Best Manual Log Splitter — Top 4 Products Reviewed

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

Tired of swinging an axe for hours on end?

It’s fine. And it totally doesn’t make you a wimp.

Using an axe can be excruciatingly tiring. Even worse, it can take forever if you have a number of cords waiting to be split.

It’s also fine if you’re on a tight budget. Even the most affordable gas, kinetic, and electric wood splitters that are good enough are likely to be above your budget. They are the best options for splitting large logs easily, fast, and effortlessly though.

But you aren’t out of options.

Manual log splitters are inexpensive and make your work easier without entirely sacrificing that manly feeling of splitting wood by your hands.

Moreover, you don’t have to deal with faulty valves, short-circuit, no gas, or any maintenance palaver regularly.

But that’s one piece of the puzzle solved.

To get the best manual log splitters, you need to factor in features, like power and ease of use to your needs.

Not to worry, you’ll find the right piece in our top 4 manual log splitter reviews. Also, a brief guide at the end of this review will hone you in on how to pick the key features that suit your task.

Let’s go!

In a rush? We’ll recommend the Sun Joe’s LJ10M manual log splitter. It’s built with heavy-duty steel, yet weighs only 87 pounds and has two wheels to aid mobility. Its powerful enough to split all sorts of wood with little effort, but may take almost 30 seconds.

Our Top 4 Picks for Best Manual Log Splitters Are:

ProductDetails
1. Sun Joe LJ10M Manual Log Splitter

  • Auto-return ram with 10-ton driving force
  • Includes 2.4-inch wheels
  • 2-speed hydraulic pump
  • Max log length: 18” Diameter: 8”
  • Weighs 87kg
  • 2 years warranty
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2. Wel-Bilt Manual Log Splitter

  • 10-ton splitting force
  • Max log length:18” diameter
  • 2-speed hydraulic pump
  • Includes two wheels
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3. Logosol Smart Manual Log Splitter

  • Up to 14-ton driving force
  • Max log length: 22 inches
  • Striking weight: 3.5kg
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4. Kindling Cracker Manual Firewood Splitter

  • 12-inch tall cast iron frame
  • 6-5 inch diameter ring inside
  • 2 base holes for screw down bolts
  • No maintenance
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1. Sun Joe LJ10M Manual Log Splitter — Best Manual Log Splitter

The Sun Joe LJ10M is a fan favorite manual hydraulic splitter among homeowners for good reasons. For one, it’s very affordable. Also, it splits wood effortlessly with 10 tons of force and is easy to use.

Specs

  • Auto-return ram with 10-ton driving force
  • Includes 2.4-inch wheels
  • 2-speed hydraulic pump
  • Max log length: 18” Diameter: 8”
  • Weighs 87kg
  • 2 years warranty

What I Like About This Product

First off, it has a solid construction that I see going beyond the 2-year warranty coverage before it develops any fault.

Also, it’s not in any way challenging to use. After splitting, the handle can be removed or put in a relaxed position to facilitate portable storage.

The little front wheels make transporting it a lot more effortless than carrying over 80 pounds of steel to wherever you want to split wood. Plus, most manual log splitter lack wheels and customers have to fashion one themselves.

Finally, its 10-ton driving force is premium. You can split logs effortlessly, as long as they aren’t any longer (even by an inch) than 18 inches.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

The cycle time is painfully slow, using about 30 seconds to finish with a log. If you use maybe only one or two cords a year, then this wouldn’t matter much. But I use up five cords during winter alone to hit the fireplace, plus, I’m sort of an impatient person.

Pros

  • Costs under $200
  • Splits compatible logs effortlessly
  • Lightweight
  • Equipped with wheels to ease transportation on a property

Cons

  • Can’t split wood longer than 18 inches
  • Slow cycle time

Takeaway

If you want a budget wood splitter that takes the hard work out of wood splitting, I’ll recommend the Sun Joe LJ10M. But it may cost you a bit on speed.

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

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2. Wel-Bilt Manual Log Splitter

The Wel-Bilt is almost a replica of the Sun Joe LJ10M in terms of features. Except that its much more heavy-duty frame that increases its longevity.

Specs

  • 10-ton splitting force
  • Max log length:18” diameter
  • 2-speed hydraulic pump
  • Includes two wheels

What I Like About This Product

On any day, 10-tons of splitting force at the helm of two handles will always save you the stress, and blisters from swinging an axe for countless hours.

In turn, you can make more kindling even with up to 20 inches rounds, which is above its paygrade. Of course, you don’t want to keep your hopes high with knotted woods.

Also, it’s a tad bit faster than Sun Joe’s manual splitter.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

For a splitter that has little to offer than a heavy-duty construction, it’s too expensive, in my opinion. It costs almost a 100 bucks extra compared to Sun Joe’s Manual log splitter.

