10 Best Manual Log Splitters – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Manual Log Splitter

When it comes to splitting wood to heat your home during the cold months or even heat up your smoker, there are many tools to pick from.

However, a manual log splitter is always the best option for those that prefer a hands-on approach.

Although manual log splitters will require some muscle power, they are still way much more efficient and easier to use than the axe. And it does not cost as much as the gas or electric log splitter types.

Manual log splitters are also available in various types with the four most common types being hydraulic, splitting axe, slide hammer and the kindle splitter.

And besides the type, you also need to consider various other factors such as power and splitting range when choosing the best manual log splitter.

Our top 10 manual log splitter reviews and the in-depth guide below highlight all the important things you need to know about these handy tools

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Product Name

Driving Force

Max Cut Length

Rating

Current Price

Snow Joe Sun Joe LJ10M Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter

1. Snow Joe Sun Joe LJ10M Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter

10 tons

18.0 in

4.4

Kindling Cracker King Firewood Manual Log Splitter

2. Kindling Cracker King Firewood Manual Log Splitter

Depends on user

17.0 in

4.9

Logosol Smart Manual Log Splitter

3. Logosol Smart Manual Log Splitter

14 tons

22.0 in

4.4

Wel-Bilt Horizontal Manual Log Splitter

4. Wel-Bilt Horizontal Manual Log Splitter

10 tons

18.0 in

4.0

Ironton Horizontal Manual Log Splitter

5. Ironton Horizontal Manual Log Splitter

10 tons

18.0 in

4.0

Renegade LSF-001 Quality Craft Manual Log Splitter

6. Renegade LSF-001 Quality Craft Manual Log Splitter

1.5 tons

18.0 in

4.1

Central Machinery Horizontal Manual Log Splitter

7. Central Machinery Horizontal Manual Log Splitter

10 tons

18.0 in

4.0

Timber Tuff TMW-11 Manual Log Splitter

8. Timber Tuff TMW-11 Manual Log Splitter

Depends on user

11.5 in

3.9

Roughneck Manual Log Splitter

9. Roughneck Manual Log Splitter

Depends on user

N/A

4.0

Titan Attachments 3 Point Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter

10. Titan Attachments 3 Point Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter

20 tons

24.0 in

4.2

#1. Snow Joe Sun Joe LJ10M Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Snow Joe Sun Joe LJ10M Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 10 tons
  • Maximum Cut Length: 18 inches

The LJ10M is a powerful manual log splitter that is capable of generating a driving force of up to 10 tons which means that it can handle almost any log splitting task around the home.

It will cut logs that are up to 18 inches long and with a maximum diameter of 8 inches which is more than enough given the typical log sizes that most people handle at home.

Also, it comes with a handy cradle that ensures that the split logs do not fall off and it has a durable steel construction to ensure it gets to serve you for many years.

And although this is a relatively heavy log splitter it comes with some handy wheels to make it easy to move around. The LJ10M is also quite easy to use thanks to the long handles that provide maximum leverage.

Pros:

  • Built-in log cradle
  • Highly durable steel construction
  • Relatively longer maximum cut length
  • Comes with wheels for easy mobility
  • Longer handles for ease of use

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy

#2. Kindling Cracker King Firewood Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Kindling Cracker King Firewood Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: Depends on user
  • Maximum Cut Length: 17 inches

If you are on the hunt for a safe and easy way to make kindling or you just do not want to have to deal with moving blades or sharp objects when splitting wood, here is a perfect manual log splitter for you.

This log splitter will split with way much less force than a regular axe and this means that almost anyone can use it.

It also has more space inside and longer height of 17 inches to allow you to split larger pieces of wood. And it is made of high-quality cast iron to ensure you get to use it for many years.

There are also some bolt holes on this log splitter to make mounting easy, and you can use it both indoor and outdoor. But, the almost maintenance-free design is probably what many users will love most about it.

Pros:

  • Relatively safer to use
  • Requires almost zero maintenance
  • Will handle relatively larger log pieces
  • Require less force to split wood
  • Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use

Cons:

  • Does not perform well for woods with knots

#3. Logosol Smart Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Logosol Smart Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 14 tons
  • Maximum Cut Length: 22 inches

By delivering splitting force of up to 14 tons, the Logosol Smart log splitter can split logs that are up to 22 inches. And this makes it one of the best when handling relatively longer pieces on our manual log splitter reviews.

This log splitter makes the task, fun and easy while also having almost no impact on the environment. And you can use it almost anywhere including indoors.

It does not take much effort to set up this log splitter and operating it should also be quite straightforward for most users.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Usable both indoor and outdoor
  • Delivers a massive splitting force
  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • Cuts relatively longer logs

Cons:

  • A little too labor intensive for the upper arms

#4. Wel-Bilt Horizontal Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Wel-Bilt Horizontal Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 10 tons
  • Maximum Cut Length: 18 inches

This manual hydraulic log splitter provides a splitting force of up to 10 tons and it can handle logs that are up to 18 inches long and with a diameter of 6-1/2 inches.

