Log splitters represent one of the most basic applications of fluid power and are probably the most popular project for fluid power do-it-yourselfers. The most basic version consists of a pump, directional valve, and cylinder to apply hydraulic pressure as brute force to a wedge, which is mounted at the end of the cylinder’s piston rod to split the log. Of course, a relief valve should always be provided for safe operation. But beyond a reservoir, fittings, and other bare essentials, the basic hydraulic system of a log splitter doesn’t consist of much else.
DR Power's 10-ton dual action log splitter can be used indoors and splits logs on both extension and retraction of its 3½-in. bore hydraulic cylinder.DR Power's 10-ton dual action log splitter can be used indoors and splits logs on both extension and retraction of its 3½-in. bore hydraulic log splitter.
However, in their quest to build a better mouse trap, would-be inventors and legitimate manufacturers incorporate auxiliary features to make log splitting faster and more efficient. One of the most common tricks of the trade uses a two-stage pump — commonly referred to as a high-low pump. A high-low pump has two pumping chambers driven by a common shaft. One chamber has a large volume to produce relatively high flow but with low pressure capability. The smaller chamber produces much less flow, but accommodates much higher pressure.
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