Firewood Tools - for self processing
For the do-it-yourself out there, firewood tools will be required for processing your own stash of firewood for the winter season.
Depending on how much you do yourself, you might need nothing more than a hatchet and a pair of gloves. For the more complete firewood processors out there, let's look at a more complete line of tools that you'll likely need.
In addition to tools, you'll need safety gear as well. This is something I address separately, but will make note of here.
Let's focus on firewood tools and basic resources intended for cutting and splitting.
Basic Cutting Tools and Resources
The chain saw is perhaps the most important of the firewood tools since it's a big time saver, and it's versatile enough to cut logs, limbs, pallets and other pieces of scrap wood. It's noisy, it's dangerous and it's very effective.
Pictured below are the tools and resources that I use with my chain saw. First, there is the chain saw. The green living purists among us wouldn't use a chain saw, but it's a 50 to 1 time and work saver, so I think it's well worth using.
Don't think it's one of the expensive firewood tools either. The one shown was $10 at a garage sale. Like-new condition, except for the dull chain. If you buy them in the two-pack, new saw chains can be had for $10 each. The rigid plastic package to the left of the hearing protectors is new chain for the slightly used saw.
You'll also note that I have fuel and a gallon jug of oil for the bar. When I fill up the fuel tank, I fill up the oil reservoir as well.
Also pictured is a screwdriver, a ratchet wrench and a pair of pliers. The screwdriver helps me keep the chain taut, the ratchet wrench allows me to loosen the hold down nuts on the bar, and the pliers helps me remove the gas and oil caps.
You'll also notice a old pillow and a pair of hearing protectors. The old pillow allows me to kneel in comfort and the hearing protectors are essential while using the chain saw. I don't operate any type of equipment like a chain saw without hearing protection.
Gloves are also important to avoid splinters and abrasions on your fingertips when handling wood, and when swinging an axe or splitting maul, then can help save you some blisters.
Basic Firewood Tools for Splitting
When it comes to splitting wood, you'll need a few basic tools. There are several approaches to splitting. You can use an axe, a splitting maul, or a sledge hammer with a iron wedge.
I like a splitting maul because it can allow me to split the wood with one swing instead of repeated beatings on an iron wedge.
Shown to the right are two splitting mauls that I use. The one in the background is a combination splitting maul and sledge hammer. It's suitable for splitting as well as driving wedges.
You'll note that it has a yellow handle. That's a fiberglass core surrounded by a plastic coating that makes it smooth and comfortable to use. It's very resistant to splitting and can take a lot of abuse.
The one in the foreground is a heavy axe with a set of levers that help split the wood by transferring the downward motion of the axe outward to spread the wood apart as the axe enters deeply into the wood.
Both work well for splitting wood.
The single piece splitting maul is heavier and great for splitting jobs that require lots of force. The axe with the splitting levers is best used for lighter jobs like splitting cedar.
Done with Firewood Tools, back to Heating with Wood