What is hydraulic fluid used for
Log Splitter

What Is Hydraulic Fluid Used For?

Hydraulic fluid is a non-compressible liquid that is used within hydraulic machinery. It helps to transfer power between different machine components. It can also be used as a lubricant, a coolant, and a sealant.

What is hydraulic fluid used for

It can also be used to increase the efficiency of your engine’s pump. Hydraulic fluid is often fire and radiation-resistant and should have modifications made to reduce friction levels.

They are commonly biodegradable and should have a low toxicity level when they are new or decomposed. 

How long is hydraulic fluid good for?

There is not an arbitrary time period that hydraulic fluid stays good for. You should change the fluid in your system when the base oil has degraded or the additives are depleted. 

The degradation of the base oil is due to chemical reactions in the presence of water and air.

This is through processes known as hydrolysis and oxidation, both of which occur faster in the presence of heat. In order to prolong the lifespan of the base oil, you need to keep it dry, cool, and clean.

Additives become depleted as they become attached to particles in the oil which are then filtered out. 

Some manufacturers will give a rough estimate of the lifespan of their specific hydraulic fluid. This tends to be somewhere around the 3,000 – 10,000 operational hours mark.

The lifespan will vary according to the initial quality of the hydraulic fluid, the operating conditions it is kept in, and potential contamination.

As a general rule, good quality hydraulic fluid should last for about 6 months. 

Can I use hydraulic oil instead of hydraulic fluid?

These two terms are commonly used interchangeably, but they are not the same product.

They are both liquids, but hydraulic fluid can contain other liquids such as water, water-oil emulsion, and saline solutions. Hydraulic oil is simply oils and additives designed to act as a coolant and lubricant.

While they are fundamentally similar, hydraulic oil is a more specialized type of fluid for hydraulic systems. This means that you cannot simply exchange one for the other, as each liquid has different properties. 

If you are considering this, it is a good idea to check the internet or with the manufacturer’s information to check the suitability of hydraulic oil. You should check the color and viscosity stated of the hydraulic fluid and compare it with the hydraulic oil. 

The viscosity of oils is measured using an SAE scale, whereas for fluids this is ISO. You will need to convert one figure in order to ensure the relative viscosities match. Some common ratings are listed below. 

15 or 20W46

Can you mix hydraulic fluids?

This is not a recommended path to go down, and where possible you should not mix hydraulic fluids.

This is due to the additives that the fluids contain. Different fluids will have different additives in them which can cause chemical reactions. This can ultimately cause the different fluids to counteract each other instead of working together in your system. 

Mixing fluids can not only stop them from working, but they could also cause damage to the internal components of your system. If you are unsure of the hydraulic fluid used and need to top up the levels, we recommend draining the fluid completely and replacing it with all one type of hydraulic fluid. 

If you know the fluid used but still wish to switch to a different one, you need to check the miscibility.

This means whether or not the two fluids can fully dissolve in one another at any concentration to form one homogeneous fluid. You can contact the supplier of your lubricant for information about this. If they do not already have this information, they are able to perform a miscibility test to know for sure. 

What color is hydraulic fluid?

Hydraulic fluid is commonly a golden hue, but it can change to become a dark brown. The most common reasons that hydraulic fluid becomes darker are oxidation and thermal stress.

Noticing a color change in your hydraulic fluid does not always mean that it needs to be replaced, but it is worth having a look at. If you are concerned about it then you can take a small sample to a dealership and request that they analyze it for you. 

This analysis would look at the number and viscosity of your hydraulic fluid and compare it to the original figures. If they have remained the same then the color change is likely to be caused by thermal degradation.

You can invest in an infrared camera to look inside the system and check for hot spots. This will let you know whether this is the reason for the color change inside the oil.

Some hydraulic fluids are artificially colored. These are often colored to be indicative of a specific use such as hydraulic fluid used in aircraft. These can be a range of colors including purple, gray, green, and yellow. 

It is wise to take note of the initial color of the hydraulic fluid you have used to be able to effectively monitor changes in color. 

What does UDT stand for in hydraulic oil?

UDT stands for Universal Dynamic Tractor Oil. This is a type of dual-purpose transmission and hydraulic lubricating oil that can be used to replace traditional lubricating oil. This was developed by a company called Kubota. 

This oil can be used in all weather conditions and many different systems. These include hydraulic, final drive, transmission, differential, and wet brake systems. 

It is important to have a trans-hydraulic fluid such as UDT in modern tractors. This is because the hydraulics and transmission both pull fluid from the same reservoir, meaning that your fluid needs to be multipurpose. 

Take care to check the specifications of your tractor and its engine to ensure that you purchase and use the correct fluid. UDT fluids are particularly helpful here as they are designed to meet the specifications of almost all tractor manufacturers. 

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Log Splitter Hydraulic Fluid Change
Log Splitter

Log Splitter Hydraulic Fluid Change [Complete Step By Step Guide 2021]

Time to change the hydraulic fluid in your log splitter?

Log Splitter Hydraulic Fluid Change


Well, even super hero log splitters need a little maintenance from time to time:)

Either way, here is what you need to know about Log Splitter Hydraulic Fluid Change, too keep your machine hummin and your winter wood shed supply full.

If you want your log splitter to keep splitting for many years to come, be sure to check the hydraulic fluid regularly.

How often should you change the hydraulic fluid? Whether it’s gas or electric log splitter, it is recommended to change the hydraulic fluid every 100 hours of work (be sure to check they manual of your exact machine). In addition, just like your car, you need to change the log splitter hydraulic oil filter also.

Maybe your wondering ‘Why?’… Just what does hydraulic fluid do in a log splitter?

Sure, this is a common question. Hydraulics are a pressurized fluid to power an engine are the main power transfer source in a log splitter. Hydraulic log splitters depend on the power/pressure generated by the hydraulic fluid to push the wedge.  This small amount of fluid generates a great deal of power.  That power is why you can have a cord of wood with out a sore back! 

A motor is used for pumping the hydraulic fluid and the fluid gets pressurized as it is concealed in a hollow fluid pipe and cylinder. This pressure moves your machines piston against your log of choice.

Hydraulic Power
hydraulic system close up

Over time hydraulic fluid will degrade based on exposure to oxygen, excessive temperatures, or various contaminants.  This causes the oil to release  crud (acids, byproducts ect…)  that then corrode hydraulic parts or leave surface deposits on those parts.  All which means a shorter life span for your splitter when the fluid is not changed regularly (again typically every 100 hours of use, more frequently if the machine has sat unused for longer periods of time).

Finding a milky gray contaminant in your fluid?  Definitely time to change it.

I’ve written an in-depth article reviewing the best log splitters you can get. Check it out if you are thinking for an upgrade.

What Kind of Hydraulic Fluid does a Log Splitter Use:

Short answer: probably mineral hydraulic oil viscosity grade 32 for colder ambient operating temperature and oil viscosity grade 46 for warmer climes.  Some recommend synthetic for older machines as it tends to lubricate more efficiently. 

