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Splitting firewood logs, using a hand-held logsplitter ~ by Angus

Splitting firewood logs, using a hand-held logsplitter

Many woodland owners get firewood from their woodland for stoves at home. Cutting the wood is important but splitting it into useable pieces can be a real challenge.  There are powerful electric machines to do it such as the hydraulic splitters (one described here) or you can split it by hand.  If you want to avoid using a traditional axe or a similar tool a good alternative is the logmatic wedge axe.

With this log splitter you place the point where you want the log to split and push the handle down with an energetic thrust.  This sends a strong hammer blowthrough the bar at the bottom so that the tip splits the log.  It is surprisingly easy to use and much safer than traditional axe-type solutions, and it works well on all softwoods and on ash and oak timber - though for beech wood it's better to split when it is still "green" or undried.

This logmatic splitting tool weighs 5.5 kilos, has rubber hand grips and costs £60.  It's been a great tool for me and compared to conventional axes it is also much safer - it reduces the chance of a severed foot or even back strain.  You can place it easily to the exact point where you want split the log.  I've also used mine also for making kindling and some professionals use them for breaking up stumps in the ground.

Crispin Rogers of www.logmatic.co.uk who supplies these Estonian-made wedge axes in the UK says, "I've now been selling these for 5 years and I've got 1500 happy customers, mostly owners of wood burning stoves."

man with log splitter

Posted in: Energy, sustainability & economics, Woodland Activities ~ On: 27 September, 2013

3 comments so far

angel
23 July, 2017

very good article.thanks

Bob
14 March, 2015

I have just got one of these
http://occuk.co.uk/outdoor/log-splitter.htm
It arrived quickly and well packaged. After a week or so, I’ve had time to try it and I’m very pleased!
It eats birch and ash no problem at all. I’ve quite a few beech rings which I’ve been using a splitting maul
on – many of them have knots and/or wavy grain and are horrible to split – tried the log splitter on them and just chipped away at the edges
until they are all broken down to ‘stanley range’ size! Is it quicker than a splitting maul? Possibly – but it’s easier on the back
(no bending down chasing after the lumps that go flying after the maul, no bruised shins either….) and placing the tip of the wedge
where you want = more even log size. I can also split logs with it in the shed on a wet day

Derek Granger
4 October, 2013

I have a similar device and have found it to be a very useful item of kit not only is it far safer than an axe or maul, it is more accurate and can easily be extracted by reversing the action unlike granade types. It is however a little slower but flying logs are less of a problem. I would recommend such a tool as part of your kit.

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