The idea of owning a log splitter is enticing to many and for good reason. A relatively small one-time investment can turn into years of enjoyable splitting (yes, I find it enjoyable rather than just tolerable!) and countless hours of saved time and even body parts!
At the very least, I strongly suggest an entry-level electric model for a few hundred dollars if you have more than a cord or two of wood to cut each year for home heating.
Remember that even split wood does not offer kindling which is simple and safe to make with a very small log splitter.
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What’s the Cost of a Log Splitter?
The average cost of a brand new log splitter for general home or light commercial use is $1280, but even this number is deceiving. The price range starts at around $60 for a manual slide hammer splitter and goes to $72,000 for an 80-Ton hydraulic splitter. Prices will also vary according to whether the splitter is new or used, its condition, and in which part of the country you’re buying.
All research pertaining to the average cost of different styles and conditions of log splitters is based on a national average and not on any local area or state, so it’s best to confirm prices more precisely in your county or region.
What is the Average Cost of a Gas Powered Log Splitter?
The average price of a brand-new gas log splitter is $2100. The average cost of a used gas log splitter is $950. This average is based on a selection of gas-powered splitters ranging from 12-ton to 40-ton.
It’s important to note that in reality, all log splitters (other than electric and fully manual) are gas-powered since all of them have either their own engine (motor) or are attached to a tractor or skid steer which uses gasoline to produce the hydraulic power for the splitter.
However, when gasoline splitters are referenced, the understanding is that they are stand-alone units with their own gasoline engine in a self-contained, fully functioning unit.
|GASOLINE HYDRAULIC LOG SPLITTER||NEW||USED|
|27 TON||$1700 – $2000||$1350|
|34 TON||$1900 – $5400||$1400|
What is the Average Cost of an Electric Log Splitter?
The average price of a brand-new electric log splitter is $375 while the average price for a used electric log splitter is $270.
The vast majority of electric log splitters are powered by a hydraulic cylinder (as are most others) but we did include one electric kinetic splitter which does not have a hydraulic component.
|ELECTRIC LOG SPLITTER||NEW||USED|
|5 TON||$330 – $550||$220|
|7 TON||$325 – $600||$300|
|N/A – KINETIC SPLITTER||$475||$ N/A|
What is the Average Cost of a Slide Hammer Manual Log Splitter?
The average cost for a new manual slide hammer log splitter is $100 while a used model costs around $20.
We found the biggest difference between new and used splitters was found in the least expensive kind which was the manual slide hammer style splitter.
|SLIDE HAMMER MANUAL LOG SPLITTER||NEW||USED|
|NO TONNAGE (N/A)||$60 – $150||$20|
What is the Average Cost of a Manual Hydraulic Log Splitter?
The average price you’ll pay for a brand-new manual hydraulic log splitter is $290. A used manual hydraulic splitter will cost you an average of $80.
Manual hydraulic log splitters can be powered with 2 long poles moved back and forth (almost looks like the operator is cross-country skiing) or with a bottle car jack-style power cylinder.
|MANUAL HYDRAULIC LOG SPLITTER||NEW||USED|
|10 TON||$190 – $270||$60 – $120|
What is the Average Cost of a Kinetic Log Splitter?
The average price you can expect to pay for a new kinetic log splitter is $1900 while you’ll only pay $900 for a used kinetic log splitter.
Finding pricing information for kinetic splitters is a bit more difficult since there are relatively few kinetic log splitters on the market. It is a newer technology that offers some benefits like faster cutting and less fuel consumption.
|KINETIC LOG SPLITTER||NEW||USED|
What is the Average Cost of a 3-Point Hydraulic Tractor Lot Splitter?
The average cost of a 3-point hydraulic log splitter is $1950 for a new one and only $700 for a used model.
Quality 3-point splitters for tractor hydraulics are harder to find as it appears they either sell very well (used) or are not sold by the original owner very often.
|3-POINT TRACTOR HYDRAULIC LOG SPLITTER||NEW||USED|
|22 TON||$1800 – $2500||$900|
What is the Average Cost for a PTO (Power Take Off) Log Splitter?
The average cost for a new PTO (screw style) log splitter is $700 and a used PTO log splitter is about $400.
|PTO LOG SPLITTER||NEW||USED|
|NO POWER RATING||$700||$400|
What’s the Average Cost of a Skid Steer Log Splitter?
The average price you’ll pay for a new skid steer log splitter is $2780. If you’re looking for a used skid steer log splitter then the budget will be $1000 – $1500 for a 40 ton splitter or well about $1360 overall .
