Best Manual Log Splitters 2019 – Top Picks & Reviews

a manually-operated log splitting machineBack in the day, if you wanted to buy a something like a log splitter or similar tool, you’d have to visit your local hardware store where you could choose from maybe 3 or 4 products. It was quick and easy. You would buy whatever your neighbor or brother-in-law had and be on your way. Nowadays, however, there are thousands of products online that you can choose from.

We know that shopping online for a technical product can be tall order. Reading through tons of information online, watching review videos, and falling into analysis paralysis is all part of trying to find the best tool. You are not alone. We went ahead and did all the work for you. Below is a list of in-depth manual log splitter reviews to help you narrow down your search and find something that you will love.

Comparison Table

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Wel-Bilt Horizontal 67090
Wel-Bilt Horizontal 67090
(Top Pick)

Check Price
80 lbs5.0/5
VULCAN YTL23102
VULCAN YTL23102

Check Price
64 lbs4.6/5
Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe
Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
87 lbs4.4/5
Central Machinery 10 Ton Manual
Central Machinery 10 Ton Manual

Check Price
81 lbs4.1/5
Renegade LSF-001
Renegade LSF-001

Check Price
23 lbs3.9/5

5 Best Manual Log Splitters – Reviews 2019

1. Wel-Bilt Horizontal 67090 Manual Log Splitter – Top Pick

Wel-Bilt Horizontal 67090

The Wel-Bilt Horizontal 67090 is easily one of the best manual log splitters that money can buy today. It can split logs that have a length of 13 inches to 18 inches and a diameter of up to 6.5 inches with a whopping log splitting force of 10 tons. This high-quality product features a 2-speed pump that you operate with two conveniently located steel handles to split logs in almost no time.

This hydraulic log splitter is fitted with two front wheels for easy maneuverability and using it is easy and comfortable as well. It is important to read the user manual in order to use this tool correctly. Simply move the levers back and forth until the ram reaches the log, then use the level on the right to move the ram into the log, splitting it in two. Continue with both levers, and when you are done, simply open the valve on the front-end and the ram will move back into position. Close the valve again to start with the next log.

This log splitter is perfect for private as well as commercial use. The design is flawless and the tool itself is built to last. If you were wondering which manual log splitter out there is the best, this is the one.

Pros
  • High-quality manual log splitter
  • Wheels make handling easier
  • Highly effective log splitter
  • Capable of splitting large logs
  • Cradle makes log handling easier
  • Perfect for indoor use
  • Environmentally friendly
Cons
  • Ram movement is a bit slow
  • Unit is bulky and can be difficult to store

2. VULCAN YTL23102 Manual Log Splitter – The Runner-up

VULCAN YTL23102

This log splitter may not be as easy to use as the Wel-Bilt Horizontal 67090, but as far as quality and efficiency are concerned, this log splitter comes in at a close second. It can split logs with a length of up to 23 inches with a splitting force of 8 tons.  Splitting logs goes a little quicker with this splitter, even if the logs are a bit bigger. One of the cool things about this log splitter is that you can use it indoors as well. It is easy to store, and you can keep it close to your furnace.

Convenience is a big positive feature of the VULCAN YTL23102. It has high-quality wheels and a lightweight that makes it easy to move around. Assembly is also a breeze and takes almost no time. There is one small drawback, however, that you may want to take into consideration. If the logs are not completely dry, this splitter may struggle somewhat. If the logs are dry, on the other hand, it is estimated that the same amount of wood that takes an hour to chop up with an ax will take you fifteen minutes with this log splitter.

If for whatever reason, you don’t want to buy the Wel-Bilt Horizontal 67090, the VULCAN YTL23102 is the one that you should get.

Pros
  • High-quality and durable log splitter
  • Log splitter has sufficient log splitting force
  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Easy to store
  • Quicker log splitting time
Cons
  • Have difficulty with green logs
  • Price may be relatively high
  • Not as easy to use as our top pick

3. Sun Joe LJ10M Manually-Operated Log Splitter – Best for the Money

Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe

The Logger Joe wins the price for the best value that you can get for your money. This tool uses a log splitting force of up to 10 tons to split logs with a length of up to 18 inches and a diameter of up to 8 inches. The heavy-duty ram and cylinder is made from high-quality steel and doesn’t use any gas, oil, or electricity, making it possible for off-grid use.

This log splitter is relatively lightweight and comes with high-quality wheels that makes it easy to move anywhere you want. When stored vertically, it takes up very little space, and you can even store it behind a door. The best thing about this log splitter, however, is its price tag. It may not be as the same quality as the first two in our list, but it is a regular, solid manual hydraulic log splitter that will do its job for the time to come and that is as affordable as can be.

Whether you need a log splitter for your home or business, if you are strapped for cash, this is the log splitter for you.

