You're working outside. It's a beautiful, balmy summer day. You're ready to tackle your lawn, trim your trees, and split a few cords of wood. Just you and your toys.
But a relaxing work day outside can quickly turn downhill if you're not operating your equipment properly with safety at the forefront of your mind. Anytime you are working with heavy equipment, or even not so heavy equipment like a simple ax and maul, danger is involved.
You'll find lists and tips on felling safety, chainsaw safety, and more - but what is harder to find are some quick tips for operating your log splitter safely, yet efficiently. And while some say it just takes common sense, there are a few things we've come to learn along the way that will make your wood cutting safer and more enjoyable.
A Few Quick Log Splitter Safety Tips
To avoid squashing a finger, cutting yourself, or worse:
Understand The Type of Wood You're Working With. Certain types of wood react differently as they are split. Always place your hands on the sides on the log, not on the ends, before placing the wood inside the log splitter. If you get into wood that isn't straight grained or has crotches, be prepared for it to split irregularly - whether that is at an angle, a big chunk come out the side, the log turns sideways, etc. Identify any out of the ordinary pieces of wood and then continue with caution.
Only Work When You Are Well Rested and Alert. With any equipment, you must be fully aware and alert of your surrounds. With log splitting, as with other machinery, there's no do overs! If you start getting overly tired, find yourself "resting" your hands wrong on the log, or getting sloppy with your work, stop. Stop right then and go do something else.
Avoid Unnecessary Back Aches. The most common injury when using a log splitter comes from lifting rounds. Bending over and over again to lift a heavy load can quickly strain your lower back. The Split Second is also the only log splitter that adjusts to your height; raising 27" to 34" to not only keep you safe, but comfortable. Try to work with equipment that is customizable to your needs and comfort.
Work Properly When You Are Part of A Team. Never allow more than one person at a time to use the log splitter. The same person should both load and operate the log splitter. When you are working with a team, be especially aware of your surroundings and what others are doing as you are splitting.
Wear The Right Clothing. Always wear safety glasses or goggles while using the log splitter. Never wear loose fitting clothing or jewelry, instead wear snug fitting, comfortable clothes and gloves during splitter operation. On the same note, never operate barefoot or while wearing sandals. Always wear protective shoes with non-skid soles.
Read Your Equipment Owner's Manual. As always, your equipment owner's manual will outline everything you need to operate your machinery safely. Don't disregard the safety recommendations.
The Split Second's Two Handed Activation
The Split Second's two handed activation design, which requires both hands to be up on the splitter and away from the rack and pinion and the log, offers an additional level of safety for the operator. Built with a safety handle akin to the activation lever, the Split Second Log Splitter will not deploy it's V-shaped ram without both levers engaged.
Recently, we've gotten a variety of interesting feedback on this design. Most wood cutters say they will always have one hand on the splitter, while the other hand never leaves the piece of wood they're splitting - so as to guide it safely to the wedge and eliminate any flying or rogue wood from coming back at them.
While this is a valid approach, the Split Second was designed to avoid that situation. Here's why. The Split Second's wedge is positioned at a 45 degree angle, unlike other splitters on the market. Because of that slight angle, you can set your piece of wood into it when you begin and remove your hand as the system engages without fearing that the wood will split upwards or sideways. The simple fact that a wood cutter can now remove their hand away from the engaged ram - and is in fact, required to have both hands out of the way - eliminates any pinches, cuts, or accidents near the wedge. Anytime you let go of the safety lever, the ram immediately retracts should you need to adjust anything.
Though they're both high priority, our splitters will always place safety before speed. The two-piece hands free activation system to keep your hands clear of the wood and ram. In addition, the Split Second's flywheels are not exposed to the user as they are on other kinetic splitters on the market.
What do you do differently that keeps your operations safer?