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Felling wedges.... good sizes to get

seagull369

seagull369

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Been looking to get myself a starter set and was wondering what would be some good sizes to purchase- and what other ones might be unneeded/redundant or just too small. Searching online, it seems 5.5, 8, 10 and 12 inch are common sizes. Most trees I'd be using them on would be 1-2 feet in diameter.
 
ammoaddict

ammoaddict

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Been looking to get myself a starter set and was wondering what would be some good sizes to purchase- and what other ones might be unneeded/redundant or just too small. Searching online, it seems 5.5, 8, 10 and 12 inch are common sizes. Most trees I'd be using them on would be 1-2 feet in diameter.
I just ordered a set from Amazon with 3 each of 5.5 and 8" in a mesh bag. They got good reviews. Should be here Thursday. I have only used 5.5 before, I ruined a couple hitting them with the saw. Makes pretty yellow shavings. I also knocked the corners off one driving it with the axe. I later read about driving them with a dead blow hammer and it wouldn't damage them. I haven't tried it yet.

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seagull369

seagull369

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Thanks for the quick replies. Sounds like 12" might be a little too big, maybe? Would getting 3 of each given size be a wise amount for the 1st purchase? Thanks for the tip on using a dead blow. I'd be curious to see how many whacks my stinky, orange Harbor Freight one can take before it splits open.
 
old CB

old CB

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For the trees in your part of the world you''ll probably have greatest need for 8," but you'll want to have the smaller 5.5 on hand too. Everyone has their preference, but I like the red & white K & H wedges. And boy do I go through them. The big end gets mashed from beating on it with an axe. The small end gets chewed up by saw teeth. I consider wedges like files--you just keep a supply on hand.
 
sean donato

sean donato

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Have to agree with what's been stated, but add another thought. I like the 5.5 to keep one or two in my pocket, I get the larger 10" to keep on hand, and when they get some saw action they eventually become shorter and turned into pocket wedges. Never hurts to have "larger" then what you need as ultimately they become shorter after use and wear
 
EchoRomeoCharlie

EchoRomeoCharlie

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Really depends on size and weight of trees. The bigger and heavier the trees, the longer the wedges you need. They're almost all 1" lift, so the longer they are, the more mechanical advantage you have when driving them in. So, if you're wedging 3' wide 150' tall redwoods, well, you're probably going to need those 10 or 12 inch wedges. That's a lot of weight to lift. People in those area's probably don't even mess with 5" wedges.

Round these parts (midwest) I rarely use a wedge over 8" and most of the time I'm using the 5" ones. I have a couple of each, even 10" and 12". Those stay in the pack generally unless I find myself into a big conifer. I take 3 of the 5" and 1 8" with me when I'm falling. I've never had a problem driving 5" wedges, I have had the problem where I needed to wedge a smaller tree, took the smallest face cut I could, still bottomed out an 8" wedge and that's all I had on me...not a great situation. We just don't have super big trees in this area.

Get a few of all of them, use them, then you'll know which ones to have more on hand and which ones you can relegate to the 'sometimes' bucket.
 
Tigwelder83

Tigwelder83

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I run red & White's and hard head wedges. Have 8 & 12" i think. My longer ones get used the most, but we cut alot of larger stuff, rarely can we reach all the way thru with a 24" bar. Short wedges are handy in small trees. If your notch goes in say 3" you have 1.5" of holding wood, your bar is 4", you have already used up 9" of tree, so it would need to be aprox 18" to use an 8" wedge
 
rwoods

rwoods

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Thanks for the quick replies. Sounds like 12" might be a little too big, maybe? Would getting 3 of each given size be a wise amount for the 1st purchase? Thanks for the tip on using a dead blow. I'd be curious to see how many whacks my stinky, orange Harbor Freight one can take before it splits open.
With the diameters you mentioned, 7" to 8" wedges will see the most use. However, depending on your face cut either could be too long on a 12" tree so grab a couple shorter ones. And for the heavy 24" tree grab a couple 10" or 12" to make work easier.

Lastly, if you plan to do a lot of wedging get a 4# to 5# axe that is designed for pounding wedges. I don't think you can drive individual stacked wedges with a dead blow hammer or anything with a thick head; stacked wedges drive easier by alternating your strikes between the wedges instead of trying to hit both (or more) at the same time. Occasionally, you will have a situation where a wedge needs to be driven just past the trunk - you can't do that very well, if at all, with a hammer.

Here is a 5# on sale: https://www.baileysonline.com/woodl...s-with-28-hickory-handle-wp-1028-wp-1028.html Or you could go on eBay and find an old rafting axe for about twice that price.

Ron
 
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