One of the best things about colder evenings is escaping them in front of a log-burning fireplace with a goblet of mulled wine in hand. To make this dream a reality, you’ll first want to track down a goblet (priorities) and then set yourself up with a good store of firewood.
In ye olden days (i.e. the 1990s), this was commonly achieved by slamming an axe into a piece of wood repeatedly until a winner emerged from the tussle. While such an image is admittedly manlier than a Chuck Norris cameo in an Old Spice advert, it’s also an incredibly strenuous and tiresome ordeal. If only there was an easier way…
The rise and rise of the log splitter
Over recent years, the log splitter has become an ever more popular addition to the family toolshed. While this can be in part attributed to the increasing prevalence of wood-burning stoves, it’s also testament to the simplicity and ingenuity of the machines themselves. What was once an exhausting, time-consuming and potentially dangerous task can now be completed at the merest touch of a button.
As well as streamlining the wood-chopping process, log splitters also take the margin for human error out of the equation. Anyone who knows anything about fires will know that a) there’s no smoke without ‘em and b) in order to burn consistently and evenly, logs must be of a requisite size. Depending on the type of splitter you buy, this size can be predetermined from the outset, meaning you’ll never have to worry about hitting your mark again.
Which log splitter should you choose?
For all standard issue-sized pieces of timber (anything from 12cm to 20cm in diameter and 50cm in length), an electric machine with a five-ton splitting capability should suffice. In fact, for the vast majority of domestic situations, even the most basic log splitter should be capable of handling whatever you throw into it.
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Of course, there will be occasions when more wood needs to be split – perhaps in an industrial setting or after a particularly hard day’s lumberjacking. For these jobs, upright splitters can deliver six to eight tons of splitting force, more than enough to handle timber that is 40cm to 50cm in diameter and as long as a metre.
Meanwhile, petrol log splitters are another option capable of smashing even bigger bits of wood with more force, as well as offering the wires-free advantage of functionality even in the remotest of settings. The Ryetec Eco 80 B6 is an upright machine with a seven-ton splitting power potential and four-way wedge capabilities, meaning it’s fast, efficient and incredibly powerful. The petrol engine is also perfect for all of your log splitting needs when you don’t have a power outlet to hand and it’s equally at home when dealing with soft, hard and knotted woods.
The chainsaw alternative
While log splitters represent a huge advance in the way we chop our wood, they’re not the only solution at the discotheque. Chainsaws have undergone several startling developments of their own in recent years, including dramatic reductions in both weight and size. This makes them less unwieldy and more suited to home use than ever before.
As well as being adept at chopping firewood, chainsaws also offer the added versatility of being able to prune unwanted branches from backyard trees and hedges. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from electric corded models to petrol engines.
Each individual model is specifically designed to cope with different scenarios, so make sure you read up on the best machine for your requirements prior to purchase. Additionally, chainsaws are also potentially dangerous pieces of hardware so you’ll want to bone up on your chainsaw safety code before firing her up, as well. Happy splitting!