Wood is one of the oldest materials that is still widely used today. We build furniture and houses with it, we also use it to produce paper. Its importance has been growing due to the rising environmental concerns – wood is one of the few materials that can be fully biodegradable. Sawmills around the world process millions of tons of wood every day.
Nowadays, the process of turning wood into logs and then lumber has been largely simplified. No professional facility uses an ax to create logs, mechanical log splitters are the usual tool of choice. The worker just has to insert a piece of wood into the log splitter and the machine will cut evenly-sized logs by itself. These log splitters have been traditionally powered by oil and operated by using a hydraulic pump, hence their name – hydraulic log splitters. However, a new kind of log splitters has emerged – kinetic log splitters that use kinetic energy to power the ram that cuts the wood into logs. Kinetic log splitters are most often powered by electricity, making them a more environment-friendly choice. They also can split the wood much faster than the hydraulic ones but they do have less power so they might not be able to process large pieces of wood.
Portable log splitters
Lately, portable log splitters have started to gain popularity. Using a portable log splitter can be profitable for some sawmills because they can make logs right at the place the wood has been cut. Bringing a portable log splitter to the forest and using it to cut trees that were felled just a moment ago reduces the need for transporting trees to the stand-alone sawmill facility. This makes the process more cost and time-efficient.
Log splitters don’t have to be used by professionals only, though. There are many portable log splitters made for personal use. If you use logs to light the fire in the fireplace or heat your home with them during the winter, a log splitter can save you a lot of time. They are also used by woodworkers who like to make their furniture by themselves.
A good log splitter should be small enough to fit into the garage and not take up the whole room but powerful enough to smoothly deal with any commonly found logs. Ideally, it should also be relatively lightweight so that transporting it doesn’t pose much of a problem.
There are many brands on the market but one maker that manufactures quality machines is DR, a company based in Vermont. They have log splitters of various sizes and power so everybody can find a suitable one. You can also get a DR log splitter that can be used vertically, in addition to the usual horizontal position. Vertical positioning is better for cutting large and heavy pieces of wood. This way, instead of lifting the log onto the cutting table as you would with a horizontal setting, you can just roll on the floor and put it under the mechanically powered ram.