Q&A / 

Log Splitters Video

http://www.5min.com/Embeded/62000160/

Do you have a lot of wood to split? What is the best method? There are three options you can use to split logs.

First is the standard splitting maul. It is like a 6 to 8 pound sledge hammer, and has a face like an axe, but it widens out. This splits the wood as you drive it down into the log. The pros to using a splitting maul is that it is inexpensive and portable. Just throw it into your car or pickup truck and head out. The cons include using a tremendous amount of physical labor to split a lot of wood. And if you are working with big logs, the maul just can't do the job.

A tool with a little more power is a manual log splitter. It features a 10-ton hydraulic jack that you pump with a handle. As you pump the handle, the piston extends and pushes the log into the splitting wedge on the other end of the log splitter. The pros include the ability to split larger logs and you exert less energy to split the logs. Some models feature a two-speed pump. The manual log splitters are not really that expensive. The cons are if you have a lot of logs to split, it is going to take a long time. In addition, you have to bend over a lot to load the logs onto the splitting rail and picking up the pieces. The manual log splitter is a good in-between tool.

If you have a lot of work to do and you want to use a minimum amount of effort, try a 27-ton, hydraulic ram, gas-powered log splitter. All you have to do is push down on a lever to split your logs. The logs are just set up under the ram. No lifting of the logs. The pros include the power and speed. You can split a lot of wood in a very short time period. The biggest con is the cost. This type of log splitter is very expensive if you are going to purchase one. As an alternative, these can be rented for four hours or a full day or weekend. If you have a lot of wood to split, this will save you time and save your back.

Tim Carter, AsktheBuilder.com

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