Choosing a log splitter

Before purchasing a log splitter there are a number of items that need to be taken into consideration to be able to purchase the right log splitter for your needs. These include the ton rating, horizontal or vertical positioning, type of wood, the engine and pump, construction of the machine and the option of a pressure release valve.

Ton rating
1 ton = 1000 kg
Log splitters are rated in tons. The more tons the greater the pressure or force of the machine it can apply.

Type of wood
Depending on what type of wood/timber you plan on splitting will help decide the ton rating of log splitter you will need to purchase. Soft wood i.e pine, will split easily with minimal pressure or force, therefore you will only require a machine with minimal/low force rating. If you plan on splitting heavy material i.e ironbark, you will require a much greater pressure/force to split wood of this quality and hardness.

Horizontal or vertical log splitting
Vertical application log splitters are ideal for heavier logs that can not be lifted onto the splitting area of a horizontal log splitter. Horizontal log splitters are useful for light weight logs that can be easily picked up and placed on the splitting area. You will find however that most machine will operate in both horizontal and vertical positions.

Engine and pump
The engine will need sufficient horsepower to operate the pump and ram efficiently without being under strenuous load. In turn a log splitter with an engine and pump of sufficient power will have better splitting ability than one under to much force for its capabilities.

Due to the extreme force exerted on the machine, a weak construction is more likely to crack or break when under heavy load. If you are going to be splitting quality hard wood, the ideal machine would have a heavy construction with thick steel and strong welds to avoid costly damage to the machine.

Pressure relief valve
A pressure relief valve is a good safety feature to have, although not all machines will have this feature as standard. This feature will stop the machine from overloading and damaging any parts of the log splitter. A pressure relief valve is designed to stop the machine from exceeding its maximum hydraulic pressures and causing costly damage.

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