The act of splitting firewood can be traced back to the earliest histories. Today, we have the best manual log splitters to help with the job. Despite today’s technological advancements, splitting firewood is still a necessity and it will probably remain like that for the generations to come.
Humans began by utilizing chiseled stone wedges, proceeded with mallets and wedges, and evolved to ax or maul for long centuries. In the present age, you can now get your hands on the best log splitters. If you’re not interested in taking the leap for electric or gas log splitters, but still like to spare yourself the fatigue of heaving an ax, you can always get your hands on the manual log splitters. Read on and see what stands out in the competition.
Why buy the best manual log splitter?
The beauty of manual log splitters is affordability. This type is the cheapest when compared to gas and electric variants. Usually powered by a 2-speed pump, the manual type is also compact, allowing you store it pretty easily.
Manual log splitters can go as high as 14 tons which is enough most household splitting tasks. Being portable and lightweight are more reasons to buy a manual log splitter. This makes transportation quite easier, allowing you to save time in that aspect.
So if you’re looking for a highly affordable, portable, lightweight, and effective log splitter for occasional home use, you might want to opt for a manual log splitter.
Top 3 Best Manual Log Splitter 2021 review for the Money
In this article, we will tackle about the best manual log splitters on the market today. Take a read of these reviews to learn more about these tools.
1: Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter
The Logger Joe is an effective hydraulic log splitter that boasts a solid body capable of handling even some heavy-duty works with convenience on your part. Its design is pretty simple but quite robust. The pump is strong enough to build tremendous pressure that can handle logs easily.
The Sun Joe features a 10-ton hydraulic capacity enough to tackle most of your household wood demands. Further, it weighs around 87 pounds and measures 41.1 x 8.1 x 11.8 inches. This splitter has a tough, rigid body that can help you effectively in your operations.
Resilient Hydraulic Pump
The hydraulic pump may look small but wait till you witness it in action. This Sun Joe can create a massive impact on the logs with little effort in your part; 10 tons of pressure and 2-speed variations that can handle logs bigger than what you could have expected. The speed variation aids in splitting logs without the risk of choking.
Further, you’ll also like how the handles give you command over the unit with easier controls while doing your operation. Fundamentally, the handles are designed for pressure application.
It’s capable of splitting logs up to 8 inches in diameter and 18 inches in length. You can always try to split logs beyond the set limitations but only to some extent. The figures herein are for optimum usage and safety of the user and the machine; so it’s still advisable to handle logs according to the numbers above.
You can also roll over this log splitter pretty easily, thanks to the two (2) wheels present on the pump that promotes better log handling.
Other Key Features
• Crafted with a Stainless steel body with enough integrity to handle heavy tasks
• Built-in log cradle – no more wood accidentally falling to the ground after splitting
• Longer handles for optimum leverage
• Piston Rod; ram return spring quickly resets with a turn of a knob
• Since it’s manual; NO gas needed
• Since it’s manual; NO recharge needed
• Durable steel construction
• Full 2-year warranty
• Minor claims of useless wheels; use a dolly if available
2: Wel-Bilt Horizontal Manual Hydraulic Log Splitter – 10-Ton
Another remarkable manual log splitter that simply does the job. The Wel-Bilt hydraulic log splitter can do your wood jobs without any fuss. This one features a fundamental design; hydraulics for creating pressure, bed for the log, and handles for leverage. At 94 pounds, this Wel-Bilt is still pretty lighter than most competitors in the market.
Its hydraulic pump is compact – which is a good thing. While it may look small, the pressure it can generate is beyond what you can usually expect. The Wel-Bilt features a 2-speed pump capable of creating up to 10 tons pressure. That force is enough to split even some massive logs. There will also be less effort in your part as the speed variation aids in splitting.
This Wel-Bilt can split logs up to 6.5 inches in diameter and up to 18 inches in length (minimum of 13.5 inches). Stick with these limitations to ensure longevity and maintain durability to your splitting tool. However, it won’t hurt if you’ll try splitting larger logs on an occasional basis.
Other Key Features
• A log cradle that catches the split wood so it won’t fall to the ground
• Embedded 2 wheels for easy transportation and handling
• Solid pump structure for driven operations; strong enough to cater rough usages
• Wedge length: around 5 inches
• Robust construction you can rely on
• Highly effective when used correctly
• Ideal for consistent home use
• Can be huge and heavy for some users
3: VULCAN YTL23102 Log Splitter Heavy Duty, 8-Tonne – Vertical
Now this one’s also a robust log splitter but comes at a slightly lower tonnage capacity. At 8-tons, this Vulcan Log Splitter is still an appealing choice for homeowners who constantly have to split for kindling. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, the Vulcan Log Splitter is still a competitive model.
One great aspect is its lightweight attribute. At only 64 lbs, this model is one of the most lightweight manual log splitters you can get your hands on. Further, it measures 12 by 11 by 40 inches. This tool is small enough that you can discreetly store it in any available space in your home.
The Vulcan log splitter is impressively ideal for cutting small to medium firewood with ease. Since it’s vertically operated, you can expect this one to cut wider logs (and it really does).
This Vulcan log splitter features an 8-ton splitting force. While it’s typically lower than the other two featured in this article, this model strikes back to the maximum size of the log it can split – which makes it even more competitive than the previous two.
You might lift your eyebrows when you read the 8-ton force ability, but wait till you learn its splitting capacity. The Vulcan log splitter can handle large woods up to 13 inches in diameter and 23 inches in length – basically makes it the champion.
It’s compelling to know this log splitter can actually handle the biggest log sizes when compared to the other two models previously.
