Wood splitter

Category: Archive DIY


If you think that wood splitting is just an ancient profession, take a look here and you will immediately change your mind. The log splitter is a carpentry tool also suitable for DIY which allows you to split wood for a variety of uses. There are log splitters that can also be made by hand, but there are also many models on the market. The models on the market are generally equipped with a combustion engine or can also be hydraulic. Portable wood splitters with wheels and a petrol engine can split even heavy wood, normally up to 10 tonnes of wood. There are log splitters that can be operated by tractor, and are therefore of professional level. These can be horizontal or vertical log splitters, depending on the needs of use. For those that have an electric motor, a distinction can be made between single-phase or three-phase log splitters. Finally, there are also those with a vertical structure, which can have both a combustion engine and an electric motor. The latter are generally used as a hobby, while those with a combustion engine are configured as an intermediary between hobby use and professional use. Flanked by other machinery, they can therefore also be used professionally. Wood splitters with an electric motor can also be of the professional type, especially those equipped with a parallelepiped trunk and positioned vertically. The horizontal ones, on the other hand, are normally used for hobbies. The best log splitters on the market are also equipped with special accident prevention devices that allow maximum safety to be maintained at all times when using the equipment. One of these accident prevention devices is the lever located at the top which allows you to protect your hands in case there are pieces of wood stuck that need to be freed.

Work safely

Log splitters, depending on the type and model, can split wood weighing from 5 to 38 tons. The length of the wood that can be sawed can reach up to 1.30 metres, and you can choose to position the wood vertically or horizontally depending on the machinery you purchase. From the engine point of view, you can choose to have your log splitter operated with a hydraulic tractor, with an electric tractor, with a cardan or with the combination of an electric motor and a cardan together. The important thing when choosing your wood splitter is that you aim for a machine that is simple, practical, fast but above all safe to use, to avoid any risks associated with carpentry work, whether it is a hobby or a profession. Safety must be maintained at all times, therefore we recommend always purchasing the additional accident prevention accessories that some wood splitter manufacturers sell as optional and additional components. Remember that your safety must come before any other need, so be willing to spend a little more to add every component that can effectively guarantee it, without skimping on something so useful! How do you ensure that the thrust powers indicated by the wood splitter suppliers are actually respected? The device that allows you to measure the thrust power of the log splitters is called a load cell, an instrument that allows you to electronically measure and test all the data relating to the thrust and power of the log splitter. What is cardan? The cardan, properly called universal joint, is a type of joint between two mechanical axes that allows rotation to be transmitted from one axis to the other even when the two axes are not arranged parallel but converge at a point with a different angle of incidence.

How to choose

A log splitter works best only when it has also been built in the best possible way. Although on the surface the operating mechanism of the log splitter may seem simple, in reality it is necessary to always focus on quality to avoid malfunctioning of the equipment and possible injuries. This is why it is important to purchase from safe and specialized suppliers who guarantee a quality brand. It is therefore essential to check not only the final result of the assembly of the wood splitter components but also the workmanship of the individual components, i.e. the motor and the pump which must have sufficient power to withstand the loads for which they were built, the distributor and the jack which are the parts that must work well from a hydraulic point of view so that there is no friction or oil leaks. For this reason it is advisable to purchase the wood splitter from a European Union country, also to be sure that any spare parts can be easily found. A log splitter, in addition to quality and safety, which are certainly the first things to check, must also be chosen according to the use you wish to make of it. In particular, for hobby use it is convenient to choose a model that takes up little space and is more versatile, which can be placed on the ground or even on a table when the pieces of wood to be split are smaller, so as not to necessarily have to bend towards the ground and so as to save a lot of strain on the back. A lightweight log splitter can therefore be used both on a shelf and on the ground, but it can also be used, for example, directly on the car trailer. There are also wood splitters on the market that are not only lightweight but also removable, to ensure maximum versatility and facilitate transport. In fact, you can load the disassembled log splitter directly into the car and not necessarily onto a trailer.

