Part of the pre-winter tradition is cutting up logs for the long cold season. But in the age where modern lifestyle dictates one to quickly gather wood, axes and sledge hammers do not fit the job so well. Besides, for the elderly, working with axes and sledge hammers is ill-advised. These are just a few reasons why log splitters make the best wood chopping device.
A log splitter functions like mechanical axes. The major difference is that it is powered by hydraulic pumps instead of brute muscle strength. Motors continue to push the log into a metal wedge until the pressure is strong enough to split it.
The best way to shop for a log splitter is to look for three aspects that make it efficient. They are tonnage, cycle time, and the positioning of the splitter.
Tonnage: This is defined as the amount of power or strength the motor can exert on the log. The bigger the tonnage or horsepower, the better the machine is. For example, a 15 ton or 15 hp log splitter can handle bigger and tougher wood compared to a 10 ton machine.
Cycle time: This is the amount of time it takes for the splitter's hydraulic pump to reset. Obviously, the shorter the cycle period, the better the log splitter, as it can split more logs. The common cycle time for log splitting machines is 12 seconds.
Splitter position: A log splitter can either be operated horizontally, vertically, or both. The ease of use is affected by the positioning of the splitter. Most users prefer to have the vertical log splitters as they don't necessarily have to lift logs up the splitter. They can just roll or slide them in position. Vertically operated splitters make working on sloping areas easier and safer. The drawback of vertical splitters is its less tonnage compared to horizontal splitters. However, if different types of wood will be fed on the splitter, the dual operated log splitter is a better option.
Electric log splitter, as its name suggests, is powered by electricity. If you would want to have a vertical electric log splitter, there is none available. Because they are all horizontally-operated.
Hydraulic log splitters, on the other hand, are all gas-powered. Their outdoor power is higher when compared to electric splitters. Top caliber hydraulic splitters have 5.5 hp while the best of all electric splitters can only reach 2hp.
Nonetheless, if power is secondary to one's needs and portability is more preferred, then, get electric log splitters, because they are small enough to fit in a vehicle's trunk.