A Guide to Renting the Right Log Splitter for You

A log splitter is a helpful tool for cutting larger logs or pieces of wood down to a manageable size. Log splitters are often expensive and cumbersome, so most people rent instead of purchasing one. Check out this list of handy tips to ensure you choose the right machine for your job.

Choose the Right Log Splitter

There are several types of log splitters: gas-powered, electric, and tractor log splitters, which run off the tractor’s motor. The power source you choose depends on where you need to split logs. If you’re out in the woods, you’ll want something more portable like a gas-powered log splitter. Although the quickest, these machines have the greatest environmental impact. Electric log splitters have a lesser impact, but the downfall is that you must be near an outlet to use one.

In addition to the different kinds of power sources, these splitters also have different capacities for cutting wood. Choose the capacity of the log splitter based on the largest log you will need to split. The splitter you purchase will also depend on whether you’re splitting fresh and moist wood, “green wood,” or aged wood, "seasoned wood." For instance, if you have a 12-inch green log, you will need at least a 16-ton log splitter. However, a 6-inch seasoned log only needs a 4-ton splitter.

Shop Around

If you live in an area with several tool-rental shops, don’t rent the first log splitter you call about. Prices will vary based on how long you plan to keep the log splitter. Estimate whether your project will take all day or several hours. Then, comparison shop before you rent.

Remember Safety

Log splitters are powered by a heavy-duty hydraulic pump that uses high pressure and a sharp wedge to split large, dense logs. Especially if you haven’t used a log splitter before, familiarize yourself with the machine before you bring it to your work site. Most rentals will come with an instruction manual. If it doesn't, ask for one or ask to be walked through the process of using the splitter, including basic trouble-shooting and safety precautions. Make sure you know what safety gear you will need to purchase to use the splitter, including safety goggles and gloves.

Read the Rental Contract

The rental contract will take several minutes to read. It will outline your obligations and responsibilities regarding the splitter. Make certain all information on the contract is correct, like the rental period and the price you were quoted.

Look For Damage

Don’t take possession of the log splitter before you look for damage and note any blemishes. Like renting a car, you can be charged for anything you don’t note before you take it away. The other reason to take a good look at the machine is that if it seems poorly maintained, abused, or badly damaged, it may not work properly and can be dangerous. Protect yourself and your wallet by taking several minutes to avoid this potentially costly mistake.