A Manual Log Splitter Review: An Easy Way to Get Ready for Camping

Good morning!  I am so excited to share a review of our latest purchase: a Central Machinery 10 ton hydraulic log splitter!

“I’m going out to split wood!” I can guarantee the husband never imagined he would hear those words come out of my mouth!

A 4×4 spacer is handy for shorter logs

But the manual log splitter, that we purchased this winter, allows even me to help get the wood ready for camping or maple syrup-ing!

For many years, the husband brought home free lumber scraps from work for our camp fires.  A recent job change means we now need to find our own campfire wood.  I have not been much help, I can move small logs and stack fire wood, but I have a healthy fear of heavy axes and power tools.  I really don’t know how to use them and am convinced I would chop off my foot.  So, I stack.

Our new manual log splitter has changed all that!

Checking the log holders underneath, so they are not catching and stopping the log

We discussed purchasing a log splitter, but the gas powered ones are too expensive and bigger than we really need.  We don’t have a wood burner in the house (yet!), so we only need wood for camping and maple syrup-ing.

Then this fall, while still looking at log splitters on the computer, the husband saw a manual log splitter.

Wow!  We never even new such a thing existed!

The husband read a few reviews and watched a few YouTube videos.  The price was reasonable, much less than the $700 gas powered ones, so we bought one!  Even if it didn’t work like we thought, it was not a huge expense.  But it works great and I love it!

Larger than the recommended 6 1/2 inch diameter logs, but still works fine!

The husband still uses the chainsaw to cut the logs.  They need to be smaller than 18 inches long to fit in the splitter.  But after that is done, I can split the logs-even by myself!

The Central Machinery log splitter stands upright in the shed when we are not using it, so it doesn’t take up much space.  When we are ready to split wood, there are 2 little wheels to help as we pull it outside.  It is a bit heavy, around 80-90 pounds, but that makes it sturdy.  Since we are wheeling and not carrying it, the weight is fine.

To use the log splitter, there are two long handles that store underneath.  It is basically a 10 ton hydraulic jack with low and high speed levers.  When a log is in place, it is easy to pump the handles.  This is not a quick process, but it is physically easy.

These little strands are tougher than they look

Both long handles are pumped until resistance is felt, then only the low speed (easier) one is used.  This gives more pressure to split wood, but moves less length for each pump.  The husband saw a few videos where the seal broke because they kept using both levers.  Once in a while, the easier lever will stop working for us; the husband may need to bleed the air out.  But so far, it has started working again after a few pumps, so we haven’t messed with it yet.

My favorite part is when the logs start creaking.  Then sometimes, they give a loud crack when they split!  It is so fun!

Can pump with both handles again, now that it is cracked

After they start splitting, we use both handles again to make it move faster.  It is not as hard to finish splitting the logs, but the little connecting fibers can be tough.  They are usually too tough for me to just pull apart.  Dropping the logs on the ground doesn’t help; it just makes the husband chuckle.

The log splitter is recommended for 6 ½ inch diameter logs, but it is very sturdy.  So far, we have had luck splitting even larger logs.  We are very careful to keep the logs straight on the splitter, so the jack doesn’t try to veer off to one side and wreck the seal.

I’ve also learned not to bring home every log that I find.  The ones I was brave enough to ask for at the park were fine, but there is a free firewood/tree dump near us with interesting logs.  The first few times I brought home logs, I didn’t realize knots and branches make the logs harder to split. I now realize that no one else took them for a reason.

Not totally smooth on the lower side (in picture), so it occasionally catches the log

There are a few things to watch for when splitting the logs.  The log holders are short L shaped metal pieces on the base of the log splitter.  Sometimes the logs will get caught on them, especially when we do larger logs, or those ones I brought home.  Now, the first thing we check when the logs won’t split is the holders and we re-position the logs when necessary.

On shorter logs, we wedge another log or 4×4 between the jack and the log to be split.  This way, the pump doesn’t need to extend as far and I don’t need to pump as much.  We make sure to check the log holders underneath, so nothing is jamming and stopping the log.

The only problem we have with the log splitter is near one of the welds on one side of the wedge.  The wedge is not centered to the piece behind it.  So one side is even, but the other side protrudes and catches on the log.  Most of the logs we have split crack apart before reaching that area, so it is not a constant problem.  But as soon as it warms up, the husband is going to make several weld passes and grind it smooth.

I filled the wheel barrel all by myself! Woo-Hoo!

We make every effort to test and review products fairly. The views expressed in this review are my personal opinion and may differ from yours.  This review was not sponsored or paid for in any way.  In fact, we bought the log splitter for our personal use this winter and loved it so much that we wanted to share it with you.

We have had so much fun using the log splitter (well, I have!).   I love hearing the logs crack apart!  I am amazed at how easy the log splitter is to use and would highly recommend the Central Machinery 10 ton hydraulic log splitter.  While it is slower than a gas powered log splitter, it is also less expensive.  It is perfect for smaller jobs, like splitting wood for camping or maple syrup-ing.  Since we just got 11 inches of snow and it is not camping weather here, at least we can be getting our wood ready for camping!

Happy Camping (or splitting campfire wood!!)

Frugal Campasaurus



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