Why you should use a log splitter

Flickering flames, sizzling sparks and a comforting crackle, there is no denying the magic of a fire. But for many, it’s a magic that is very hard work. Chopping and splitting logs by hand can be a very tough task, but a log splitter can change all that, meaning a comforting fire is wonderful again. Find out how…


Cold snaps can appear out of nowhere, so for those reliant on fire for heat, it’s handy to have a stack of logs ready for action. But preparing your wood by hand can take ages.

With log splitters, preparation time is chopped down dramatically, so that comforting fire can be ready and roaring in no time at all. Powerful dual log splitters can get through up to 150 logs in an hour, which is over two a minute. Something that these guys would be envious of.

Neat and Tidy

Messy log splinters
You’re going to need a bigger bucket
Source: Fimby
Chopping wood with an axe might make you feel powerful, but using an axe creates mess that will need tidying. So if picking up splinters isn’t your idea of a good time, use a log splitter which forces the wood to split cleanly, meaning less mess for you.

Not all of us are blessed with acres of space, so chopping wood by hand isn’t always a viable option. As well as being tidier, a log splitter also provides a compact solution to preparing wood – it doesn’t even require the space to swing an axe!


First aid kit outdoors
You might have sun block, but you don’t have axe cream
Source: Peak Mountaineering
Splitting wood by hand will help you build core strength, namely your lats, abs and gluteus maximus – otherwise known as your bottom! But for some, using an axe or maul will just compound old injuries, or create new ones. So negate this risk by removing the physical labour aspect. You just have to load the logs.

Forget pulling a muscle though, one missed stroke of an axe could result in serious injury! A log splitter offers much more protection as there are no swinging sharp edges. And to make it extra safe most log splitters have a safety cut out, eliminating the risk of electrocution.

Better fire

The only thing that makes fire better is wine
Source: Flickr
Fire needs three things to flourish: heat, oxygen and fuel. The easiest way to improve the amount of fuel you have, is by using wood with a larger surface area, allowing more access to burnable materials.

If a log goes in whole it won’t burn as well, and knotted or moist “green wood” is hard to split, so may have to go on in one piece.

But with hydraulic log splitters, or foot powered ones, most pieces of wood can be used, meaning a larger surface area, and a better fire.

A fire is no good if you can’t enjoy it. Log splitters also cut down preparation time so you can sit back and listen to the crackle and snap of burning logs.


A_deciduous_beech_forest_in_Slovenia for forestry
Grow your own wood
Source: Wikipedia
Green wood may be harder to chop, but finding green fuel for heating is even harder. If you’re lucky enough to have your own source of wood, or have a local sustainable source, then your fire can be a little bit greener.

Many buy firewood, pre-split and ready to go, however this is costly and you don’t always know the true source. By splitting local, sustainable and traceable wood at home, you know exactly what you are burning, and saving money in the long run too.

A log splitter may not be magical, but a fire is. So get the magic quickly, without the risk of pain, and without having to clean up lots of bits. The benefits are plentiful, and even go as far as improving your love life.

What size log splitter do I need?

For cosiness, nothing beats the warmth of a winter fire. But before you relax, you need to prepare your firewood.

There are several ways to do this, and one of the most popular is with a log splitter. There are hydraulic log splitters, foot operated log splitters and of course, the simple axe/maul. Remember, size matters, but which size is for you?


Maul on wood
A lumberjack’s best friend
Source: The Department of Style
Mauls look like a sledgehammer with the face of an axe which widens quickly. As you drive through the wood, the wider face forces the wood to split.

Axes and mauls are without doubt the simplest way to split logs into manageable pieces. So if you have a small wood pile then a maul may be for you. They are extremely portable, relatively inexpensive and make you feel like a lumberjack.

Those with bad backs might struggle to use a maul, and if you find a knot in a log, then it will be almost impossible to split. Axes and mauls are dangerous tools and injuries can happen. People with children, pets or unsteady hands should exercise caution.

Foot powered log splitter

D3953 Foot Operated Logsplitter Cj
The wood is at your feet
Foot powered log splitters are essentially a jack with a piston that pushes the log onto a splitting wedge. Each pump on the foot lever results in around 1.2 tonnes of force, effortlessly splitting logs.

