How long does it take you to split a cord?

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azsteven

New Member
Nov 6, 2009
87
Boston Suburbs
I found a neighbor who's in the tree service business, and this might be a source for free logs (apparently he drops off logs to several people around the area). I'm thinking about buying a log splitter (maybe the Ramsplitter 16 ton electric, but I really haven't looked at any yet), but I want to hear some opinions about how much you get done with yours.

How long does it take you to split a cord? or How much do you split per hour?

Thanks!
 

wellbuilt home

Minister of Fire
Jul 6, 2008
532
NY
I can split a cord an hour to 3x4 x20" long leaving larger splits i can split 1.5 +- I use a supper splitter .
With a hydraulic splitter i split about 1 cord in 3 hours +- .
John
 

webie

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2009
651
Wisconsin
With my timberwolf and 4 or 6 way head I can ussually do a cord an hour with the girl friend .
 

azsteven

New Member
Nov 6, 2009
87
Boston Suburbs
So you guys think it's faster to split by hand? I've been learning to use a friend's maul, but it's slow going. I can't imagine I can go faster than a powered splitter.
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
2 people I can run about a cord an hour not stack...
 

webie

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2009
651
Wisconsin
azsteven said:
So you guys think it's faster to split by hand? I've been learning to use a friend's maul, but it's slow going. I can't imagine I can go faster than a powered splitter.
Depends so much on the wood you are splitting . If its nice straight grain you can split by hand probably faster than you can with a single wedge hydraulic splitter . Now if you get into some knarly crotches and twisted trees or just some hard splitting wood such as elm , no questions down the hydraulic splitter will out do hand splitting if you even manage to get it split with out the use of wedges or a chainsaw .
I split about 14 cord a year for me and my old man so with a little bit of help ussually me and one or two others we can get it done in 2 days .
 

LLigetfa

Minister of Fire
Nov 9, 2008
7,360
NW Ontario
azsteven said:
So you guys think it's faster to split by hand? I've been learning to use a friend's maul, but it's slow going. I can't imagine I can go faster than a powered splitter.
Too many variables... a fast person against a slow splitter with easy wood, yes.
 

quads

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,744
Central Sands, Wisconsin
I never just split wood, I go out in the woods, cut a tree up, split the wood by hand with my wonderful 6# maul, then haul it home and stack it. From start to finish doing that, I can complete a cord in less than 6 hours by myself. In reality I never do a whole cord of cutting, splitting, and stacking in a day.
 

DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,123
Central NY
2 people I can run about a cord an hour not stack…
+1

My father-in-law and I will usually buck up the wood the same day we split it. We can do two full cords in about 4 hours, including all the bucking.
 

Stevebass4

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2006
845
Franklin MA
my rounds are freak'n huge and i really don't an an efficient set up yet BUT i think i spent about 6 hours splitting a cord of hardwood and 1/2 cord of pine this weekend by myself - not stacked yet - all splits very small due to the size of my insert
 

bogydave

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2009
8,426
So Cent ALASKA
LLigetfa said:
azsteven said:
So you guys think it's faster to split by hand? I've been learning to use a friend's maul, but it's slow going. I can't imagine I can go faster than a powered splitter.
Too many variables... a fast person against a slow splitter with easy wood, yes.
+1

experience
How it is set up
1 person (depends on work output & experience of that person)
2 people, 3 to 4 times faster,
Splitter speed.
distance wood is to splitter
size of rounds
type of wood
etc
(I just did a little over a cord of birch split & stacked in less than an hour) (Me & Wife, Granddaughter)
 

billb3

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
4,617
SE Mass
When I was younger I could do a cord of oak in an afternoon ( a longish one).

I have preferred doing batches so I don't do any one thing for a long period of time since one of those afternoons.

I can't swing a maul any more. Tugging if it gets stuck really, really starts to hurt.
 

