Harbor Freight doesn’t always have the reputation that other manufacturers have, but there are actually some decent options when it comes to log splitters. We recommend you explore all of your options and considering ordering a log splitter that suits your needs online, but you might find this Harbor Freight tool has exactly what you need.
Log splitters are one of the best investments you can make. If you have a fireplace or plan to burn firewood outside at your home, a log splitter is something you are going to use year in and year out. If you own a lot of property and you have plans to clear the property of some trees, the splitter is a necessity. And even if you don’t exactly fit into any of these categories, but you find yourself cutting up logs on a fairly regular basis, a log splitter is inexpensive enough to be a good investment even if it only gets part-time use.
The important thing to know about wood is that you can’t just cut it down and burn it. It needs time to season. When it’s first chopped, it’s considered green, which means it has too much moisture to burn. It’s also more difficult to split, though the best log splitters on the market are able to slit green logs. Essentially, if you want to burn wood, you need it to be dry. Cut wood is about 50% moisture but, once it’s seasoned, it’s about 15 to 20% moisture.
To season your wood, pile it in a single row in a place that receives sun and wind exposure. You want to keep it as dry as possible, but don’t want to put it in an enclosed area because it won’t dry. It’s also important to raise it off the ground so it doesn’t rot or develop mold.
Wood needs to season for at least six months so many people chop their logs in the early spring and allow the wood to season over the summer. This allows you to do some of the work when the weather is ideal and have a large supply of wood that’s ready for splitting come fall. To determine if the wood is seasoned, check for cracks in the ends, see if the color has darkened or yellowed, bang pieces together to see if they sound hollow, or just try splitting a piece. If what you expose feels damp, it’s not seasoned.
Once the wood is seasoned, you can get it ready to burn. The logs should already be cut into lengths that are suitable for your fireplace or furnace, so all you’ll need to do is split the wood. This is the activity we most often associated with prepping wood for a fire. Chopping wood is splitting lengths of it into pieces that can be loaded into a fireplace or furnace. It can be a time-consuming activity that also requires a lot of effort if you’re doing it by hand with an axe. This is why a log splitter comes in so handy—it handles the job faster and with less elbow grease than chopping wood with an axe requires.
What are Your Log Splitter Options?
If you’re chopping wood for home, you basically have three general categories you’ll be shopping from. These are based on weight and the capability of a splitter. 5 ton log splitters are able to handle logs that are about 10 inches in diameter. 10 ton splitters can handle larger pieces of wood—usually about 18 to 20 inches in length. And 20 ton splitters, which are considered top-notch for at-home work, can handle logs up to two feet in length. The tonnage indicates how strong the force is when the log is split. The more force there is the easier it is to cut through longer longs.
Log splitters come in gas, electric, and hydraulic models. Many people prefer gas because they tend to perform better, but there are plenty of great electric and hydraulic ones on the market that offer more than enough performance-wise for homeowners. The advantage of electric and hydraulic splitters is that they are cleaner, they require less maintenance, and many people think they are safer and easier to use. Both are also cheaper, so if you don’t want to invest a large sum of money into your log splitter, electric or hydraulic is the way to go.
Harbor Freight’s 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter is a favorite among those who are looking for an affordable log splitter that performs just well enough. It’s not going to impress anyone who has used a lot of log splitters, but it is guaranteed to make your life a whole lot easier.
Another advantage of Harbor Freight’s 10 Ton Hydraulic Splitter is its ability to operate inside. This isn’t an option with gas log splitters and some electric splitters. The cost of this splitter is very reasonable, especially when it’s paired with a coupon or discount offered by Harbor Freight. It’s possible to get this splitter for less than $$ if you shop at the right time.
The splitter is compact in size and is easy to store and move. It’s also well-made and should last a long time. It has two handles that you pump to drive the piston and the RAM rides on the steel frame. It’s capable of handling logs up to 18 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. Users report it’s able to handle a variety of different types of wood and works well with large logs if you are willing to split it into uneven pieces.
The splitter is low to the ground, so chopping wood is going to require some bending and lifting. You can fix this by putting the splitter on a higher surface, but make sure you create a stable stand or foundation before you split.
The body of the splitter is durable and long-lasting. Most users report that even with exposure to the elements, the paint doesn’t wear off, and the welds and bolts hold.
If you’re interested in a reasonably priced splitter or you are thinking you might need a log splitter when electricity and/or gas are at a premium, Harbor Freight is a great option for you.