If you frequently end up having too many cords of wood on your hands, then a log splitter may be the best way to go. There is only so much you can do with a splitting maul.
With a log splitter, you can split wood three, four even five times as fast, without sacrificing your lower back.
But log splitters are not necessarily cheap.
So, how much does a log splitter cost? Log splitters, on average, cost about $1,000. The smaller manual log splitters can cost as little as $70 and up to $200 for the manual hydraulic splitters. The mid-range electric log splitters cost between $350 and $850. And the bigger, more powerful gas-powered log splitters can cost between $1,000 and $7,500.
Below I have compiled all the data and numbers that I have found while doing my research.
These numbers will give you a better idea of what to expect and what will be the best way to go about obtaining a log splitter.
How Much Do Manual Log Splitters Cost?
The most simple type of log splitters is the manual cast iron ones. They usually cost between $70 and $150.
These are very cheap but not necessarily easy to use. You will still be doing much of the work as you will have to hit the log with a hammer to get it to split.
How Much Do Manual Hydraulic Log Splitters Cost?
There are also manual hydraulic log splitters. Hydraulic log splitters cost between $130 and $300. The price will vary depending on how much force it can generate.
A manual hydraulic Log Splitter is easier to use compared to a manual one. These are great for bigger logs and can provide reasonable amounts of pressure.
How Much Do Electric Log Splitters Cost?
Electric log splitters are a step up from the manual ones. They are more powerful and easy to use.
Electric log splitters cost between $200 and $850. The cost of electric log splitters will vary depending on the type of motor, power ratings, and how much force it can provide.
How Much Do Gas Log Splitters Cost?
Gas log splitters are the perfect choice for professionals and homeowners that have to deal with large amounts of wood. The gas-run splitters are the go-to choice when you need reliability and power.
Gas log splitters cost between $600 and $4,500. Some of the more powerful commercial-grade log splitters that can deliver incredible amounts of pressure can cost as much as $7,500 and more (even reaching up to $10,000).
How Much Do 3-Point Log Splitters Cost?
A 3-point log splitter attaches to the 3-point hitch on a tractor. These log splitters can deliver high amounts of pressure and cost between $900 and $3,000. The price will vary depending on how powerful the splitter is and its additional features.
How Much Do Skid Steer Log Splitters Cost?
If you have a skid steer, you can buy a specially designed log splitter that you can attach to it. Skid steer log splitters cost between $1,900 and $8,500.
Do Higher Tonnage Splitters Cost More?
The size of the logs and the type of wood you are looking to split will determine how powerful of a log splitter you need.
For electric log splitters:
|5 – 7||$600 – $1,200|
|8 – 10||$650 – $850|
For gas log splitters:
|7 – 15||$600 – $1,200|
|16 – 22||$1,000 – $3,250|
|23 – 29||$1,000 – $5,500|
|30+||$1,200 – $7500|
For 3-point log splitters:
|13 – 16||$900 – $1,000|
|20 – 22||$1,100 – $1,700|
|25 – 31||$1,900 – $3,100|
For skid steer log splitters:
|20 – 25||$1,900 – $3,200|
|30+||$2,500 – $4,200|
Although this is not always, but there is a positive correlation between the price and the tonnage. This is why it is essential first to determine how powerful of a log splitter you need. There is no need to buy something super powerful for thousands of dollars that you will not utilize to the fullest.
How Much Does a Log Splitter Cost to Rent?
Sometimes buying and owning a log splitter is just not worth it. In this case, you may be wondering whether or not you can just rent a log splitter and how much this venture will cost you.
Renting a log splitter can cost between $8 to $20 per hour. Conversely, some equipment rentals can rent log splitters for $50 to $100 per day too. The prices for renting a log splitter can vary greatly depending on the company you rent it from, the period of time, and the type of the log splitter.
Renting a log splitter is more economical and better for people that split wood very rarely.
How Much Does a Used Log Splitter Cost?
The depreciation rates of log splitters are very low, typically between $40 to $100 per year. This means that a used $1000 log splitter can cost about $800 after 2 to 5 years of usage. The cost of used log splitters will vary depending on the model, local demand, and condition.
This can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.
Log splitters tend to hold their value, which means that if you buy a log splitter, you can use it for several years and sell it for a good price. On the other hand, if you are looking to buy a used log splitter, you can expect that to cost you somewhat close to the original retail price.
Used log splitters on average can cost between $400 to more than $2000 depending on the condition, power ratings, and more.
How Much Does Building a Log Splitter Cost?
Many landowners end up actually building their own log splitter by buying the individual parts. This, of course, requires some mechanical and technical skills and knowledge.
If you have looked up any ads for home-made log splitters, what you surely have noticed is that they are very expensive. So why is that?
The thing is that many people end up using a lot of different and usually quality components, which can end up a lot more expensive than what you will find at your local dealer. They have also calculated the amount of time it took them to assemble the whole splitter, and you end up with a hefty sum.
Home-made log splitters are usually more expensive because buying the individual parts at retail prices is more expensive. Also, many people also add in other costs to total, like how many hours it took them to ensemble the splitter.
But a log splitter can be built at home for a very affordable price too.
Building your own log splitter can cost you anywhere between $700 up to $3,000 and more depending on personal preferences, the condition and the price of the individual parts you put into it.
How Much Does the Maintenance of a Log Splitter Cost?
The costs associated with the maintenance of your log splitter should also be taken into account. Log splitters are not cheap, and their maintenance can add more to the bottom line. So let’s take a look.
The maintenance of a log splitter incorporates a few things:
- Changing the hydraulic fluid; It is recommended to change the hydraulic fluid every 100 work hours or so. Hydraulic fluids costs between $35 to $50 per gallon;
- Usually, with the changing of the hydraulic fluid the hydraulic filter needs to be replaced too, this can cost an additional $10 to $35;
- If you are running a gas-powered log splitter, this means that you need to keep track of the oil in the engine. The oil costs about $5 to $15 per quart;
- The ram needs to be lubricated. Make sure to grease it up. Grease is relatively inexpensive and lasts for a really long time;
- The hoses, pump, pull cords and other parts should be frequently inspected for any damages too; and
- Use the splitter accordingly; bent beams, fenders, jack mounts, and cradles due to improper use can cost a lot to fix.
Running Costs of a Log Splitter
If you are using a gas log splitter, the main expense will be the gas.
Log splitters vary greatly in engines and fuel efficiency. But, as a rough average, log splitters can use between 1/2 to 1 gallon of gas for every 1 to 2 cords of wood. This means that splitting 1 cord of wood can cost you anywhere between $3 to $6.
There are also other variables like your working speed, type of wood, etc., so these numbers can vary, but they are a good general guideline to go by.
Electric log splitters can use between 1.5 to 2.0 kWh, which means that you can expect an electric log splitter to cost between $0.15 to $0.30 per hour.
Other Costs Associated With Log Splitters
You will often spend more than what you see on the price tag.
Buying a new log splitter comes with transportation costs either by towing it with your own vehicle or having it delivered.
When buying a used log splitter, exercise extra caution to the condition of each part, especially the engine and the hydraulics. Used splitters often have engine problems. Replacing an engine can be quite costly.
Sometimes log splitters are sold with repair plans. These plans can cost up to 25% of the log splitter’s retail price. You may want to have a repair plan if you intend to use the splitter for splitting large amounts of logs on a daily basis.
One extra tip that I have for you is to speak to your friends or neighbors. If they could do with a good log splitter, then you can split the cost between you. That way, a good high-quality log splitter that sells for $1,200 can cost you $600 or even less.