Burr…it’s cold out there! Time to get that wood split and get some good winter wood splitting tips to keep warm and get the job done right! Wood splitting can be challenging especially in the cold months. However, with some good tricks and tips you will see further in this article, you will stay warm and get the job done right.
Winter Wood Splitting Tips
First and foremost, always wear the proper protective gear such as safety glasses, a hard hat and gloves are most important when splitting wood.
After gathering the proper gear, you can begin to prep the wood. Be certain that the logs being split are free of moisture and dry. If the logs are moist or wet it will be hard to split them and may cause damage to the wood.
Be sure that the chopping block is stable and level. The wood may bounce off while you are splitting it if the block is not stable and level.
Make certain your axe is well sharpened and maintained before you start to split the wood.
Tips to Split Wood for Winter (and all seasons)
1. Choose the right wood
- Look for wood that is heavy and dense. Hickory, oak and maple are hardwoods and make great choices as they are dense and easily split.
- The wood must be dry. Moist wood will be hard to split and may cause hazardous situations when using tools or an axe.
- Choose wood with less knots. Wood with knots may be weaker and harder to split.
- The wood you choose needs to have a straight grain. It will split easier than wood that is curved or twisted.
2. Select the perfect chopping surface
Consider the type of splitting tool you will be using and the type of wood prior to
selecting the correct chopping surface for splitting wood in the winter months.
To get the best of both grip and support of a chopping surface, look for materials such as
gravel, concrete or asphalt. Softer surfaces such as sand, dirt or grass can be uneven and
shift, so avoid those types of surfaces.
Be certain your choice is wide enough to house the logs you chose to split a the tool
you chose to use.
3. Secure your logs in place
Store your logs in a secure place once they have been split. A garage or shed is a great
place to store them.
Keep your logs clear from any heat sources like fireplaces or radiators. This helps to
make sure the logs remain dry and are ready for burning when the winter months arrive.
4. Crisscross your logs
An affordable and easy way to store your wood for the winter is to crisscross it. Be
sure properly space it and it will also help keep the fire burning without burning
large amounts of wood.
The crisscross method includes stacking the logs in layers, crossing each layer over
the one before it.
5. Lose stacking
The best way to store the wood for the winter after splitting is “Loose Stacking”.
First, the circulation of air will increase when the wood is stacked loosely. It will help dry
the wood quicker and it will burn more efficiently in the fire.
Second, stacking the wood loosely is faster and easier than other methods of attacking.
Third, when the wood is loosely stacked, it requires less effort to grab the wood for the
Lastly, it prevents the wood from becoming moldy and wet when it is stacked loosely.
6. Let it sit
Allow the logs to sit for a couple of weeks after you have completed the chore of loosely stacking the wood. That will ensure that they are seasoned appropriately.
Your fire experience will be much better when you allow the wood to sit for a couple of weeks before you burn them. It will take less effort to keep the fire going and the fire will be steadier.
You will enjoy a comfortable and warm fire all winter long if you allow the logs to sit for a couple of weeks first.
Ways to Split Firewood
1. Splitting axe
A perfect tool to use for splitting logs for the winter is a splitting axe. At the end it has a sharp edge that fits into the wood perfectly.
It is efficient to get your logs ready for the winter months. It is also economical and gets the task done fast and with little effort. A splitting axe is safe and can be used by anyone even those with no experience.
2. Gas-powered inertia splitter
Another great tool to split wood for the winter is the gas-powered inertia splitter. This splitter uses an internal combustion engine to create the power needed to split the wood. The engine is attached to a hydraulic pump that works the splitting device.
It is powered either by diesel fuel or gasoline, depending on the type you purchased. The horsepower ranges from 5 to 10 horsepower and the engine is rather powerful.
3. Gas-powered hydraulic splitter
The gas-powered hydraulic splitter is number three on our list. They are starting to become rather popular as they are more efficient than older style splitting methods. Also, they are faster and much safer.
The best part of using a gas-powered hydraulic splitter is its efficiency and speed. They were intended to easily and quickly split any size log, regardless of its size.
4. Manual splitter
Next up is a manual splitter. This is an exceptional tool for preparing firewood for the winter. It allows to easily and quickly split logs to use in your wood burning stove or fireplace. It can also save you time and money.
The manual wood log splitter does not require much effort and is easy to operate. Simply by putting the log into the splitter, then use the liver to split it into two equal pieces. The lever is easy to grip and the handle is easy to use.
The blades of the manual splitter are sharp enough to easily split logs but not too sharp to cause injury, so it is safe to use. It does come with a safety shield to cover the blades when you are not using it.
Can you split wood in the winter?
Yes, it is possible to split wood in the winter months. Splitting wood reduces the amount of wood you will need for a fire, as burning smaller pieces of wood is a lot easier. The important thing to remember about splitting wood in the winter is making sure you have the appropriate protection from the cold weather such as gloves and warm clothing.
Does wood split better frozen?
It is commonly thought that frozen wood splits better. Colder temperatures make the wood fibers more brittle which means less force is required to get them apart.
To sum things up, splitting wood in the winter may be a bit of a challenge sometimes, however, with some effort and a decent plan, it can be done effortlessly. Colder temperatures can make the task a bit harder through frozen wood, but with bit of experimenting and mixing and matching was we talked about earlier, you can come up with a great plan. This can become another skill set you have accomplished and a tradition with your family. SO, get out there, it is winter and those logs need to be split and stacked!