DIY Log Splitter Guide: How to Build Your Own for Ultimate Savings

Are you tired of manually splitting firewood with an axe, causing blisters and back pain?

It might be time to consider a log splitter to remove some pressure.

If you can’t afford a log splitter, consider making your own.

For anyone interested in building their own log splitter, this article will provide a comprehensive guide on the machine and how to create your own.

In this article, we will analyze the following topics.

Wood being split using a DIY log splitter wedge, close up picture with stack of split wood in background.

Making a DIY Log Splitter

When it comes to making a DIY log splitter, you have two options:

  • A simple model that involves a cutting blade being operated manually
  • A more complex hydraulic log splitter is more complex to build but will likely result in better performance.

When chopping wood, a log splitter can save time and energy. However, store-bought splitters can be expensive, costing thousands of dollars for a decent machine.

The good news is that if you’re mechanically inclined and patient, you can create your DIY log splitter using readily available parts.

So, do you want to know how to build your log splitter?

The essential components are a wheel axle base, a sharpened cutting wedge, a fluid tank, and a few additional parts.

You can use the axle to tow your splitter around to move it from place to place.

Before we get into the plans, let’s check out what materials you’ll need to complete the job.

Materials You Need to Make a DIY Log Splitter

Making a log splitter at home can save you money. Parts are readily available at local hardware stores, junk lots, and Craigslist.

Here are the materials that you’ll need:

  • Cylinder that’s at least four inches in diameter
  • Engine that’s five horsepower or more
  • Sharp wedge. The sharpness will allow you to smoothly cut through a log while the width pushes the log apart evenly.
  • Hydraulic system with a relief valve. If there is no relief valve, pressure can build up to dangerous levels and cause explosions or breaks. It is crucial to use a relief valve to safely release pressure and maintain the proper operation of the system.
  • Pipes that can withstand at least 2500 PSI (steel water pipes won’t work).
  • Oil. Use clean hydraulic oil or non-detergent motor oil.
  • Hydraulic pump. Make sure that you choose one that is a positive displacement type, which could be a gear or a vane pump.
  • Securing straps or latches. They will keep the cylinder in place at all times.
  • Vent the tank. This will prevent the fluid from creating too much pressure as the log splitter starts.
  • Suction line. This needs to have a greater width than the pressure line because it’s harder to pull oil than to push it.

Note: You don’t need a high-pressure hose on the return line since it won’t encounter fluid buildup.

Related Reading: Make A Hydraulic Log Splitter

Finding Materials

Most of the materials listed above can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other department stores with tools and hardware.

You can also buy many of the items on Amazon and other online retailers if you want them delivered right to your front door.

Unfortunately, you will have to search through junkyards or online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Craigslist to locate an axle and several other parts.

Everything will cost you far less than you would’ve spent on a brand-new gas-powered log splitter. It’s also much more fun to make it yourself!

Log splitters can vary in price, with high-quality models ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.


If you’re working with a tight budget, it’s possible to create your own splitter for just a few hundred dollars.

This cost can be further reduced if you happen to have some of the necessary components already on hand, which is common among homeowners.

Basic DIY Log Splitter

To build a primary log splitter, you will need to create a system that drops a blade onto the wood pieces with enough force to split. 

  1. Begin by attaching a blade to a long arm. 
  2. Set up the frame with a spring that will bring the blade up to the starting position after each swing. 
  3. Use a spring that is big enough to attach a weight to it. This will give the blade more force as it comes down. The frame will also need a way to hold the wood in place so it doesn’t move under the force of the blade.

This describes a basic log splitter model that needs to be manually operated.

The user will need to pull up for each swing, and the machine will bring the blade down to split the piece of wood.

Although it may alleviate some back strain and improve efficiency, it is not ideal for large wood piles.

Hydraulic DIY Log Splitter

This design simplifies wood splitting by cutting the wood vertically.

