Hydraulic Log Splitters – What you need to know
For the purpose of log splitting, there are basically two types of mechanical wood splitters available: hydraulic log splitters and electric log splitters. While electric log splitters are popular for home use, a hydraulic log splitter is the unit needed by homeowners who have a greater volume of wood needing splitting. Maybe an acreage with little access to power?
Splitting wood by hand can be unsafe as well as physically taxing. Swinging an axe over and over is a great workout, but is also very hard work. Like most activities, as fatigue sets in, the chance of an accident happening increases. Axes aren’t pillows.
Once educated on the operation of hydraulic log splitters, you can split wood without the same physical toll as manual wood splitting. Less fatigue plus fewer axes swinging would equal a safer way to accomplish your log splitting needs.
Hydraulic log splitters are usually comprised of a gas powered, four stroke engine that is attached to a hydraulic oil pump. The oil pump provides the high pressure oil feeding a valve. The valve in turn allows the operator to actuate the hydraulic cylinder. The hydraulic cylinder, equipped with a log splitter wedge shaped blade, is then set out to split the log that the operator has loaded into the holding cradle.
Available in smaller units for home, as well as larger commercial units, hydraulic log splitters cost anywhere from $500 into the several thousands of dollars.
Another alternative is for you to build one of your own. Hydraulic wood splitters are simple machines. If you have any aptitude for this type of work, you are sure to save money while building exactly what you need. The internet is littered with do it yourself plans for sale.
Always follow and never exceed to manufacturers load limit
Log splitting with a hydraulic log splitter should always be approached with safety and caution. Always follow and never exceed to manufacturers load limit of your splitter. Always keep your hands clear of the unit while it is in operation. Safety glasses will protect your eyes from splinted flying wood chips, while a good pair of work gloves will protect your hands. There are some more safety tips we wrote about in our tree cutting article that you may find useful.
Remember to properly store your split wood. Firewood should always been stored at least 10 feet away from your house or any other structure. This way, if the firewood becomes infected with pests, they will not spread. Many experts agree that wood should also be elevated at least six inches, keeping it protected from the ground’s moisture content. Be sure to keep the area well kept and clean of leaves and/or weeds, which will help deter rodents, snakes, and insects.
Hydraulic log splitters will save you a lot of hard work in with your wood splitting duties.