Pros
  • High value for money
  • High-quality and durable log splitter
  • Easy to store and move
  • Can cut big logs easily
Cons
  • Handles are a little short
  • Use requires a lot of physical input
  • Ram does not extend all the way to the end
  • Ram movement is too slow

4. Central Machinery 10 Ton Manual Log-Splitter

Central Machinery 10 Ton Manual

This log splitter from Central Machinery has a log splitting power of 10 tons and can split a log with a length of up to roundabout 17” and a diameter of 7 inches. This may be a viable option for you if are familiar with the brand, but chances are that you will be able to find something better for the same price.

This model, although reliable and durable, doesn’t come without its issues. The handles are too short and can cause lower back pain as you keep working. They are also a bit more strained and difficult to move back and forth. Another problem with this log splitter is that it doesn’t come with wheels, and you have to pick it up to carry it where you want it.

Having said that, this log splitter will get the job done, and if you are willing to go through a bit of pain and if you have patience, it may be worth your while. We feel, however, that if you keep shopping, you will find something better for the same price.

Pros
  • High-quality and durable log splitter
  • 10 tons of log splitting force
  • Assembly is relatively easy
Cons
  • Handles are short and strained
  • Maneuverability is somewhat lacking
  • Hydraulic ram takes too long to split one log
  • Hauling this log splitter is difficult
  • Log splitting requires a lot of physical work
  • Lines in hydraulic unit may require bleeding
  • Components are not readily available

5. Renegade LSF-001 Log Splitting Machine (Manually-Operated)

Renegade LSF-001

This foot-operated log splitter has a splitting force of 1.5 tons and can only be used for smaller and lighter logs with a diameter of not more than 5 inches. There isn’t a lot of specifications available for this product, but it is a relatively simple and compact tool.

The Renegade LSF-001 is, to put it delicately, a waste of money. It clamps down on the log as you as you pump the hydraulic splitter up and down with your foot. Quality is the biggest problem with this product. The logs tend to fall off, and there are no wedge or cradle to catch them if you are successful in splitting them. The components of this log splitter can easily break or come apart, especially since it has to able to withstand abrasive use for long, and we mean long, periods of time.

There are many other effective tools in the same price bracket that will get the job done faster and easier. An ax may be a more effective alternative, but if you are looking for an affordable manual log splitter, we recommend that you consider the Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe.

Pros
  • Light and easy to carry around
  • Perfect for indoor use
Cons
  • Poor quality and design
  • Not enough splitting power
  • Difficult and frustrating to use
  • Cannot split reasonably sized logs
  • Poor value for money
  • Requires a lot of physical effort from the operator

Buying Guide

The biggest reasons for buying a manual log splitter instead of an ax is to save time and effort. They are quite expensive tools, so it is important to determine that your manual log splitter will perform adequately before you buy. Here are some key considerations that you should take into account before you buy:

Log splitting force

When shopping for a manual log splitter, it is important that you have ample log splitting force. Anything more than 6 tons is sufficient for home use. A splitting force of fewer than 6 tons will, in all likelihood, take longer to split the wood than an ax or other manual log splitters. When you have a splitting force of 10 tons or more, you will be able to split dense and big logs without any problems.

Cradle size

The cradle size can physically limit the size of log that you will be able to split. Make sure that your log splitter has a cradle size that is at least big enough to accommodate an average-sized log. Some cradles have features to keep logs from falling to the ground after splitting.

Speed

To ensure that you save time when using a manual log splitter, limit your search to manual log splitters with high-speed rams. Determine how long you’d be willing to spend on splitting one log and make sure that you get a log that meets your needs in this regard.

Ease of use

Ease of use relates to the action of splitting wood as well as handling and moving your manual log splitter from place to place. Bigger log splitters may be more difficult to shift or move, but they will excel in terms of handling and comfort. Smaller log splitters, on the other hand, may be easy to carry into the woods, but they may be less comfortable to physically use to split logs.

If you prefer a stationary manual log splitter that won’t require easy mobility, a bigger, more comfortable log splitter will work for you. There are many models out there that found the balance between mobility and ease of use.

Quality

You want to use your log splitter for years to come. If you constantly have to buy a new part or return the entire product, it will defeat the purpose. It is also important that you are able to split log after log without the frustration of constant adjustments and trying to split the same log more than once.

Before buying a model that meets your requirements in terms of speed, mobility, comfort, and splitting force, read all the reviews on the model’s detail page and blog posts. Find out how other buyers experiences the log splitter. This will give you an idea of what you can expect in terms of quality.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our buyer’s guide! Hopefully, you are now in a place where you feel less overwhelmed and anxious about choosing a manual log splitter. To conclude, our top pick for the best manual log splitters in 2019 is the Wel-Bilt Horizontal 67090. If you, however, want to go for the best value for the money, we recommend the Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe.

Quality is one of the key considerations when buying a manual log splitter. Lacking ram speed, log size, and splitting force can all be dealt with in one way or another, but poor quality should be avoided at all costs.

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