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The Best Bamboo Splitters: Pro Tips & Advices

Posted by Mathieu Gilard on

The Best Bamboo Splitters: Pro Tips & Advices

You are looking for a bamboo splitter and you don't know which one to choose ?

In this article, you will discover my complete guide to choose a bamboo splitter, as well as the top of best bamboo splitters on sale today.

Since i work in bamboo industry, i've seen many of them and not of all of them are good, as you will see in this article.

The 3 bamboo splitters available on the market today

1. The Strongest: The Original Bamboo Splitter

The first bamboo splitter i recommend is the one on sale in our store. Not only because we sell it but also because it is objectively the best.

It is a very sturdy tool made by a handcrafter. It allows you to split bamboo effortlessly up to 14 centimeters in diameter. You can divide dry bamboo or green bamboo with it.

This tool is the strongest available on the market today. As you will see, it is much stronger and robust than the others. Its blades are sharp which makes bamboo splitting very easy, you don't have to tire yourself by doing it.

Weight 2,5 kgs
Number of blades 4 to 12
Warranty 6 months

 This bamboo splitter is available in 2 colors: red or black.

Red bamboo splitter

2. The Japanese bamboo splitter

Japanese bamboo splitter

This bamboo splitter is on sale on Amazon and is characterized by yellow handles on each sides. It seems to be a good tool but only for bamboos with thin walls, since some customers say in the reviews that it brokes quickly. However, most customers seem satisfied with their purchase.

I recommend you to take this bamboo splitter only if you have bamboos with small diameter and easily divisibles.

Example of this bamboo splitter broken on the following image:

Bamboo splitter tool broken

3. The bamboo splitter on sale on ebay

Bamboo splitter on ebay

This bamboo splitter on sale on ebay looks like the japanese bamboo splitter presented previously, but it is all in black. I have never used this bamboo splitter because it doesn't look like the quality is really goof. I think it is almost the same as the japanaese bamboo splitter on sale on Amazon.

In other words, this bamboo splitter can probably be used to split bamboos with small diameters and thin walls. But for harder bamboo, i would recomend the top 1 bamboo splitter on the list.

How to go further than the simple slices obtained with the bamboo splitter ?

Refine the slices with the semi-automatic bamboo splitter n°1

This semi-automatic bamboo splitter n°1 can be used after you have used the manual bamboo splitter. It allow you to refine the bamboo slices in the width direction into thinner bamboo slices.

To use it you can enter bamboo slats up to 12 mm and turn the crank by hand. The slats that will come out will be between 0.5 mm and 3 mm depending on the settings you set.

This semi-automatic bamboo splitter is therefore very useful if you want to make basketry; baskets, carpet, etc...

(This work can also be done by hand using a machete or other sharp tool, but it is more difficult and less precise.)

Divide the thin strips lenghtwise

Then, you can use the semi-automatic bamboo splitter n°2 to divide the thin slices obtained into several small slices.

After this step, you will have bamboo strips that will almost look like yarn that you can weave.

To do precision work, these two bamboo splitters are therefore very useful. They are also on sale on the store, don't hesitate to take a look.

The range above: the bamboo splitting machine

Finally, if you need to split large quantities of bamboo, a manual bamboo splitter will no longer be sufficient.

The next step is the investment in a machine to divide the bamboo.

Their operation is simple: There is a head that divides the bamboo into strips, and an end that goes back and forth as long as the machine is turned on. You just have to insert your bamboo pole into the bamboo splitting machine and it will be pushed against the end that will divide it into strips.

This type of bamboo splitting machine is widely used in the bamboo industry, to make parquet flooring for example.

It is also in stock in our warehouses, if you are interested in this product you must first send us an email to marie@the-bamboo-splitter.com.

Bamboo splitting machine price

The price of a bamboo splitting machine varies between 2000$ and 4000$ excluding shipping costs.

The machine for cutting bamboo into strips is usually the first piece of an industrial chain for processing bamboo into other more finished products, such as bamboo toothpicks, shavings, etc ...

What are the things to look at before buying your bamboo splitter?

Number of blades

Different number of blades in the bamboo splitter tool

The number of blades is the adjustable parameter on your bamboos splitter, and will depend on the use you will make of the slats later.

For uses that do not require thin bamboo slats, such as building the roof of a pergola, you can take a bamboo splitter with 4 slats. For more precise applications, such as building the top of a coffee table, you will need a bamboo splitter with 8 or more slats.

The solidity

This is the most important criterion and that's why the original bamboo splitter was in 1st position of the top, because it is almost unbreakable. I would advise you to buy a manganese steel bamboo splitter to be sure to have a high quality product.

Indeed, when you're splitting bamboo, you don't want to end up with a tool that bursts in your hands the first time you use it !

Are the blades sharp?

Sharp bamboo splitter

One of the reasons why the original bamboo splitter is an excellent tool is because its blades are very sharp. This allows it to easily penetrate down the bamboo without effort. You should avoid buying a bamboo splitter with coarse blades, as this could result in an hiigher difficulty in splitting.

The price should be between 70$ and 150$

The bamboo splitter is a rather expensive tool because its design is currently not automated. The original bamboo splitter is handmade by a craftsman, which explains its high quality.

