How To Use a Log Splitter: Tips from Mighty Ox

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Whether you’re splitting wood for your home wood stove or you’re running your own log splitting and sales business, Mighty Ox makes industry leading log splitters for people like you.

Because we get many of the same questions about our equipment (sometimes from veteran log splitters!) this guide covers some of the basics on log splitting with a Mighty Ox log splitter.

How To Use a Hydraulic Log Splitter

#1 Suit Up

Put on safety glasses, leather gloves, and sturdy boots, ideally with a steel toe to prevent mashed feet as you whisk wood around the job site.

#2 Set Up

Position your Mighty Ox splitter on a flat surface. Check hydraulic fluid levels before every use and inspect the machine for damage.

#3 Start Up

Check gas levels in your Mighty Ox log splitter then start your Honda engine with the pull-start. Because these small engines are carbureted, you may need to adjust the choke before firing it up.

#4 Prepare Logs

Remove excess branches and make sure logs fit the splitter's size capacity. For most wood stoves, the ideal length will be 16 to 18 inches.

#5 Split Logs

Place a log against the stop end and pull the hydraulic lever to engage the wedge and split the log. Keep your hands well clear of moving parts.

#6 Remove and Stack Wood

Once split, remove wood pieces and either throw them aside for stacking later, or move them straight to your wood stack. Make sure your wood is elevated off the ground to improve air flow and seasoning ability.

#7 Shut Down and Storage

When done, turn off the Mighty Ox, wipe off excess wood chips or shavings, and, if storing outdoors, cover the machine. We recommend storing the Mighty Ox indoors, but if left outdoors a properly fitted tarp can help keep moisture off of the machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tonnage for a log splitter refers to the amount of pressure (measured in tons of weight) the log splitter can apply to a piece of wood as it goes through the splitting motion.

Cycle time refers to how long a hydraulic log splitter takes to complete a forward and backward (or up and down in the case of our Mighty Ox vertical L-20/24) cycle: splitting one piece of wood and then returning to the “ready” or starting position.

Mighty Ox V-20/24 = 10.8 seconds
Mighty Ox L-30/30 = 14 seconds
Mighty Ox L-30/24 = 11.2 seconds
Mighty Ox H-30/30 = 10.4 seconds
Mighty Ox H-30/24 = 8.5 seconds

It’s a good idea to add a fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank, then run the engine long enough for this stabilized fuel to make it into the carburetor of your engine. This will help to prevent clogging and build-up during the winter months of little-to-no use.

You also should not drain the carburetor on your engine for the risk of allowing important seals and o-rings in the carb to dry out during winter months.

Ideally, we recommend running ethanol-free gasoline in Mighty Ox log splitters. That’s not always possible depending where you live.

The best split wood length depends on your personal preferences (and the size of your stove), but 16 to 18 inches is a widely accepted standard length for firewood.

We recommend applying a light lubricant to your log splitter’s splitter beam and to grease the zerks on the side of the moving head before use. It’s also a good idea to clean residue and mess at the end of your splitting session to avoid build-up in and around the wedge.

We recommend multi-purpose lithium grease for lubricant, and AW-46 premium for hydraulic fluid.

Firewood should be seasoned for at least six months to a year before burning.

Ideally, firewood will be seasoned for more than 12 months to ensure dry wood and a quality burn. 6 months can be sufficient, but most discerning wood stove owners will notice the poor burn.

To test your wood, bang two pieces together: wet wood sounds dull while dry wood will sound hollow!

Hardwoods are generally considered the best type of wood for firewood because they burn longer, hotter, and more efficiently than softwoods. Hardwoods are denser and contain more energy than softwoods, so they produce more heat per unit of wood. Dry hardwoods also ignite quickly, produce little smoke, and have a high heat output.