Long answer: Log splitters use a number of different hydraulic fluids in their operation. However, you should just use the oil recommended by the manufacturer. This way, you’ll avoid any unnecessary damage to your log splitter.  But here’s an overview:

  • Non-Flammable: This fluid is considered non-flammable and this comprises some natural chemicals that will not form a foam. An absence of foam in the hydraulic system while operation means no dirt build-up.
  • Flammable: This oil-based fluid gives more power to the hydraulic system. This helps to prevent corrosion but leaves sticky build ups behind.  But a hydraulic leak with an oil-based fluid around a small hot engine is a recipe for disaster and why most manufacturers will spec non-flammable.
  • Synthetic fluid: This type of fluid is man-made chemical compositions. These are completely non-flammable too. However this type of log splitter hydraulic fluid is responsible for corrosion.

Changing Hydraulic Fluid of Log Splitter

  1. First of all, place a suitable container under the fluid reservoir to collect the fluid.  Probably best to put a tarp or some cardboard under that as well.  Nothings worse than oil stained concrete… and spilling it over onto mother earth – even worse.
  2. Then disconnect the suction hose pipe from the bottom of the fluid reservoir tank. See your manual that came with your log splitter.
  3. Carefully remove the inlet filter and clean it.
  4. Unscrew the drain plug. Let the fluid to drain into the suitable container. A hydraulic reservoir tank can have a capacity of 3 gallons and the entire hydraulic system can sustain up to 4.7 gallons of fluid. So make sure the container is a big one (imagine a 5 gallon paint bucket).
  5. Now, the main part. Adding hydraulic fluid to the log splitter. Place a funnel in the fill tube and add the desired amount of the recommended hydraulic fluid in to the reservoir. Check the fluid level using the dipstick. Do not overfill.
  6. If necessary replace the filter and the dipstick. Re-install the filter, dipstick. Tighten the drain plug and screw of the fill tube.
  7. To help to remove trapped air from the system, engage the wedge with the control handle and move it back and forth several times.
  8. If necessary, refill the reservoir up to the mark on the dipstick.
Log splitter hydraulic fluid change
pouring Hydraulic fluid

Changing Engine Oil of Hydraulic Log Splitter

  1. Place an oil pan under the engine drain plug.
  2. Remember to cool down the engine for your safety. This article covers all those.
  3. Unscrew the drain plug. Let the oil drain from the engine.
  4. Remove the dipstick. This will help the oil drain faster.
  5. Replace the drain plug once the fluid is drained from the reservoir.
  6. Place a funnel in the dipstick hole and fill the reservoir with 10W-30 motor oil. Do not overfill the reservoir.
  7. Finally, remove the funnel. Check the level of oil. Lock the dipstick in place.
Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter - Kindling Splitter Wood Splitter Wood Splitting Wedge Manual Log Splitter Wedge
  • A safe and easy way to make kindling with no moving blade or sharpened object passing by your hands
  • Splits firewood with less force than a standard axe
  • 6.5in. inside diameter top ring
  • Made of high-quality cast iron in Australia
  • Virtually maintenance-free

More: Video On Huskee 22 log splitter Oil and Filter Change

What hydraulic oil do you recommend for log splitters???

This is a common question when it comes to using a log splitters. Should I use this one or that one..? Yes, I know there’s a good number of log splitter hydraulic oilS available on the market. This one comes highly reccomended:

Mobil DTE 24, Hydraulic Oil Light, ISO 32

Log splitter hydraulic oil


  • Industry Leader
  • High performance anti-wear hydraulic oils good for your log splitter cylinder
  • Lightweight
  • Extends component life
  • Extends filter life


What is AW 32 Oil?

AW hydraulic oil is a premium grade oil that is designed for use in hydraulic systems. Especially, the systems where anti-wear hydraulic oil is recommended. ISO 32 is the viscosity grade (International Standards Organization Viscosity Grade) .

What is the Difference Between AW 32 and AW 46 Hydraulic Oil?

This is all about viscosity and temperature.  AW (Anti Wear) 32 is best at ambient temperatures -20° to +50°F (-29° to +10°C).  AW46  is best at ambient temperatures+25° to +70°F (-4° to +21°C).  You have to make some decisions here.  Especially condsidering how expensive an oil change is. 

Often AW 32 is preferred in log splitters due to the lower viscosity. It’s thinner, using less energy to pump meaning ideally, the equipment runs cooler and less wear on your machine.  If you do occasionally run your splitter in hotter weather, keep it to light duty with frequent cool down breaks.

Our Recommendation For Log Splitter Hydraulic Filter???

A log splitter hydraulic oil filter is used to filter out the sediments. Sediments can settle down and stick with the hydraulic fluid chamber. This sticky build-up is really harmful to the hydraulic system. That’s why a good oil filter is mandatory. Let’s get a good oil filter here!

FRAM P1653A Hydraulic Filter

Log splitter hydraulic filter


  • Removes harmful contaminants
  • Almost perfect fit for many log splitters
  • Most noteworthy is its long-lasting feature


Things You Should Know Before Hydraulic Fluid Change

• A good amount of fluid is drawn into the cylinder and hoses. So, always remember to fill the reservoir. A hydraulic pump should be kept with a filled reservoir. An empty hydraulic pump will lead to damage. This may break the warranty condition.
• Never overfill hydraulic or motor oil. These fluids may overflow due to the heat generated by the system according to the law of fluid expansion. This is how the fluid mechanism works. Hence, never operate the machine without a proper amount of fluid level.


  • When you check the fluid level remember to properly tighten the dipstick to prevent air leakage.
  • Dispose of used hydraulic or engine oils at appropriate facilities.  Lets all do our part take care of the planet.
  • Avoid contaminating the fluid. Contamination can lead to hydraulic system damage or engine corrosion.  Clean fluid is, after all, the whole point of this maintenance.
  • In conclusion, flush the reservoir or engine pistons with kerosene while servicing.

Log splitter hydraulic fluid change is crucial for your log splitters life span, so regular maintenance is a must.  I have written a guide on the maintenance of log splitter leaking hydraulic fluid.


What does AW stand for?

AW is Anti-wear.   Petroleum based hydraulic fluids when containing the Zinc additive dialkyldithiophosphate will be called AW for its anti-wear properties.  Essentially, Zinc works to protect your hydraulic pump. 

What does ATF stand for?

ATF stands for Automatic Transmission Fluid.  ATF is a common substitution for hydraulic oil (basically it is a premium hydraulic fluid) when temperatures are below 32°F. 

What is Light Duty Hydraulic Oil?

This is typical of an AW 32 viscosity oil.

What is Medium Duty Hydraulic Oil?

This is typical of an AW 46 viscosity oil.

What is Heavy Duty Hydraulic Oil?

This is typical of an AW 68 viscosity oil ( and not typical for log splitters, think heavy load hydraulics).

What is the Difference Between AW 32 and AW 46 Hydraulic Oil?

This is all about viscosity and temperature.   They are closely linked.  As temperature increase, viscosity of the oil decreases.  If you get it wrong its like running sludge through your machine at low temps or at high temps running an oil so light that it you get no anti friction benefits and your equipment overheats.

AW (Anti Wear) 32 is best at ambient temperatures -20° to +50°F (-29° to +10°C).  AW46  is best at ambient temperatures+25° to +70°F (-4° to +21°C).  This is where you have to make some decisions.  Especially considering how expensive an oil change is. 

Often AW 32 is preferred in log splitters due to the lower viscosity. It’s thinner, using less energy to pump, meaning ideally, the equipment runs cooler and less wear on your machine.  If you do occasionally run your splitter in hotter weather, keep it to light duty with frequent cool down breaks.

