Garden & Lawn

Top 4 Manual Log Splitters with up to 10 tons of splitting power

Last updated on May 25th, 2021

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Choosing the best manual log splitter

If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful log burning stove or open fire in your home then one problem you may have come across to splitting your logs into more manageable-sized pieces.

It is time to leave your old ways behind and retire your axe to the shed.

If you are still using an axe and splitting maul, you will probably know, splitting logs like this can dangerous not to mention very time consuming but why struggle to break into a sweat when you can get yourself a manual log splitter for a little more than £50.00, but some of the best models cost well over £150 if you need to split the biggest of logs.

Despite its expensive price tag, our ‘Best Pick’ had to be the Forest Master Manual Log Splitter as no other log splitter evens comes close to its splitting power and build quality. We are also a big fan of the Forest Master Electric log Splitters which we also review here

BEST PICK

Forest Master Manual Log Splitter
By far the best manual log splitter we have reviewed, the build quality is exceptional, plenty of splitting power and best of all it can be operated by foot or hand in a vertical or horizontal position. It can also split logs up to a very impressive 60cm (24 inches), no other log splitter even comes close to these capabilities.

BEST ENTRY LEVEL MANUAL MODEL

Sealey LS450H Manual Log Splitter
The Sealey LS450H manual log splitter is an affordable, entry-level model. It is great for cutting smaller logs or making kindle. A lightweight, foot-operated, compact design with a maximum splitting diameter of 250mm and a maximum length of 450mm.

MANUAL LOG SPLITTER REVIEWS

1. Forest Master 10T Duocut Log Splitter

BEST PICK

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Forest master Manual Heavy Duty Log Splitter Fast 10 Ton splitting force DUO10T

Forest Master are renowned for their high-quality log splitters and produce some of the best electric and petrol powered models currently available. So how does their manual model compare?

We are going to get straight to the point. This is the best manual log splitter on the market today!

The Forest Mast Duocut 10 ton log splitter is the world’s most powerful and fastest log splitter and at around £200 it is not cheap. However, with the features and capabilities it has, you will see why it is worthy of the extra investment.

Features & Specification

  • Can be operated by foot or hand in both a vertical or horizontal position.
  • Rapid lift jack, 16mm-20mm lift per crank.
  • Produces 10 tons of pressure and uses two blades rather than one.
  • Product weight: 36kg.
  • The maximum log length is 51cm (20 inches).
  • The maximum log diameter, when used vertically, is 30cm (12 inches).
  • The maximum log diameter, when used in the horizontal position, is 60cm (24 inches).
  • An adjustable wedge that can be moved closer to the log to save on splitting time.

It can be operated by foot or by hand in both vertical and horizontal position features to aid splitting speeds.

Firstly, it has an impressive 10 tons of force and has two speeds due to its upgraded and improved dual action jack. It has two handles for use when the log splitter is in the horizontal position and two pedals for use when the log splitter is in the vertical upright position.

If you use both pedals at the same time in the upright position, it produces a rapid lift of 20mm with each stroke of the peddles and produces 5 tons of force. If you use the right pedal it produces the full 10 tons of force and is ideal for larger logs.

Features a unique and innovative 2 bladed (Duocut) design. This feature is important and one of the unique designs that make this log splitter so effective and efficient compared to other models. It has two opposing blades, one that can be lowered down to one side of the log quickly and another on the jack, which is forced into the log from the other side.

By uses two blades, it means it splits the log from both ends, the advantage of this, as well as speed, is that if one blade reaches a knot in the log then the other will continue to split the log from the other end. This means it will split most if not all logs seasoned or green, one other important feature it has is a safety valve that stops you overloading and damaging the hydraulic jack which can be a problem with some models.

You can watch the video below to see this log splitter in action. 

Our Final conclusion

It will split logs with a diameter of 60cm (24 inches) and length of 51cm (20 inches), the electric equivalent which can split logs of this size cost around £400, so at around £200, it is half the price of an electric model. It also splits large logs surprising quickly and easily.

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2. Sealey LS450 Log Splitter

BEST ENTRY LEVEL MANUAL MODEL

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Sealey LS450H Foot Operated Horizontal Log Splitter, 370mm x 835mm x 520mm

The Sealey LS450H Log Splitter is a great entry-level log splitter that is perfect for cutting smaller sized logs. At only 9kg it is a fairly light, manoeuvrable and compact design that makes it easy to store away. It has a simple design and is easy to use, simply insert your log, 4 or 5 pumps on the (foot) pump and the log will split and fall to the side.

A quality product from a well-known brand, it does an excellent job on smaller logs up to an approximate size of 45cm (17.7 inches) in length, which is not a problem as longer logs can be cut into smaller lengths first if needed. The maximum diameter is 25cm (9.8 inches), with this in mind, if you have larger logs to cut then you may want to buy a larger and more rebust model.

Features & Specification

  • A foot-operated model.
  • Produces 1.2 tons of splitting force.
  • Product weight: 9kg.
  • Maximum log diameter: 250mm (9.8 inches).
  • Maximum log length: 450mm (17.7 inches).

It is great for making kindle and splitting smaller logs, considering the price it is a great tool that does exactly what it has been designed for and good as a smaller secondary log splitter.

