Why a Firewood Splitter Makes Sense


| 9/8/2020 9:49:00 AM


full view of wood splitter 

If I had to choose one machine that does more to boost my household self reliance, a wood splitter would be at or near the top of the list. You don’t need a splitter to heat and cook with firewood, but it sure does help. It was more than 20 years ago that I moved from splitting about 15 face cords of firewood a year with an axe to using a gas-powered wood splitter. These days, I own three different wood splitters and my son and I cut and split about 50 face cords a year in less than half the time it used to take us to do 15. And while a wood splitter is the tool of choice for making useful amounts of firewood, there are things to consider as you decide if a wood splitter really is for you.

pile of cut wood

Why Split Firewood?

Making pieces of firewood small and speeding up the drying process – these are the two reasons people split firewood. While you saw logs to length so the pieces aren’t too long to fit into your wood-burning appliance, splitting is faster than sawing for cleaving the wood into smaller pieces along the length of the grain.

The most common type of gas-powered wood splitters use a 5 to 12 horsepower engine to drive a hydraulic wedge into the end of a firewood block, splitting the wood along its length. Start the motor, lay a block of wood on the splitter, flip the hydraulic control lever with your hand, then watch the splitting wedge move slowly into the wood, prying it apart in a least two pieces with nearly unstoppable force. Sounds dangerous? It can be, but it can also be very safe if you follow certain procedures to protect yourself. 



wood splitter in action





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