Can I mix different hydraulic oils?

No.  You might get away with it if using the same viscosity.  You will have problems if you mix a foaming oil with a non-foaming oil.


Follow these links for a deep dive into Oil filter & hydraulic fluid.

I found this forum really helpful.

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axe saw and hand tools vs hydraulic gas log splitter
Log Splitter

Best Log Splitter for the Money [2021 Upadate]

So I’ll admit, there is something gratifying (ie: masculine reaffirming) in chopping wood.  But after no more than one cord (two for the especially mighty) and it’s like ‘I am pretty secure in my masculinity and I just want a warm house!  So say hello to your  ‘Best Log Splitter’!

axe saw and hand tools vs hydraulic gas log splitter


Really, what’s the point of the past 200 years of industrial revolution if we don’t use it to make our life easier??

Back pre-civil war, splitting logs involves using wedges, hammers, and axes.  But this process is labor intesnsive, time-consuming and just wears out our precious body. Whatever kind of log splitting you do, don’t you want this done efficiently and quickly?

Well, a better solution is using a “log splitter,” which saves time and backbreaking efforts of converting log rounds into the ignitable wood.

Yes, a powered log splitter can ease your work and save your precious time that you can utilize somewhere else. So, choose a log splitter and start splitting some wood!


Are you in a hurry? Check this list then:

VALUE Choice
WEN 56207 6.5-Ton Electric Log Splitter,Black
Power Choice
Champion Power Equipment-100251 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Gas Log Splitter with Auto Return
In Between
Frictionless World Dirty Hand Tools 100950 Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter 22 Ton Full-Beam Loncin Engine
Dirty Hand Tools
Motor Type
Splitting Force (Ton)
6.5 Tons
25 Tons
22 Tons
VALUE Choice
WEN 56207 6.5-Ton Electric Log Splitter,Black
Motor Type
Splitting Force (Ton)
6.5 Tons
Power Choice
Champion Power Equipment-100251 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Gas Log Splitter with Auto Return
Motor Type
Splitting Force (Ton)
25 Tons
In Between
Frictionless World Dirty Hand Tools 100950 Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter 22 Ton Full-Beam Loncin Engine
Dirty Hand Tools
Motor Type
Splitting Force (Ton)
22 Tons

Types of Log Splitters

Basically, log splitters come in three flavors.  History buffs, might say four, but steam-powered log splitters are pretty archaic now a days.  

The 3 most common types of log splitters:

  • Electric log splitter
  • Gas log splitter
  • Manual or hand control log splitter

Now, I joked a bit about saying good bye to manual labor and switching to a log splitter, but the fact is even a log splitter requires some  work, as in the four letter kind!   You still have to cut the rounds, most likely with a chain saw.  You still have to lift the rounds onto the log splitter, probably multiple times, and you still have to stack the split logs, and you still have to carry the logs into the house and restack next to the fire place.  Yes, I’m tired too just writing about it…

Now an electric or gas log splitter are probably what you have in mind to save your back,  but we do have some manual log splitters recommended too.  Why?  Basically price.  You save a quite a bit of green when you delete a gas or electric motor from you hydraulic splitter.  FYI, a manual splitter still uses hydraulics, much like your hydraulic jack that comes with your cars emergency tire change kit.

Our No. 1 Pick – Best Electric Log Splitter and under $1500!

The products we analyze have to pass some typical parameters set by us. All the products on this list are analyzed based on these parameters. Some people like one product and some like another.

This doesn’t mean that a product not liked by some people is bad. It just means that the product lacks the features suitable for those users.

Our number 1 pick for top log splitter has features that suit most users. It is a hero among its peers and has the qualities to satisfy its users.  It is the WEN 56207 6.5-Ton Electric Log Splitter



Why Is It Our Pick as Best Log Splitter?

To be honest, this was a close match with our #2 pick.  So why this one?  How did it grab our attention and become our first round draft pick:) We will mention the features, pros, cons, and the reasons to buy this product later; but first, let us tell you the reasons why it took the first place on our list.

There are several other features, like lightweight, portability, a strong wedge of steel, single push-button starting, etc. that make it our no. 1 pick. But one big reason  is its low price. This one, along with our # 2 pick, is simply the most feature rich compared to others at this price  Some gas splitters do offer the same features, but they are bulky and cost a lot. So, this top-quality log splitter will be one of the best investments of your life.   And why this one compared to the #2 pick?  Height.  The Wen 6.5 tons has a working height stand and after a few rounds this really starts to make a difference. 

How We Picked and Tested?

With time, we have developed some strategies to pick a log splitter, test it, and then finally recommend it to our audience.

You should know that if any of our family members or friends have a log splitter, we have evaluated it personally and got their opinions about its working. We ourselves have turned wood logs into fire blocks with those log splitters.

We evaluate every part and function of a log splitter on the basis of skills and methods we have developed over the years. 

Best Log Splitters in 2021: Reviewed

1.WEN 56207 6.5-Ton  Best Rated Electric Log Splitter

WEN 56207 6.5-Ton Electric Log Splitter,Black Power tool 



Now to be clear, our number one pick is also the biggest value option on this list.  A 6.5 ton electric splitter is just not going to compare to a 25 ton gas powered beast of a log splitter (see below for review of said beast).

But you’re also only going to pay a fraction of the cost.  Most folks  are only going to use their wood splitter a few time a year.  And for only a few times a year, the increase cost and the increased maintenance of a gas motor just aren’t warranted.  

But if your needs are above average, or you burn harder wood, then this isn’t your machine.  Also if you you are working where there is no close electrical outlet, then you are better of with a gas or manual model.

Regarding electricity, most homes built in the last 4 or five decades, will have an exterior or garage outlets rated @ 20 amps.  This is what you’ll need for this units 15 amp motor. 

You will start tripping electrical breakers if:

  • You use too long of an extension chord.
  • You use too small wire gauge in your extension chord
  • You run the motor for more than a short period on a 15 amp breaker

So basically, pros and cons are:


  1. 15A Motor
  2. Splits 20 in length by 10 diameter wood rounds
  3. Lightweight as compared to many other log splitters
  4. Counter top height working stand
  5. Portable – 5 in wheels and only 98lbs (but no weakling!)


  • At 98lbs my take two people to get it set up on the stand
  • Requires two hands for  operation
  • At only 6.5 tons it will struggle with tougher hardwoods and possibly damage the seals




2. Boss Industrial (ES7T20)– Portable Log Splitter – 7 Ton – Feature  RichCHECK LATEST PRICE ON Amazon

Key Features of This Wood Splitter:

This splitter with 7 tons of splitting force is at the top of our list. It has a good  balance of power, price, and size. This is the good choice for homeowners – not too small and not too big. This log splitter uses a 2 HP electric motor, which produces a hydraulic pressure of 3,500 psi. It features a fixed blade in it to press the log against it.

This log splitter is convenient to use and can be operated with one hand (our #1 pick actually requires two hands). The automatic returning of ram prepares it for the next log and you get an effective rhythm. The 1,500W (2HP) electric motor with 3,400 rpm makes it a portable and relatively lightweight splitter.