Thus, most bamboo splitter have a price between 80 and 150 dollars to split bamboos up to 12 centimeters in diameter.

The weight: It shouldn't be too light

If the bamboo splitter is too light, you will have to put more effort to push it into the bamboo cane.

With a heavier bamboo splitter, it will split the bamboo cane almost by itself. So I advise you to take a bamboo splitter of at least 1.5 kg for a good efficiency.

How to use the bamboo splitter? (From the harvest to the splitting)

Finally, you may be wondering how to use the bamboo splitter. Nothing could be simpler!

If you want to know everything about bamboo splitting, I advise you to read my article on the subject.

Otherwise, here is a summary of the different steps to cut a bamboo into strips below.

Harvest the bamboo poles at the right time

The first step is the harvesting of the bamboo poles. It is important to harvest them when they are at least 3 years old to have good mechanical qualities.

Indeed, bamboo poles are rich in cellulose during the first 2 years and become lignified with time. It is therefore important to harvest them when they are between 3 and 5 years old because they will be stronger.

Similarly, bamboo culms should be harvested at a time when the starch content is lowest to limit the risk of infection by insect pests. Pests eat the inner part of the bamboo pole, which has a significant impact on its future strength.

The starch content of bamboos is lowest from September to November, so it is important to harvest bamboo culms at this time of year.

Dry the bamboo poles

Drying bamboo can be done outside with the sun or with heat. I will assume that you don't have a drying oven so I will present you the method of drying bamboo poles in the open air.

If the bamboos are dried vertically, the important thing is that the surface on which the ends of the bamboos are placed is dry. It can be sand for example.

If the bamboos are dried horizontally, make sure not to hold them only at the ends, otherwise the bamboo sections will bend with gravity. Also, it will be necessary to think of turning them every 15 days.

Drying bamboo outside will last between 2 to 3 months.

Take a bamboo cane and plant the bamboo splitter in the center of it.

Plant the bamboo splitter in the midle of the pole

Now that you have your dry bamboo poles, you can start dividing them. So the first step is to plant your bamboo splitter in the center of your bamboo pole. It is important that the bamboo splitter is well in the center of the cane so that you have bamboo slices of the same width.

Give jolts to push your bamboo splitter into the poles

Then, as explained in my article to divide the bamboo easily, you have to put the bamboo pole against a wall and give jolts to push the bamboo splitter along the pole.

(Be careful with this technique anyway because if the ground is too rough, you risk damaging the end of the bamboo.)

If this is the case, I advise you to put a board between the end of the bamboo and the ground.

It is during this operation that you will understand why I advise you to have a strong bamboo splitter with sharp blades ! If you have a poor quality bamboo splitter, you will quickly wear out if you have many bamboo sticks to split.

Remove the diaphragms from the bamboo poles

Break the diaphragms of the poles at the nodes

Once you have finished dividing your bamboo pole into slats, you will see on the inside of the slats that there is a piece of diaphragm protruding at each knot. If you want to remove this piece of diaphragm easily, it is best to take another bamboo cane and give it a jolt to break them.

How to maintain a bamboo splitter?

If you use your bamboo splitter regularly, it can be good to maintain it. You will see that on the bamboo splitters on sale in the store, the paint on the blades will eventually come off over time due to friction with the bamboo poles.

There is not much maintenance to bring to the bamboo splitter other than sharpening the blades to make them sharper. This will allow you to split your bamboo poles more easily.

What to do with the bamboo poles split with your bamboo splitter?

Finally, the last question we can ask ourselves is what to do with the bamboo slats we obtained with our bamboo splitter.

The number of uses is very large ! You can for example build a table with bamboos like the one I made some time ago.

First, split the poles and fix the slats on a thin wooden board with nails:

Fix the bamboo slats

For this table, I took a length of 90 centimeters by 80 centimeters. It is a coffee table for the living room.

Then, I forgot to take pictures for the underside of the table, but to make a long story short, just fix 4 small bamboo sticks of 40 centimeters and put the top of the coffee table on it:

Build a cofee table with bamboo

To make this bamboo table, I used a bamboo splitter 8 blades and bamboo culms of 8 centimeters in diameter, which allowed me to obtain rather thin bamboo slices.

You can also make a bamboo pergola roof as you can see on the following picture of a pergola I made some time ago.

For this example, I had the bamboo slats held together with wire.

Roof of a bamboo pergola

Make a bamboo splitter by yourself

As you can see, the bamboo splitter is simply an assembly of steel pieces welded together.

If you are a good handyman, maybe you will know how to make a bamboo splitter by yourself?

I personally have never tried, but if you have already succeeded in making a bamboo splitter by yourself, I am interested: Feel free to send me pictures by email

 Where can our bamboo splitter be sent ?

If you want to order the bamboo splitter on sale on our shop, you must know that we ship worldwide: Australia, United states, Europe, Africa, India, etc...


Now you know everything about bamboo splitter and bamboo cane splitting. For more information, feel free to send us an email or comment on this article. Finally, you can consult our products by clicking on "bamboo splitter tools" in the website menu.

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