How to Choose a Log Splitter

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The rising cost of heating oil has many rural homeowners considering switching to wood fuel to keep warm during the winter months. With the convenience and self-sufficiency of wood fuel comes the inevitable need for a log splitter. Over time, the return on investment of owning your own splitter can reduce your heating costs and ensure homeowners are never left out in the cold.

There are many factors to consider when choosing which log splitter to purchase. DR Power Equipment offers a wide array of log splitters for any user: from homeowners with small wood stoves to homesteaders who harvest and season cords of wood each year. DR offers a free comprehensive buyer’s guide and DVD to help you make the best choice for your splitting needs.

Here are the important factors to consider as you research your log splitting options:

Power Source

Most log splitters are powered by a gas engine, because they produce the most power. Smaller electric log splitters are available as well, though. These are great for smaller logs and those who wish to split indoors. DR offers an economical 5-Ton Electric Log Splitter which is ideal for logs up to 10 inches in diameter and is whisper quiet.

The DR Dual-Action Log Splitter is available in either a 15-Ton gas model or a 10-Ton electric model. The company even offers a conversion kit, so that users can switch easily between power sources. The Dual-Action is an especially unique time-saver because it features a two-way splitting ram, allowing users to split as the ram extends and as it retracts.

Machine Design

The vast majority of log splitters are hydraulic splitters. This means that a hydraulic pump creates a pressurized stream of oil to a valve, which pushes the splitting wedge through a log when the operator initiates a handle.  Hydraulic log splitters are rated in terms of “tons”, with higher “tonnage” indicating more power.  Most wood splitters for homeowners are in the 5- to 20-ton range.

DR offers many traditional hydraulic log splitting options, but they are unique in that they also offer RapidFire® kinetic log splitters — the world’s fastest log splitters. Instead of hydraulics, the RapidFire® uses two massive flywheels to store energy from the engine. When the operator engages the handle, the ram bursts out, popping the log in half, and immediately retracts. They are not rated in terms of tons, but the DR PRO-XL RapidFire log splitter has the equivalent power of a 34-ton splitter.

Configuration

Most log splitters are horizontal, such that the user has to hoist every log up to the splitting beam. While this is not a problem for small and medium-sized logs, it becomes a problem for extra-large logs. This is why companies such as DR Power Equipment have designed log splitters that can be pivoted to split vertically so that the log never has to leave the ground. The DR Horizontal/Vertical log splitters (available in 22-, 28-, and 34-ton models) pivot easily, without tools, from the horizontal to the vertical position, saving the user the strain of lifting the biggest logs.