Wood splitters NZ

Choosing the perfect wood splitter

One of the many joys of modern technology is that there’s no longer a need to wear yourself out using an axe to split your wood. Nowadays, a wood splitter can do all of the heavy lifting for you, while also saving you a lot of time. This can be particularly useful when there’s a lot to cut and little time available to complete the job. With various wood splitter models, sizes, and strengths on the market, it’s not as simple as just picking a wood splitter and being done with it. That’s why this article will offer tips and advice on choosing the right wood splitter for a farm and lifestyle section. From pressure, size, speed, and power sources we'll cover as many avenues as possible. Read on to discover the perfect wood splitter for your unique needs.

The types of wood splitter

Screw-type wood splitter

Screw-type wood splitters use the pointed and tapered tip of a wide spade to force wood apart as it’s screwed into the log. This is a simple design with various power options. This type of wood splitter can be advantageous due to its ease of use and low maintenance requirements. It’s important to maintain a safe physical distance from a screw-type wood splitter as they are powerful tools that can be hazardous when not approached with caution.

Axe-type wood splitter

Axe-type wood splitters are a more commonly-used tool due to their ability to split large quantities (and sizes) of wood with ease and precision. They make use of an axe-like head that applies force to the wood to split it down its natural grain. These splitters allow you to split either green or seasoned wood since they are typically powered by a hydraulic system or a tractor, providing a lot of grit and force. Often these splitters are more suitable for use on farm and lifestyle sections due to their safe operability, ease of use, power level, and convenience. For these reasons, AgriQuip solely stocks axe-type wood splitters.

Wood splitter considerations

Wood splitter nz

Pressure

Wood splitters work by placing high amounts of pressure against a small surface area which splits the wood apart. Of course, there are a lot of variables when it comes to exactly how much pressure you require. Since wood splitters apply such high volumes of pressure, the pressure output is measured in tonnage. Ensuring you select a wood splitter with the perfect amount of tonnage for your job will depend on several factors. These include the size of the wood you’re planning to split (measured across or its diameter), the density of the wood, as well as whether the wood is green or seasoned.

The cells inside of a tree are long and fibre-like and run up and down the length of the tree. When cutting the wood, this arrangement is the wood’s grain and it’s essential to cut along the grain, not against it. Ultimately, the bigger a log of wood is, the more pressure is required to split it. This is key to take into consideration when selecting a wood splitter for your desired application.

In addition, since green logs are freshly cut, they still contain a lot of moisture. As wood ages, the moisture inside of it gradually evaporates and it becomes more brittle. This means that older, drier wood is significantly easier to split than fresh wood, while green wood will require more pressure (tonnage) to split effectively. It is recommended to wait until your wood is cured before splitting it to ensure the job is as efficient and simple as possible.

When it comes to wood density, knowing the thickness of your logs will be integral in selecting the right wood splitter with the right amount of pressure for your needs. Of course, the thicker the wood, the more pressure you will require. Axe-type splitters rely on pressure while a screw-action splitter does not, we’ll cover the latter in the speed section a bit more.

Size

The physical size of the wood splitter determines the type of wood you will be able to split. While it may seem obvious that the larger the pieces of wood you need to split, the larger the wood splitter you will require, this can often be overlooked. Many people try to over-extend the capabilities of their wood splitter and then wonder why it doesn’t last as long! When you look at your operations, it’s important to consider those outlier jobs that are infrequent but still necessary. In addition to considering your everyday wood splitting needs, be sure to include any extra (potentially larger) jobs you sometimes lend a hand to. It’s often better to buy something a little bigger than you’ll need on average as spending a little more up-front can save you money from downtime and repairs in the future.

Speed

Speed capacity and recommendations are set out for each wood splitting model. However, using higher rotations than recommended could cause the cone tip (for a screw-type splitter) to overheat, which could lead to damage to the machine. Working at higher than recommended speeds is also dangerous for the operator and should be avoided. Alternately, reducing the speed below the recommended guidelines will reduce the splitting capacity and the wood will split at a much slower rate. There are no major hazards to doing this, but it will decrease your productivity. For an axe-type splitter, the speed is less of a concern as this is more steady with the pressure on the axe mounting rather than rotational speed dictating the action.

Power source

There are typically three different types of power sources for wood splitters, those being: gas, electric, and tractor-power/PTO. Gas-powered wood splitters are very powerful but do restrict you to only using the equipment when you’re near a power source. A tractor-powered wood splitter (PTO) is typically used on farms and in commercial forestry applications and offers the freedom to use your wood splitter whenever and wherever it is needed, so long as the tractor can reach the location, that is. An electric wood splitter is another great solution, however, they are often confined to a certain level of hydraulic power (HP), so may not be ideal for commercial-grade jobs.

PTO or tractor-driven wood splitters are often the most popular because the tractor performs two roles in the job. It transports the splitter straight to the location where the tree has been felled and then performs as the primary power source. While other power sources need additional logistics to get them to the site a PTO wood splitter doesn’t have this issue.

AgriQuip’s wood splitter range

Hydrasplitter TPL

Wood splitter for sale

The Hydrasplitter TPL is ready for use with larger tractors with its three-point linkage mounting capability. This splitter puts hydraulic power to use with unrivaled force. It features a simple and easy-to-use control valve with a convenient detent to return the ram hastily, ready for your next job.

Hydrasplitter VTL

Wood splitter for sale nz

The Hydrasplitter VTL also has three-point linkage mounting capabilities and is ideal for use with larger tractors. It can be utilised from a position sitting on the ground to anywhere in the range of the tractor’s draft arm lift range, making it suitable for any operator. This splitter has an easy-to-use control valve, a convenient detent feature for auto cylinder retract (allowing hands-free to shift wood), as well as a large and heavy-plated table so the wood won’t drop straight to the ground after being split. Ideal for commercial operations, this wood splitter has a proven design of over 10 years in the market.

Ultimately, with various options available on the market for wood splitting, finding the tool that is most suitable for your specific jobs is paramount. Our range of wood splitters is simply designed for ease of use and convenient splitting which is ideal for farm and lifestyle applications. Dealing with logs on your section with hands can pose many dangers, alongside consuming a lot of your time, energy, and effort. That’s why choosing the perfect wood splitter is essential to keep yourself safe while increasing efficiency and productivity. To learn more about our powerful and convenient range of wood splitters, simply download our brochure.

Download our wood splitters brochure

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