What is a wood splitter? This is a special machine that can split harvested logs in a short time. Wood splitters are designed to speed up the process of harvesting firewood and save a person from hard manual labor using an ax. Two main types of wood splitters should immediately be distinguished:
We, of course, will be more interested in household items suitable for private use. But we will also talk about industrial.
According to the principle of operation, wood splitters are divided into the following types:
- Conical or screw.
The simplest mechanical wood splitter costs about 6 thousand rubles. It is a small metal frame with a sharp blade and tapered guides. The log is placed on top, it should be hit with a hammer, a sledgehammer, the butt of an ax to split it against the blade. Manufacturers claim that such a wood splitter allows you to chop wood 2.5 times faster than using an ax. You have to make less effort. A mechanical wood splitter is inferior in performance to other varieties.
Hydraulic wood splitters operate on the following principle: the energy from the engine is transmitted to the hydraulic cylinder, which transfers it to the hydraulic rod, which in turn drives the stop. A cylinder with a volume of 10 centimeters is capable of creating an effort with a capacity of up to 10 tons. The emphasis presses on the workpiece, it hits the knife without hitting and splits. In some models, on the contrary, it is the knife that is set in motion, bumping into the block, but the principle of operation of the wood splitter does not change from this.
The main difference between a screw or conical wood splitter from mechanical and hydraulic is that the workpieces are split not with a knife, but with a cone, which is often called a “carrot” because of its shape. The design of the screw log splitter is as follows: a sliding stop is mounted on a horizontal bed, it is driven by a hinge pin, which receives energy from the engine.
The principle of operation of a cone wood splitter is simpler, it is not demanding in maintenance and has a rather long service life. It is the screw wood splitters that summer residents often do with their own hands, taking as a basis a “carrot” cone and, for example, an engine from an old washing machine.
The main disadvantage of homemade wood splitters is the low level of safety. There is a risk of injury, because the workpieces have to be fed manually, and the rotation speed of the cone due to the motor is very high.
By the type of bookmarking of blanks, wood splitters are divided into:
- Mixed type.
Horizontal wood splitters take up more space, and devices of a mixed type, with two types of bookmarks, are only industrial.
The engine is an important part of the wood splitter as it drives the entire mechanism. By the type of power source, devices are divided into:
- Electrical. The engine is powered from the mains, the wood splitter is environmentally friendly, quieter and can be used indoors. The main disadvantage is attachment to the source of electricity.
- Gasoline or diesel. Usually, such wood splitters are more powerful than electric ones, they are more mobile, and can be used for industrial logging. But there is a problem of emissions and noise, which is why the wood splitter can only be used in outdoor conditions or in a special workshop..
- Tractor-driven wood splitters. The hydraulic system of the tractor is connected to the shaft, which significantly increases the strength and power of the wood splitter. Typically, these devices are diesel powered. There are combined options – tractor traction plus an electric or gasoline engine. These wood splitters are often used for industrial purposes..
When choosing a wood splitter for use in your household, you should pay attention to the following criteria:
- The distance between the piston and the wedge that splits the blocks. This indicator is the working length, it depends on which workpieces you can split. For household wood splitters, the normal distance indicator, respectively, and the length of the workpiece is 50 centimeters.
- Workpiece diameter. On average, for hydraulic wood splitters, this figure is 30 centimeters, but screw devices can cope with workpieces of any diameter.
- Splitting power. This indicator determines how much effort will be applied in order to crush the log. Household wood splitters usually have a capacity of 3-7 tons. For screw wood splitters, an important indicator is the rotation speed, which should be 400-600 rpm.
- The stroke of the piston and the speed of its movement are also important. In domestic wood splitter, the piston usually moves at a speed of 4 centimeters per second forward and 7.5 centimeters per second back. Handy wood splitters with a piston stroke limiter, which saves fuel or energy, and also increases productivity.
- Engine power. For screw wood splitters, the power of a three-phase electric motor should be 3-4 kW, for hydraulic – 1.5-2.3 kW.
- When choosing a hydraulic log splitter, we also recommend paying attention to its blade. It must be steel, reliable, sharp. It is better to choose models not with a straight blade, which splits the block into two parts, but with a nozzle of four cutters, which immediately crushes the workpiece into four parts.
The price is also important when choosing a wood splitter, as well as its size, power, performance. As we wrote, the most inexpensive mechanical manual wood splitters can be purchased for 6 thousand rubles. A small model with a splitting capacity of 4 tons, an electric motor of 1.8 kW and a weight of 35 kilograms can be found for 20 thousand rubles.
A more powerful model with a working pressure of 5.5 tons and an engine power of 3 kW will cost about 40 thousand rubles. A model with a power of 4 kW, a force of 6 tons, a rod speed of 42 centimeters per second, with a high productivity – a workpiece with a length of 40 centimeters splits in 2 seconds – we found it at a price of 125 thousand rubles.