An Introduction to Log Splitter Cylinders

Log splitters can enable you to quickly cut a cord of wood for firewood or other needs. A log splitter includes a hydraulic cylinder driven by a hydraulic pump that pushes a cut section of log into the sharp wedge cutter, splitting the log section. The log splitter cylinder can be quickly changed to increase speed or power.

When would you need to replace a log splitter cylinder?

Sometimes a cylinder becomes damaged. A crack may develop that can allow leaks of the hydraulic fluid, so you attempt log splitter cylinder repair. When log splitter hydraulic cylinder repair kits fail to rectify the problem, you will need to replace the cylinder. Another reason to replace the cylinder is the log splitter is stalling out on you when you cut logs. You may also want to cut logs more quickly or have more power when splitting wood to handle larger logs. Both of these require replacing the cylinders. Since hydraulic pressure (PSI) produces force but hydraulic flow (GPM) produces speed, you need a larger cylinder to get more force but a smaller cylinder to achieve greater speed. That is because larger cylinders take more oil to fill, which slows them down but allows them to produce more tonnage.

How do you choose a size of hydraulic cylinder for a log splitter?

Typically, a 4-by-24-inch hydraulic log splitter uses a 4-inch bore cylinder. That refers to 4-inch bore by a 24-inch stroke. You can replace the 4-inch cylinder that produces 31,000 pounds of push force with 2500 PSI with a 5-inch bore cylinder that can produce 49,000 pounds of force. The trade-off will be that the 5-inch cylinder goes 36% slower.

You can also replace the cylinder on your hydraulic wood splitter along with many other log splitter parts, such as the hydraulic pump for the log splitter. You can experiment with various sizes of cylinders to find your sweet spot of power and speed. Common sizes include the following:

  • 4 inches
  • 4 1/2 inches
  • 5 inches
Log splitter cylinder accessories

You can enhance the performance of the log splitter with cylinder accessories, such as a log splitter cylinder anchor block, slide wedge push plates, log splitter build kits, and detent valve and hose kits. Anchor blocks hold the cylinder housing strongly in place to give them more power. The available kits let you further tweak cylinder performance.