Need to Know about Electric Log Splitters
Electric log splitters can save your back and your sanity especially if you depend on a wood stove as your primary source of winter heat. Anyone who has ever split firewood by hand with an axe knows that not only is it backbreaking hard work, it can be dangerous work too.
Axe accidents happen when inexperienced users become overtired and continue working, losing their concentration and injuring themselves. Unless you are in really great physical shape, it doesn’t take long to become overtired splitting wood by hand. Even experienced wood splitters can injure themselves when an axe slips or a distraction arises.
Electric log splitters are easy to use once you’ve read the manual and have had someone show you how to operate the machine. Both horizontal and vertical models are available, with the horizontal models being by far the most popular for home use. If, however, you live in a wooded area and will be using the electric log splitter on sloped or uneven terrain, you may well find a vertical splitter to be more stable and easy to transport.
Electric log splitters all work basically the same way. The log is first placed in cradle which holds it securely in place. A ram with a sharp wedged blade is then forced into the log at one end with enough pressure and power to split it into two pieces. A good all-purpose electric log splitter for home use can be purchased new for around $500, with larger, more heavy-duty models also available.
If you have a need for a heavy-duty log splitter, you may want to consider a hydraulic or professional model. Hydraulic log splitters can run in the thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the logs you want to be able to split.
Lots of people make their own electric log splitters and plans and free advice on how to do this are both readily available online. One site that offers detailed plans and even DVD instructions for building your own electric log splitter is buildwoodsplitter but you can also find lots of good basic information for building and using your own homemade electric wood splitter at MotherearthnewsMotherearthnews.com.
Another good option for splitting wood without breaking your back or injuring yourself with an axe is to look into adding a wood splitter to your walk-behind tractor or electric brush mower. If you own a piece of garden machinery like this, check with your distributor to see if wood-splitting attachments are available that use the gasoline or electric power provided by the tractor.
Splitting firewood is much easier and safer with an electric wood splitter, but that doesn’t mean you can happily throw all caution to the winds. You’ll want a good pair of safety glasses and some heavy gloves to protect you from splinters and flying wood chips, both of which can cause pain and injury when lodged in an eye or in tender skin.
Never operate your electric log splitter around children or animals, and make sure you don’t overtax the machine by loading it with larger logs than it is designed to handle. Finally, after creating a pile of firewood with your electric log splitter, you will still need to properly stack it up off the ground in a dry area where it can season and dry out. Freshly split wood can be safely burned in an open pit, but in any other application you will want to remove as much moisture as possible before using it, which means proper storage and the passage of at least a year’s time.