The basics on how to build a log splitter


A log splitter offers you benefits when you need to split tough, wet or any other kind of wood logs for firewood or other purposes. Log splitting eliminates the need of using a traditional chainsaw or maul. These traditional methods of splitting can be dangerous and tiresome when you are dealing with large blocks of wood. The convenience, efficiency and reduced turnaround time creates the need of a tool like a log splitter that proves to be most efficient way to split logs.

build a log splitter

Why you need to build a log splitter?

Building a Log Splitter:

Here we have shared steps for building a basic log splitter for you. Following these steps and tips will enable you to easily construct a log splitting machine.

Essentials for building a splitter:

Some of the important components and tools that you will need for building a log splitter include:

  • Splitter plans
  • Engine (At least 5 HP gas engine)
  • Hydraulic oil pump (dual stage)
  • Oil tank and filter
  • Hydraulic cylinder
  • Valve
  • Hose
  • Base (metal) for holding the splitter
  • Transporting wheels
  • Welding iron and mask
  • Piston
  • Splitting Wedge
  • Steel Bar
  • Angle Iron pieces
  • Pipe fittings
  • Drill

Preparation for building a Splitter:

Before you actually begin to build your log splitter, it is important to be cautious and prepared with all the safety considerations made.

  • Before you begin, it is important that you must be wearing appropriate safety attire. This applies true for both building as well as using your log splitter.
  • One of the important safety consideration is to have a hydraulic system including a pressure relief valve.
  • In order to keep the splitter oil clean and well maintained, it is important to have oil filter designed into the hydraulic system.
  • It is recommended that you should opt for a dual stage hydraulic oil pump. A dual stage pump allows the system to sense if there is maximium force required it will use the stage of the pump that delivers low flow but high pressure and when there is no load ie: when running the ram up to the wood before it touches it will use the other stage which is high volume of oil and a lower pressure. This speeds up your splitting
  • It is important to make sure that the wedge is sharp and would be able to split logs, usually a sharp splitting edge and then much wider at the back of the wedge this is to push the wood fibers apart after the initial split.
  • In case you are unsure about building a log splitter, you should seek help from a professional with experience in this task or take out the hassle and review whats available on the market ready for delivery.

Steps for Building

Step 1: Log splitter plans!

In order to build a log splitter, you should draw a proper plan for the build. You can find building plans available online and can purchase the one you find most appropriate. Basic components of a splitter include an engine, oil pump and a pressure controlling valve.

Step 2: Build a frame for the splitter!

Next step is the need of building a structure that can be easily transported and is capable of holding your log splitter well. This metal frame should have wheels so that you will be able to transport your log splitter with ease for varied jobs of log splitting at different locations.

Step 3: Begin assembling your splitter!

Now that the base is set and you have made all the necessary preparations, you are now good to begin building your log splitter. Attach your 5 HP gasoline fueled engine with a dual stage hydraulic oil pump. The pump must be capable of pumping at least 3 gallons of oil per minute at a pressure of 2500 PSI. Also install a pressure relief valve in the hydraulic circuit. The hydraulic cylinder should be approximately 24 inches in length and 4 inches diameter.

Step 4: Install and commission the hydraulic system!

Once you have the pump and valve mounted, lines fitted and oil tank full, ensure you have installed a relief valve or the pump has an internal relief valve installed also you have installed a oil filter on the return back to tank this will is the most economical position to put an oil filter as the oil is flowing at a lower velocity and the filter elements will be a little cheaper. Install a breather on the reservoir with a filter element as well.

Step 5: Trough for holding logs during the process of splitting!

It is a good idea to design in a table on either side of the splitter as a deck to work off when splitting, and a cradle on either side of the ram to support the round logs in position while the ram is running up to it so you can keep your hands free.


It can be satisfying to design in all the key features that you need from a good log splitter, you will be able to learn new skills while building. It is really worth getting a price on all the components required before you start, because hydraulic components are not cheap as well do you have the necessary workshop and tools to build such a machine.  If you have these then getting into building your own ultimate log splitter and you feel it might be a better course to focus on the firewood collection and need to see what available on the market then please have a read of our gas log splitter review or electric log splitter review. Happy log splitting and get ready for this winter early.