Splitting wood by hand was never an easy job to do. With so many technological innovations in the world, you might think that this technique is out of date. However, the reality is different.
Some of the basic human activities will always remain present in our lives, no matter the year, country or age. That’s exactly the case with wood splitting.
It is linked to tradition and necessity, so it seems like it will never go out of fashion as an inevitable chore, with or without all the machinery we have. But it’s not just about chopping wood and preparing it for multiple purposes. Many people enjoy spending time outdoors, breathing the fresh air and being physically active – while preparing their firewood for the winter. There are numerous tools for making this process easier, and people don’t hesitate to purchase a manual or a hydraulic splitter, considering the fact that it could potentially save their time and energy. On the other hand, a lot of people refuse to go modern, so they choose the traditional tools such as splitting axes, mauls or sledgehammers.
What’s so satisfying about wood-splitting?
People who enjoy this activity say that it’s more than a full-body experience – not only are there numerous physical benefits, but there is also a psychological benefit of getting the work done, and having an instant result – a pile of wood, chopped by your own hands – or your own hydraulic splitter, reminding you of all the cozy, warm and welcoming nights next to the fireplace. Your work is right in front of you, it’s not virtual or abstract so a lot of people enjoy being able to physically see their successfully finished tasks.
Using your hands
You may think chopping wood by hand is something easy to do? If so, you made a huge mistake! It is a fantastic working for the upper body, but it’s better to define it as a whole-body workout since you use almost all the muscles in your body in order to create those powerful splitting moves, and it’s been proven that chopping and splitting wood mostly engages your core, back, arms and legs. It sounds like a full-body workout, doesn’t it? But let’s not forget about the cardio. Burning calories is a great side-benefit to mention, since people who actually need firewood, probably don’t think about calories and workouts when they start preparing the wood for winter.
However, if you thought that wood splitting is too hard for you to do, you also made a mistake. With a few tricks, and the right equipment, you’ll easily master the process, save some money, get healthier, and connect with your inner lumberjack. If you can do the woodchoppers exercise in the gym, you’ll most certainly swing that ax!
You need the right tools to awaken your inner lumberjack
1. Hydraulic Machines
In case you opt for a hydraulic machine in order to help you with chopping and splitting your wood, there is a huge variety of log splitters on the market. Wood chopping is a fantastic activity if you want to spend some extra time and save some money during the process, but we have to be honest – you will be sweating, and it could become physically demanding. Before you purchase your wood splitter, it’s important to do your research and choose only reputable manufacturers such as Uniforest. Depending on your needs, compare the prices and the features, considering the weight of these machines, their power, sound and vibration, and finally – durability. This tool is highly beneficial for people who don’t have much time to spend on preparing their firewood, or who are simply not able to do such physically demanding tasks.
2. Splitting Axe
As you already know, this is a wooden tool with a narrow metalhead. They come in various sizes and shapes, but they are mostly thin and light. There are axes used for felling trees but there are also more sophisticated ones, used for making sculptures out of wood. However, splitting axes have a specific, functional design. By swinging an axe, you use the force of your body to split the piece of wood by breaking apart its fibers – and that’s exactly why splitting axes are special. They are oftentimes much lighter than the other tools, and you will be able to split chunks of wood into smaller pieces, with ease. What’s great about this tool is that it helps you prepare the wood for the drying process – which is extremely important for saving energy. However, swinging the ax may be a dangerous process, so a lot of people hesitate to do this on their own. It’s important to take all the precautions, don’t use too much power and master the technique rather than using plain force – this way you won’t get hurt and you’ll get the work done in less time.
3. Splitting Maul
This is a tool quite different from the splitting ax, since it isn’t that long and it isn’t that sharp. It is basically a sledgehammer, that has a wide, V-shaped pointed head. The biggest difference between those two is the weight of the tool. Mauls are bigger and heavier than axes, and they are often used for splitting bigger pieces of wood, while axes are great for smaller ones. Since they are a lot heavier, their weight will give you more power in your swings and your tool will do more work for you. It all goes down to the force you put in the process. And mauls are all about force.
If you stumble across a knotted piece of wood that can’t be split by an ax, you’ll surely need a maul to handle it. Their wide wedge easily penetrates the grain and splits it apart. But, the biggest disadvantage of this tool is at the same time its greatest benefit – they are too heavy for some. Although it’s easier to swing and cut the wood using some extra swinging force, it oftentimes becomes too hard to swing at all. Nonetheless, it’s still the favorite tool for many people, since it is all about your personal preferences.