An enthusiastic reader, Mr Mario Covas who owns a farm just outside the town of Panticusa in the foothills of the Pyrenees, wrote asking about the advantages of a vertical log splitter vs. a horizontal one:
“I can only buy one type of log splitter – so which is best for me?” Mario Covas, Panticusa.
A benefit of the vertical model is that these machines will generally accept heavier logs without the need to physically lift them into a hopper.
This style splitter processes extremely heavy hardwood logs. A back draw is it requires all logs to be cut squarely. That is so they’ll stand straight in the chamber allowing the hydraulic cylinder forced downward onto the log to be split. Some cylinders or rams, punch with a force of greater than thirty tonne. The home-style log splitter, especially electric ones, have a force of three to five tonne. The vertical model transports the wood to a ‘standing’ position, as the knife descends pressing against the log sending the pieces falling outward.
Another style, is known as the horizontal log splitter and takes the logs into a cradle a-top a bar where it accepts a log at a time into the chamber, Here, the cylinder (the ram) forces the wood into the wedge (blade). The result is that the log will be split into pieces that fall in either direction from the splitter.
Some more costly models allow you to switch from upright to reclining log splitting. In this way you can use the appropriate method. Pay attention to the ramp as it will define the log length it can accommodate.
We put up a more detailed explanation on how hydraulic log splitter work here.