Chopping wood with an ax – that is not only tedious but under certain circumstances also dangerous. Log splitter, therefore, appears as a much safer, time-saving and energy-saving alternative. Anyone who wants to process wood from the forest into firewood in an instant will soon no longer want to miss a log splitter. But which firewood splitter is really as easy to use as the manufacturers promise?
Top 10 Wood Splitters
What is a log splitter?
Wood splitters are machines that can be used to split wood instead of an ax. Log splitters are not only used in the private sector to shred large pieces of wood into compact firewood. Log splitters are also used in forestry and agriculture as well as in various woodworking trades. Most wood splitters are used to make smaller logs out of three pieces, which you can then use as firewood. In order to make compact logs out of the big tree pieces, the wood is driven against a splitting cross or a riving knife. In a log splitter electrically, a voltage of 240 or 400 volts is used to provide the necessary nip pressure.
In addition to operation by an electric motor and a wood splitter, PTO can be used. The hydraulics of the log splitter can thus also be driven by a tractor. If only a riving knife is used in a wood splitter, the wood must be split twice to make firewood. Split crosses can be purchased as additional accessories. They make sense because the four cutting surfaces ensure that one piece of wood becomes four logs in one step. This saves a lot of time in shredding firewood.
How much is a wood splitter?
If you want to buy a wood splitter cheap, decides best for a cheap Fußholzspalter. These models do without an electric drive and are instead operated with the foot. Nevertheless, a considerable gap pressure of over one ton can be achieved. However, this means significantly more effort for the user, since he has to use his foot power for splitting wood.
Used wood splitters are also ideal if you want to buy a log splitter and save as much money as possible. However, it is important to ensure that the required safety standards are nevertheless met. This is a layman in a used device usually difficult to judge. In the retail trade, a wood splitter entry-level model is usually available from 200 euros upwards. It is important to make sure that it is a log splitter with hydraulic.
Finally, many cheap wood splitters are available that rely on a threaded rod. While the elimination of a sophisticated hydraulic system means a tangible price advantage, the force required for it is all the greater. The comparatively low splitting power makes wood splitters with threaded rods therefore not very attractive even for domestic use. Wood splitters with a petrol or diesel drive cost from 500 euros upwards.
Log splitter standing or log splitter lying?
Whether you are interested in a Scheppach wood splitter, a Growing wood splitter, a Posch wood splitter, an Atika wood splitter or a Zipper wood splitter, it is important to make a fundamental decision. The leading manufacturers in this industry can choose between a horizontal and a vertical log splitter. The horizontal log splitters are also known as horizontal or horizontal splitters. They offer themselves as entry-level models. For professional use, however, these firewood splitters are only partially suitable, which is due to the maximum wood length of about 52 centimeters.
Although this length is sufficient for firewood, so another step is required to cut the three pieces. Lying wood splitters drive the horizontally positioned wood piece by means of a pressure plate against a splitting blade. The blade then splits the wood. The horizontal design ensures that the maximum nip pressure is significantly lower than with a standing firewood splitter. Therefore, the following advantages and disadvantages are to be expected with these wood splitters:
Standing log splitters are also known as vertical or horizontal splitters. These devices can show a much higher nip pressure, as the wood is split from top to bottom by a wedge. The logs fall to the side after the splitting process. There may side arms, thus providing an additional level of security. However, these side arms are often only available as optional accessories and not as part of the standard scope of delivery. Anyone who cuts up pieces of more than one meter in lengthways is best on a standing log splitter. Whilst the high nip pressure, the long maximum gap lengths, and the excellent splitting performance speak in their entirety for these log splitters, these machines are usually unsuitable for domestic use.
On the one hand, this is due to the comparatively high acquisition costs. Most private fireplace owners will, therefore, shy away from this investment. In addition, these wood splitters are very heavy. The heavyweight ensures the high stability. At the same time, however, a high deadweight also means that standing firewood splitters can only move with difficulty. Some horizontal splitters do not even have transport rollers, as these could endanger the safe standing. This makes it virtually impossible to move the Senkrechtholzspalter without the help of another person appreciably in the room.
Log splitter with gas or electricity?