By using a log splitter, wood can be turned into burnable chunks far quicker than with a maul or axe. Like a maul, a log splitter is easy to transport and store, so it won’t be in the way when not in use. Unlike a maul, a foot operated log splitter is extremely safe.

Because no upper body strength is required, those with bad backs can still enjoy a warming fire. And frugality is assured as it’s foot power rather than electricity that moves the piston.

Splitting green wood? Unseasoned wood is denser and harder to split, so for this task you may need something more powerful than a foot powered log splitter.

Hydraulic log splitter

D3803 Dual Logmaster Logsplitter 2 Cj
Serious log splitting
Up to your neck in logs? Then this is probably the choice for you. Hydraulic log splitters plug into household sockets and pack around 6 tonnes of force.

Without a swinging blade, they are incredibly safe, and labour is minimised because all you need do is load the wood.

Older wood has less moisture content and is easier to split. But with the force of a hydraulic log splitter, even greenwood won’t be a problem. And knots are no match for this sort of power.

How to describe a hydraulic log splitter? Big, powerful and easy to use.

Champion log splitters

Chopping up wood might seem like a mundane task – boring but necessary if you want to keep your home warm. But that’s where you’d be wrong.

In the world of competitive sports – you’d be amazed what you can do with wood. We thought we’d ‘chip’ in with a selection of the world’s best contests for elite log splitters.

World Logging Championships

world log splitting championship
Where all the best log splitters hang out
Photo: UK Loggers

A ‘fine fella’ can prove his or her worth in all aspects of log splitting at the world logging championships. Last year they were held in Belarus.

Those who made the long journey to the former Eastern block country were treated to a test worthy of any woodsman. Precision chainsawing, limbing, chain replacement and tree felling are just some of the challenges set.

World Lumberjack Championships

log splitting competition
The biggest log splitting show on earth?
Photo: Paul Walsh

As fine a spectacle as the World logging champs must surely be, nothing compares to the high drama of the American version. The World lumberjacking contest is held annually in Hayward, Wisconsin.

The showdown sees elite woodsmen clash head to head in a series of stunning high octane events. Think logrolling, block chopping and the blue riband event – the 90ft log climb – the ultimate test of strength, agility and speed.

College log splitting

And there’s no need for budding young woodsmen and women to miss out. In America and Canada, lumberjacking is a college sport with roots in the backcountry.

Logging was a job that paid piece rate, so the ability to prove your worth with flair was much to be admired. Today, students from colleges across the continent and internationally compete for honours in axe throwing, the pulp toss (throwing pieces of wood) and the hard hit chop (number of axe strikes needed to hack through a log).

English open chainsaw carving competition

national chainsaw carving competition
The Kraken – Winner 2012
Photo: Exmoor Chainsaw Carving

For the creative wood splitter why not take in the annual chainsaw carving contest? Held annually at the Cheshire County Showground, think kitch on a grand scale.

Whether you aspire to a garden feature of a mermaid, monster or mythical creature – you’re sure to find something you like. Many of the competition pieces are available to purchase – the perfect gift for the person who has everything.

Christmas tree throwing

And finally – though no wood splitting, whittling or carving is involved, we couldn’t resist chucking in this unusual annual event.

Held in the German town of Weidenthal, the Christmas tree throwing contest is a great way to get rid of unwanted spruces. As you’ll note from the youtube clip below – ‘fir flinging’ is not a distance sport…

Log splitters and other cool log stuff

Man and his log: the relationship goes back a long way, and began perhaps with the spark that first made fire.

Woodworkers and lumberjacks may be few and far between these days, but the bond between man and log is still strong, as this cool log stuff shows.

Log Splitters

logmaster log splitter
The axe is no match for a modern log splitter
Source: Clifford James

Although the axe is a seriously macho tool, it’s no match for its powerful descendant, the log splitter.

It will get the job done in no time and saves you from the perils of manual labour: no bad backs, no impromptu amputations and no pneumonia / man-flu from being out in the cold for hours on end!

