their weight approaching hundreds of kilos, they can exert a force of 11 to 22 tons, and are capable of splitting wood 60cm in diameter for a length of 1.30m.
- The hydraulic log splitter : also intended for professionals, this model requires the PTO of a tractor to be able to operate. It allows to split with great ease more than 12 cubic meters of very heavy logs, more than 50 cm long and with a diameter greater than 35 cm. The thrust force exerted is around 11 tonnes to go up to 30 tonnes depending on the model.
Hydraulic and thermal splitters: more intense
If manual or electric log splitters appeal to individuals or those who use them occasionally or occasionally, the hydraulic and thermal versions meet the needs of professionals.
Indeed, the latter two qualify with increased power and greater capacity , for better performance. Production and speed are much higher. And the heavier your machine, the more you will have to be interested in the solidity of the frame and its finishes.
Wood splitter buying guide
What is a log splitter?
The Log Splitter can do exactly what you hope you will get with the sharp ax in the hands of a seasoned lumberjack, but much better and faster. This teleportable tool allows you to split a log in two or four effortlessly and in complete safety.
By cutting the wood in the direction of the grain, it can be integrated more easily into your fireplace or stove to heat the house during the winter.
There are many advantages to using a wood splitter. First, the wood cutting is regular and more precise. The saving of time and energy is considerable. Thanks to its double-edged steel blade or cross-shaped for some models, this device splits logs lengthwise following the grain, and in a single stroke.
With this tool, you will be able to split a significant amount of logs in no time. The current splitters benefit from a power between 4 to 30 tons, being able to produce up to 10/12 steres for the electric types from 7 to 10 and more than 12 steres for the most powerful.
How does a log splitter work?
To understand how a wood splitter works, you must first know the elements that make it up. For vertical splitters, the steel blade sits at the very top of a mast called a spark gap. When the tool is started, the blade descends slowly thanks to a hydraulic jack or a rack to sink into the wood to separate it into 2 or 4. On gnarled logs, it will be necessary to repeat the operation several times in succession by adjusting the position each time.
Below the mast is the log support adjustable in height according to the size of the wood. This adjustment ensures the maintenance of the wood, which must remain stationary throughout the operation.
For vertical models, they are most often equipped with a log guide which retains the parts of split wood to prevent them from falling to the ground. Unlike a chain saw which cuts through the thickness, a wood splitter separates the fibers lengthwise.
How to properly use a wood splitter?
Users of a wood splitter, whether professional or private, must comply with common sense rules and safety measures. These measures include wearing gloves to prevent splinters and injuries to your hands, and safety shoes to protect your feet in case a log accidentally falls. It is also necessary to protect the ears by wearing ear muffs, especially with hydraulic or electric splitters. Do not neglect the wearing of protective glasses with anti-reflection because the small fragments of wood are volatile and could get lodged in your eyes.
Why is log size important?
One of the first criteria when choosing a wood splitter is the size of the logs to be split. This is due to the fact that there are different types of splitters intended for cutting different sizes or quantities. In order for the splitting to be optimal and for the results obtained to be as expected, the tool used must conform to the log. This will also impact the speed and comfort of the operation.
It is better to opt for example for a splitter equipped with a more powerful motor to cut logs of larger diameters or from a fairly hard tree. With insufficient power or a blade that is too small, the blade may break or the procedure may be more painful.
The two splitting positions
Depending on the size and shape of the wood, it can be split vertically or horizontally. Most wood splitters offer the possibility of alternating these two modes.
Horizontal splitting is suitable for sizes less than 50cm. The vertical, meanwhile, is recommended for wood lengths greater than 50cm, and which requires more force because of their robustness.
Splitting in the direction of the wood
To cut the log with the wood splitter, take care to split it in the direction of the grain. This precaution is essential to ensure that the cut remains straight and precise. In addition, in this way, the splitting is carried out more easily and without effort for a more presentable and more natural rendering.