Choosing the right type of log splitter is important to ensure that you have the right splitter for the work. It is never a good idea to start a job with tools that are inadequate. It will just cause the work to be harder on you and stressful. Trying to split a 24’’ diameter log with a manual splitter is just not ideal and is going to be a lot on your body. Or having a large gas splitter could be overkill if you are cutting small diameter logs right in your backyard. Taking the time to consider the different aspects of a log splitter will help you to make the right choice for your splitting needs.
Do you need a Manual, Electric, or Gas Splitter?
You can find a log splitter to suit each situation and each type of user. There are 3 basic types of log splitters: manual, electric, or gas. Manual splitters do require quite a bit of man power to operate but they are still easier than swinging an ax. They make a great tool for the occasional wood burner. Electric splitters will be best for those who have smaller diameter logs and don’t mind splitting firewood close to home. They suit those who split on an “as needed” basis as well because they can be used indoors during undesirable weather. If you know that you are going to be splitting large, tough logs or you are processing a lot of firewood each season out in the woods then you are better suited with a gas splitter. Consider how you use your firewood to best choose a splitter that will suit your needs. Who knows you may end up wanting more than one; a gas splitter for the bulk and a manual or electric splitter for occasional use and kindling.
Which types of Firewood will you be splitting?
Knowing what type of woods you will be splitting with the log splitter will help you to determine the size and motor power. Obviously the more power the bigger the motor will be. Hardwoods are going to be harder to split requiring more force while softwoods will split relatively easy without hang ups. Logs that have gnarly knots will be more difficult to split as well. If you will be splitting the firewood while it is still green you will need to have a log splitter with more force. Green wood does not split as easy as wood that has already seasoned. However if you want your wood to season properly it should be split and stacked for at least one season prior to burning. If the firewood that you will be splitting is purchased from a supplier make sure it has been seasoned. The larger pieces will be easier to split that way and the smaller pieces will be ready to be burned. The less work you can create for yourself the better when purchasing firewood.
How big of a Log Splitter will you need?
More than not the size of a log splitter is determined by its tonnage. What is tonnage? Tonnage is the amount of force that the ram of a log splitter will exert as it splits a log. So to put it simply, the higher the tonnage the harder the ram will push on the log and the easier it will push through bigger logs. Lower tonnage would equal less force. The tonnage of the splitter that you need depends on the type and size of firewood that you need or want to split. Also consider if you are going to be splitting green or seasoned firewood. Green firewood will require more force to split than seasoned firewood. The size of a log splitter does not only refer to the tonnage. When choosing between splitter sizes consider the tonnage of course but also the size of the cutting area. The size of the cutting area will determine the length and diameter of the logs that can be split. A good size cutting area would be 20 inches in length and able to split a 12’’ diameter log. The larger high powered log splitters may even offer cutting areas up to 25’’ in length.
Does the Log Splitter need to be portable?
When considering the log splitters portability think about where you will be splitting your wood at. Will you be splitting it at home, on your property somewhere, or will you be splitting it in a remote location? This will determine if this factor is important in your decision or not. Having a log splitter that is portable is very important if you normally cut wood away from your home. An electric log splitter is lightweight and portable however if there is not a power source within reach then you will not be able to use this type of log splitter. Even though gas log splitters tend to be bulky the bigger ones usually have a 1 ½’’- 2’’ receiver and DOT approved tires for easy transport. All you would need is a vehicle with a hitch to pull the log splitter. The smaller gas powered splitters may also have these features but some of them do require to be transported in a trailer or truck bed. This could be difficult if you do not have a trailer because the units are not light.