Top 4 Manual Log Splitters Reviewed

Top 4 Manual Log Splitters Reviewed

Top 4 Manual Log Splitters Reviewed

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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 manageable pieces.

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

Are you still using a axe and splitting maul, as you probably know, splitting logs like this can dangerous not to mention very time consuming but why struggle breaking a sweat when you can get yourself a manual log splitter for a little more than £50.00 but the best models cost well over £150 if you need to split the biggest 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 splitting power and build quality. We have been a big fan of the Forest Master Electric log Splitters which we also reviewed here

Best Pick

Forest Master Ltd Log Splitter, Orange

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 vertically or horizontal position. It can also split logs up to a very impressive 60cm (24 inch), no other log splitter even comes close to these capabilities.

  • 10 tonnes of splitting power with rapid jack for fast splitting.
  • Duocut twin blades work together using two splitting blades rather than one to optimise the splitting capacity.
  • Adjustable blade position so the blade starts splitting the log immediately rather than having to crank up to the blade like some models.

The log splitters in the table below have been reviewed in more detail further down


Splitting force

Max splitting length


Forest Master Ltd Log Splitter, Orange

10 tonnes


Sealey LS450H Horizontal Foot Operated Log Splitter

1.2 tonnes


Sealey LS575VH Hydraulic Vertical Log Splitter

8 tonnes


The Handy 8 Ton Manual Log Splitter

8 tonnes


What is a log splitter

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

Want to see one in action, See the Sealey LS45HC in action below

Types of Log Splitters

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

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Sealey ls450h manual log splitter review


Sealey LS450H Manual Log Splitter

The Sealey LS450H manual log splitter is an affordable, entry level model. Great for smaller logs or making kindle. Light weight, compact design.

  • Max splitting diameter: 250mm (9.8 inches)
  • Max splitting length: 450mm (17.7 inches)
  • Tons of pressure: 1.2 tons
  • Foot operated
  • Great for splitter smaller logs and kindle
  • Ideal entry level, or second spare log splitter

They all 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 makes 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 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 extra power for intense work and are great for situations where you may not have access to electric to use an electric log splitter.

Spend all day splitting logs consider an electric model. Read out 'Top 7 Electric Log Splitters' (opens in a new window) so you can still read about the best manual models below.

What to take into consideration

Hand and foot operated models - There are three types of manual log splitters, hand operated models which work by moving a leaver up and down to move the hydraulic ram. Foot operated ones that work by pressing a foot pedal and finally models that have both, which gives you both options.

Vertical and Horizontal Models - Some models can be used vertically while some are used horizontally as well as some models having the option to use both vertically or horizontally. In general the vertical models will split larger logs.

How much splitting power do they have and understanding tons of pressure - When purchasing a manual log splitter, all ways 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 with continue to split the log.

Advantages of a manual log splitter

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

Disadvantages of a manual log splitter

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



Forest Master 10t Smart Manual Hydraulic Duocut Log Splitter review

Features & Specification

  • Can be operated by foot or hand in a vertically 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
  • Max log length 51cm (20 inches)
  • Max log diameter when used vertical 30cm (12 inches)
  • Max log diameter when used Horizontal 60cm (24 inches)
  • Adjustable wedge which can be moved closer to log to save splitting time

Forest Master are renowned for there high quality log splitters and produce some of the best electric and petrol powered models available, so how does there manual model compare.

Were 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 worlds most powerful and fastest log splitter, and at around £200 its not cheap. However with the features and capabilities it has, you will see why it is worth the extra investment.

It can be operated by foot or by hand in a vertical or horizontal position & fetaures to 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 using when the log splitter is in the horizontal position and two pedals for using 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.

Unique and innovative 2 bladed (Duocut) design 

This feature is important and one of the unique designs that makes 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, that 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 wedge 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 which stops you overloading and damaging the hydraulic jack which can be a problem with some models.

Watch the video below of 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, its half the price of the electric model. It also splits large logs surprising quickly and easily.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Sealey ls450h manual log splitter review

Features & Specification

  • Foot operated
  • Produces 1.2 tons of splitting force
  • Product weight: 9kg
  • Maximum Log Diameter: 250mm (9.8 inches)
  • Maximum Log Length: 450mm (17.7 inches)

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

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

Its great for making kindle and splitting small logs, considering the price is a great tool that does what its designed for and good as a smaller secondary log splitter.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Sealey LS575VH Hydraulic Vertical Log Splitter

Features & Specification

  • Foot operated (15 pumps for full travel)
  • Produces 8 tons of splitting force
  • Product weight: 38kg
  • Maximum Log Length: 23 inches
  • Adjustable wedge which can be moved closer to log to save splitting time.

This model is more expensive than 'The Handy Log Splitter' above 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.

One problem that a few people have remarked on is the seals on the hydraulic pump braking when put under too much pressure. Bare in mind that this is a very popular product and probably due to putting the pump under too much pressure.

The problem is "how can you tell when its at its limit", well it will split most logs with ease without any problem and without 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 its probably about to brake the seal. For peace of mind it does come with 12 months warranty.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


The Handy 8 ton manual log splitter review

Features & Specification

  • Foot operated (13 pumps for full travel of ram)
  • Produces 8 tons of splitting force
  • Product weight: 29kg
  • Maximum Log Length: 23 inches
  • Two speed setting, perfect for splitting smaller logs quickly

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 much easier.

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

It is very well build but the foot assembly does feel a little flimsy where it connects the the hydraulic pump. This does not seem to effect its use so 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 should make it work like new once the oil it 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.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below

Final Conclusion

We still feel you can't get better than an electric log splitter for 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're 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's not cheap but you want find a better manual log splitter. It will pretty much split any size log, with  60cm cutting capacity, you don't get logs much larger than this.

We hope you have found our reviews helpful, if you have any questions feel free to commend in the comments section below.

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