If you regularly want to split large amounts of wood, you should definitely opt for a hydraulic log splitter with motor. You have the choice between a gasoline wood splitter and a wood splitter, which is electrically powered with 240 or 400 volts. While wood splitters can be operated for home use via the regular socket, commercial log splitters often rely on power. Likewise, there are wood splitters with a gasoline engine, which can draw attention to itself compared to a current operation with a few tangible advantages. Above all, the location determines whether a wood splitter with a gasoline engine is the better choice for you.
Log splitters with a petrol engine are always recommended when no power connection is available. Which wood splitter is the right choice for you depends on whether you want to split wood directly in the forest or not? Wood splitters with a powerful petrol engine are also often preferred in rural areas. Although petrol wood splitters offer you a higher degree of flexibility in terms of possible job sites, the increased background noise is a tangible disadvantage. Who sets on a gasoline wood splitter, should therefore not do without the appropriate hearing protection.
On the other hand, electrically operated wood splitters can be used much quieter. In addition, it should be remembered that wood splitters with a gasoline engine are responsible for significant smog production. On the other hand, with an electronic wood splitter, these exhaust gases are not a problem, so you should also consider this factor when making your purchase decision. In general, an electrically powered wood splitter has thus turned out to be the greener choice. However, you should be aware that diesel or gasoline powered wood splitters often have a higher nip pressure have to show. With the pressure of 30 tons and more, most conventional electric log splitters simply can not keep up. The fact that gasoline and diesel wood splitters are significantly more expensive to purchase, usually falls almost negligible, since these wood splitters are mainly used in the commercial sector anyway.
Cone splitters are rarely used
Hydraulic log splitters are currently used, while cone splitters play a subordinate role. The so-called cone splitters are firewood splitters that have been threaded. The metal cone is driven by the PTO of a tractor or other vehicle. Therefore, cone splitters are well suited for use in agriculture and in the forestry sector. Finally, outdoor use is easily possible beyond any electrical connection. The functional principle of this log splitter is very simple. A piece of wood is pressed against the rotating cone. As the cone widens more and more, the wood is split in this way.
Even though cone splitters can be used effectively to split wood, there is a high potential for danger from these devices. This is due to the fact that garments can quickly get caught in the Bohrkegel. Even a brief moment of carelessness, together with loose work clothes, can mean that even body parts fall victim to the cone splitter. Therefore, the use of cone splitters is now prohibited in many commercial enterprises. This applies to all members of the Social Security for Agriculture, Forestry, and Horticulture. If it still comes to Kegelspalter accidents, the companies involved threaten huge fines.
Buy log splitter – what should be considered?
The performance and the pressure your wood splitter should offer you depends on your personal user behavior. So before buying, ask yourself the following questions:
- Should the log splitter only be used in your garden or in the forest?
- How long will the pieces of wood you want to split be?
- How much do you want to spend on a log splitter?
- How often do you want to use your log splitter? (almost daily or only occasionally)
- How loud can your log splitter be maximum?
- How easily does your log splitter have to be when not in use?
- Which type of drive is desired? (Electric or gasoline engine)
If you only want to split firewood from time to time for your own fireplace, opt for a horizontal log splitter, which can be used as a starter model for pieces of wood with a length of up to 50 centimeters. For professional use, a horizontal orientation is usually unsuitable, so that offers a standing log splitter for commercial use. Regarding the type of drive, an electric motor is perfectly adequate for private use. In addition, a power of 2,200 or more watts is recommended, so that the log splitter can deliver a powerful performance. If particularly thick tree trunks are to be split, a power between 4,000 and 5,000 watts is ideal. This is true even if especially hardwood, such as the following wood species, to be split:
The nip pressure also affects the performance of your new firewood splitter. The higher the nip pressure, the better the machine can handle even harder woods. The amount of pressure your log splitter requires depends on your user habits. Generally, wood splitters with a pressure of at least four tons are recommended. The maximum Spaltgutdurchmesser represents another important criterion in the purchase. This means the maximum amount of tree stump, the wood splitters are grown. The more powerful the firewood splitter, the thicker the logs can be.