This is a great log splitter for home use because, besides its exclusive features, you get a  warranty on it. The hydraulic oil needs to be changed after using it for 100 hours. When you buy the new one, it will come filled with AW32 universal hydraulic oil. You can also use an alternative, but remember not to mix two fluids.


  1. Lightweight as compared to many other log splitters
  2. Split the logs smoothly
  3. Ram automatically returns back
  4. It can easily move with built-in wheels
  5. Knots can be handled without seizing
  6. Built-in side rails avoid falling of logs


  • Reduced commercial warranty indicates it is not the best to carry out heavy work
  • Might not work properly with tougher hardwoods


Why Select This?

If you struggle with medium or heavy labor, this is a perfect single-touch machine that will require reduced energy to operate. This is a perfect choice for old people or those who are treating an injury. Another benefit it provides is the flexibility of using it indoors.

As it is an electric log splitter, there is no need to worry about fumes. So, in severe winters, you can split the firewood in the garage or in a cabin/room if you want. This is a compact log splitter and can easily fit in the corner of a room.

3. Champion Log Splitter Power 25-Ton :  Pick Best Gas Log Splitter


Key Features

  • It is a 25-ton gas-powered log splitter and comes with a hydraulic cylinder of 4” x 23”
  • The cycle time is 14 seconds
  • 11 GPM
  • Comes fitted with a 2-stage hydraulic pump that has a 3,500-psi maximum
  • Features DOT approved tires and a 2-inch ball hitch, which makes it a great machine to drive on the main roads behind vehicles, like pickups
  • In its category, it is a compact log splitter measuring just 19.9 x 23.4 x 58 inches
  • Weighs 396 lbs.

This log splitter provides more portability and additional power in comparison to electric models falling in the same range. It comes with DOT approved tires, so you can tow it behind a trailer and drive on the street. It’s the best choice for people with big properties and who like to split wood at someplace and store somewhere else.

The 5-HP powerful engine makes this machine from a Canadian company one of the best tow-behind log splitters powered by gas. When this splitter is set up for the first time, it requires 10 gallons of hydraulic fluid and a couple of hours. Some people cannot set it up properly and then give it negative reviews.

Those who correctly set it up applauds its power to easily split wooden logs 2-3 feet in diameter. A ball trailer hitch and two cradles are some other unique features that make it three times more powerful than an electric log splitter.


  • Tires approved by DOT and the capability to tow-behind makes it legal to drive on roads
  • Has a force of 25 tons and power of 5HP
  • Hydraulics are burnout protected with a 2-stage pump
  • Free technical lifetime support
  • Highly durable as it is completely made up of high-grade steel


  • Its first usage requires 10 gallons of hydraulic fuel and a setup time of a few hours
  • During the use, the cylinder may get very hot and can burn people who lean on it


Why Select This?

This is a true champion having both great power and quality. Moreover, when a company provides free lifetime technical support, it means that the product is definitely amazing. This log splitter has nothing that can go against it. If you are serious about wood splitting, it is a tool you must have.

4. Sun Joe Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter: Best Wood Splitter – Value Choice


Key Features:

  • The logs which are up to 8” wide and 18” long can easily fit into it
  • Has a force of up to 10 tons can be created with its hydraulic ram
  • Featured with a built-in log cradle. The wooden logs are kept systematically
  • Constructed of steel
  • Very compact and measures just 41.2 x 8.12 x 11.8 inches
  • One of the lightest in its category and weighs just 87 lbs

This log splitter gives you the power of hydraulics without the expense or size of a motor. This model comes fitted with a two-cycle hydraulic motor, which works with a pump but does not require any electricity or gas to operate. Of course, it won’t split a log in seconds and will not split the huge ones but overall, this log splitter is a lighter and inexpensive version of a strong tool. Consider it as the best log splitter for the money in manual log splitter category.

It comes with long handles to provide maximum leverage. You just need to turn a knob to quickly reset the ram return spring. To get reliable performance and power for a long time, its body is constructed of durable steel. A person who doesn’t have enough energy to split logs using an axe or someone who wants to avoid repetitive injuries caused by splitting huge wooden pile can undoubtedly go for Sun Joe Logger Hydraulic Log Splitter.


  • Weighs very less in comparison to other log splitters
  • Comes with rear wheels – you can easily cart it across a yard
  • Affordable
  • A hydraulic force of 10 tons can be easily generated
  • When required to store, you can easily fold it into a compact shape


  • The powered log splitters are faster than it
  • If you are carting across a yard then only wheels are beneficial. But if you want to use it for towing, wheels are not sufficient
  • A very good log splitter but only for smaller woods


Why Need This?

If you prefer to manually operate a log splitter and can spend a little extra time, then you can go for this compact, light, and powerful tool. Moreover, it easily fits the budget and requires less maintenance, making it the best choice in this category.

5. Dirty Hand Tools 100171, 22 Ton Gas Log Splitter: Best Log Splitter 2020


This Dirty Hand Tools 100171 horizontal/vertical log splitter comes fitted with a powerful Kohler engine. It is a tough machine with 6.5 Horsepower and is designed to carry out bigger tasks.

An additional benefit you get with it is that a four-way split is offered by the wedge, perfect for one who owns big trees or who has to tear through more than 6 cords in a season. This log splitter works great and can be easily found in the nearby stores. It is also hard to find a negative review of this great tool.

Key Features:

  • It is a 22-ton log splitter powered by gas
  • Comes fitted with a 196-cc Kohler SH 265 engine
  • Can split the log both horizontally and vertically
  • The cycle time to go down and back in just 10.9 seconds
  • Length of stroke cylinder is 24 inches and the diameter is 4 inches
  • Comes fitted with a 2-stage 13 GMP pump
  • Its dimensions are 38 x 49 x 89 inches
  • This log splitter weighs 595 pounds
  • Comes fitted with safety chains and 2-inch coupler

You can use it to easily split logs up to 25” in length. This enables faster execution of the project and puts less or no strain on the user’s body. It comes with a built-in log cradle that holds the logs systematically, and it features a log catcher to hold the logs and reduce lifting. Some of the optional accessories for this model are fenders, 4-way wedge, large log table, storage cover, and stroke reducer.


  • Requires less time to assemble (only 15 minutes)
  • A block of wood with a diameter of 2-3 ft. can be easily cut
  • Every time 1-3 pulls are required to start Kohler engine
  • YouTube videos are available for detailed assistance
  • Beam and ram are built to last long
  • Splitting logs become 3 times faster with the 4-way wedge


  • In some cases, wedge pin and blade guards may warp


Why Select This For Home?

If you are looking for an easy-to-use and powerful log splitter at a reasonable rate, you can undoubtedly go for the Dirty Hand Tools 100171 horizontal/vertical log splitter. This one is the best splitter in this category. No matter whether you are looking for reliability, durability, capability or power, it bears excellent quality in every field. It usually gets positive reviews from the users and can be considered for heavy use.

6. NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter 37-Ton:   Best Heavy Duty Log Splitter


Key Features of This Brand:

  • Features automatic idle/throttle control for extended engine life, reduced oil consumption and engine noise
  • The 2 stage pump helps it achieve similar pressure as that of a single-stage pump
  • The cylinder measures 5” x 24”
  • Wedge wings are designed 4-way
  • A continuous force of 34.3 tons is produced
  • The cycle time is 14 seconds and the maximum psi is 3,500
  • Low oil stoppage
  • Dimensions are 90 x 43 x 42 inches
  • Tire dimensions are 4.8 x 8 inches
  • Comes equipped with a retracting wedge

This is a powerful log splitter from NorthStar that can split wood logs both horizontally and vertically. This machine comes powered by a Honda GX270 engine that has a special feature to reduce noise and save fuel when the next log is loaded. The pressure and flow are intelligently adjusted by the concentric hydraulic pump featured in it. With a 37-ton power, no other log splitter in this range comes near to it.

This is a serious tool that always remains the first preference of any timber professional. The gross torque of this log splitter is 14.1 at 2,500 rpm. It is a big log splitter but worth its size.


  • Its look and working resemble a professional timber tool
  • Extremely powerful and can successfully hit any size of log thrown to it
  • From a reputed brand known to produce excellent products
  • A highly satisfied user base and the feedback mostly remains on the higher side e.g. 4 or 5 stars


  • Bigger in size and is expensive. The buyer should have adequate room and money for it
  • This log splitter gets hot after a long time of usage


Why Select This?

This is a heavy-duty log splitter for those who want to be a pro in log splitting. If you have a super-dense wood to split or you live near a dense forest, there can’t be a better choice than this. Those who are using it have not faced any kind of performance failures so far. So, if you have logs which fall in the 4-5 ft. wide range, this is right splitter you should have. This tool with its performance will make you fall in love with it.

7. Pow’ R’ Kraft 65556 4-Ton 15 Amp Electric Wood SplitterThe Little Boy


Key Features:

  • An electric powered 4-ton log splitter
  • The motor consumes 1,500 W and can easily run on a household current
  • Safe operation and can be operated with two hands
  • Logs with a size of 20” in length and 12” in diameter can be easily split
  • Constructed of heavy-duty steel, which makes it last long
  • Efficiency and speed are increased with automatically returning ram
  • Comes in a protective packing so that any shipping damages can be avoided
  • No assembly required when it comes to your door, as it comes completely assembled
  • Comes with built-in GFI (Ground Fault Interrupt) protection
  • Weighs just 104 lbs. which makes it a lightweight electric log splitter
  • Those who want to avoid bending frequently can go for an optional stand

This Pow ’R’ craft 65556 electric splitter is the best electric log splitter for those who prefer something powerful yet small for a limited quantity of firewood or small wood. This splitter comes with a cord, which can work on any 15 amp breakers at home without any concerns about a fuse being blown out.

Unlike some gas-powered log splitters that may provide a rough experience, this is electric and a smooth choice to finish small work.


  • Its 1,500W electricity consumption capacity makes it the best choice to work with residential power without any circuit breaking worries
  • Logs up to 12” in diameter can be easily split with it
  • Highly safe and hard, and your hand won’t get stuck in it
  • A small log splitter for occasional and home use


  • Not the best choice for large pieces of wood
  • It can be used at limited locations with its plug-in design
  • Not the best tool to use in rains


Why It Has Good Rating?

If you want a reliable tool that can split the small logs or perfectly split the woods that have already been split (mostly), then there can’t be another best electric log splitter. It’s a great choice when the woodpile is located near the house and your consumption is not more than 1 or fewer cords each year. This log splitter is relatively compact, light, and inexpensive. So, it is the best choice for those who require limited firewood.

8. Goplus New 1500W 6 Ton Electric Hydraulic Log SplitterBest Wood Splitter


Key Features:

  • A 6-ton splitting force
  • Safe to use and falls underclass ‘B’ of insulation class
  • With an IP 54 waterproof rate, it does not rust easily
  • Power requirement is 1500 Watts
  • Requires 120V/60HZ voltage
  • Without load, the motor speed is 3,450 rpm
  • Hydraulic Oil capacity is 2.8 liter
  • Logs measuring up to 14.5” in length and 9.8” in diameter can be easily split
  • It is a compact machine and measures just 37” x 12.2” x 18.1”
  • Falls into the lightweight category and weighs just 102.1 lbs.

This electronic hydraulic log splitter from Goplus splits wood so easily that it makes the whole process fun. Although it is not the best splitter comparing with the bigger rivals, it’s a perfect choice for a smaller, softer wood. This 15-amp design does not allow you to worry about the flipping of the breakers while splitting wood.

This is the best wood splitter for any homeowner having a fireplace or a wood-burning stove. The ram force of this splitter can easily split the wooden logs of recommended dimensions. Its efficient design makes it a machine which can be transported easily.


  • Softwoods of up to 10” are easily processed through this 1500-Watt log splitter
  • Compact, fairly priced, and light
  • It has an electric motor, so no need to worry about fumes
  • Can easily work with an extension cord


  • Not suitable for logs more than 1 ft. in diameter
  • This splitter finds some hardwoods very tough to split


Why Select This?

If you want a small and compact home splitter, you can surely go for it. Do not expect some extremely powerful results from it, as it is best for normal or softwoods usually required to warm the house. You will find limited reviews of this product, but its two-hand operational design and streamlined steel shape make it a safe and great choice for anyone in need of a powerful wood splitter.

9. Powerhouse Xm-380 7-Ton Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter: Home Hobbyist

  Key Features:

  • It is a 7-ton log splitter with a 3 HP motor
  • Its engine power is 3,500 rpm and power consumption is 2,500 watts
  • It splits logs that measure 20.5 inches in length and 12 inches in width
  • Traveling distance of ram is 15.7 inches
  • It weighs 104 pounds
  • It is a very compact machine and measures just 19.29 x 11.81 x 38.19 inches
  • Splits a single log in 6 seconds, which means it can split 100 logs in an hour
  • For enhanced safety, it requires operation with both hands
  • It is a corded log splitter

Users usually prefer splitting a large amount of wood in a short span of time and they do not want to spend their time tuning up gas-powered log splitters every year. For them, Powerhouse XM Electric Hydraulic Splitter is the best splitter to consider. It can effortlessly split 100 logs in an hour, which ensures faster splitting of a cord of wood. To make it more secure, it operates with 2-hands and it automatically pulls back when you leave it so that the next log can go.



  • Automatic retract and 6-second split to ease the whole process
  • Increased safety with a two-hand operation
  • Works best with dry or green wood, softwoods or hardwoods
  • Successfully works with a large volume of woods


  • Using it in wet weather is not recommended
  • Not considered good for a house whose breakers are less than 16 amps
  • The throw is short and may require being corrected with a 4 x 4 spacer
  • It is not an idle model for towing because its wheelbase and wedge are narrow

However, never use a log splitter with a bare hand as shown in the video. Always follow the safety tips while operating a log splitter.

Why Select This?

If you are a home hobbyist then this is the best option for you. If you have a dry location and an adequate power supply, it is definitely a wonderful choice. But this log splitter is not for you if you need to tow it all throughout the property. It is the best machine for home use and provides real value for money.

10. WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log SplitterBest for Home Use


Key Features of This Machine:

  • It comes with a 1,500 Watt electric motor that has copper windings and can be easily run on household electricity
  • The electric motor does not emit fumes, making it a safe choice to be used in a shed or garage
  • The wooden logs that are up to 20.5 inches long and 10 inches wide can be processed
  • It has 6-inch tires and two handles with a comfortable grip
  • Push plate of 4 x 4 inch
  • A 4.5-inch good quality wedge
  • Comes with AW32 hydraulic oil that fills the 2.8-quart reservoir

This log splitter from WEN gets its power from 2 HP electric motor installed in it. 6 tons of pressure is produced with this motor, which makes it fall into the entry-level log splitter category. The build of this log splitter is quite tough and its design features chunky welding and large bolts, making it look purposeful and best splitter for home use.

Like other shortlisted log splitters, its ram also returns automatically. Those 6-inch wheels make it super easy to move on the ground with that 100-pound weight tag!

When reviewing this log splitter, we noticed some owners have complained that its power is not up to the mark, but most have found it perfectly suitable as per their needs. For safe operation, you should use both of your hands. If you have a limited budget, it is the best one to use.


  • A splitting force of 6 tons
  • Very easy to operate with the plug-in option
  • Increased safety with two-handed operation
  • Preferable for indoors because during operation, it does not emit fumes
  • Comes with an option to be used with a generator


  • Its rubber feet should be more secure to stay on
  • The splitting power is limited and can’t split larger than that


Why Select This?

If you want an electric log splitter which has lots of functions and is value for money, you should know that this is the best electric log splitter in this category. This lets you split logs indoor without breaking the electrical circuit of your house. Usually, electric/hydraulic motors have certain constraints, but WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric splitter offers a clear and effective solution.




How Do Log Splitters Work?

In a log splitter, the user places a log on the splitter base. Then a directional valve is pulled to deliver the hydraulic fluid from the pump to the last end of the piston cylinder. The force of this fluid pushes the splitter wedge forward. Again using the directional valve the fluid is returned back and the splitter blade is placed back to its neutral position.

The flow from the pump bosts the forward force of the wedge.

Care and Maintenance of Log Splitter

After choosing and ordering a log splitter for you, the next step you should focus on is its care and maintenance. A well-maintained log splitter ensures a fast clean-up of yard waste and a beautiful lawn. If you want to keep the machine running for a long time, then please follow these guidelines.

  • You should regularly check for the hydraulic fluid leakage. If you suspect the leakage, check it by placing a piece of wood or cardboard below the damaged area. Do not forget to wear safety glasses and work gloves, as they will protect you from dangerous fluids.
  • When the level of hydraulic fluid moves down in your log splitter, fill it again. This will decrease the pressure your machine takes. The appropriate fuel quantity can be identified by removing the oil filling plug. If less is found, fill 3/4th of the hydraulic fluid unit. Remember, log splitter hydraulic fluid change at a regular interval is important.
  • After filling the hydraulic fluid, the next step is to remove the trapped air from the hydraulic Firstly, the piston rod is extended to the maximum and then remove the oil filling plug. Then the release screw should be quickly twisted in a counterclockwise direction. The piston rod will automatically move back in the cylinder, which will allow air to release.
  • You should regularly sharpen the blades of your log splitter. A coarse metal file could be used to sharpen any dull parts of the blade, and any nicks and chips in blade should be repaired.
  • Regularly clean the log splitter and always store it in an area free from any weather or moisture problems.
  • Care should also be taken while using it. Whenever you use your log splitter, position it correctly and make sure that it tightly grips the log. The actuator should be released only after confirming the grip to split the wood smoothly.

Log Splitter Safety Tips

I agree you are not splitting wood with an axe here. So, the safety issue is inappropriate. No, while working with a machine always requires some precaution.

  • Always use a splitter in daylight. Working in the night is not a good idea.
  • Get habituated working with safety goggles, shoes or gloves.
  • Make sure there is no leakage.
  • Maintain proper distance from the log while loading or unloading.

What to Look Forward to?

Wait! We thought a detailed view of an ideal log splitter features may be a great idea. So, we came up with this article. This might help you.

  • Motor: When you buy a motorized log splitter, look into the motor. The design of the motor determines the hydraulic oil’s volumetric flow rate in a tube network, and the power of the motor affects the splitter’s power rating. The more pressure at pumping end, the more tonnage ratings the splitter will provide. The motor is a very important factor.
  • Horsepower: Two splitters of different horsepower can produce the same output. This creates confusion that which one is better. Normally, it is seen that higher horsepower provides extra headroom to the splitter to push itself, so the chances of overload diminish in a motor with a higher power. With lower power motors, you can split the logs faster but within the specified limits; otherwise, the performance gets affected.
  • Flow rates: Flow rates indicate the speed with which hydraulic fluid moves from the source to hydraulic ram. The higher flow rates mean that the wedge will move faster to the resting position and your splitting machine will work more efficiently. When buying a splitter, prefer the one with the dual-stage pump. In this pump, the flow rate is increased when the ram retreats in the resting stage, thereby faster reset time is witnessed. In a dual-stage pump, two separate pumping sections are present – one operates the ram’s piston at a high speed and another generates maximum working force to split tough wooden logs.
  • Vertical and Horizontal operation: If the log size falls between small and medium (e.g. 6” – 12” in diameter), the horizontal operation is the best. If the log size is bigger than this, it can be tiring to carry and place it horizontally. In some gas splitters, the complete ram and rail assembly can be swung to make a vertical alignment, while the stand and motor remain constant. You just need to roll the large logs in place and the wedge will do the work moving vertically in an up and down motion. The best splitter should have a good system for vertical log splitting.

To Sum Up

Now, you have all the information necessary to choose the best splitter for you with an informed decision. Today, many wood splitter reviews are available online; they can be independent or sponsored. The list we have provided will help you pick the best log splitter which can serve you for years.

After reading this review, if you still feel that we have missed something, you can point that out to our social media outlets. We will immediately review it and analyze our five-point parameter.

We are a true believer in innovation and we know that companies regularly research and develop new ways to improve their products. The products we have reviewed are not perfect, but they are much closer to (or exactly as per) your needs. You will get nothing but highly satisfactory results with the products reviewed by us.

Hey! If you think this review is worth sharing, then please share it. Leave a comment! We greatly appreciate your opinion.

Source: This tonnage selection guide from logsplitterdirect.

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Log Splitter

Best Log Splitter with 4 Way Wedge

Fire is one of the life sources we rely on for both survival and leisure. Without a good fire, so many modern processes just wouldn’t be possible. Thanks to electricity, we don’t make fire quite as often. But many people still prefer to make a natural wood fire to warm up their hands, to create a warm vibe or to cook foods. The warmth, vibe, and smell of a natural fire is just irreplaceable. Nothing can offer you the same vibe and feel of a natural fire made on natural wood.

The only thing about a fire that isn’t quite as fun is having to chop the wood. Chopping wood using an ax is a lot of hard work, it is very time consuming and it can be terribly dangerous.

If you, like so many others, love a wood fire but hate chopping wood then you need a log splitter.

What is a 4-way log splitter?

A 4-way log splitter wedge is a device used to split logs into 4 pieces of wood. These devices are usually pretty simple in design to help keep the weight of the device as light as possible but they are highly effective. The 4-way splitter usually has two wedges. Logs are inserted to the splitter and, using a hammer, you hammer down the log over the wedge which instantly splits the wood into four pieces.

Log splitters can vary quite a lot in design but they all have one main function – they allow you to split wood using a hammer and they reduce the workload required for splitting wood.

