I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who is the manager of an industrial supply store. Our conversation turned to wood-burning and the process of putting up a supply of wood for winter. He suggested that I should buy a wood-splitter, but I told him I didn't think it would be as fast as splitting by hand with a maul. He told me of a contest that he had with his father in-law. They both started with 30 rounds of ash, he was armed with a 3 1/2 lb axe and his father in law with a wood-splitter. Long story short his father inlaw was finished and he still had 6 rounds to split!! Granted he only had an axe and not a maul but he said that he split them all first swing. I don't know the brand of wood-splitter that was used but I asked about the speed of the cycle and it wasn't exceptionally fast. The guy is probably around 40 years old and well capable of splitting wood. I take what he says to be true. I have been having this debate with myself since starting to burn wood splitting by hand vs. a wood-splitter. I am only 50 years old and still enjoy splitting by hand and the exercise that it gives me however it does get to be a unwelcome strain on my back the constant bending. The cost of splitters is quite high and would really cut into the saving achieved by burning wood. Can't decide yet but this is one more reason for a splitter. Maybe once I have to start splitting quantities like LL or some of you other folks.