How To Use a Manual Log Splitter

Cutting firewood with the log splitters is very interesting and requires almost no manual labor.

But if you don’t know how to operate them, it may seem to be too complex. Even it may cause serious injury if proper caution and step not taken. The wedge every splitter comes with is sharp enough to split wood and cut hands at the same time.

Learning how to use a log splitter will interest you more and protect you from the incident.

Here are the steps you should follow to split firewood safely.

how to use a log splitter

Before explaining the safe and effective ways to use log splitter, let me tell you something about the precautions you should put the attention to.

9 precautions While splitting logs

1. Put on safety wearings such as hand gloves, boots, and goggles. Be careful if wood chips don’t fly off while splitting logs. They are very dangerous, especially for eyes. So wearing goggles is a must.


2. Don’t wear any loose dresses that can entangle with the machine. It is better to remove jewelry item such as rings, watches before the start because they may get caught in the machine.


3. Make sure that there is enough light in the working place. It would be safer only splitting in daylight. Using in the nighttime is more likely to reason accidents.


4. If you are using the splitting machine for the first time, please read the manual provided by the manufacturer very carefully and follow the safety and operating instructions.


5. Pre-cut the wood into suitable log pieces before splitting.


6. Place the splitter on the dried and even ground to work with comfort. The wet ground is not the only problem for the machine, the operator is also likely to slip on it.


7. Check all the safety devices whether they are functioning well.


8. Never try to split more than a piece of wood at a time.


9. Last but foremost, only one person should operate the machine, I mean the person who is loading and unloading the logs will control the handle at the same time. Controlling the handle by another person will result in danger for the person handling the logs.

I think there will have no possibilities to occur any accidents if these precautions are taken properly.

how to split wood with a log splitter

Before you start splitting you should also know how to move the control handle. Here are the three positions of the handle.

Forward Movement: When you push the handle to the forward position, the wedge starts moving forward the log.


Neutral Position: When you move the handle to the neutral, it stops moving. If it is an auto return system, the wedge will stop automatically when released the handle.


Backward Movement: This is the reverse position of the handle. When you move the handle to the backward position, it will return to its original point to get ready for the next log.

10 effective steps to using log splitter

1. Plug in the splitter to power on. If you use gasoline wood splitter, make sure that the engine has enough gas and oil to get the power source.

Most splitters come with either recoil starter or electrically operated push button. Usually, electric push button works with the first try but you may need to pull the recoil start more than once.


2. Place the log into the bed of the splitter against the plate. Keep in mind that the log is put along the grain line while positioning.


3. Hold the log with your left hand on the side of the log to keep the log stable and split with balance.


4. For powered log splitter, move the handle forward with your right hand to move the wedge forward. Never ever put your hand between the log and wedge. Doing so must cut off your hands or fingers.


5. For manual log splitter, you have to move the pump handles backward and forward to activate the pump which, in return, pushes the log against the wedge.


6. Let the wedge go to the end of the log until the full length of the log get split and move your left hand to the end of the log while the wedge going further forward.


7. When the wedge does all the work, release the handle as soon as possible to stop the wedge.


8. Then move the handle again to the reverse position to return the wedge to its previous position.


9. Don’t panic if the wedge gets stuck in the middle of the log for any reasons. All you need to do is to move the handle to the opposite position immediately then again move back to the forward position.


10. If you need to convert the horizontal position into vertical to process the large and heavy logs, just unlock the pin to allow the machine to work at the ground level. I always recommend using the vertical option when the timber is larger because this doesn’t necessitate raising the logs onto waist height. 

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