A manual wood splitter makes the ideal tool for homeowners who need to split wood easily but don’t need the power, expense, or upkeep of gas log splitters, electric log splitters, or hydraulic log splitters. Starting with the trusty splitting wedge, manual splitters were the original option and, though they have evolved beyond all recognition, they are still viewed as “old fashioned” by some. The truth is that manual splitters are as practical as they ever were and are perfect for anyone who is willing to use a little elbow grease to split wood.
Of course, if you split wood professionally or you regularly have large jobs, the last thing you want is to invest your energy into manual log splitting. Manual log splitting is best for people who are chopping their own firewood. Splitting wood this way is hard work, but you’re not splitting so much that the work will break your back.
How do you know what type of manual splitter is best for you? Are you looking for a manual hydraulic log splitter, a heavy duty splitter with a hydraulic pump, or something far simpler? You have several options, so it’s important to learn a little about each type of splitter before making your choice. Here’s where you can begin with this handy manual log splitter review:
This 10-ton log splitter is one of the most affordable options on our list at under $120. It’s compact and is easy to move from place to place, especially since it features two wheels. It’s capable of splitting logs up to 18” in length and 13.5” in diameter in the horizontal position. The Wel-Bilt splitter is small but mighty and features a two-speed pump that gives you up to ten tons of power.
The other thing we love about this splitter is that it features a log cradle that helps you prevent the wood from falling to the ground after you split it. This not only saves you time and keeps your work area tidy, it prevents you from having to bend and lift over and over when splitting.
We consider the Wel-Bilt top in its class and love the fact that it’s easy to store because of its compact size. If you’re looking for something that is reasonable in price, size, and power, but capable of packing a punch and saving you time and work, this might be the manual splitter for you.
This is another 10-ton splitter we love. It features a two-speed pump that makes it easy to switch between low-speed and high-speed settings. The low-speed setting works for the initial cut and the high-speed allows you to complete the job. The T-Motorsports Wood Splitter also features an auto return that can reset the log to open after the pressure is released, making it set for another log. This makes it easy to move through jobs as quickly as possible.
Like the Wel-Bilt, it’s compact and easily portable and features two wheels to make moving the splitter easy.
This is a 1.5-ton splitter that is operated with a foot pedal. It’s lightweight and weighs only 23 pounds, making it the lightest model on our list.
This is a great “travel” manual splitter and you can take it with you to other people’s homes or when you’re camping and need to split wood for a campfire. It folds flat so it’s easy to store and transport, but it’s pretty powerful considering its weight and size. You’re able to split logs up to 18” in length and 10” in diameter – so small than the other splitters but perfect for on-the-go jobs. The splitter uses your body weight to work the foot pedal, so you’ll be working, but far less than if you were using an axe to chop wood.
Some users recommended securing the rubber feet that come on the Quality Craft to make it more stable. Otherwise, this model comes highly recommended and is a great option for anyone looking for a travel log splitter. It might not be the best option for use as a regular at-home splitter, but it makes for a great supplement to your regular splitter or would work fine if you aren’t splitting a lot of wood.
This manual log splitter has eight tons of splitting capacity. It can handle logs up to 23” in length and 13” in diameter. It’s smaller than the first two splitters we’ve listed, but we like it because it features an adjustable wedge that can be manually adjusted to the size of the log you’re working with.
The Ytl features wheels that make it easily transportable. It is 40” tall, which makes it easy to store and to move with you in a truck or other vehicle to take from place to place. Users have reported this splitter is easy to use, especially when dealing with small to medium logs being cut for firewood. It’s able to handle vertical logs with its wider orientation, but it’s best to stick with the recommended size restrictions.
If you’re looking for a manual splitter that provides a reasonable amount of power without being too expensive or too large the Ytl is a great option.
This is another 8-ton splitter we really like. It’s capable of handling logs that are 23.5” in length and 13” in diameter. It allows for quick and easy work because it features an adjustable wedge like the Ytl that makes it easy to position wood ranging in five different heights. It requires only a maximum of 12 pumps for height positioning, so you’re able to save a lot of time even though you’re using a manual splitter.
This splitter weighs less than 90 pounds, so it’s easy to move, especially since it features two wheels on the base. It’s also compact, and we like that it’s so easy to store when it isn’t in use.
Users reported loving the automatic foot pump that allows for height adjustment. There were some users who found the model too powerful for a manual splitter, so we recommend practicing with it for a while to get used to it. It’s also a better option for those who are familiar with wood splitters and not first-time users.