A log splitter will change the way you chop firewood

Published: January 22, 2021

champion log splitter on a white background Photo courtesy Champion Power Equipment

I’ve been using log splitters for more than 25 years to turn chainsaw-cut rounds into firewood. Place a block on the splitter, move the lever, then watch the hydraulic ram cleave the wood. Machine power replaces human sweat. 

Very small electric wood splitters are available, but you’ll make more firewood in less time with a gas-powered model, and you won’t need a power outlet, either.  For the past year, I’ve been using Champion Power Equipment’s 25-ton splitter, a medium-sized, $2,000 machine that’s large enough to be useful but small enough to wheel around easily. A splitter rated at 20 to 27 tons—the force applied to the wood—is powerful enough for most logs. (My machine weighs 430 lbs, not 25 tons.)

When it’s in horizontal mode, place blocks on the tool’s beam at waist height for splitting. For heavy logs, switch it into vertical mode: pull a locking pin to tip the hydraulic cylinder and wedge into a vertical orientation. Instead of lifting large logs, you can roll them into position at ground level.  

champion log splitter in vertical orientation
The splitter in vertical position. Photo courtesy Champion Power Equipment

There’s one technical improvement I’d like to see: the wheel opposite the engine is a bit in the way when you’re working in horizontal mode. No big deal, but you’ll probably find your leg running into the wheel as you step in to operate the lever. 

I especially like my Champion splitter for one very valuable aspect: the technical support I’ve received. The company will help owners complete their own repairs remotely, even if you need to replace major parts. Connect with a tech person, explain the issue, and send them photos and video. When I did, I got the direction I needed, and Champion shipped out replacement parts. You can take your splitter to a repair shop if you want, but doing your own repairs at the cottage is more convenient. And a lot more satisfying.

Pro tip
You can tow a gas-powered splitter right to the felled tree—no power cord required.

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