Split logs with an SDS hammer drill?

I have a 60-80cm diameter tree trunk I've sawn into 40-50cm slices.

I don't think it's worth investing in a proper log splitter for this one-off occasion, however, I'm wondering if my 5Kg 1.5kW SDS hammer drill with a chisel bit would do the job.

Has anyone tried this?

I'm wondering if the chisel simply ends up getting stuck in an un-split log.

Apart from the fact that that is the absolute worst fire or stove wood because of the deposits it causes, the heart wood remains tough. But then the big piece of trunk I mentioned above was pine that had seasoned for five years that we use occasionally in our open fire. It is probably the hardest one to split we have here. Both of us have developed the knack of getting the merlin in where there is even the smallest cracking, tapping it well in with a normal mallet, then hitting it hard several times with the sledgehammer until fissures appear then wedges in one after the other. Also, what helps sometimes, it to use some pieces of wood as wedges to help keep the splits open an give them the occasional tap as the wedges go in. Somewhere along the line if it is knotty where there was a branch, the log might then need to go on its side for the merlin to be whacked in.

It is like a sport, once you get going it is like scoring goals. Hearing a 'YESSSSSSS!!' as a tough log goes is not the most unusual thing here!

Felled pine that's been left exposed for a few years until some of the outer the wood near the bark is beginning to turn brown.

I have now split it all.

What kind of wood is it? Is it green or seasoned? It will make a difference.

I've just tried the SDS drill a couple of times, and the first time it went in an inch and then stopped. The second time it went 4 inches in and showed no signed of creating a split, so I stopped.

On both occasions I had to use the wedge and hammer to free the chisel bit from the wood.

So, nope, it doesn't work. One would need a very powerful pneumatic jack-hammer with a bit designed for splitting wood.

So, back to using my feeble arms & shoulders - trained on computer keyboards for decades, not sledge-hammers! :-(

"Ooh, me back..."

Even I can do that with a gammy arm. I have split an 80 cm thick, roughly the same length log with a merlin, two wedges and just a few whacks of a nice big sledgehammer. It is also a superb way of keeping muscles trim and body warm of a cold day.

I have a steel wedge thingy and a sledge hammer (now unbalanced due to having a chunk knocked out of its plastic handle near the head), and I have been using it, but it's a lot of work (on 60cm slices) - hence me wondering if my SDS drill would save me from getting puffed out.

The farmer's tractor splitter is an option, but if I can do the job myself (even spending some pennies on electricity) it'd be simpler.

Maybe I'll just give it a go and report my findings. :-}

When we had this problem we asked a local farmer if we could have the use of his tractor driven log splitter. Much quicker and more efficient, in my view.

A splitting axe or Merlin and a couple of steel wedges will do the job better and last for eternity. Around sixty euros all in and cheaper than ruining an SDS hammer drill. They are what my wife uses. She won't let me split logs she enjoys it too much.

I use a sledgehammer-type splitter which I love and will last for years. Also a metal wedge that helps if the splitter ever gets stuck. You could ask around and see if you can borrow one. The right tool always saves a load of problems.