Why Is My Log Splitter Running Slow?

We’ve all been there, it’s a cold winter’s night, you get in from work and all you want is a log fire. But, you’ve burnt through all your firewood – off to the splitter you go. Unfortunately, you’ve been ignoring that niggling question “why is my log splitter running slow” – and now it’s at a snail’s pace. Not ideal. So, let’s not ignore it anymore! In this guide I’ll run you through our top troubleshooting tips to get you splitting in seconds.

A slow log splitter is often caused by issues with the power supply, hydraulics, ram, fan, pump or cylinder. Checking each element one-by-one can help you identify the cause of the problem. The speed of a log-splitter cycle ranges from 3-5 seconds up to 30 seconds, depending on age and type of log splitter.

Slow Logsplitter? Quick Checklist

  • Check power supply: if it’s electric, check the cables/fuses and if it’s petrol, ensure it has the right amount of oil and gas.
  • Check hydraulics for any jams, leaks, or bends.
  • Check if fan is spinning freely, if not there may be a blockage.
  • Check if handle is tightened securely and ensure there’s no trapped air.
  • Check ram for potential blockages. Something as small as a splinter could cause issues.
  • Check plastic spacers are tightened.
  • Check pump: is there any pressure when you gauge the splitter? If not, check your pump. If there is, check your cylinder.

Read on for a detailed guide as we walk you through each point.

Why is my wood splitter not working?

The first thing we’ve got to consider is what your log splitter runs on, firstly, let’s cover petrol log splitters as they usually require the most maintenance. If your splitter isn’t starting or won’t stay running – maintenance may fix this. Ensure your engine has the right amounts of engine oil and gas, and be sure to not over or underfill it.

Likewise, if your log splitter spends a lot of time in storage be sure to drain it of fluids; if they’re left in for long periods of time it can damage the inner workings of the machine. Moreover, keep checking your spark plug and cleaning/changing the air filter.

Troubleshooting tips for electric and hydraulic splitters

We’ve covered petrol, so now let’s move onto electric log splitters. Want to diagnose it quickly? Check the power source! This is quite often the root of the problem, whether it’s a blown fuse or a clink in the cable. Likewise, once you eliminate these – check your extension cable – this could be the issue. Ensure any extension cable is up to the job and completely unwound for optimal performance.

Now that we’ve covered those, it’s time to move onto manual hydraulic splitters. As you are the one who’s doing the heavy lifting – there’s less that can go wrong. If you find that the pedal or the rod jams or struggles to run – simply grease them up. If there are issues with hydraulics, they’re easy to locate. Once pinpointed get in touch with your manufacturer who can assist further.

why does logsplitter bog down under pressure

Why does my log splitter bog down under pressure?

If you find that your log splitter is losing pressure, there are a few things a few troubleshooting steps you can take. Firstly, run through some general maintenance checks, is the fan on the motor spinning? If you can’t effortlessly spin it – it may have a blockage.

If you’ve checked this and it’s all good, then check the handles or anywhere else that could become loose. It may seem simple, but if the handle is loose it prevents the lever from being fully pushed down. Likewise, it may seem silly, but ensuring the machine is pointing uphill or level will help it distribute power; facing downhill puts stress on the machine.

Furthermore, it could be that there is air trapped within the machine which affects the power. To bleed your machine simply turn the oil-filer plug clockwise and remove the oil filling plug. You can then release the ram and replace the oil filling plug.

Why does the ram on my log splitter not return?

Always be careful when it comes to the log splitter ram. Firstly, ensure that there aren’t any ram carriage blockages, even something as thin as a hair can cause issues. Likewise, splinters caught underneath, on, or around the blade or pusher could be preventing the ram from fully retracting.

Does your splitter have plastic spacers? If so, have they become loose – if so, slot them back in. Grease up the ram and keep an eye out for any build-up of residue or sap – these are easy fixes. Finally, it could be that the ram is bent. If that’s the case, get in touch with where you bought it.

How do I know if my log splitter pump is bad

If you can feel some pressure when you initiate the machine to split, it would suggest your cylinder is the issue. However, if there’s a lack of pressure there when the gauge is in the output line of your pump – it’ll be a bad pump.

So, the next questions is – how do I fix my pump?

You need to start the machine as normal, then move the lever into neutral. Then adjust the screw on the side of the pump to increase the pressure.

If you’ve got a 2-stage pump, firstly locate the adjustment screw on the back of the gauge (you usually adjust it with a flathead screwdriver). Behind the hydraulic gauge, you’ll find the pressure switch, a wrench will enable you to loosen it and then adjust accordingly.

how to speed up log splitter

What is a good cycle time for a log splitter?

Whether you’re a green beginner or a seasoned pro – it’s important to bear cycle time in mind. A cycle time is the length of time it takes to fully extend, then split the log and return to its start position. If your splitter states a cycle time of 10 seconds, that is the length of time it will take to split the log. Cycle times range from 3-5 seconds up to 30 seconds – depending on age and type of log splitter.

What affects cycle time for a log splitter?

Again, a number of things can affect the cycle time of your log splitter, the biggest of which is GPM (gallons per minute). Moreover, it’s important to know what type of hydraulic pump you have as this is what pumps the fluid. Cylinders also play an important part, a smaller cylinder will likely increase your cycle time. Finally, and most obviously, your cycle time can be affected by the type of wood your splitting. The harder, or more knotted the wood, the longer the cycle time.

How can I speed up my log splitter?

Well, there’s a number of ways to speed up your log splitter. Obviously, a lot of these are linked to your cycle time, for the most part, it’s a case of simply upgrading parts (or adjusting the way you use them). Consequently, the first possible upgrade is the hydraulic pump which will help improve the flow of the fluid and speed up the machine. However, this becomes more expensive if your pump upgrade then requires a new engine to support it. If you want to learn more about the technical elements. For instance, Forest Master’s guide will talk you through more in-depth technical elements of your log splitter.

Should I upgrade my log splitter?

If it gets to the point where you’re looking at upgrading various parts of your splitter, maybe it’s time to just upgrade the whole unit? As you’re well aware, there’s a multitude of options, electric or petrol? What ton? How about a manual?  Once you’ve got answers to these and more, you’ll be able to find the perfect splitter.

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