Exploring the World of Kinetic Log Splitters: Powerful Precision

Kinetic log splitters are faster than hydraulic ones, with a cycle time of only a couple of seconds compared with hydraulic 15 to 60 seconds.

There are some downsides of kinetic log splitters with one being they cannot operate vertically.

If you need to chop through a pile of wood, mechanized log splitters can be a great option.

You have a load of wood to split. One option is to use an axe, but that requires a lot of manual labor and time. Another alternative is to use a log splitter to ease the burden.

If you’re unsure about what a kinetic splitter is, we’ll explain how it works and compare it to a hydraulic splitter.

Closeup of kinetic log splitters cutting wood.

Related Reading: Determining the Perfect Size Log Splitter for You

Difference Between Kinetic Log Splitters and Hydraulic Ones

The most popular option for log splitting is hydraulic log splitters.

Oil moves through a hydraulic pump, building pressure that is released into the ram.

The ram then pushes the splitting wedge into the log.

Kinetic log splitters operate using flywheels instead of hydraulics.

The engine of the splitter transfers power to the flywheels, which store this energy as kinetic energy.

When the pressure builds up, it is released by a lever.

The flywheels then move the ram to split the wood.

The amount of energy a flywheel can store is determined by its weight, with heavier flywheels storing more power than lighter ones.

Why should you choose kinetic log splitters over hydraulic ones?

Benefits of Kinetic Log Splitters

There are times when a hydraulic log splitter is a better choice than a kinetic one, despite the benefits of the latter.

Faster Cycle Times

The flywheels’ energy buildup enables fast log splitting when the lever is released and the ram head quickly moves through the log.

The whole process of the ram head splitting the wood and returning back to its starting point takes between 2-3 seconds.

When you compare the cycle time of a hydraulic splitter, which usually ranges from 12 to 30 seconds, or even up to 60 seconds according to some estimates, it becomes clear that it takes a lot of time to wait before you can put in your next log.

This is in contrast to other methods of splitting wood, which are much faster and don’t require as much waiting time.

Although kinetic splitters are faster, they still require you to manually place the next log and position it for splitting, which adds some lag time to the process.

Therefore, while kinetic splitters are faster mechanically, you still need to factor in some labor time.

Nevertheless, you will still find kinetic splitters faster than hydraulic ones.

Simple Maintenance

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time with maintenance, then kinetic log splitters are the way to go.

Hydraulic splitters require regular maintenance of hoses, pumps, and hydraulic fluid to prevent contamination.

Kinetic splitters do not use hydraulics, so you won’t encounter the issues associated with hydraulic systems.

However, that doesn’t mean that kinetic splitters are completely maintenance-free.

The motor requires maintenance, including cleaning and lubricating the rings and gears. Solvent or compressed air can be used.

Regular cleaning of your splitter will ensure optimal performance and extend its lifespan.

Challenges of Kinetic Log Splitters

More Expensive

If you’re considering purchasing a log splitter, you may be put off by the higher cost of kinetic models compared to hydraulic splitters.

It’s important to keep in mind that kinetic splitters are faster than hydraulic machines.

This means that you can save time, which is especially valuable if you’re selling the wood.

The faster you can process your wood, the sooner you can sell it and start earning money.

Before making a purchase, it’s important to conduct a cost-benefit analysis.

This will help you determine whether the benefits of the purchase outweigh the costs.

No Vertical Operation

When dealing with heavier logs, it is easier to roll them onto a splitter in a vertical position.

Hydraulic machines allow for switching between horizontal and vertical positions.

Due to their horizontal design, kinetic splitters require frequent bending and lifting, which can be problematic for those with back issues.

Limited in Cutting all Wood Types

When working with harder wood, kinetic log splitters may require multiple attempts to cut through the log.

Knotted wood presents a similar issue as the splitter struggles to work through this blemish.

Kinetic splitters are faster than hydraulic machines, but when dealing with a pile of hardwood that contains knots and other similar obstacles, it may take some time to work through the log stack.

You will face difficulty splitting greener wood due to its softness, requiring multiple attempts to cut the log in half.

Kinetic splitters can handle tough wood but may take longer than hydraulic machines.

Related Readings:

  1. The Best Log Splitters for the Money in 2023: Maximizing Value
  2. Gas or Electric Log Splitters Showdown: Making the Choice Easy

The Tonnage of Kinetic Log Splitters

If you look at hydraulic splitters, they are rated by tonnage.

This is how much force the ram applies as it splits the wood.

The ram can split wood more easily with higher tonnage, which depends on the wood’s hardness and diameter.

At least 4 tons of force are needed to split a 6-inch diameter log falling within 300-600lbs of hardness.

A log of similar size with a hardness of 1501-2200lbs requires 10 tons of pressure.

When it comes to kinetic and hydraulic splitters, there is no tonnage rating because they operate using different forms of force.

Manufacturers may compare your kinetic splitter’s tonnage to an equivalent hydraulic model.

Log Splitting Safety

When using any type of machinery, including log splitters, it is important to follow safety guidelines to prevent accidents and injuries.

When splitting wood, wear goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris.

It’s important to protect your skin from splinters by wearing gloves and covering your arms and legs.

Be careful when using kinetic splitters to avoid injury. Take your time and stay focused during the clearing process.

Although these machines may seem safer, it doesn’t mean that hydraulic machines are less dangerous.

It is always important to follow the best safety practices when operating any type of machinery.

Related Readings:

  1. Log Splitter Safety: What You Need to Know for Safe Operation
  2. Using a Log Splitter Safely and Effectively: Your Comprehensive Guide

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing a log splitter, you have two options: hydraulic or kinetic.

If you want power, go hydraulic. For speed, choose kinetic.

Hydraulic splitters require more maintenance due to pumps, hydraulic fluid, and wiring, but they are cheaper than kinetic units.

When it comes down to it, what’s more important to you: power or speed?

Regardless of the choice, always adhere to safe practices.

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!