Log splitters are a useful tool to have in your arsenal, so they deserve proper care. Over time, even small issues will build up and create noticeable drops in the efficiency of your log splitter. If you’re looking for ways to ensure your splitter is kept in optimal condition, then you’ve come to the right place. We will walk through some of the most useful log splitter maintenance tips.


#1: Always Read the User Manual

You don’t have to sit down and read every word. You’d probably get so bored that you wouldn’t learn anything. But the maintenance section should definitely get some attention. Use this section to make a list of general maintenance checks to perform. Since machines vary between brands, there might be maintenance issues not listed in this guide. It’s better to know now than to learn the hard way.

#2: Inspect Hydraulic Hoses

Choosing high-quality hydraulic hoses is an investment in long-term reliability and safety. Premium hoses resist wear better, offering peace of mind during operations. For optimal safety and efficiency, selecting a trustworthy hydraulic hose provider is essential. Regularly inspect hoses from the hydraulic tank to the cylinder. Due to their high pressure, avoid touching them to check for leaks; rely on visual inspections instead. If you suspect a leak, use cardboard for a closer look. Replace any hose immediately if a leak is detected.

#3: Check Hydraulic Fluid for Contamination

Water buildup will contaminate hydraulic fluid over time, so it’s important that you perform a regular inspection. If you notice a milky grey color in the fluid, then it has been contaminated. This significantly decreases the efficiency of the log splitter and will lead to other problems if left unchecked. Replace contaminated hydraulic fluid as quickly as possible.

#4: Check the Pull Cord for Weakening

The pull cord gets a lot of use, so it will eventually develop wear. Inspect its full length to ensure that it isn’t fraying. If it is, then you need to replace it as quickly as possible. You don’t want the cord breaking when you need it most!

#5: Inspect the Hydraulic Pump

This one is a bit tricky so you will have to take extra steps. The hydraulic pump contains a power take-off coupling that can sometimes get loose. Inspect it at least once a year. Here’s the challenge. If the coupling is loose, then you have to change the bearings since it’s not feasible to tighten the coupling itself. The pump will eventually fail to start up if the coupling gets too loose.

#6: Lubricate the Ram Regularly

The ram must be regularly greased in order to ensure proper operation of a log splitter. Plus the ram will get rusty if it’s not covered in grease. Needless to say, that will damage the whole machine. If you happen to notice rust on the ram during your inspection, gently sand it off and then apply grease to the affected area. If left unchecked, rust will break the hydraulic seal and lead to expensive damage, and you may end up having to shop for a new log splitter hydraulic cylinder.

#7: Perform Regular Engine Checks if Applicable

This log splitter maintenance tip is only applicable if your machine operates on a gas-powered engine. If so, then you need to inspect it regularly just like you would any other engine. Check the oil before use and make sure it’s full and that the oil is clean. Low oil levels will lead to expensive engine damage. You also want to inspect the carburetor and spark plugs as part of your scheduled maintenance.

Don’t Wait for Problems

The key is to perform preventative maintenance of your machine to catch small issues before they lead to large, expensive damage. There are certain indicators that something’s wrong, so never ignore unusual operations. The most common indicator with a hydraulic log splitter is excessive vibration.  

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