Are Log Splitters Dangerous?

A log splitter is a commonly used machine, but it does require a certain level of knowledge to ensure it is used correctly and safely.

Once considered a luxury item when it comes to outdoor work, the log splitter has many benefits and is becoming a staple for people who regularly need firewood.

So, are log splitters dangerous? Log splitters can be dangerous if you don’t exercise caution when using them due to the sheer amount of power they are capable of. However, if you follow the proper safety guidelines when using a log splitter, there’s no need to worry. 

This article will take a look at log splitters, their advantages, and how to use them safely. For more information, read on. 

man operating dangerous machine, log splitter, to cut wood

Are log splitters dangerous?

Log splitters can be dangerous if not operated correctly.  If an incompetent user operates this machine, flying debris and lose logs can result in serious injury. 

That being said, if users abide by the safety guidelines outlined below and follow the instruction in the user guide, they are unlikely to experience any problems.

Log splitters are a handy machine and likely to provide a great deal of value if used appropriately.

Tips for using a log splitter safely

These tips will ensure you remain safe – and the people around you stay safe – when operating a log splitter.

Wear protective gear

When operating a log splitter, you should always wear eye protection and heavy-duty gloves. 

It can be hard work moving logs around, and gloves will prevent your hands from getting scratched and calloused. 

Eye protection will stop flying debris and sawdust from getting in your eyes as you operate the machine.

Ear protection should also be worn when using log splitters (with the exception of electrical log splitters) as they make a loud noise that can damage your ears.

Always read the manual

Never operate a log splitter without reading the manual first. The product manual will outline safety features and make sure you know exactly how to use the machine properly.

Keep children away

Before operating a log splitter, ensure that all children are out of the way. You need to make sure that they will be kept away while in use, as it can be dangerous if they get too close. Children should also never be allowed to operate the machine.

Adjust the machine to the right height

To avoid a back injury, adjust the device to a suitable height for you to work. Make sure it is set up in a way that you can use it safely without providing unnecessary strain on your spine.

Clear an area around the splitter

When using a log splitter, it is best to keep a clear area around the machine. Three feet around the machine is a safe area within which to work.

Always check the logs first

Every log is different, and each one can contain irregularities that may crack in the log splitter or even twist it sideways. 

To avoid this happening, check each log before you put it in the machine. As long as you are aware of potential issues, you can monitor and manage the situation to ensure it doesn’t become a problem.

Don’t operate under the influence

Never touch a log splitter machine if you are intoxicated. This goes for any big machinery where you need to be clear-minded and focused.

Operate appropriate lighting

A log splitter should be operated in the light to ensure you can see everything that is going on. Working in the dark can be dangerous as you cannot see how the log splitter is working.

Always stop before adjusting

If you need to make any adjustments to a log or a machine, always turn it off first. Making these changes while the machine is going can lead to severe injuries.

What is a log splitter?

woodsplit safe 1

A log splitter is a machine used for splitting wood into pieces. It can be used for softwood or hardwood, cutting it into useable pieces of firewood. The wood is first pre-cut by a chainsaw or saw bench, then inserted in the machine to be split.

This machine offers an alternative to splitting wood by hand using an axe. It is a much quicker and more efficient process, and also takes a toll on people’s bodies (especially backs).

How does a log splitter work?

Log splitters use fluid power to split wood. Typically, the user will place a piece of wood into the machine, and then a directional valve is shifted. 

This sends fluid to the end of the hydraulic cylinder, generating a flow that makes the pistons move. The log is engaged, pressure builds, and then this forces the splitting of the wood. 

Each machine is slightly different, so it is essential to always read the corresponding user manual before operating.

Also, it is worth noting that some log splitters are petrol operated while others are operated by electricity. Make sure to do your research before purchasing a machine to confirm what machine suits your requirements best.

Each offers different benefits, so there is no right or wrong type.

If you have some technical and mechanical skills, you can also opt for building your own log splitter or even building a hydraulic splitter.

What are the benefits of a log splitter?

Log splitters have several benefits. These include:

They make the wood splitting process quicker

Time is a valuable resource, especially in the modern age, where we never seem to have enough of it.

Instead of wasting your precious hours splitting wood with an axe, a log splitter can speed up the process so you can free up some time to spend on what’s important.

They save your back and shoulders

Splitting wood with an axe can take its toll on one’s body. If you are getting a sore back and shoulders from splitting wood, it might be time to invest in a log splitter. This machine will carry the physical load so that you don’t become injured.

They are great for hardwood

Hardwood can be difficult, or even impossible, to split by hand with an axe. 

As the name suggests, this type of wood is tough and difficult to split and separate into pieces. A log splitter machine will be able to handle the strength of the wood with no problem, efficiently providing you with pieces of usable lumber.

They create pieces of wood that are a specific size

When using an axe, it can be challenging to create pieces that are the same size. This can be impractical if you require certain sized pieces of kindling for your fireplace.

By using the right sized log splitter, you will ensure that you get the right size piece of wood every time.

Final Notes

To recap, here are the key points you should take away from this article:

A log splitter is a machine used to split wood. It takes pre-cut pieces and splits them into useable firewood.

Most log splitters use fluid power to operate. Fluid moves through the machine, and as pressure is built, the machine is pushed into action. This is what splits the wood.

There are many benefits to using a log splitter. Some of the advantages are fewer injuries, quicker process, the ability to create standard-sized pieces of firewood, and it can be used on the hardwood (a problematic material to split with an axe).

Log splitters can be dangerous if not operated correctly. If users read the product manual before use and follow the safety guidelines, they shouldn’t experience any problems.

There is a range of guidelines to ensure the safe operation of a log splitter. These include wearing protective gear, never operating under the influence, clearing an area around the machine before use, and keeping children away from the machine at all times.