As well as deciding which trees to fell, the decision also needs to be made whether to choose steel, aluminium or plastic. Namely when it comes to selecting the right wedge for the log work that comes next. Manufacturers' ranges include numerous options made from high-quality plastics and aluminium, but which wedge is the most effective for which forestry tasks? Users are spoilt for choice.
The choice of wedge is largely a matter of whether it is to be used for felling or splitting. Regardless of the shape and design, it is the material from which a wedge is made that determines where and how it can be used. The shape and material can help to make felling and splitting a great deal easier. But first you need to know how aluminium, plastic and the quality of the wedge surface affect the stages in the task. The following information tells you which wedges are best for felling and / or splitting in which cases.
You might already have guessed it: trees are felled using a felling wedge. Felling work should generally be carried out by an expert. Working with a felling wedge requires a practised hand and the relevant know-how, and should not be undertaken by a layperson. The actual felling of the tree consists of alternating steps with a power saw and deep insertion of the wedge in the trunk. The felling wedge prevents the weight of the tree from pressing on the equipment and trapping the power saw. The scales prevent the wedge from jumping out during the process. The user also benefits from the effect of the wedge: with every blow that drives the wedge deeper into the cut, he moves the trunk further into the chosen direction of fall.
Plastic wedges are ideal for felling. When working far away, they fit easily in the forestry belt, and add very little extra weight. The high-quality polyamide makes them highly impact-resistant, even in extremely cold weather. Using them at low temperatures or even in frozen wood is not a problem. As, contrary to popular opinion, trees are now felled with power saws rather than axes, the main argument is that using a plastic wedge entirely rules out the risk of injury. No splinters or dangerous particles fly when steel meets plastic, and there are no massive recoils, no broken chains. There is also a universal wedge that is made of aluminium and is also ideal for felling. The worst that could happen then is that if the power saw meets the wedge, the chain may fly off the sword.
Here too, the name says it all - splitting wedges are used for splitting wood, and will save the day when the splitting axe reaches its limits. Fortunately, apart from a few exceptions, splitting wedges are suitable for splitting and felling. That is why we want to tell you a little more about the aluminium universal wedge.
Used in combination with a wooden splitting hammer, universal wedges quickly turn wood into handy, easy to transport logs. The surfaces of the universal wedge have a special surface with "scales". This prevents the wedge from jumping out of the wood. The integrated grooves and strips are essential for successfully guiding the wedge. Perfect for easy handling!
With regard to the material, aluminium is very popular for splitting firewood, and is highly recommended. As the aluminium wedge for universal use is forged, it is on the one hand very strong, and on the other also suitable for using on frozen wood. There is no risk of the material splintering when the user hits a splitting hammerer on a universal wedge. A burr may develop around the impact area of the wedge, but this can be filed away. The important thing is there is virtually no risk of injury at all.
The rotary splitting wedge is for those who want to be even more efficient! Due to its shape, it is intended only for splitting firewood.
The shape of our rotary splitting wedge made of aluminium is rotated by 30°, which extends the lifting height and guarantees the maximum splitting effect of the wedge. The wedge also has acute angled grooves on the front, additional saw teeth on the back, and barbed hooks on both sides that are particularly useful to the forester when he is dealing with frozen wood, as they prevent the wedge from sliding out and recoiling on insertion.
Never hit "steel on steel" is an important rule of thumb when working with wedges or other forestry tools. In fact, steel wedges should generally be avoided altogether. Article 5(3) of the German Forestry Accident Prevention Regulations explicitly forbids the use of steel wedges when working with power saws.
Whether felling or splitting, the decision for the less expensive and lighter plastic wedge, the stronger universal wedge made of aluminium or the special rotary splitting wedge always depends on the particular use, the weather conditions, the characteristics of the wood and, of course, personal taste.