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Log splitters are complicated, yet simple machines that make your life easier and learning everything you can about them like what is a log splitter cycle time. This is one of the things that when you first look into logs splitters that is easy to get confused about and what affects the cycle time.
The cycle time of a log splitter is very important and something that a surprising number of people overlook. Whether you’re a beginner who is only just getting into log splitting or a seasoned log splitting veteran, one should never ignore the cycle time on a log splitter.
This question can be difficult to answer depending on how far you want to go into it. With this in mind, it’s time to find what is a log splitter cycle time and learn how it can make your life easier so you have more time to relax and enjoy your life!
Log Splitter Cycle Times Meaning
The cycle time on a log splitter is one of the most important things on a log splitter so learning what it is is crucial. The cycle time on a log splitter is in simple terms how long it takes the ram to fully extend splitting the log and return to it’s starting place with this being referred to as a cycle.
So if a log splitter has specs saying it has a cycle time of 13 seconds means that’s how long it will take to split log. Tho their certain variables that can affect this such as how knotted the wood is and if it’s a hard or softwood. So it’s never fully exact in my experience tho it’s usually fairly close.
It really is a simple answer which can be a little underwhelming with how simple it is. But with all things the more you want to look into it the more complicated it can be and learning what effects the cycle time can be a useful thing to know which I will go over further on this page.
What Affects Cycle Time
There are a number of things that can affect the cycle time of a log splitter with the main thing being the GPM (gallons per minute). This is one of the biggest deciding factors in how fast your log splitter will be and one of the main things you should look for when looking into a log splitter.
The hydraulic pump is what pumps the hydraulic fluid and is a big part of knowing what the GPM of the log splitter is. So what type of hydraulic pump it has also played a part in what affects the cycle time.
Something that is often overlooked on a log splitter and their cycle times is the cylinder it has. Having a smaller cylinder will actually increase your cycle time but you sacrifice some splitting force.
When it comes to splitting wood and cycle times you can have things that aren’t the log splitters fault affecting the cycle time. With something I mentioned above being the type of wood your splitting with knotted and hardwoods taking longer to split which slows the machine down.
How To Increase The Cycle Time Of A Log Splitter
There are a number of ways of increasing your log splitters speed which can be a great option for some people. You can either upgrade your log splitter with better parts or adjust the way you use the log splitter which is a better option for those on a budget.
This can get expensive and you will need to ask yourself if it’s better to just buy a new log splitter instead since upgrading a log splitter can spiral out of control.
Modifications/Upgrading Your Log Splitter
One of the first things you can do is get a bigger hydraulic pump which will help increase the flow of hydraulic fluid. For this to be effective in most cases you’ll need to get a bigger engine which can be expensive.
Once you’ve chosen a new pump and most likely a new engine you will then need to look into getting larger supply lines. With a higher volume of fluid coming through you’ll need something that can support that.
Something that is often overlooked is the cylinder of a log splitter and how the size of it affects cycle times. Going with a smaller sized cylinder with a large rod will increase the overall cycle time but you lose out on some hydraulic force which is a decision you’ll have to make.
As you can see this gets expensive really quickly and can set you back up to $1200 if not more. Then there is having the actual knowledge and skills to be able to actually do it. So sometimes getting a new log splitter is the simpler better option in my opinion.
Log Splitter Use Can Affect Cycle Time
There are certain things you can do while splitting your logs that can speed up your cycle times. When splitting a log the biggest problem can be the wasted movements of the ram with it going a few extra inches wasting time. One of the simplest ways to speed this up is to manually stop the ram and retract it if your splitter has this function.
Something else you’re able to do is to put something behind the log your splitting so the ram doesn’t have to travel as far. Using another log is a good option for this which is cheap and effective. Some people like to make their steel wedges to help with this which is a great option if you have the capabilities.
What Are The Fastest Types Of Log Splitters
When it comes to log splitters there are generally three types with them being manual, hydraulic, and kinetic. The different types of splitters all have there own speeds which differ greatly when you’re using them. Depending on what you’re looking for will change what you want dramatically.
A manual log splitter doesn’t really have a cycle time so it won’t be considered in this. This doesn’t mean they’re bad and should be ignored completely as they’re great for those on a budget and can’t afford a hydraulic or kinetic splitter.
