Friday, November 11, 2011

Splitting wood

Recently, I had the opportunity to use my new electric chainsaw to clear some of the tree limbs which fell in my parents' yard, victims of that crazy Hallowe'en week snowstorm. I brought home a bunch of the sections of the branches which I thought would make good firewood, with a vague plan to split them lengthwise so they would burn better when it came time to toss them in the fireplace.

I wasn't sure exactly HOW I was going to do that, though. I have had some experience splitting wood with an ax, and also with a maul (i think that's what it's called), and neither tool felt particularly safe to use. I always had visions of lopping off random toes, mine or someone else's. 

So I was intrigued while shopping online this week when I saw this on the Garrett Wade website:

Relatively small, no fuel or electricity needed… and no wildly-swung cleaving blades! Sounded right up my alley, so I ordered one, and it arrived today. After a few minutes puzzling out the directions, I had it set up, and started splitting some wood.

And I was impressed! It's not, as they say in the advertising, something to do major heavy-duty log splitting with, but the two dozen or so hefty limbs (ranging in diameter from three to six inches) which I managed to fit into the device (it will only accept pieces of wood up to 18 inches) were easily split, with minimal effort. In fact, I even did some using my hand on the lever instead of my foot, and it worked fine. It seemed to work equally well with the fresh-cut wood as with older, more dried-out pieces.

I would definitely recommend this tool for anyone wanting to safely split a modest amount of wood for their fireplace. -- PL

Here's the URL for the catalog page:


Mark H said...

That is interesting. I grew up chopping wood as a boy. I first used my Dad's chopping maul (yes you are correct) when I was twelve. I have since used gas powered hydraulic splitters, ax, but never in my life have I seen one of those types of wood splitters. How could something so simple looking work. Is it using the leverage of your body wight to create the power needed to split a log? Very interesting! If I still had a need for splitting wood I would probably grab one of these devices just to please my curiosity.

wheatgerm said...

looks like a very useful machine

Anonymous said...

I've had one of these for a couple of years and love it. Easy to accurately make kindling and much safer and easier than an ax. Plus, unlike the hydraulic ones it's light and compact and easily stored. One of the highest value tools out there, imho.