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  • Writer's pictureBeckside Machinery

what is a log splitter

In terms of machinery, a log splitter is a piece of equipment used to split types of wood from softwood or hardwood logs that have been pre-cut into sections (rounds), usually by chainsaw or on a saw bench. Log splitters work using a hydraulic pump or electric motor that drives a hydraulic or electrical rod and piston assembly to split firewood. Most of these wood splitters are rated according to the amount of force they can generate. As the force rating increases, the thickness or length or size of the logs that can be split increases as well. All four major components of the log splitter are hydraulic, hence the term hydraulic log splitters.

Most log splitters for sale UK can exert up to 10 tons of force, however, a heavy-duty professionally powered log splitter, such as a Goliath 27-ton tractor-mounted log splitter, can exert up to 30 tons of force. Additionally, manual log splitters use mechanical leverage to drive logs through sharpened blade assemblies; and screw or 'corkscrew' types are driven directly from the power take-off shaft of a tractor fitted with a three-point hitch.

Source of power

The power source of a simple electric log splitter for sale can either be an electric motor driving a hydraulic pump or a gasoline or diesel engine mated to a tractor or without one. It is possible to use the non-electric versions of the splitters remotely where the splitter can be moved to the site of the wood source to be cut. After the logs have been split, they can then be loaded into trucks, trailers, or bulk bags for transportation.

Regardless of the power source that is used, log splitters drive the log through either a stationary blade or a cone-shaped screw mandrel that pulls the log up over a splitting wedge no matter how it is powered. Some models of log splitters on the market come equipped with a device that prevents the split logs from falling to the ground, thus allowing the operator to quickly reposition the split logs to make a second pass on the log splitter. In some cone and screw splitters, the log is mounted on a steel platform mounted on a three-point hitch, and this platform allows the log to be repeatedly split into smaller pieces without having to put the log down and put it up every time.

Its uses

As much as smaller firewood splitters are intended for splitting wood at home, there are now many commercial firewood splitters available as well. Splitters can also be used as part of a 'firewood processor', which involves sawing types of logs of timber into lengths, splitting them, then transporting them onto a conveyor or into a bag, truck, or trailer. In addition, there are speciality producers, such as those who produce maple syrup, who use units that are capable of splitting 4 feet lengths of wood. Some electric and petrol log splitters can split and point wood for fence posts, although they are few in number since it is generally safer and more convenient to saw the posts instead of attempting to split them.

In recent years, the increasing cost of domestic heating oil has reawakened a desire for alternative fuel sources, and burning wood can be considered a carbon neutral fuel. In addition, it has become easier and safer to burn wood with modern wood-burning stoves. It is a fact that many consumers who would not have thought about burning wood fuel are now doing so for ecological and economical reasons.

To ensure safety

It is possible to make a good log splitter that can save the operator a lot of time and effort, but it is not possible to make it completely safe. It is impossible to predict the behaviour of each log; therefore, if you're planning on splitting logs it is necessary to establish a safety zone around the splitter in order to prevent injury from flying splinters of wood as they fly through the air. If there are helpers present, they can pick up the individual pieces of firewood, but they should not stand near the log splitter when it is operating.

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