Log Cabins

log cabin
Log cabin kits for DIY fanatics
Source: House of Digital

For the real DIY fanatic, the market now offers build-your-own-log-cabin kits: perfect for creating a nice new shed for storing your log splitter and other power tools, which also serves as a secret man den to escape to when a new project takes your fancy.

Other construction ideas could include an outdoor office, summer cabin or hideaway place for when the in-laws come to stay. Available in a range of sizes and shapes to meet all your log cabin needs.

Log Fires

log fire
Make fire and relax
Source: Steve MC

After your log splitter has saved you the exertion of splitting wood, use your reserved energy and innate man power to ‘make fire’.

After all your hard work, it’s time to light up the log fire, put your feet up and relax with a nice bottle of whatever takes your fancy.

Yule Log

Christmas Yule Log
Logs for eating
Source: Chris Elwell

Gather ‘round ye Yule log and grab a fork, folks: you won’t need a log splitter to break up this log!

Also known as a Buche de Noel, this delicious Christmassy treat is fab for sharing with all your loved ones, while the blaze of your log burner in the background gives a little fiery ambience.

Log Flume

Log Flume
Log flumes for fun and falling in love
Source: Wikipedia

Shooting down a log flume may not strike most people as being a particularly romantic event. But for Lawrence Key, it was the most nerve-racking ride of his life, as he took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend of five years.

She was completely unaware until she received her souvenir photograph at the end of the ride, proving that falling in love really can be a rollercoaster! [Source: Mercury]

How a log splitter can rekindle your love life

Summer may be at an end, but you don’t have to pack away your romance with the beachwear.

With the colder weather there’s ample opportunity to get cosy with somebody special in front of an open fire. And with the swift onset of winter now’s the perfect time to get chopping wood.

Beware though, as the ‘lumberjack with bad back’ image is not so attractive. Here’s how to do it proper.

Splitting logs

log splitter lover
Impress your lover with a log splitter

Forget working up a sweat playing the lumberjack, cool guys bring out their power tools and go large on the firewood. If the brutal efficiency and speed of a log splitter doesn´t impress your lover, then surely the time saved for extra loving will.

Rekindling the atmosphere

fire lighting
Ignite your love fire, before the magic moment fades

There’s nothing worse than not being able to get the fire started. So rather than huffing and puffing while your lover nods off, make sure you take precautions and have some kindling and firelighters at the ready.

Crank up the heat

open fire place
Crank up the heat with a real fire

You’ll obviously need a place to start a fire and the king of sizzle has to be the traditional open fireplace. Or how about the flexible wood burner, which can be fitted to all manner of places from motorhomes to cosy cabins. Just don’t forget to clean your chimney.

Furry friends

pug rug
Nothing can resist a soft rug, or pug.

Guaranteed to raise the cosy stakes is a soft sheepskin rug sprawled out in front of the fireplace. Nobody can resist relaxation when a sheepskin meets a fire (including dogs and cats).

Satisfying nibbles

Handmade chocolates box
Sweet nibbles

Don’t forget to stock up the fridge with a little food and drink. No need to go mad, just a bottle of wine and some finger food. And whatever you do, do not forget a sweet dessert for afters.

With all of the above taken care of, it’s time to work your romantic magic and crank up the heat.

Fantasy log splitters

Today, we can rely on top quality, safe to use hydraulic log splitters, to get our firewood ready for the winter. But in the olden days, woodcutters were, hard grafting axemen.

Poor and superstitious, as these folk were, it’s perhaps unsurprising that myth and folklore has mentions aplenty of woodcutters.

So here is our pick of the best tales from the forest.

Romania – the ungrateful log splitter

log splitter death
Death and the Woodcutter by Jean Francois Millet
Source: Hoocher

You don’t want to mess with Merlin, but that’s what this fool did. When the wise old wizard intervenes to lift the Romanian log splitter and his family, out of poverty, the man isn’t as grateful as he should be.

By the time the Romanian log splitter has been made mayor, seen his son into the Bishop’s job and married his daughter off to a director, he has no time whatsoever for the old man of the woods. Merlin is not impressed, and with a flick of the wrist, the son and daughter are dead and the log splitter back to square one.

The moral of the tale? Don’t forget to send your thank you letters.