It is an easy to maneuver log splitter that comes with a couple of durable wheels. And it uses a two-speed pump for maximum efficiency.

The durable steel handles are also a great addition to the log splitter as they make it easy to operate. This manual log splitter comes ready to use and you will not need to do any assembly.

Pros:

  • Easily maneuverable
  • Handy log cradle included
  • Durable steel handle for easy operation
  • Powerful dual speed pump
  • Requires no assembly

Cons:

  • Huge and quite heavy

#5. Ironton Horizontal Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Ironton Horizontal Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 10 tons
  • Maximum Cut Length: 18 inches

Like most other top-rated manual hydraulic log splitters, this one from Ironton comes with a 2-speed pump that will build up to 10 tons of splitting force. This pump operates using a couple of steel handles that help to create maximum leverage.

It will cut logs that are up to 18 inches long and it has a 200 mm ram stroke. And there is also a log cradle to ensure that the split logs do not fall to the sides.

The automatic cylinder return helps to speed up the log splitting process which is a great feature when you have a lot of logs to chop.

A couple of wheels on this log splitter makes it easy to maneuver, and it also has a sturdy and highly durable overall construction

Pros:

  • Dual speed pump for maximum splitting force
  • Log cradle included
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Sturdy and durable overall construction

Cons:

  • Relatively shorter wedge height

#6. Renegade LSF-001 Quality Craft Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Renegade LSF-001 Quality Craft Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 1.5 tons
  • Maximum Cut Length: 18 inches

If you are looking for a way to split your wood without the worry of developing back aches the LFS-001 is your best pick.

It applies a splitting force of 1.5 tons and all you need to do is simply step on the footplate and use your body weight to depress the lever.

This handy manual log splitter can split logs that are up to 18 inches long and with a diameter of 10 inches.

The solid metal construction makes it a highly durable log splitter and it is also quite portable as it will fold into a compact size for easy transportation.

Pros:

  • Foldable for easy transport
  • Easy foot operation
  • Relatively affordable
  • Solid metal construction

Cons:

  • Smaller splitting force

#7. Central Machinery Horizontal Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Central Machinery Horizontal Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 10 tons
  • Maximum Cut Length: 18 inches

There is a hydraulic manual log splitter out there for everyone and you just need to find what works for you. This particular one is for someone looking for something that is straightforward to use and generates a decent amount of splitting force.

It comes with a highly durable and rigid steel body that will last for a long time and it uses an efficient 2-speed pump that builds a splitting force of up to 10 tons to split logs easily.

There are also a couple of handles on the log splitter that makes it easy to operate, a cradle to prevent the split logs from falling and two wheels for easy mobility.

Pros:

  • Durable and rigid body
  • Efficient 2-speed pump
  • Comfortable handles
  • Also includes a log cradle
  • Easy mobility

Cons:

  • Wedge is still a little short

#8. Timber Tuff TMW-11 Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Timber Tuff TMW-11 Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: Depends on user
  • Maximum Cut Length: 11.5 inches

For the homeowners that do not mind using some extra muscle power to split logs, this log splitter is a good pick.

It is a relatively affordable product that features a heavy duty steel construction for maximum durability and with some comfortable grips to make it easy to handle.

The design of this slide hammer log splitter means that it will not require any assembly or sharpening of the wedge and it is also quite straightforward to use.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty steel construction
  • Comfortable grip
  • Relatively affordable
  • Requires no assembly
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Not very useful for heavy-duty splitting tasks

#9. Roughneck Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Roughneck Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force:  Depends on User
  • Maximum Cut Length: N/A

Slide hammer log splitters are always a much safer option to the traditional log splitting methods like the axe.

This particular one from Roughneck Logging features a heavy-duty stainless steel construction and with a durable laser cut edge to ensure that it will be many years before you need to replace it.

The 10-pound weighted hammer handle reduces the force that you need to apply to use the log splitter and it also has a cushioned grip to make it more comfortable to use.

This slide hammer is only 32-5/8 inches long when in an open position and this makes it easy to store as it takes up little space.

Pros:

  • Cushioned grip handle
  • Heavy-duty steel construction
  • Durable laser-cut wedge
  • Safer slide hammer action

Cons:

  • Requires some extra muscle power to use

#10. Titan Attachments 3 Point Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Titan Attachments 3 Point Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 20 tons
  • Maximum Cut Length: 24 inches

Sometimes the typical manual log splitters will not be enough for your particular needs. And so in such circumstances, you need something more powerful like this Titan Attachment log splitter.

