Temps are starting to cool, so it is getting prime time to start a fire in your fireplace or outdoor firepit. To make that nice warm and cozy you’re going to need to get some firewood split up and stored. One of the best ways to split that firewood is with a log splitter. One of the more popular ways to split wood is with an electric log splitter. So how does an electric log splitter work?
What is an electric log splitter?
An electric log splitter is a log splitter that is powered by an electric motor. This motor is powered by connecting to a standard 120v household outlet.
Actually, electric log splitters are pretty simple tools. They consist of an electric motor, a hydraulic ram, a wood rail, and a V shaped wedge splitter. You simply place a piece of wood on the rail, power on the motor, which pushes hydraulic fluid into a piston with pushes the log in the V shaped wedge splitter. The force from the piston is what splits the log in smaller pieces.
So basically an electric log splitter is an electric version of using an ax or maul to split wood, though it is much less labor-intensive.
Manual vs Electric Log Splitter
So there are several different types of log splitters and I am not going to include the standard axe and maul here. I am referring to manual, electric, or gas log splitters.
Manual Log Splitters
Manual splitters, are log splitters that you manually pump to force the log down a rail into a V-shaped metal splitter. Usually, this is done by pumping two handles which increases the hydraulic fluid that then moves the ram down the rail, and forces the piece of wood into the metal splitter. Envision a car bottle jack attached to a rail with extra long handles that are easy to pump. These are more simplistic than electric log splitters but can be physically taxing if you are splitting large quantities of wood.
Manual log splitters are very mobile and can be used pretty much anywhere, inside or outside. Near or far from your home.
Electric Log Splitters
Like we had mentioned earlier electric log splitters are just an evolution of the manual log splitter. They are simplistic as well, but add the convenience of an electric motor and pump to push the wood into the metal splitter. Electric log splitters are pretty nice since they can be used inside, in your garage or basement for example. Since they don’t cause any exhaust gases while in use they can pretty much be used anywhere inside or outside.
There is one major issue and that is the proximity of your nearest electric power source. You need to near a power outlet or a source of electrical power like a generator. That can be inconvenient if you have some wood to split that is a long way from the nearest outlet.
So which would l choose? I would go with the electric log splitter 9 out of 10 times. The only reason I would pick the manual splitter would be to be extra mobile. Being able to access remote locations of your property and still be able to split wood would be a major benefit of the manual splitter.
That being said I would prefer the electric log splitter. Splitting wood is a labor-intensive task, that most folks don’t like doing. I am not sure about you, but I look for ways to make my life easier. Like the old saying goes “Work smarter not harder”
How does an Electric Log splitter work?
Well like we said previously. Electric log splitters are pretty simple, but effective outdoor power equipment.
Electric log splitters have an electric motor which when powered on pumps hydraulic fluid into a ram piston that drives the wood into a metal splitter. There are a few steps to actually operate an electric log splitter.
- Plug the electric log splitter into a standard 120v outlet (which is the standard outlet for the US)
- Place a log on the log rail on the top of the splitter
- Press the power button and engage the ram using a lever. Most electric log splitters are two hand operation splitters
- The ram will compress the wood against the V wedge splitter and split the wood
- Remove the split wood for the rail, and place another log on the rail.
- Repeat the process till all your wood is split
- Unplug the electric log splitter and store the log splitter in a dry location.
As you can see it is a pretty simple process for a pretty simple tool.
Are electric log splitters any good?
Yeah of course they are when used within their limitations. Most current electric log splitters are limited to logs that are 10″ in diameter. You can attempt to split larger pieces, but you might cause damage to the electric log splitter and yourself. Always follow the manufactures recommendations and specifications when operating your electric log splitter.
One of the best benefits of using an electric log splitter is that you can split the wood inside. So you can split wood while not being exposed to the elements, but they work well outside as well and are right at home next to the woodpile. Electric log splitters are also very quiet when compared to gas log splitters. You won’t disturb your neighbors if you have to split some wood early in the morning or late in the evening.
Another benefit of an electric log splitter is that there is little to no maintenance required. The most intensive maintenance would be changing out the hydraulic fluid, but that generally needs to be done around the 150 hr usage mark. For the average user that will take years of use before you hit those kinds of hours on your log splitter.
Summing up Electric Log Splitters
If you are in the market for a log splitter I would seriously take a look at an electric log splitter. They are powerful, capable, and reliable pieces of electric outdoor equipment that will make the chore of splitting up firewood a much less intensive task. So get some more wood on the fire with an electric log splitter.