Skid steer log splitters come in a variety of styles that both look and operate very differently from one another. Some models have a blade with advanced tree-processing abilities while others simply have a hydraulic cylinder on one end with a wedge on the other.
As a result, prices for skid steer log splitters can vary significantly.
|SKID STEER LOG SPLITTER||NEW||USED|
|40 TON||N/A||$1000 – $1500|
|N/A TON RATING||N/A||$950|
|N/A TON RATING||N/A||$1500|
|N/A TON RATING||N/A||$1750|
What’s the Average Price for Building Your Own (DIY) Log Splitter?
Making your own log splitter can cost you as little as $400 for a safe, effective design, or more than $5000 for a very powerful, commercial-style unit. For a very simple design that utilizes a commercially available small bottle jack, the out-of-pocket costs can be as little as the cost for the jack, or around $60.
Many advantages are gained by making your own log splitter (like the ability to install large wheels and a wide base for safe and very stable highway travel) but you’ll have to love working with your hands.
You’ll also need tools and machines that allow for cutting steel, welding and more.
It’s important to note that making your own log splitter doesn’t mean it will be necessarily less expensive or more effective, or easier to use.
The example in the photo shows a splitter that needs to be pumped by hand (since it’s powered by an automotive bottle jack). It’s also very slow and cannot handle very large logs. Still, it took a very long time to make.
That said, for a cost of $60 for the jack, and potentially no other costs (if you have metal in your shop and don’t equate your time with money), you may find this option works for you.
You can also buy (there are even free versions of) plans and diagrams for making your own log splitter.
For the low cost of $19 you can get your own plans!
Click the image of the splitter above to get your own DIY splitter plans!
What is the Average Cost of Renting a Powerful Log Splitter?
The average cost of renting a 20-ton log splitter is very close to $100 per day, and over $1000 per month.
In many cases, it might make sense to rent a log splitter instead of buying one, but a bit of simple math and planning can tell you if it’s worth it. Remember that for LESS THAN the price of a one-month rental of a 20-ton splitter, you can own your own (though there will be additional costs you won’t pay if you rent).
Most rental units are fairly beefy and fall into the 20-ton or more range and I would suggest this option if you’d like to avoid frustrations with less powerful units. You’ll also have to have a hitch to tow it.
When determining the best equipment to rent, you’ll want to consider how much wood you’ll be splitting and the type of wood you’ll be working with. Also consider the time you’ll have or need to do the job, and where you’ll be splitting the wood.
This will help you determine how much power you will need to successfully finish the task within the timeframe you’ve allotted.
It’s important to note the maximum cut length and a maximum diameter of the log the equipment is able to split, especially if the wood has already been cut into shorter logs.
Splitters are oriented either vertically or horizontally. Vertical splitters require less lifting of the logs and are the best choice when splitting a higher volume of wood, or larger logs.
Horizontal machines will, by their design features, require more lifting. However, they are available in more styles because of their efficiencies inherent in the mechanics.
The Hidden Costs of Log Splitter Ownership!
While it might seem that your purchase price is all that matters when considering log splitter cost, there are, unfortunately, a whole host of other associated costs connected to many splitter models/styles/options.
I don’t like extra costs, so I bought a small, electric version that has the fewest maintenance worries of any other option I know.
Hydraulic fluid is a common item for many splitters and the cost for the fluid is minimal given the amount you’ll use.
For gas splitters, you’ll need to be aware of the costs for fuel, oil and lubrication as well as any filters needed for oil and air.
There may be fewer variables to break with skid steer or tractor-mounted splitters (since most of the mechanical components are on the host machine itself). However, any problems that do occur on 3-point or skid steer splitters will likely cost more given their heavier-duty qualities.
IMPORTANT: Be very careful when purchasing a used log splitter that has a motor. Used motors such as those found on lawnmowers and wood-chippers are notorious for becoming problematic shortly after the new owner starts using them.
If you’re buying used, it’s safer to stick with electric or maybe a well-maintained skid steer or tractor model.
Because of the wide range of prices and features offered by wood splitters, it’s more important to do your due diligence and research before buying, even more so than with many other tools or items related to lawn and home care.
If budget is a concern and you’re a home-user that splits several cords of wood annually, I’d suggest a good electric splitter. The cost won’t break the bank, it’s small and convenient, and it will likely do the job for most small logs.
If budget is less of a consideration, then the world of splitters is open to you! Consider yourself blessed!