Electric Log Splitters
Electric Log splitters are a growing segment of the industry. Improved motors and force ratings have turned these machines into the go-to category of splitters for many people needing to split and store firewood. If you are not splitting wood professionally, an electric splitter may be the perfect solution to your wood splitting needs. Many can be operated in horizontal or vertical positions, just like their gas powered counterparts.
Electric Splitters offer a number of distinct advantages over their gas powered counterparts. For starters, they are a much greener option than gas powered splitters. Electric motors have no emissions or exhaust, meaning that they are much more environmentally friendly. They are generally more portable as well. Electric motors in general are smaller and lighter than the motors found on gas splitters. Electric units can be used just about anywhere that there is a properly rated outlet nearby.
Electric Log Splitters generally have a force rating of between 4 and 20 tons. If you are working with wood that is very hard or knotty, it would be wise to select something in the higher end of that range.
Another advantage of electric splitters is that they require very little maintenance. Simply keep the machine and seals clean and the hydraulic fluid at the proper levels, and your electric log splitter will be a valuable tool for a long time. Log splitter maintenance is discussed further in our learning center.
Gas Powered Log Splitters
If you need a lot of wood split in a short amount of time, there is no substitute for a gas log splitter. From the property owner looking to clear a lot of trees to the professional, these models offer advantages that no other splitters can compete with.
Gas powered log splitters can create an incredible amount of force, much more so than electric splitters. This allows much larger logs to be split. When a log is larger in either length or diameter, it required more force to power through it. More force is required for especially hard or knotty woods as well. For this type of log, the gas powered log splitter is the only tool for the job.
Now that you are splitting larger logs, you are confronted by the issue of lifting these unwieldy logs into place. Fortunately, most gas powered log splitters can be used in a horizontal or vertical position. In the vertical position, simply roll the log under the splitting wedge, and the hydraulic pump will take care of the rest. For smaller pieces, put the splitter back in the horizontal position and let the logs rest on the body of the splitter.
Cycle time is another important advantage of a more powerful system. If you are splitting a large amount of wood, just think of the time that can be saved by increasing the amount of wood that can be spit in a given hour. Even a cycle time savings of just a few seconds can add up to a significant amount of time when extrapolated over a few cords of wood.
Tractor and Skid Steer Powered Log Splitters
Vehicle mounted log splitters offer a unique way to combine the power of a hydraulic log splitter with the portability of your lawn tractor or front loading skid steer. Each typed uses the vehicle’s power system to operate. Each are suited for heavy-duty use, with high force ratings. The model you choose will be dependent on the type of vehicle you already have.
Does your tractor have a 3 point harness system? Does it have a hydraulic or PTO system? Then you have the perfect setup for a vehicle mounted log splitter. Tractor mounted log splitters operate by attaching the splitter to your existing tractor’s hydraulic system. This requires a tractor that has auxiliary outputs capable of driving an additional hydraulic drain on the system. Be sure to check your tractor’s specifications to confirm that it is capable of driving an additional drain on the hydraulic system.
If your tractor is too small to drive a log splitter, or is not equipped with an auxiliary hydraulic system, chances are that it will still feature a PTO system. PTO, an acronym for Power Take Off, is a means of powering additional machines. A PTO system uses a rotating drive shaft to connect to accessories. In the case of a log splitter, the PTO will drive a hydraulic pump, which will power the cylinder on the splitter itself.
Skid Steer Mounted
A skid steer, or skid loader, can also utilize its auxiliary hydraulic system to power a log splitter. The skid can be moved into place, and then the configuration of your model will dictate how it used. There are several variations available on the market today. Like gas and electric powered splitters, these are available in horizontal or vertical configurations. Unlike the other splitters, however, skid steer mounted splitters offer another option as well. In an upside-down configuration, the cylinder and wedge are located underneath the beam. This allows the operator to drive the machine into position over top of the log and split it without having to handle the log in any way. This is also useful when logs are too heavy to be lifted by hand.
For maximum usability, there is a configuration called “flip-flop.” The splitter can be used upside-down for large logs that are too heavy to move manually. Once logs are split, the halves may be too close to the ground to continue using the splitter in its upside-down configuration. Simply rotate the splitter 180 degrees and use it like you would a horizontal splitter, lifting smaller logs onto the beam for easy splitting.