Benefits of using a 4-way log splitter

If you are a regular camper or sometimes prefer to live off the grid then this is one of the handiest tools to have at hand. Log splitters offer numerous positive benefits such as the following;

Save time – It is much quicker to split woos when you have a splitter. These units instantly split the wood into 4 pieces instead of two and the device holds the log for you so you can simply hammer down without having to struggle.

Safer – 4-way log splitters are much safer to use than an ax. These splitters hold the log for you so you can split the wood which eliminates the chances of chopping down on a finger or arm. Most of these splitters also come with a frame that keeps split wood from launching up at you when you hammer down. The 4-way splitter also reduces the chances of getting hit by projecting particles when you split wood.

Easier – Log splitters are very easy to use. They can save you a lot of frustration and you can use a hammer instead of an ax that requires higher concentration.

Mobile – Lot splitters are quite mobile. They are light and compact in size which makes them easy to carry or transport. Some log splitters also double as a wood carrier so you can carry chopped firewood with ease.

Functional – These splitters usually offer multiple functions. They can be used to chop different sized stumps and they are perfect for creating perfect sized wooden pieces to suit different needs such as wood stoves, barbecues, fire pits, saunas, smokers, pizza ovens and more.

The 3 Best Log Splitters with 4 Way Wedge

There are quite a few different types of log splitters available on the market. In this product review, we are going to have a quick look at the 3 best splitters to consider for your ranch or home.

​​​​The EasyGoProducts EGP-FRE-019-1 4 Way Firewood Kindling Tool


This log splitter is quite affordable yet very functional. The splitter is made of durable materials and has a large size of 17.5 x 10.5 x 9.7”.

You can use this splitter to cut pieces of wood into 4 using just a hammer. The splitter functions by inserting the stump into the frame and hammering down on the base of the stump. As you hammer it down, the wood will begin to split over the 4 bolt holes.

The splitter can handle logs with a max diameter of about 7” but the pieces can be as long as you like. This tool can be used to split wood for all sorts of purposes. It is ideal for cutting wood to size for a wooden stove, fire pit, grill, smoker, sauna, fire pit or for camping.

Product specification

  • Size – 17.5 x 10.5 x 7.9”
  • Weight – 17.6 lbs
  • Color – black
  • Function – Split wood 4 ways
  • Firewood size – 1 to ¼ inch
  • Wood type – Any
  • Max log size – 10 x 7”


  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use
  • Splits wood 4 ways
  • Use a hammer
  • Much safer tool for wood splitting
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used to carry split wood back home
  • It is very fast and effective
  • Quite a lot of hammering force is required. An 8lb hammer and bigger is ideal for the task.
  • You do need to be careful when carrying or using it

The Kabin Kindle Quick Log Splitter


If you prefer a 2-way log splitter then this is a good pick. The Kabin Kindle Quick Log Splitter is only a 2-way splitter but it is oh so handy.

This splitter is very light at just 12 lb which makes it a perfect tool to take along on your travels. It is also quite compact in size. The tool is made of high quality cast steel and it is treated with an all-weather coating that prevents the tool from rusting even if you leave it outdoors in the rain.

The log splitter is perfect for cutting logs into two pieces. You simply add the log to the device and chop down on the end and the tool will split the firewood for you. The tool is designed to hold the log upright while you hammer on it so you won’t get any hands or fingers in the way. The x design at the base of the splitter increases the stability of the device and also doubles as an easy wood carry tray so you can bring your haul of wood back to the camping ground with ease.

This device makes it much easier to split your logs in less time. It can be used to cut wood for a number of different purposes and is a good tool to have at hand.

 Product specification

  • Size – 9 x 15.5 x 10.25”
  • Weight – 12lbs
  • Materials – Cast Steal
  • Coating – All-weather
  • Function – Split wood 2 ways, carry wood
  • Wood type – any
  • Max log size – 9 x 10”


  • Easy to use
  • Very light and compact
  • Can be used for wood carrying
  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Weatherproof
  • Allows you to split wood faster
  • It is only a 2-way splitter
  • The device is expensive

The Kindling Firewood Splitter


This is one of the most flexible splitters to have at hand if you are constantly chopping wood for different purposes.

Unlike most splitters, this one is multifunctional. It can be used to chop wood 2 or 4 ways. This is because the device has one removable top blade. With the blade inserted, you can split wood 4 ways with ease. By removing the blade, you can split wood only 2 ways.

The device is very easy to use. You can simply set it up with or without the top blade, insert the stump into the top of the device and hammer down to split wood. The device can handle up to 9 x 8” logs and it can be used to produce many different sized a length woods.

The splitter is also very portable. It has a compact design and is light in weight. It is a great tool to have on any camping trip or to have at hand at home so you can enjoy barbecue sessions more often.

Product specification

  • Size – 10 x 12 x 16”
  • Weight – 22.6 lbs
  • Materials – 100% Cast Iron
  • Function – Split wood 2 or 4 ways
  • Wood type – any
  • Max log size – 9 x 8” and any length


  • Easy to use
  • Multi-functional – split wood 2 or 4 ways
  • Light and portable
  • Made of high quality cast iron materials
  • Allows you to split wood safely
  • Split much more wood in less time
  • No moving parts that need to be maintained
  • Weatherproofing allows you to leave it outdoors
  • Quite a bit of force is required to split wood
  • Some complain that the weld points are weak

Buyers Guide

All of these log splitters are superb investments for anyone who loves to sit around a cozy little fire. These devices all have one huge advantage to offer – they all allow you to split wood safely without the risk of injuring yourself.

If you have a hard time choosing the best splitter then perhaps this quick guide can help;

The budget-friendly – The Easy Go Products EGP-019-1 is the most affordable splitter on our list. If you are shopping on a tight budget then this is the right pick.

The most functional – The Kindling splitter is the most flexible because it allows you to split wood into two or four pieces instead of just one of these two.

The best 2-way splitter – The Kabin Kindle is the only 2-way splitter on our list. If you prefer a 2-way splitter then this is the right one to consider.

 We hope that this product review helped you identify the best 4-way splitter to buy right now. And if you are looking for other superb quality gear then we welcome you to hop over to some of our other product reviews where you can learn more about these products

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Log Splitter

What Size Log Splitter Do I Need? Everything you need to know

Log splitters can make a world of difference in the way you go about splitting wood. These handy devices allow you to save a lot of time and effort on this labor-intensive task and many wood splitters are much safer to use than the traditional ax. 

If you are shopping for the best log splitter then it is important not to be too hasty or impulsive when you buy. There are many out there who buy the first and best tool they can find only to realize later on that the tool isn’t suitable for their needs or they feel cheated when they end up paying for something they hardly ever use.

If you want to make the best possible choice then it is important to find out more about all the different types of log splitters available on the market. What is even more important is to find out what type of log splitter you need considering the amount of chopping you need to do. 

What Size Log Splitter Will Work Best For Your Wood Splitting Needs?

Splitting your wood can save you a lot of money compared to purchasing packs of split wood. Splitting your wood also allows you to clear waste such as tree stumps from your surroundings. But before you go and buy an ax or wood splitter, it is important to identify how much wood splitting you will be doing and what type of wood you are most likely to split.

What Does Your Typical Woodpile Look Like?