  1. Begin by building a sturdy frame that has a holding place to keep the piece of wood still.
  2. Build a pedal that will be used as a lever to trigger the valve, transferring power to a tank. 
  3. The energy will then be pumped through a cylinder, using the pressure to drop the blade down on the piece of wood. 
  4. After splitting the wood, the valve and spring system will return the blade to its starting position. 
  5. To make the swing move, simply put your foot on the pedal.

Advantages of a Log Splitter

Using a log splitter over an axe has several advantages. If you’re considering building one, it’s worth confirming its benefits.

Better for Your Body

Splitting wood with an ax can take its toll on your back and shoulders, not to mention the hard callouses that will form on your hands.

Consider changing to a log splitter if it’s all becoming too much. Doing all the hard work will take a lot of pressure off your body.

Just make sure you get the right size of log splitter to ensure you do not still have to use a lot of your physical force.

Time Efficient

Using a log-splitting machine is much quicker than splitting wood by hand.

The machine is very efficient at spitting out useable pieces of firewood; you only have to operate it.

Consistent Wood Cuttings

Splitting logs can be difficult due to their unique shapes and sizes resulting from knots in the timber.

Make it easier to stack your firewood by using a log-splitting machine to split your wood.

This will create the perfect-sized kindling that can easily be stored for future use.

Create Hardwood for Projects

Hardwood is a dense material that is difficult to split with an axe due to its hardness.

This is where a log splitter comes in handy. 

Forget about having to struggle with an axe, swinging it over your head repeatedly just to make a dent in hardwood.

A log splitter can easily turn your hardwood into small, usable pieces of kindling, eliminating the need for manual effort.

What is a Log Splitter?

A log splitter is a machine that will help you cut firewood easily. 

Using a chainsaw or saw bench, pre-cut pieces of wood are transformed into firewood and kindling without the need for an axe or extensive physical exertion.

The process of splitting wood is now much faster and easier, resulting in a pile of firewood in a fraction of the time it would take to use an axe.

Log-splitting machines use fluid power to operate.

When using a log splitter to split wood, the initial step involves placing a piece of wood inside the machine.

Next, the operator must press a button that activates a directional valve. This will result in fluid being sent to the hydraulic cylinder’s end, thereby causing the pistons to move in an up-and-down motion.

The machine engages the log, building pressure to split the wood with fluid movement.

Before using a machine, always consult its operation manual as each machine can vary slightly.

Some machines are powered by gasoline, while others use electricity to operate. It depends on your preferences and requirements as to what machine is best for you. 

Make sure you do your research to determine whether you need a large or small log splitter and other criteria.

Use a Log Splitter Safely

These tips will ensure you and the people around you remain safe when operating a log splitter.

  • Wear protective gear. Always wear protective eyewear and gloves when operating a log splitter, including a DIY version.
  • Never operate with children around. Check your surroundings and clear the area of children before beginning the operation. They could be seriously injured if they get in the way of the blade or are impacted by flying debris.
  • Don’t operate under the influence. You should only operate a log splitter when your mind is clear, and you can focus. Never touch this machine if you have consumed mind-altering substances, including alcohol.
  • Always check the logs first. Check each log as you put it in the machine. Some have different knots and shapes that will cause them to turn or splinter off.
  • Operate with appropriate lighting. Never operate a log splitter in the dark when you can’t see what you are doing.


Here are some of the key points you should take away from this post:

  • Log splitters are valuable machines. They can make it easier and quicker to cut firewood while also taking a lot of pressure off the user’s back.
  • Log splitters can be expensive to buy, but it is possible to build one yourself. There are two options: a basic, manual option or a DIY hydraulic system.
  • Always adhere to safety warnings when operating a log splitter. You should never use this machine without protective wear, with children in the area, or under the influence of mind-altering substances.

Having a DIY log Splitter can make you cutting wood much more efficient giving you more time to enjoy other activities.

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!