France – fortune and the lumberjack

log splitter and family
A tired log splitter
Source: Fairytale Channel

Another poor lumberjack – this one has been hacking away for years, and even though his sons are grown and can help him, still his fortunes do not improve. One day, he has a fit of the blues and goes to bed, vowing never to go to work again.

Seeing the man’s donkeys having a day off, his neighbour borrows them, to carry a treasure home. The only thing is – the gold belongs to the King, and on his way back with the loot, the neighbour spies some soldiers and runs off to hide.

The donkeys know their way home though, and to the delight of all, turn up in the lumberjack’s courtyard, weighed down with a fortune. So there you go – don’t chase after lady luck – let her come to you.

Korea – the Heavenly maiden

korean log splitter
Korean lumberjack in search of a heavenly maiden
Source: Pudding Post

A young lumberjack – poor but hardworking, is bashing away with his log splitter, in the mountains, when a deer, asks him to hide it from a hunter. As a reward, the deer tells him where to find some heavenly maidens, bathing in a lake.

All the man has to do is steal the undercrackers of the girl of his dreams and she won’t be able to go back to heaven. The man is delighted, but the deer warns him not to let the lovely lady have her knickers back until she’d had four children. But women are nothing if not persuasive, and when the man gives her back her pants after the third child, she zooms up to heaven. Luckily the woodcutter finds the deer again, who advises him to wait by the lake, and watch for a bucket being lowered from the clouds. Get in, the deer tells him and ride that pail to heaven.

This the man duly does. He likes it in heaven but misses his Mum, so he borrows a dragon-horse thing and nips down to see her. Unfortunately he falls off, and is stuck on earth. When he dies, he turns into a cock – and that’s why cockerels always climb as high as they can before crowing. Just trying to get nearer to the missus.

Estonia – the kind woodcutter

Woodcutter log splitter
A carefree and happy woodcutter
Source: Once Upon A Time Wiki

A woodcutter is about to cut down some trees, but every time he takes his axe to one, it cries out begging him not to kill it. The soft hearted woodcutter can’t bring himself to murder a single tree. He’s worried what his wife will say, but as he sits there who should appear, but the father of the forest.

This sprite, thanks the woodcutter for not taking his wood splitter to his trees, and gives him the gift of a golden rod, to ask of nature what he will. The only stipulation; to use it wisely, and never to ask for too much. The woodcutter is a wise fellow and uses the rod well, as do his children and his children’s children – and all lead happy, carefree lives.

But eventually, the rod falls into the wrong hands, and a terrible forest fire is the result. The rod is destroyed and since then, the trees have never spoken. Best not ask too much of mother nature.

Greece – the honest woodsman

log splitter and Hermes
Hermes and the Woodsman
Source: Creighton University

A woodsman weeps when he drops his axe in the river. Hermes, hears him and asks him, what the matter is. Hermes takes pity on the woodsman, and dipping a hand into the water, pulls out a golden axe, asking if this is the lost implement. But the woodsman says no, so Hermes pulls out a silver axe, and again the woodman won’t claim it as his own.

Hermes is impressed by the guy’s honesty, so he gives the man back his own axe and lets him keep the others too. The woodsman’s friend hears about this good fortune, so he goes down to the river, chucks his axe in and wails. Hermes appears, offers him a golden axe, and the neighbour accepts.

Hermes is annoyed by this display of greed, so he chops the chap’s head off. Honesty is the best policy.

Log splitters and other time saving man tools

When the going gets tough, the tough guys bring out the man tools.

Unless you’re a glutton for punishment and enjoy doing things the hard way, there’s nothing more satisfying than bringing out the man toys.

Log splitters

log splitter
The ultimate wood chopper

Reduce a pile of logs to firewood in no time with the powerful hydraulic log splitter. Exerting tonnes of pressure onto quivering logs and even capable of splitting two logs at a time. The log splitter is the real king of the forest and will save you hours.

Ride-on lawnmower

ride on lawnmower
Lawnmower motorsports

No need to feel like a donkey pushing and pulling your granddaddy’s lawnmower all day long. Mowing lawns, big lawns, should be fun and involve petrol mowers you can ride around on. Or take it a step further and drive them around a racetrack.