There are quite a few different types of splitters available on the market. Some are best suited for softer woods while others can handle harder wood types. Some can only handle small stumps while others have the capacity and strength to easily split huge trunks. 

To identify the right splitter you must first identify what your typical woodpile usually looks like.


Consider wood hardness

The harder wood is the higher tonnage or pounds of force will be required to split the wood. Here is a quick look at the hardness of different wood types;

Soft woods


Hard woods














































Sweet Gum




Wood hardness is also affected by the diameter of the tree stump.  The older or thicker a tree is, the harder the wood becomes. Here is a quick look at the hardness differences of wood based on the stump diameters;


300 – 600lbs





4+ tons

6+ tons

7+ tons

10+ tons


12+ tons

15+ tons

20+ tons

22+ tons


20+ tons

20+ tons

26+ tons

26+ tons


27+ tons

27+ tons

30+ tons

30+ tons

As you can see, the force required for splitting wood increases dramatically with the diameter of the woods. Typically, homeowners only split wood pieces that are about 6” in diameter. For these wood pieces, a 4 – 10 ton wood splitter should be sufficient. Most homeowners focus on softwood types. For your softwood pieces, a 4-ton splitter can also be a very good pick.

Wood splitters with a strength range of over 10 tons typically are not for home users. These machines are quite expensive and are mostly used for commercial or conservation purposes.

A Note on Tonnage

The splitting force required for woods increases as the wood dries out. As timber seasons, these wood pieces become a lot harder and more splitting force is required for cutting these woods. If you are planning on splitting seasoned woods then be sure to pick up a splitter with a greater force than you require. 

Homeowners that split a lot of wood regularly should consider something around the 25-ton range. These larger splitters may seem extreme but is a much better investment if you expect your device to handle lots of wear and tear while splitting lots of wood.

4 What Size Log Splitter Do I Need

Consider your typical woodpile size

Some of us only enjoy occasional barbecue sessions or camping trips while others burn their way through a lot of wood daily to keep their homes nice and cozy and their wood stoves or smokers alight.

The most expensive wood splitter probably won’t do you much good if you only need firewood occasionally. It is also important to consider the amount of wood you will be splitting daily because some machines are not designed to handle mass volume work every day.

A simple, manual splitter is a better pick if you are not doing a lot of splitting too often.  These manual units are also better for camping expeditions because you don’t need to connect it to any power source and you can split wood in any given spot.

Electric and gas-operated wood splitters are better for those that do a lot of wood splitting. These machines can handle as much as 120 stumps an hour and many units are hands-free to help reduce your workload as much as possible. 

Consider traveling

Some of us prefer to do our log splitting chores in a dedicated spot. These comfort zones allow you to set up everything you need for splitting and electric machines fair best in dedicated work areas because they are so easy to use and quick to start up. In dedicated areas, you are not limited when it comes to the size and weight of your machine. 

If you want to split wood in different locations then it is always best to invest in something small and portable. A lightweight unit with an easy carry handle is best for those who love to take their wood splitters along on camping expeditions.

The performance of log splitters vary based on the type

As said before, there are quite a few different types of log splitter concepts available on the market. The strength and size of these splitters vary based on their design.

Manual splitters – Manual log splitters are the ones that rely on your strength to function. There are hydraulic types that split logs using lever actions and there are types that require you to use a hammer to split logs. As you can imagine, the strength capabilities of these splitters depend on your physical capabilities.  You also need to use a lot more force on hardwoods compared to softwoods. Manual and small splitters that require the use of a hammer typically offer a strength of around 4 – 6 tons where a manual hydraulic unit could offer strength of around 10 tons.

Electric splitters – Electric splitters are more compact than gas splitters and many of these units are super easy to use and can even be operated with just one hand. The price range of electric splitters depends on the type you purchase. Large, professional splitters with lots of strength are usually more suited for commercial use because they can be expensive. Homeowners typically choose electric splitters with a strength that ranges around 4 – 8 tons.

Gas splitters – Gas wood splitters offer a lot more brute strength. These units are bigger and more challenging to move about and they can be noisy but they are pretty strong. The strength of gas wood splitters typically ranges around 8 – 25k for domestic users.


The size of the log splitter vary based on the type

Most homeowners need a splitter that can handle logs around 6” in diameter. For these smaller logs, your average manual splitters and electric splitters are usually sufficient. For larger logs, you do need something more powerful and with larger capacity such as gas type wood splitters.

It is also important to check the stump size compatibility of the splitter before you buy it. These machines usually have a frame that can only support logs up to a certain size. Manual hammer splitters can handle logs of around 6-7”. Your average electric splitters can handle much bigger logs of up to 10” in diameter although the motors or splitting force of these machines might not be powerful enough to handle hardwood wood types.

Splitting seed and machine type

If you are only splitting a few pieces of wood now and then, then you don’t need the fastest tool on the market. A log splitter with a 2-way wedge could be sufficient. But if you have to chop your way through a huge pile of wood then it is best to look for a wood splitter that offers good performance.

The speed of a wedge type splitter depends on the user. You can only chop that much wood until you might feel tired, although some men can chop quite fast. Electric and gas-operated splitters are usually much faster. Many home splitters can chop their way through up to 120 logs per hour. These splitters are much better for those who use a lot of firewood or for those who have a lot of wood that needs to be processed real quickly.

Remember that bigger is not always better

We all love the idea of owning a huge and powerful machine that splits thick 10” stumps in seconds but these huge splitters are not always worthy investments. Budget-wise, large splitters are expensive and it could be cheaper to go out and buy wood instead of investing in your tool. 

A huge and chunky machine could also be very hard to transport and can take up a lot of space in the garage when it is not in use.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to size is functionality. A huge and elite machine doesn’t help you much if you would rather be out there in the wild chopping wood next to stream of water or if you only plan on using it every once in a blue moon.

How brand should affect your sizing decision

Wondering how something as simple as a brand name can affect your decision on the right sized machine to buy? Well, it is simple. Cheaper brands manufacture more powerful machines at more affordable prices but these units are hardly ever as durable. The price of quality and reputable machines might be higher but the strength and durability of these machines could make them a more worthy investment. 

Entry-Level to Professional

Your skill level can also impact the size of the splitter you need. If you are just starting to split wood and are not sure if this is a hobby that is bound to stick then always choose something small, portable and durable. If you are a professional log splitter then it is best to invest in something big and more powerful that can get the job done quicker. 


To sum up

Everyone has different needs when it comes to splitting wood. Some like huge machines that allow them to split wood using just one hand and others prefer something that offers more of a workout and that is more portable and small.

Typically, home users don’t need a log splitter with a splitting force of over 30 tons. Anything above 25 tons is best suited for commercial use and could be a waste of your money. You also are not very likely to split logs with a larger diameter than 8” at home. It is better to resize those occasional larger stumps than to buy a bigger machine. 

Both electric and manual splitters can be handy investments for home use. Manual splitters tend to be more mobile, they are more affordable and they can be quite effective. Electric units are quicker, more powerful and easier to use. Here it boils down to the frequency of use. If you are splitting wood every day then indulge in an electric splitter. But if you only split wood occasionally on camping trips then a manual log splitter can be a better investment, especially if you consider the fact that you will also be building strong muscles and toning and shaping your arms.  

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