SolarAndWood

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2008
6,788
Syracuse NY
Hour and a half per cord by myself. I like the electric powered splitter as long as you are set up for it. All of my wood comes in on the trailer and is split directly adjacent to the shed so power cord length isn't an issue. One less gas motor is a good thing.
 

Flatbedford

Minister of Fire
Mar 17, 2009
5,252
Las Vegas, NV
Gunks said:
wood spliter said:
I do all my splitting by hand. If I need the wedge it slows me down allot. So wood type and size puts a big variable in it.
+1
+2

My plan is to get far enough ahead that I don't have to deal with any of the more difficult to hand split species. Stay with Ash, Cherry, Red Oak, and Black Locust and hand splitting can be pretty fast and mentally satisfying as well. The way I see it actually splitting the wood is only a small part of the whole process. Get me a machine that will load and unload the truck, split the wood, stack it, and then bring it too the front porch for burning, then I'll consider the investment. Moving and stacking, at least the way I have to work with the space I have to work with, is much more labor intensive than just splitting. I'd even say splitting is the easy part.
That said, I could, by hand, split, move, and stack a cord in about 6 hours. I rarely work for more than an hour and a half or so at a time. If I could split and toss in a pile, I could do a cord of the above mentioned easy wood in about 3 hours. I think.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
When splitting wood it is not too smart to try to hurry. That is how injuries happen. That said, I know for sure that I've split a cord per hour with the hydraulic splitter. I also know for sure it has taken me a whole day or more to split a cord of wood with they hydraulic splitter. The same can be said for an axe or maul; I know because I've used them all (no charge for the poetry).

Each species of wood splits with its own characteristics no matter if you split by hand or hydraulic so asking the question on how much anyone can split per hour is almost meaningless. And for the guys who split by hand it has been my experience that sometime they have timed themselves and had some really nice wood to split; no crotches or knots, etc. and something like ash which a child can split. I would still match a hand splitter with my little 20 ton hydraulic splitter for a few hours; I pick the wood and the loser buys the drinks.
 
Backyard Savant- damn straight. Fresh oak or ash and a sharp 8#er- The momentum of the thing falling, just guided by my hand without "swinging", and I can pop 10" rounds open all day. Satisfying stuff when you have it.

Any tree from the edge or the middle of the yard- it has more knots etc than is fun for hand splitting.
 

mark123

Member
Jan 27, 2009
168
PEI, Canada
I will second that is is not smart to hurry, last Oct. my brother lost 2 fingers on my wood spliter. I built a copy of a Splitfire which cuts in both strokes. One guy running the control lever and 2 feeding the spliter. The blade cut off 2 fingers and didn't cut his glove. Take your time.
 

CrawfordCentury

New Member
Jul 1, 2009
187
The foothills
azsteven said:
How about sugar maple?
I've got 2 trees coming down, about 4 cords total.
Tough splitting wood in my experience. Completely different from red or silver maple.

If 0°F crotchless red oak rates a 10 on the ease of splitability and elm clocks in at zero, I'd give sugar maple a range of 3 (green) to 6.5 (if dead standing).

I split by hand. And I do indeed take my time. Split a bit of the easy stuff to start out. Then whack a couple burley pieces apart. Stack what I've got done. Have a beer or a swig of water depending on the time of day. Split some more. Stack some more.

If any bucking or noodling is involved, the beer stays in the fridge until the saws are put away for the day.
 

Danno77

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
5,008
Hamilton, IL
mark123 said:
I will second that is is not smart to hurry, last Oct. my brother lost 2 fingers on my wood spliter. I built a copy of a Splitfire which cuts in both strokes. One guy running the control lever and 2 feeding the spliter. The blade cut off 2 fingers and didn't cut his glove. Take your time.
that's a bum deal. 8's all you need anyway, though. bet he wasn't happy about that.
 

mark123

Member
Jan 27, 2009
168
PEI, Canada
The worst part was that it was our father that was running the control lever. It has been 5 months now and his hand still has some healing to do.
 
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