Power drill

power drill
Fantastically flexible power drill

Unless you have arms like Popeye, using a manual screwdriver to put something together is going to take you much longer than a power drill. Power drills are flexible, noisy and make holes fast — just watch what you’re doing especially when posing for photographs.


Crowd pleasing chainsaw

A crowd favourite due to its high danger rating, the chainsaw will literally saw hours off time and reduce mighty oaks to sawdust. Just be extra careful with this one.

Garden shredder

garden shredder
Garden shredders eat brambles for breakfast

Let’s face it; gardening can be an enjoyable pastime — it’s cleaning up all the mess afterwards that can be a serious chore. Not if you have the garden shredder around. Just put awkward brambles and prickly things in the top and hey presto you have friendly compost.

Nail gun

nail gun
Extremely macho nail gun

Noisy, abrupt and extremely macho, the nail gun fires nails into most surfaces very quickly. If you’re clumsy with a hammer and your fingers tend to be purple most of the time, the nail gun is your new best friend. Just watch where you point it.

Log splitters and other revolutionary garden gadgets


Spending time in the garden is something that many of us enjoy – whether it’s using those green fingers to their full potential or simply sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the surroundings.

And for every avid gardener there are some garden gadgets that have simply revolutionised the gardening process, taking away the hard work and allowing you to spend more time doing the things you enjoy. So we’ve put together our top five revolutionary garden gadgets – how many do you own?

The Log Splitter

The Log Splitter

What would we do without log splitters in the winter months? For those (including myself) that are far too clumsy to be wielding an axe, the log splitter makes for an ideal alternative. After all, what could possibly be more cosy than an open fire during these cold winter months?


The Lawnmower

The Lawnmower

Enough said really – I mean, how on earth could we live without it? A well kept lawn is a joy for any garden enthusiast, and short of spending hours with a pair of scissors, there’s simply nothing that could replace the humble lawn mower. The new, cordless mowers are a particularly good idea.

Motion Sensor Lighting

Motion sensor lighting

Practical and safe, these simply have to feature in our best gadget list. They’re ideal if you want a brighter light whilst you’re moving around outside, and they put off those potential trespassers by putting them well and truly in the spotlight (as well as catching out the odd cat…). You can also get solar powered lights, so they don’t rack up your electricity bill. Perfect!



The oldest and most basic of garden gadgets – but what would we do without them? Certainly during the summer months, the BBQ rarely gets a moment to itself, whether you’re entertaining or just cooking for the family. Definitely a top garden gadget!



The Garden Vacuum

The Garden Vacuum

Why spend hours sweeping up those autumn leafs when you can suck them up in an instant? Just like an indoor vacuum, it suck up any small bits of debry in your garden. Then comes the cunning bit – it shreds what it pick up, making it dead easy to dispose of. How did we cope before?

5 wacky uses for a log splitter


If you thought log splitters were just for, well, splitting logs then you were wrong. Read on to find out what else you could do with one…

Mad Scientist

Mad scientists could use one, in an attempt to split the atom…

Nuclear fission has some pretty cool uses.  It can power your house, for instance, or blow up a neighbouring country.  And it could all start with a swift blow from the log splitter.


Hairdressers could use one – there’s nothing better for splitting hairs…

Actually, it’s pretty multi-purpose for hairdressers really.  They could use it to get a really straight edge to your fringe.  Or they could use it to split hairs about their latest girly drama.  See, you didn’t realise a log splitter was so adaptable, did you?


Boy bands could use one, next time they plan to split…

It would save all that bickering about who said what, who gets what, who was the worst singer (when we all know they’re just as bad as each other).  Instead it’d be a nice clean cut, straight down the middle.  Job done.



Chefs could use one to make the perfect banana split…

After all, making a perfect banana split is no easy task.  You have to get the perfect bananas, cherries, ice cream, chocolate sauce.  Use the log splitter and… taa daa! … the perfect banana split.


Divorcees could use one, when it came to splitting assets…

Houses, cars, mortgage agreements.  Who gets the children.  Who disowns the rabbit.  All this can be solved with a swift blow from the log splitter, negating expensive legal costs and saving on time and heartache.





You could just use one for splitting wood!

But then that would be boring, wouldn’t it?