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Use Manual Log Splitters for Safety and Efficiency

Most people love a warm, cozy fire. Whether you're enjoying the great outdoors or sitting in your home by the fireplace, fires bring a lot of joy. They're perfect for making s'mores, roasting chestnuts, or just toasting your toes.

What kinds of manual log splitters are available?

There are a few basic types of manual log splitters: screw, cast iron, hydraulic, and foot pedal versions. There are also basic splitter wedges and splitters designed especially for creating kindling. Everyone has his or her own style when it comes to making firewood and kindling. You will likely find that you prefer one type of splitter over the others.

Here's how the different models work:

  • Cast iron: These hold the log inside a couple of rings with a wedge soldered inside of it.
  • Foot pedal: Your hands are free to position the log on the splitter and throw it onto a pile when you use one of these.
  • Hydraulic: You need to use your hands to operate these, but they offer tons of power.
  • Screw: These screw into the grain end of the wood and pull it apart for you as you cut with an ax. This reduces the amount of pressure you have to put on the ax, saving your arm a lot of work.
What type should you work with?

There are different power ratings on each individual log splitter. Choose the one that works on the type of wood you are using. If you're working with heavily knotted wood or a log that isn't completely dry, choose a log splitter with a couple of tons of power. If you're just making kindling and have some time on your hands, you could choose a splitter with a lower power rating.

Note that some of these tools are easier to use than others. Select one that works well for your energy and strength level and firewood preferences. Some of these splitters will produce extremely even cuts, while others are faster but produce less even pieces. The right choice for you depends on how picky you are about your firewood.

Some hydraulic splitters have a lot of power! How do you choose one?

Hydraulic log splitters can run into the range of 10 tons of pressure. Why would you need that much power? The short answer is that they're for large, wet pieces of wood. Wet wood is considerably harder to cut. So are large pieces of wood. When they're combined with lots of knots, then you're looking at the possibility of needing a 10-ton hydraulic log splitter. Examine your wood carefully to help you decide.