There are so many people who would say that splitting by hand is out of trend in this world of advanced tools. And there are people who still like to do things with their own hand, literally. These people believe that splitting wood by hand is way faster than using a tool or machine.
So, which way should you go for? Before you answer that let’s take a look on both sides first. And then you can decide which suits your wondering mind more.
But first, let me educate you about the type of log splitters available in the market. This will do 2 things. First, you will know the variations about the log splitters. Second, this will help you to buy the one that will serve you the purpose, thus saving you the trial-and-error cost. So…
Types of log splitters
There are three types of splitters, namely, Manual Log Splitter, Gas Log Splitter, and Electric Log Splitter. Here you will frequently encounter with the word “pressure”; a splitter with high pressure means the tool is able to handle or chop larger woods, whereas low-pressure splitter would handle the smaller wood chunks.
Manual Log Splitter: As I mentioned before, manual splitters are way faster than any axe or hatchet or tools or machines. These are hand powered, which may also come with the foot pedal features. In terms of pressure, these splitters have the lowest pressure rating- and this makes sense though because this would be used by one person at a time.
Manual Log Splitter is ideal for those who want to splits those small round woods, occasionally. Examples of such splitter would include hydraulic weights or pumps.
Gas Log Splitter: Now, moving to the highest power rating… Gas Log Splitter can handle those large chunks of wood without a problem. Plus, you don’t have to search for electricity source while using this, it runs on gas.
However, the only downside is it is Expensive (expensive with the capital “E”) as you not only have to purchase the machine but also pay for the gas and maintenance charges.
Electric Log Splitter: This one is a beauty, has the best of both worlds. If you don’t want to splurge a whole lot of money on splitters and don’t want to strain your hand either, Electric Log Splitter would suit you the best.
The only downside to this mid-pressure rating splitter is that you have to search for a plugin to use this. But it’s quite lightweight, so it can be carried where there are electricity plugins – so no worries.
So now, since you are all educated about the basics of splitters, let’s step up our game.
We were talking about to choose between log splitters and splitting by hand. Let’s dig deep this topic and know which factors are crucial while choosing one of these.
Yes, you read it right.
If you are someone in your 30’s and have good strong physic, then it may not budge you to swing an 8 or 10-pound maul all the afternoon. Or, if you are gym enthusiasts, then you may find hand splitting a good exercise to burn those extra fats of your body.
But (of course, there will be a “but”, not all of us are gym enthusiasts, isn’t it?) if you are someone who is more than 50 years old or someone with lean physic, you may don’t want to hurt those joints. So, in such situation buying gas or electric log splitters would be a wised decision.
- Types of Wood
Type of wood is crucial. This would help you decide whether to go for hand splitting or using log splitters.
First, if you have those naïve soft woods with zero knots and knuckles then hand splitting won’t be a great deal. It can be done with splitting in a moment with woods that have straight grain.
However, life isn’t a picnic. Not all the woods come with a straight grain. There will be some with knots and knuckles and it will be difficult for you to split these woods with hands. In such circumstances, log splitters would be your saviors.
Plus, the size matters too! If you have branches of monster woods, then thinking of splitting them by hand would be a nightmare. So, you get the idea here. Small, straight grain woods and you would be good with hand splitting (given that you have the stamina to do so). On the other hand, if you are left with large knotty chunks, log splitters are your superheroes.
- Time is money!
Just imagine, you are among the woods with a manual splitter. In front of you, there are hundreds of wood chunks waiting and you are staring at them back. The clock is ticking… you took one branch of them; luckily it had no knuckles…one stroke and it splits… Bingo!
You took another one, but it’s a knotty one- No problem, it took some time but you get your job done. However, it’s highly unlikely that all of your woods would have straight grains (as I said, life is not a picnic). In such case, gas or electric splitters would come as handy. These log splitters would split the branches in less time. Thus more time will be saved which you can use in somewhere productive.
By now, you know which sort of splitting suits you the best. Either you go hand splitting or use a log splitter, make sure your investment is worth it at the end of the day.
I’ve been cutting wood since I was 8 years old with my father. I have been using log splitters for 7 years now and have a great deal of experience with them. Now I’ve got my own wood cutting & logging business and want to share my experience with my readers.