How to use it

The log splitter is always delivered with an instruction manual supplied. Although it may seem superfluous, it is very important to carefully read the instructions for use contained therein, to avoid unpleasant accidents. Indeed, not only is it important to read the instructions, but it is equally necessary to report them to those who are preparing to use the log splitter with you. The log splitter should not be used if the external temperature of the environment is lower than five degrees °C or higher than forty degrees °C. It should be taken into account that the diameter of the wooden trunk shown on the instructions is indicative, sometimes a larger wooden trunk can be softer and is easy to split, sometimes a smaller one is knotty and is therefore much more difficult to cut. . Therefore, of course, by purchasing the wood splitter we will have an idea of the size of the logs it can cut, but nothing is said with mathematical precision, after all it is nature that shapes the wood, so its creations are often unpredictable. For all these reasons, when a log of wood does not break on the first attempt, it is absolutely necessary to turn off the log splitting machine, to avoid overheating of the pump oil and consequent damage to the pump itself. The log splitter must be turned on and used by no more than one person at a time, and obviously this must be an adult. When using it, it is advisable to avoid wearing very large and loose items of clothing which risk getting caught in machinery; for the same purpose, hair should be tied up if it is long. You must also wear protective glasses or a mask and appropriate safety shoes. The log splitter should not be used in damp or rainy conditions and, even if switched off, the machine should not be left in the rain. Although some types of log splitting machinery allow it, it is better to use the log splitter on a shelf rather than on the ground, because this way you do not have to bring your head too close to the tool or be bent over in an unphysiological position.

What to do and what not to do

Standing with your head too close to the machine runs the risk of splinters of wood flying into your face or near your eyes. In fact, the ideal position where the machine should be placed is a non-leaning shelf that enjoys good stability, approximately 60 or 75 centimeters high from the ground. There must be no other objects cluttering the shelf, because whoever uses the log splitter must be free to make all his movements without restrictions. If you notice that the log splitter risks moving or slipping from the shelf, you must secure it to it with screws and bolts. When working with the log splitter, the room or external environment where you work must have good lighting that allows you to clearly see what you are doing and where you are putting your hands. When preparing to split a log, it is essential to make sure that there are no nails stuck in it that could be thrown away by the machine or ropes that could jam the machinery. The piece of wood to be sawn must be placed with the end to be cut perpendicular to the log splitter blade, and the grain of the wood must follow the same direction in which the wood is sawn. You should never put a log sideways when you want to cut it, but you should always start cutting it from the end, that is, where it is flat and there is no bark. Furthermore, when cutting a trunk, all the branches that protrude from it must first be removed. Never split two logs together, because the second log would tend to move and be pushed away forcefully, risking hitting people and objects.


The jack must be completely still when a log to be cut is inserted into the machine. You should not put your hands in the cracks of the piece of wood you are cutting because when it is cut by the machine the wood could crush if you step on your fingers. It should be kept in mind that the log splitter oil tends to overheat after just five seconds of putting it under strain, so it is important not to insist on forcing it for more than five seconds if you have difficulty splitting particularly hard wood. You absolutely must not leave the machine unattended while it is on, but remain nearby for the entire duration of the ignition. It takes full attention and clarity to use this type of machinery, so if you are tired it is better to postpone the work until the next day and get a good night's sleep. The machinery should not be used where there are flammable materials, because the engine oil can reach very high temperatures. When you need to move the log splitter, you can do so by holding it by the appropriate transport handles. Before working with the log splitter, you must vent the oil tank by turning the vent valve which allows air to enter and exit the tank. This valve must instead be closed tightly when moving the machinery so that the oil cannot spill out of its tank. The valve that should not be touched, nor can it be touched, because it is generally placed in a protected position, is the maximum pressure valve, which regulates the maximum load that the log splitter can withstand. To work with this tool you must always use both hands, one to operate the hydraulic handle and the other for the pressure switch. Thus, if you let go of your hand, the machine stops immediately.

Published: 2013-05-10From: Redazione

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