Other Key Features
• Has an adjustable wedge which you can modify to fit the size of the log you want to split
• Convenient foot pedal operation
• Vertical design for easy operation
• Solid wheels for easy transportation around
• Very lightweight
• Biggest log size capacity
• Small, compact, and highly reliable
• Wheels tend to be too small
Best Manual Log Splitter Buying Guide
What is a Manual Log Splitter?
So you’ve heard a great deal about gas and electric log splitters. However, manual log splitters tend to be equally popular among consumers.
A manual log splitter is a tool that splits wood by taking the old wedge and hammer technique and incorporating the two concepts into a single device that features a weighted striker (serves as the hammer) and wedge in one.
Using a manual log splitter is the best way to split firewood if you don’t want to deal with gas and electricity. Now you won’t have to get exposed to gas fumes or get interrupted by an empty battery.
The convenience of manual log splitters depends on your workload. This may or may not be the ideal splitting tool for you. You might want to determine first the size and density of wood you intend to split. A manual log splitter would be sufficient enough if you are a simple homeowner splitting firewood into kindling.
With the current trend in technology, using maul and mallet slowly becomes obsolete. It simply looks unreasonable to go backward in terms of log splitting. But for people who want to keep it simple and more hands-on, a manual log splitter seems more practical than the more advanced counterparts. This best manual log splitter buying guide will help you in which model to use!
Manner of Operation
Manual log splitters can be categorized into two based on their manner of operation – foot operated or hand operated. You can choose depending on your preferences. If you think you can operate well by using your feet, then choose a foot-operated unit. On the other hand, if you think you’re more efficient by hand, then choose a hand-operated model.
Manual, in general, is the least expensive type of log splitter. But the cost of a particular model is another basic factor to consider for the simple fact that manual log splitters also vary in price. Remember, you don’t have to break the bank by getting a product when you can get the same features and quality (or even better) for a lesser price with another brand. So you must be wise.
Another important factor to consider, the size capacity of a manual log splitter determines how large you can cut using that particular model. You can opt for something with a large capacity if you need to cut larger-sized logs. But if you only need to cut smaller pieces of wood to make firewood, then a unit that adheres to that demand is the ideal choice.
It would be a great disadvantage sometimes if you use a large splitter for small tasks. Larger log splitters are usually designed for commercial use where the user tackles numerous wood for lumber purposes. On the flipside, small log splitters are mostly designed for domestic use only like household kindle tasks.
This may not be the most significant factor, but this one really counts. Having rear wheels means you don’t have to carry and endure the full weight of the log splitter when you are transporting it or transferring it from one place to another; which makes it a big plus in terms of convenience.
Look for a log splitter with built-in rear wheels. That component will help in moving the tool (which you will always do) without the need of lifting it up. This is a great advantage especially if your unit is heavy.
Portability matters especially if you are the type of person who frequently travels from place to place. Look for something portable if you intend to bring your log splitter for your outdoor activities like camping or cookouts. Basically, the smaller the log splitter, the more portable it gets.
Log Splitter Brands
If you’re wondering, Sun Joe and Snow Joe are the same company. This brand is popular in manufacturing smart tools that “get the job done” whether in snow or under the sun.
Snow Joe + Sun Joe specialize in developing and designing affordable, innovative, and high-quality outdoor tools that keep your home in order throughout the year, whether the sun is shining or the snow is falling.
One of their famous product line up is the Sun Joe manual log splitters, with one of their models featured in this article. Apart from manual log splitters, the brand also offers a range of other products including an expansive line of trimmers, lawn mower, snow blowers, and tillers.
They develop various variants from manual to cordless and electric tools. The company prides themselves on providing high-quality, yet quite affordable outdoor tools with premium craftsmanship that will surely simplify your outdoor chores and yard routine.
Having one of their Sun Joes means you have an industry game-changer! Overall, this is the brand to opt for if you’re looking for a tool that embodies design and innovation.
FAQs about the Best Manual Log Splitter
Do you have to be physically strong when you operate a manual log splitter?
Basically NO. You will only need to exert great strength every time you move the tool around, when you transport it somewhere, or when you need to lift it up. But when it comes to operating a manual log splitter, you don’t necessarily need to be physically strong. Matter of fact, there are a lot of senior citizens who love using their manual log splitter. All you need is the right knowledge on how to use it.
Can you split a wood with a larger-than-capacity diameter if you rotate the log and split the “other half” or “other side”?
A lot of people have this question. It’s a trick that actually works. Yes, you can cut the wood in quartet splits. You can do the trick of splitting the wood on one side then rotating the wood to split the other half.
There’s one thing to remember, though. If you want to cut woods with large diameters, make sure the log is short in length (only around 20 inches, or something shorter than the maximum capacity). Otherwise, the manual log splitter might not be able to cut through. Further, the wood integrity may be another factor.
Can I mount my manual log splitter vertically on a post/wall (pertaining to Wel-Bilt Horizontal Manual Hydraulic)?
The tool itself is quite heavy and big, so mounting a horizontal log splitter in a vertical way is not a good idea. You can still do it but don’t expect your efforts to be beneficial.
Know that sometimes you really have to push the handles with some strength to split the log, depending on the size and type of your log. Bottom-line, the hydraulics of the tool may still work when mounted vertically, but you can’t expect the splitter to work effectively.
Other people might look down at manual log splitters and tend to pay attention to gas and electric variants, but little did they know that manual hydraulic log splitters could possibly be the best choice depending on one’s preferences.
This type can also split logs pretty quickly with little effort on the part of the user. You just have to choose a model capable of handling the wood size you intend to cut.
With dozens, even hundreds, of options in the market, it would be hard and impossible to try all models one by one. Fortunately, you have stumbled upon this page and now you’ve been introduced to the Top 3 Best Manual Log Splitter in 2021. You don’t have to search the entire web, as we have done the job for you. Now it all boils down to finally choosing one to make your household tasks much easier.