It is a massive 275 lbs log splitter that can generate up to an impressive 20 tons of splitting force when you integrate it with standard tractor hydraulic system. And it will split logs that are up to 24 inches long.

This heavy-duty steel log splitter also comes with an automatic return wedge that helps to speed up the splitting process.

And the top rated manual log splitter also comes with pioneer couplers and uses the standard valve type to make it more convenient.

Pros:

  • Auto return wedge design
  • Splits relatively larger logs
  • Massive splitting force
  • Heavy-duty steel construction

Cons:

  • Quite a heavy log splitter
  • Expensive

How to Buy the Best Manual Log Splitters

How to Buy the Best Manual Log Splitters

Like with most other types of log splitters, there are almost countless companies that make the manual log splitters. And so you have to be keen enough to ensure you get the best one.

But, with our reviews above for recommendations, and by considering the following points it should be easy to get a top rated manual log splitter

#1. Types of Manual Log Splitter

In your pursuit of the best manual log splitters, the first decision that you will need to make is the type to buy as there are several options. Each of these types is suitable for different kinds of situations and users, and so you need to know what works well for you.

Some of the most used types are hydraulic, splitting axe, slide hammer and the kindle splitter.

1. Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter

Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter

Hydraulic manual log splitters are one of the most common types of manual log splitters and also what many homeowners seem to prefer to use.

And as their name suggests they use hydraulics to make splitting wood easier and to supply a massive amount of driving force.

But, unlike the gas and electric hydraulic log splitters, they are hand-powered. And this means you have to pump the handles back and forth for the hydraulic piston to come into action and force the wood through the wedge.

2. Splitting Axe

Splitting Axe

A splitting axe is the best manual log splitter for you if you want something that just splits the wood without cutting the wood fibers apart.

But, unlike the traditional splitting axe, the modern one is more lightweight and easier to handle thanks to the fiberglass handle.

Also, the modern splitting axe is a super-sharp tool that is easy to swing and it will be a great choice when you want to split a small pile of logs at home.

Read More: Fiskars X27 Splitting Axe

3. Slide Hammer

Slide Hammer

If you prefer to split wood the old fashion way or get some workout while doing it, the slide hammer is your best option for a manual log splitter.

Slide hammers will consist of a long metal shaft with an attachment point on one end and they work by driving their sharp wedge straight down into the log. You need to use muscle power to drive the built-in wedge through.

Like the splitting axe, it is a great choice for occasional use when you only have a few logs to split.

4. Kindle Splitter

Kindle Splitter

The kindle splitter is a hand-operated log splitter that is a safer alternative to the traditional hatchet and axe,

This log splitter comes with a square cage at the top to protect the hand from the hammer. And to use it you have to first place the log atop the blade and then split it by hitting with a mallet.

#2. Power

When it comes to power or driving force most manual log splitters cannot rival the gas or electric ones but it is still important to consider the amount of force the splitter can generate.

On average the hydraulic manual log splitter is the most powerful as many will deliver around 10 tons of force which make it the best option when you want something highly powerful.

However, it is also important to note that with manual log splitter the user also determines the amount of power the splitter can generate. For example, with the slide hammer splitters, the amount of force that you get depends on the user's muscle power.

#3. Ability

The splitting ability of any log splitter that you buy is important as it determines how you can use it. To determine whether a log splitter is ideal for you or not, it is important to look at both the length and diameter of the logs that it can split.

However, one of the greatest mistakes that many people will make is to buy a manual log splitter that just meets their present requirements without factoring in future needs.

A good manual log splitter for you is one that has a splitting ability that exceeds your present needs.

#4. Speed

You do not want to spend a lot of time trying to split a small pile of logs. And so the speed of the splitter is always an important factor to consider.

And here the most important factor is the cycle time which is the amount of time the log splitter will take between one split and the next.

The best or the fastest manual log splitter will have a cycle time of less than one minute. However, it is worth noting that there are some like the splitting axe that will have a cycle time of up to three minutes which makes them relatively slow.

#5. Warranty

Warranty is always an assurance that a product is high-quality and will last for at least a specific amount of time. And so it is also an important factor to consider.

Although most manual log splitters are tough and highly durable, it is still a good idea to make sure that whatever you choose comes with a long enough warranty.

The warranty length varies from one brand or manufacturer to the other but something with at least a 2-year warranty should be good enough.

Conclusion

Manual log splitters are always the best choice when you want something efficient but affordable to help you split wood at home.

And when shopping for the best manual log splitter, it is always important to know the different types and also considering factors like power, cycle time and splitting ability.

With these factors in mind and by using our top 10 reviews above for recommendations, you can be sure of getting a top-notch manual log splitter.

And like with all other types of log splitters, even if you get the best hand log splitter you still need to use it with a lot of care and precaution as it is still quite a dangerous tool.

Last Updated on

Tom Bradly
 

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise.