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What is a Cant Hook?

B. Turner
B. Turner

A cant hook is a hand tool using to move logs and lumber. This tool, which may also be referred to as a cant dog in some areas, consists of a long wooden handle with a metal hook at one end. The cant tool gets its name from the term "cant," which refers to logs or lumber with a square edge. The cant tool comes in a variety of materials and sizes, which allows workers to move and transport logs in a variety of sizes.

This logging tool is one of the most commonly used tools in the logging and timber industries. It can be used to load wood into a vehicle for transport, stack logs in a pile, or even to fell freshly-cut trees. The cant hook also serves as a method of controlling the travel of logs through a processing machine or body of water, and allows workers to easily clear jams wile staying clear of the logs. Workers in lumber yards and sawmills rely on these tools, as do tree contractors and logging professionals. In addition, many landowners and farmers may keep a cant hook on hand for moving firewood or fallen trees.

A cant hook is used to move logs.
A cant hook is used to move logs.

A basic cant hook consists of a hard wooden handle, typically made from hickory, ash or walnut due to their strength. One end of the handle is coated with steel, as well as a metal hook stop that protects the handle from damage caused by the hook. The steel hook is fastened to the handle using hinges, which allows it to pivot up and down to accommodate logs of different sizes. Early cant hooks included a swiveling hook, though most are not fixed to allow for greater control and precision. To prevent problems with broken handles, some manufacturers now construct these cant hook handles from aluminum and other light weight metals.

When using a cant hook, workers must first choose a model with a handle that is correctly sized based on the demands of the project. The handle must be long enough so the user can safely reach all logs, but short enough to maintain control over each log. As workers catch a log within the hook, the hook hinges inward to secure the log between the handle and the tip of the hook. Workers then move the log to the desired location and manually release the hook from the wood.

The cant hook is often compared to the Peavy hook, and these tools share many similar features. While the cant hook has a handle that's rounded at the tip, the Peavy hook has a spiked tip. This spiked tip provides greater control over logs, but also creates more damage on the face of the wood. The rounded tip of the cant hook is designed to minimize damage during logging transport and other tasks. Generally, cant hooks are used in sawmills or for moving logs on land, while Peavy hooks are primarily used in logging or to move logs in water.

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    • A cant hook is used to move logs.
      By: Lars Johansson
      A cant hook is used to move logs.