Harbor Freight/Central machinery electric 5 ton wood splitter review

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New Member
Jul 3, 2014
I have only had it a short time so take this review with a grain of salt.

I like it. I wish my Dad had one of these back when I was 17 years old and part of my chores was to split wood. The box came in one piece with not to much damage. It was mostly assembled. I just had to screw in a handle and check the fluid which took about 20 seconds.

I put it on the tail gate of my truck and loosened the wing nut for the fluid.

It split a box of wood 4'x8'x4' that was mostly 20" diameter or smaller that was wet. Some had knots and some didn't. The wood was mostly maple with some oak. Very wet wood. Temperature was about 70 today.

It split everything I threw at it. I had one piece pop out but I put it back in and it split it with no problem. Most of the pieces I put in ranged from 12inches to 16inches. When I cut the trees up, I knew I would be splitting with this little machine so I kept the length of the wood fairly short. The next trees I cut up I will try for lengths of 16inches to 18inches and see how the splitter does.

I love the one hand operation of this splitter. I also love how it automatically goes back with your hand off the lever. It can easily be operated by one person. Hit the power button once and it stays on. I used my left hand to operate the forward gear and my right hand to guide the wood.

I like the black sides that help cradle the wood before the split begins.

I also like the lack of a gas motor. The electrical motor sounds like a table saw motor. No motor oil, gas or fumes to worry about. Being electric it is relatively light at 100 pounds. It can be moved by one person. If you want, you can put this unit in your basement or garage and operate it there.

My biggest complaint with it was the small wheels that are close together. Eventually, my first up grade would be to somehow put wide bicycle tires on it...of course I would have to raise the other end as well to keep it level. I will be building a small work bench for it since my truck will not always be available to put it on. It goes fairly slow compared to some gas powered models I have watched on utube but for the price you can't beat it.

For just over $220 (I used a 25% discount) it was a great buy so far. If I can remember, I will post another update in a few months....after the newness wears off. For now I am glad I didn't have to swing a maul 300 or so times.


Minister of Fire
Dec 15, 2011
Greenwood county, SC
Have thought of buying it but the more I watch videos of it and how sloe it is I talk myself out of it. I have been use I g my saw to noodle the big stuff and my fiskars x27 for everything . Tough stuff gets noodled or saved for when I borrow my buddies gas allotted about once a yr.


Minister of Fire
Mar 4, 2014
NE Wisconsin
I have a love/hate with my HF 5 ton. I have about 8 full cords through it now. I’ve split several 20” silver maple rounds from one tree with it, then it choked on all 6+ inch from a different silver maple. I consistently have trouble getting through elm as small as 3-6 inches but sometimes make it through 10” elm. I have a lot of box elder, sometimes it fails on 5” box elder, then it goes through a 15” box elder. It’s just so marginal that it makes differences in species, grains, and individual trees very apparent, and very random on each piece whether it will actually split or not. By now I’m noodling, mauling, or wedge/sledge most everything, at least to the point this splitter can finish it.

So, sometimes it impresses me, other times (often) it’s disappointing. I got it for the benefits the original poster mentions, and it was an economical next step that I don’t regret (8 cords that I didn’t swing at, after all). The more I use it, though, I’m getting closer to a gas splitter faster than I thought I would.
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