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3. Sealey LS575VH Hydraulic Log Splitter

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Sealey LS575VH Vertical Type Hydraulic Log Splitter, 8 Tonne, 575mm Capacity, 285mm x 540mm x 1040mm

This model is more expensive than ‘The Handy Log Splitter‘ below and looks almost identical. This similar model is well made (as you would expect from a Sealey product) and will make light work of most sized logs.

Features & Specification

  • Foot-operated (15 pumps for full travel).
  • Produces 8 tons of splitting force.
  • Product weight: 38kg.
  • Maximum log length: 23 inches.
  • An adjustable wedge that can be moved closer to the log to save on splitting time.

One problem that a few people have commented on is that the seals on the hydraulic pump break when put under too much pressure. Bare in mind, that this is a very popular product and the problem more than probably arises from putting the pump under too much pressure.

The question is “How can I tell when it is at its limit?”, well it will split most logs with ease without any problem or much effort. Now and again you might get a log that just won’t split and is taking a lot more effort. If this happens, stop and split the rest of your logs as it’s probably about to break the seal. For peace of mind, it does come with 12 month warranty.

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4. The Handy 8 Ton Manual Log Splitter

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The Handy 8 Ton Manual Log Splitter

The Handy 8 Ton Manual Log Splitter will make light work of most logs, it has transport wheels on the bottom, which makes moving it about much easier.

It has a heavy-duty, adjustable wedge that can be set to a height to match the log and the hydraulic ram only takes only 13 pumps to travel the full distance.

Features & Specification

  • Foot-operated (13 pumps for full travel of the ram).
  • Produces 8 tons of splitting force.
  • Product weight: 29kg.
  • Maximum log length: 23 inches.
  • Features a two-speed setting, perfect for splitting smaller logs quickly.

It is very well built but the foot assembly does feel a little flimsy where it connects the the hydraulic pump. Overall, this does not seem to affect its use so it is probably not something to worry about, however, it does come with 1 years warranty for your peace of mind. Like all hydraulic pumps, there are a few customers who commented on how the pump seems to have lost pressure.

Most of the time, to resolve this problem you simply need to top up the oil up, which is simple enough and it should work like new once the oil is full. If needed, you can get a replacement hydraulic pump but these are around £40.00, so be sure to top up the oil first as this is usually why they fail.

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What is a log splitter?

A log splitter makes life a lot easier when it comes to splitting logs or splitting your firewood into smaller pieces, this is especially true if you have a smaller wood fire or stove where larger pieces are not suitable and need breaking down further to fit inside.

Types of Log Splitters

They are 3 main types of log splitters, manual log splitters that are powered using a peddle or handle to power a hydraulic pump, electric log splitters and then also petrol log splitters.

Sealey ls450h manual log splitter review

All log splitters use the same principle, a hydraulic ram pushes against the log and compresses it against a blade which splits the log in two.

If you split only a few logs at a time, then a manual log splitter is usually ideal and will make your life a lot easier.

If you split logs on a regular basis then it is worth considering an electric log splitter as they really do make splitting logs effortless and significantly speed up the process. If you need one for heavier use then we would recommend a heavy-duty electric log splitter. Petrol powered log splitter have the extra power for intense work and are great for situations where you may not have access to electricity to use an electric log splitter.

If you spend all day splitting logs then it might be time to consider an electric model. Read our in-depth ‘Top 7 Electric Log Splitters‘ review, you can still read about the best manual models below.

What to take into consideration

  1. Hand and foot operated models – There are three types of manual log splitters, hand-operated models which work by moving a lever up and down to move the hydraulic ram. Foot-operated ones work by pressing a foot pedal and there are models that provide both, which gives you the option on which to use that day.
  2. Vertical and horizontal models – Some models can be used vertically whilst some are used horizontally. But there are some models the allow you the option to use them both vertically or horizontally. In general, the vertical models will split larger logs.
  3. How much splitting power do they have and understanding tons of pressure – When purchasing a manual log splitter, always take note of how much tons of pressure it produces, they range from around 1 ton of force, which is ideal for smaller logs, to 10 tons of force that will split larger logs with a larger diameter.

Some models such as the Forest Master 10T also have blades at both ends, (Forest Master call this Duocut) this means the log is split from both ends of the log at the same time which makes it more efficient. This also means that if one blade reaches a knot in the log, the other blade will continue to split the log.

Advantages of a manual log splitter

  • Compact, easy to operate and store.
  • No cables to plug in, petrol to fill or parts to maintain.
  • Can be used where powered log splitters is not an option (no access to electricity etc).
  • Quiet and safe to use.

Disadvantages of a manual log splitter

  • Can be time-consuming not to mention tiring when you are splitting logs for longer periods of time.
  • Large logs may be more difficult to split or too large for a manual log splitter.

Final Conclusion

We still feel you can’t get better than an electric log splitter for both ease of use and speed, however, at the end of the day, manual log splitters are just as good at splitting logs, they just take a little man, or lady power.

If you are just splitting smaller logs or making kindle then the Sealey LS450H Manual Log Splitter is perfect and there no need to spend any more. 

If you plan on splitting larger logs then we highly recommend you invest in the Forest Mast Duocut 10 Ton Log Splitter. It isn’t cheap but you won’t find a better manual log splitter. It will pretty much split any size log, with a 60cm cutting capacity, you don’t often get logs much larger than this.

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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