Hand-Powered Log Splitter: A Safe Alternative to the Axe (Video)

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From effective masonry heaters to beautiful Danish wood stoves, the Scandinavians know a thing or two about heating with wood. And as Collin stated in his post on wood stoves vs pellet stoves, with trees being a near carbon neutral source of energy, efficient wood burning could play a significant role in greening home heating. As someone who just spent way too much money on propane last winter, I am looking at buying a wood stove this year. But I'm not much good with an axe, and I hate the idea of a gasoline-burning log splitter. Lucklily, the Scandinavians may have come to the rescue once again—enter the smart log splitter. A hand-powered device that claims to take the backache (and danger) out of splitting your own firewood. Designed in Sweden, the Smart Log Splitter claims to be a safe and simple substitute for an axe. Using a 7 pound striking weight, the splitter strikes an axe blade into the log at great force, without ever having to raise the blade.

I was skeptical at first, but the video below shows some pretty darned impressive results. In the US it retails at $109.99 via Bailey's Online (who have a whole bunch of other useful equipment for would-be wood burners). Bailey's, who clearly know a thing or two about wood, suggest it's best for small to medium-sized logs, or for already split firewood.