Screw Log Splitters vs. Hydraulic | The Differences

We all heard of and seen standard log splitters – the ones that have a wedge that goes back and forth, splitting a log.

Though that’s not the only type of splitter out there. Those who are aware enough have probably seen something which looks like a screw doing the exact same thing…

How good are they? Can they match the speed of a hydraulic splitter? Keep reading and find out!

The good about screw splitters


They split wood like nothing else. Seriously, even an auger powered by a small engine can run through a pile of rounds in time a hydraulic splitter would never come close to.

I must mention that this will only happen if the wood is straight grained. A screw will have a tough time dealing with gnarlier and stringier wood, like elm. I mean, it will go through, but because the fibers are still going to be holding the pieces together, you’ll need to take the round out, and finish it off with an axe.

The machine will still do most of the work, but all that positioning, removal of the pieces just to separate them will impact the overall time.

Ease of making

It is an obvious fact that it’s easier and cheaper to make a screw log splitter.

That’s because all it requires is a motor that can turn it around – hook it up to a tractor’s PTO, on a car’s wheel, whatever. As long as something can make the screw go round and round, you’ll be good to go.

Hydraulic system is another world altogether – building one requires more gray matter, that’s for sure…

I think this is the main advantage. You can save some serious buck by going for this option.

If they’re so good, why don’t i see them everywhere?

Simple – that’s because they are very dangerous.

Anything can go wrong when operating a log splitter of such type – all it needs is a loose piece of your clothes, and it’ll wind you up like a clock.

In contrast, hydraulic splitters only engage when you press a button, lower the lever, etc. Not to mention, they are no where as fast, which only makes them even more of a safe option.

Now i am not here to discourage you from building and operating a screw-based splitter – i mean, personally i would never go for it, but if you’re a bit more thorough on the whole thing, results may not be as bad.
This is as safe as you can go with a screw splitter.
What makes it so is primarily the table. It helps negate much of the wood’s movement – in other words, lessens the chance of it spinning in your hands.
An example of what NOT to do.
One more on how it can go very wrong.


Don’t expect me to give this contraption a seal of approval; BUT if you are careful enough, a screw log splitting device can be an effective tool for what it’s worth.

You really are going to be a lot better off with any other log splitter than this. Save more money and get an actual safer option.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Julius.not surprised you are not in favour of screw type splitters after looking at your selection,I probably wouldn’t risk them. However if you check out the UK made Hycrack models you will see the difference correct engineering makes,it really doesn’t matter how big and knotty the wood is ,it’s fast ,easy and very safe,I’ve long given up my large hydraulic machine due to safety concerns….logs exploding all ways! Off to do a few hours on the screw splitter now,only difficulty is getting enough wood to it quickly….cheers,Graham

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