A longer splitting length also means that you have less overall work if you want to make even compact firewood from long logs. The shorter the length of the splitting material, the more often you have to shred the tree trunk before splitting so that you can easily split the tree pieces with your log splitter. High-quality, stable vertical splitters from renowned brands such as Rotenbach and Scheppach may be considerably more expensive to buy. However, a considerable saving in labor can be assumed since you can also split pieces of wood longer than one meter in length.
What size is ideal for a log splitter?
When buying a wood splitter, not only the dimensions of the machine itself are crucial. Rather, the maximum Spaltgutdurchmesser and the highest possible Spaltgutlänge are important. Also, regarding these criteria, it is important that you make your purchase decision depending on your individual needs. The following guideline values are sufficient for occasional private use: a splitting material length of around 50 centimeters and a gap diameter of 25 centimeters. For professional use, however, you should not consider a log splitter with a splitting length of fewer than 100 centimeters.
Which brand offers high-quality wood splitters?
When buying a wood splitter, the brand also plays an important role. After all, there are a number of manufacturers who have been active in this industry for a very long time and therefore have the necessary know-how. Scheppach and Atika are certainly among the brands that you have already encountered in search of the right firewood splitter for your individual needs. What other important brands are waiting for you? The following list tells you:
The company Güde should be known to many passionate hobby gardeners. The renowned German manufacturer covers a wide range of garden technology. In addition to lawnmowers, this also includes high-pressure cleaners, generators, garden shredders, and leaf vacuum cleaners. The assortment of the company is aimed not only at home improvement but also to appeal to professional craftsmen. Therefore, the Güde Holzspalter offer both private and semi-professional use.
Scheppach is another company that offers firewood clippers for private garden use. The traditional production and the quality ” Made in Germany ” appeal to many users. The family business was already launched in 1927. This long company history strengthens the trust of potential customers. Meanwhile, the long-established company also appears worldwide.
Atika is one of the other companies that made a positive impression in our log splitter comparison. The company headquarters in Burgau also ensures more trust in the end customer. In addition, the Group covers a wide range of offers. The wood splitters of the company are available from around 200 euros, while the company has higher-priced firewood splitters for you as well.
Safe handling of a log splitter
In general, when using a wood splitter, there is less risk of injury than with an ax. Nevertheless, unsightly accidents may occur in connection with firewood splitters, so care should be taken. Therefore, we have put together a few meaningful rules of conduct for your own safety:
- It is best to put on safety shoes to protect your feet
- Hearing protection is recommended as most log splitters are very noisy (especially for machines with a petrol engine)
- Protective gloves protect you from painful wood splinters
- Be sure to stand upright on a level surface so that your log splitter does not fall over and can injure you (especially important in standing wood splitters weighing more than 100 kilograms)
- Protective goggles protect your eyes from flying wood parts
Despite all these rules of behavior, the modern firewood splitters are classified as very safe. This is mainly due to the widespread two-hand operation. Many log splitters also have an emergency stop button. Nevertheless, make sure that only one (adult) person operates the log splitter. All other persons are best kept at a safe distance of one or more meters.
How to maintain and maintain your log splitter
Most log splitters on the market work hydraulically. Therefore, a prescribed amount of hydraulic oil is required to use the firewood splitter safely and effectively. It may be necessary to fill the hydraulic oil tank before using the firewood splitter for the first time. This is usually not the case. Regardless of the filling of the tank, it is easy to loosen the bleed screw. This avoids overpressure, which benefits the seals. Thus, you can counteract an oil leak by means of these forward-looking measures.
The cylinder of the log splitter also needs regular care. If your firewood splitter is used irregularly, it is best to clean and lubricate the cylinder before each use. Greasing the gap column each time before using the log splitter allows you to benefit from a longer longevity of the sliding beam and thus an overall longer life of the entire machine. In addition, it makes sense to check before each use, whether all parts of the wood splitter still stuck or has loosened a little. If so, you should first secure the loose parts for your safety before proceeding with splitting the wood.
If a change of the hydraulic oil is necessary, it is important to pay attention to the correct oil type. A change is urgently required after the first 50 hours of operation. Then an annual oil change is enough. For wood splitters, which are used particularly frequently, it is advisable to change the hydraulic oil every 250 operating hours. While most firewood splitters use HLP 46 oil, the operating instructions for your machine tell you in detail the correct type of oil.