A Log Splitter is a piece of machinery or equipment used for splitting firewood from softwood or hardwood logs that have been pre-cut into sections (rounds), usually by chainsaw or on a saw bench. Many log splitters consist of a hydraulic or electrical rod and piston assembly and these are often rated by the tons of force they can generate. The higher the pressure rating, the greater the thickness or length of the rounds that can be split. The log splitter consists of all four major hydraulic components.
Most log splitter models for home use have a rating around 10 tons, but professional hydraulic models may exert 25 tons of force or more. There are also manual log splitters, which use mechanical leverage to force logs through a sharpened blade assembly and screw or 'corkscrew' types that are driven directly from an agricultural tractor's power take-off shaft where the splitter is mounted on the three point linkage.
A simple log splitter may be powered by an electric motor driving a hydraulic pump or by gasoline or diesel engine with or without a tractor. The non-electric versions can be used remotely where the splitter can be moved to the location of the cut wood source. Split logs can then be loaded into trucks, trailers or bulk bags.
No matter what the power source, a log splitter either uses a hydraulic piston to drive the log through a stationary blade or a rotating cone shaped screw mandrel that pulls the log up over a wedge. Some models have attachments that prevent the split logs from falling to the ground allowing the operator to reposition the logs quickly for a second pass on the log splitter. Some cone or screw splitters are mounted on steel platforms mounted on a 3-point linkage that allow the log to be repeatedly split into smaller pieces without putting the wood down and up again.
Think safety first. Use a log splitter on level ground. Secure the log splitter so that it can't move. Always wear safety glasses and gloves while using a log splitter.
Know that there is more than one kind of log splitter. One type is a hydraulic log splitter that runs with a gas-operated engine.
Check the engine for gas and oil before you start to use a log splitter. Turn the switch on. Crank the engine. This will activate the hydraulic pump that is operated by pressure.
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