Do you love the idea of quickly cutting logs into thin and uniform segments, only good to put on fire? You may like to work with an efficient wood splitter. Find out in this article what rules of use you must follow to use it safely.
The wood splitter is a lesser known automatic device, but very useful for cutting large pieces of wood into thinner longitudinal portions. It is one of the tools that can be extremely useful in your household if you have a wood stove, fireplace or boiler, or you often grill and prefer wood instead of charcoal. Because it is a powerful device, equipped with a sharp blade, if you decide to buy it, it is good to find out first what precautions you should take and how to approach it correctly.
You need good light
With a device that can split a 40 cm log in half like a sticks, you need to make sure you always see what you are doing. So choose to prepare the wood for the fire during the day, when you have the best visibility. If long working hours at work and the short winter day prevent you from doing so, place the appliance in a space where you can install a light bulb that is strong enough to hit directly to the work area.
As every time you work with wood, whether we are talking about an electric saw, a grinder or a splitter, you must be careful to protect yourself from any wood particles or even chips that may jump during processing. So don’t start cutting before making sure you have special goggles (eyeglasses can’t help you much).
It is also possible to accidentally drop a piece of wood over your feet, large enough to cause damage, or to step on sharp chips or nails somehow left in the wood you are working with. So use sturdy boots or boots, preferably with a metal insert at the top, and in any case, with a thick sole to protect your feet.
Avoid any accessories or clothing items that may be hanging in the device during operation. So do not wear a chain, bracelet, scarf, scarf, tie, wide open blouses, etc.
Because most devices of this type make quite loud noise, it is good to consider a pair of headphones. Don’t forget to protect your hands, wearing a pair of durable gloves.
Read the technical manual
Before starting to use such a device, it is recommended to carefully read the technical manual, which familiarizes you with the characteristics of the product, the main safety measures specific to the model you bought, as well as the correct and safe use.
Keep the work area clean
It is important that when splitting wood you have a stable and balanced position, which can be compromised by waste left on the ground from previous cuts, which can cause slipping or tripping. So keep almost a broom with which you can quickly remove wood materials that have reached the floor.
Prepare the wood for splitting
Because each splitter model allows the framing of the logs with a certain maximum length, it will often be necessary to cut the wood into suitable segments. Even if you have pieces of trunk already adjusted in size, it is important that before inserting them into the splitter to make sure that their ends are straight, so that they are firmly attached and easily cut.
Do not try to split several logs at once and always make sure that the wood is firmly fixed in the machine before you start cutting, to avoid accidents. Always direct the blade on the path of the wood fiber, correct the position, if you see that the direction is not the right one, and always be prepared for unexpected situations.
Alone or in a team
You will probably often be tempted to let a friend help you when working with this device. Because a wood splitter must be handled with care and precision, specialists recommend avoiding situations in which two people are involved in the management of the appliance. If, for example, a person fixes the wood and one handles the handle, and the two do not synchronize or the one who puts the blade into operation rushes, serious accidents can occur. It is a device simple enough to be used safely by one person.
In addition, it is also recommended to avoid situations in which you work and one or more acquaintances keep you company and talk to you. You can easily become careless and injure yourself, so first finish the wood preparation process and then relax and spend quality time with friends.
Just as you must have a safe position when working and the device must be very stable. So install it on a straight surface, without slope, hard, fixed, preferably concrete, on which you can be sure that the splitter will maintain its location without moving. Because many of these devices are equipped with wheels, which ensure that they are easy to move from one place to another, before you start working, it is recommended to lock them.
Mental and physical condition
Never use the device if you have consumed alcohol, no matter how much wood you need, if you have taken pills that influence your reactions and thinking, or if you feel dizzy or weak. It is advisable to avoid operating such a device if you have health problems with your spine or you have hit your hands or feet.
Gasoline models are used only outdoors
In winter you may be tempted to use the splitter in the garage or workshop because it is warmer. If you have chosen a petrol version, it is good to remember that you need very good ventilation because it emits toxic gases during operation. So stay out if you can’t ensure the wide opening of a large door or a generous window.