Are Hydraulics Log Splitters Fast?
Hydraulic log splitters are the most common types of splitter on the market and pretty much the industry standard. This is for good reason as they’re quality machines they do everything well and nothing really poorly which makes them suit a lot of people.
They can be fairly fast if you know what you’re doing and you can get them to be extremely quick with some people getting them down to 4 seconds for there cycle time. To achieve this you need to do a number of things and have some good knowledge up your sleeve making it not viable for everyone.
Your average store-bought hydraulic splitter most likely won’t be anywhere near that speed. Most standard hydraulic splitters can have cycle times between 10 and 20 seconds which will suit most people. Sometimes a slower cycle time comes with added force so you can split a much larger and knotted log you normally couldn’t.
A Fast Hydraulic Log Splitter In Action
Are Kinetic Log Splitters Fast?
Without a doubt in my mind and many others, kinetic log splitters are the kings of speed when it comes to log splitters. They make a standard store-bought log splitter look extremely average and only modified hydraulic wood splitters have a chance against them.
A kinetic log splitter can get as quick as 1 second easily making them the fastest log splitters on the market. The models on the lower end of kinetic splitters are still around 3 seconds so they’re hard to beat in terms of speed.
Before you rush off and go buy the first kinetic log splitter you see there are a thing or two about them that you should consider. Depending on your model they can lack some force which can be an issue and some models can be a bit structurally weak. Not all models are like this and some people do just get a lemon, but it’s something to consider.
A Fast Kinetic Log Splitter In Action
Do You Need A Fast Log Splitter?
This is something that will come down to your own personal preference and even how much you enjoy splitting wood. Sometimes you want to take your time with log splitting since it can be a very enjoyable task, then other times you want to just get it over with and do something else.
Having a faster log splitter can be a problem if you’re splitting by yourself as the splitter is done before you’re grabbing your next log. So you’ve spent a lot of money on this splitter that is waiting on you which does feel like a bit of a waste.
If there is more then one person splitting than having a fast splitter is a much better option. There is far less downtime in this situation and will make getting a faster splitter worth your time. So this is something to consider when purchasing a log splitter.
Some models of log splitters might be slower but comes with a higher splitting force. This is something to look into as having more splitting force is something that I consider to be more useful when splitting wood but I like having more power than I need.
The Fastest Log Splitters On The Market
With there being so many log splitters on the market it’s hard to know just what the fastest models on the market are. You’ll find that the fastest on the market will always be kinetic log splitters since they’re just so quick. But if you want to know just what the fastest log splitters you’re able to buy are then I do have reviews on the fastest wood splitters.
The Downsides To A Fast Cycle Times
There aren’t a lot of downsides to having a faster cycle time in my opinion with there mainly be two things that I consider to downsides. With one of them not being too much of a downside but something to think about before getting a new wood splitter.
As I mentioned above if you’re going to be splitting by yourself than having something fast might be a bit of a waste. Since it will split the log quicker then you can handle in some cases which means a lot of downtime for your machine.
The biggest downside of a faster log splitter is they’re generally more expensive. This is true for either upgrading a log splitter or buying a brand new one. This can end up really hurting the wallet and make it not financially worth it for some people and there smaller budget. If you’re able to afford a faster splitter and think you can handle the speed then, by all means, I recommend it.
My Final Thoughts On Cycle Times And Do You Need A Fast Log Splitter
The cycle times on a log splitter are very important and should play a big part in your next log splitter purchase or upgrade. It shouldn’t be your only concern since there is what type of engine and how much force it has are just as important in my opinion and should be heavily considered.
It’s hard to pass up having a quick cycle time on a log splitter and there are very few occasions when it’s not worth having. So if you’re able to get your hands on a quicker one it’s almost always worth it in my opinion.
With one of the biggest things being how expensive a fast cycle log splitter can be. Your budget is one of the most important things to work out than decide if the extra money is worth the extra 2 second cycle time. Some people will consider this a must while others will prefer to have the extra bit of money.
With all that in mind, if you can find one and afford a quick cycle wood splitter then it’s worth getting in my opinion. As much as I enjoy splitting wood I enjoy having a beer by the fire a lot more!