When people think of forestry tools, saws and axes are often the first items to pop into their heads. These tools are definitely an essential part of the industry, but there are many other items that are widely used. Splitting wedges, stump grinders, and log splitters are a few items that can be added to the list.
Different saws are used for different purposes. One of the most commonly known types is the chainsaw, which has an elongated bar with a sharp chain that rotates around it to provide the cutting action. Grapple saws are forestry tools that can be used for a number of jobs such as cross-cutting and butt-trimming. These saws can be identified by jaws that grasp logs and allow blades to cut parallel to the position in which they are held.
An axe is a tool with a long handle that has a head which is sharp on one side and blunt on the other. Some people may think that any axe can serve for any chopping job, but this is not true. There are actually a range of different designs and sizes for different tasks.
A rigger’s axe, for example, is one that is generally about the size of a hammer. The blunt side of the axe is usually even shaped like a hammer. This tool is often used for splitting and notching. A double bit axe has a blade on both sides of the head. These tools are generally used for felling and cutting off tree limbs.
Some types of wood are very hard and are cut with splitting wedges. These metal forestry tools are wedges that generally look like standard axe heads. A sledge hammer or a maul is usually used to tap the splitting wedge into the piece of wood. Once it is secure, either of these tools can be used to forcefully drive the splitting wedge into the wood to break it apart.
A log splitter is a machine that can be used instead of an axe or maul and splitting wedge. Generally, the log is laid horizontally on a bed that prevents it from rolling. Then, a power driven mechanism forces the piece of wood through a blade that splits it apart.
Once a tree has been cut, there is usually a stump remaining. These are often disposed of by forestry tools called stump grinders. These machines generally use rotating disks to chip away the stumps. These tools can greatly vary in size. The smaller versions can be pushed from stump to stump by a person, while some of the bigger ones are motorized vehicles that must be driven.
Range finders are forestry tools that are typically handheld, and may look like a pair of binoculars that are used vertically. There machines, which can be manual or digital, provide information about the trees that loggers consider cutting. Range finders can record distance, measure height, and determine the angle of a leaning tree. Some models even have Bluetooth® which allows these details to be transmitted to laptops.