Pros

  • Indestructible steel construction
  • Equipped with wheels for easy maneuverability
  • Powerful splitting force
  • Relatively fast

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No free shipping

Takeaway

Another easy-to-use manual log splitter with a powerful 10-ton splitting force. This Wel Bilt Splitter and “well built” with heavy-duty steel to last for years to come.

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

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3. Logosol Smart Manual Log Splitter — Best Smart Splitter

The Logosol smart manual log splitter is portable and is somehow handles longer pieces better than most manual wood splitters.

Specs

  • Up to 14-ton driving force
  • Max log length: 22 inches
  • Striking weight: 3.5kg

What I Like About This Product

This splitter relies on the striking force of a hammer-like lever and your strength, which is somewhat labor-intensive. But definitely safer to use than a wedge and sledge or maul. Astonishingly, it’s the most powerful product in our manual log splitter reviews delivering up to 14-tons of split force.

It’s a win-win if you initially didn’t want to give up on your inner Paul Bunyan. You still get to sweat it out little. Definitely much more comfortable than using a maul.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

Agreed, it splits longer pieces than other manual log splitters in this review, but at a slower pace (only a little). Moreso, it makes your job easy as long as you aren’t splitting more than kindling.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Accommodates longer rounds
  • Safe to use and
  • Portable
  • Gives a good workout
  • Fast and easy assembly/disassembly

Cons

  • Operation is a bit labor-intensive

Takeaway

If you want a manual log splitter that still gives you some workout but quicker and safer to use than an axe, choose the Logosol Smart Splitter.

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

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4. Kindling Cracker Manual Firewood Splitter — Best Kindling Wood Splitter

A low-cost option to give up swinging your arms and toss the axe out or in a safe. You only have to hit a hammer on your log without even using to up half the force or motion of an axe swing

Specs

  • 12-inch tall cast iron frame
  • 6-5 inch diameter ring inside
  • 2 base holes for screw down bolts
  • No maintenance

What I Like About This Product

For one, it’s virtually the safest method of splitting wood. It has no sharp edges or moving parts. You only have to bolt it down, if you like, and stick a log on the ring inside. Then strike a few wacks on the head with a sledge or hammer to split it.

One customer even had their 8-year old daughter splitting wood with this cracker.

Even better, it requires no maintenance at all and can literally last a lifetime. It doesn’t use a hydraulic fluid that you may have to fill in a few years or sooner. Or any moving parts that might break from rough handling.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

It has a splitting force that solely depends on your strength, hence manual, though. Also, it only works well for splitting seasoned woods

Pros

  • Super cheap
  • Requires no maintenance
  • Can last a lifetime
  • Safe to use
  • Can be stored almost anywhere
  • Easy transporting

Cons

  • Limited splitting force

Takeaway

If you are looking for the most affordable, and easy to use way to split small rounds, the Kindling Firecracker should be your top choice.

Overall Rating – 4.4/5

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Buying Guide

The main reason you’d consider a manual log splitter is to save you the stress and dangers of using an axe. In the process, you’d have to shell out some reasonable amount of cash to get one.

And it’s worth getting the best possible value for your money. To do that, you’d have to put these key features in mind:

Splitting Force

When choosing the best manual wood splitter, splitting force is a crucial factor. It wouldn’t be reasonable to get an underpowered splitter that takes longer or more effort to cut rounds than an ax.

A splitting force of at least 10-tons would split many thick rounds, effortlessly although knotty woods may put up a tough fight.

Size

Manual log splitters vary in types, as well as size. So, if you’re looking for a very portable one, you may be giving up some splitting force.Manual hydraulic splitters are the heaviest among the bunch, weighing an average of 80 pounds.

If you want an equally or even more powerful yet portable option, smart splitters are the go-to. They are smaller and much easier to move around and store. But it takes more effort to use them, so you’d be giving up size and power for comfort.

Ease Of Use

Without any doubt, you want to be sure your log splitter works well for you in terms of comfort. By this, you have to consider the ease of adjustments and how the splitter operates.

The most effortless manual splitter to use is the hydraulic one. Next, is the manual smart splitter, followed by the kindling cracker.

Final Thoughts

At a point, it becomes necessary for you to get a splitter if you make your firewood. Getting one can be tricky. But our manual log splitter reviews help you solve a piece of that puzzle.

Manual log splitters are affordable, easy to maintain, and, most of all, get the job done. Now, it’s up to you to pick one to solve the final piece of the puzzle. If you’re still indecisive, our top pick, Sun Joe LJ10M manual log splitter, would fit right in.

It’s a hydraulic-powered splitter with a 10-ton driving force that’d handle most log rounds effortlessly for most average homeowners. Also, it has a low-profile frame that’s easy to transport and store. Most of all, it’s easy to operate and comes at a very affordable price.

 

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