What Type Of Hydraulic Fluid For Log Splitter?

A log splitter is a device to split firewood that is already cut into pieces using a sawbench or chainsaw. It is an excellent tool for people who want to get the chopping job done with less or almost no effort in a short time.

In addition, using this ingenious tool ensures your safety as you do not need to use an ax or blade for splitting woods. Among various types of log splitters available in the market, only kinetic splitters do not use the hydraulic system.

On the other hand, other splitters like electric splitters or gas splitters, or manual hydraulic splitters are operated with hydraulics to provide splitting power to the machines. So you have to check the fluid level and add the proper hydraulic fluid to run the splitter smoothly. You should have complete idea about how your splitter works and what type of hydraulic fluid to use in your log splitter.

What type of hydraulic fluid for log splitter?

If you own a log splitter, you need to know what hydraulic fluid is suitable for your splitting machine. It would be best to use the fluid recommended by the log splitter manufacturer to avoid any damage to the device. However, sometimes you cannot find the exact brand advised by the manufacturer.

So you need to know what alternatives are available. These fluids are either synthetic or mineral-based. Synthetic fluids are artificially prepared in the lab, whereas mineral-based options are derived from crude oil. Many people prefer synthetic oil for older machines as it can lubricate the moving parts more efficiently. In addition, you can use lightweight motor oils as a substitute for hydraulic oil.

The extensively used hydraulic fluids are below.

  1. Dexron III Auto Transmission fluid
  2. 10W AW hydraulic oil
  3. AW-32 Pro Mix Hydraulic Fluid.

How much hydraulic fluid in log splitter?

It is recommended not to operate the wood splitters without the correct amount of hydraulic fluid in the tank. It can cause severe damage to the hydraulic pump, and the manufacturer’s warranty may be void in such cases. However, the fluid capacity varies from model to model and brand to brand. Most units have a 3.5 to 7 gallons reservoir, depending on the machine power and size. Therefore, you need to check the specific model’s requirement and recommendation of the manufacturer.


The volume of the reservoir is less than the unit’s fluid capacity. Therefore, when filling the entire hydraulic system, you will require an extra gallon of fluid to prime the hydraulic valve, pump, hoses, filter, and cylinder. To prime the total hydraulic system, first fill the fluid to the exact level as per the user manual’s instruction. Next, the spark plug wire needs to be disconnected.

Now pull the engine’s starter rope 10 to 15 times, allowing the hydraulic pump to push the fluid into the total area of the hydraulic system. As a result, the fluid level in the reservoir goes down. So you need to re-check and fill the tank to the appropriate level.


Before using the device, you need to complete at least 12 cycles of extension and retraction of the wedge to release any trapped air in the hydraulic system.

We do not recommend mixing different types of fluids and use them in the machine. Instead, you have to add only one approved lubricant. If the unit is filled with an unknown material, you must drain that material entirely and refill the reservoir with a known approved fluid.

When to change the hydraulic fluid?

Adding and changing the fluid is essential to keep the splitter working smoothly. If the fluid level is not okay, the hydraulic system may not apply sufficient power, and the machine can stop working.

However, you can solve the common problems quickly by checking the system’s fluid level and air leaks. A rule of thumb is checking the fluid level regularly and changing it after every 100 hours of operation.

How to change hydraulic fluid in a log splitter?

Wear and tear causes degradation and contamination of hydraulic fluid in the wood splitter over time. If you do not change them, parts of the hydraulic system will get damaged. Therefore, after every 100 hours of usage, change the fluid by below steps. Before going to the below steps, do not forget to stop the engine, disengage the spark plug wire to release the pressure of the hydraulic system.

  • Firstly, place a suitable oil collection container below the reservoir tank. Please put a tarp under the container as well.
  • Then the suction hose needs to be disengaged from the bottom of the tank.
  • Now the inlet filter needs to be removed carefully and cleaned with penetrating oil. If necessary, change the filter.
  • After that, the drain plug needs to be unscrewed to drain the fluid into the container. As the reservoir tank capacity might be 3.5 to 7 gallons, the collection container should be big enough.
  • After draining the full oil, reconnect the inlet filter and suction hose.
  • Finally, refill the reservoir tank with the hydraulic fluid.

FAQ on hydraulic fluid for log splitter

1. Difference between hydraulic fluid and hydraulic oil?

The medium used to transfer energy in hydraulic systems like hydraulic brakes, garbage trucks, or excavators is hydraulic fluid. But, on the other hand, hydraulic oil is a kind of hydraulic fluid that is highly flammable. Hydraulic fluid can perform at a wide range of pressure and temperature, whereas hydraulic oil ignites under high pressure and temperature conditions. The key difference between these two is you can use hydraulic fluid in an automobile system for automatic transmission, but you cannot use hydraulic oil for this purpose.

2. What is AW32 hydraulic oil?

It is a premium grade oil to use in all hydraulic systems where you need anti-wear hydraulic oil. All grades are oxidation and rust inhibited and holds anti-foam and anti-wear additives for releasing entrained air quickly. AW32 hydraulic oil performs well at hydraulic systems, air compressors, vacuum pumps, hand oilers for bearings, gears, cams, and other machine parts.

In log splitters, hydraulic fluids are the key material that creates the power to push the wedge through the wood. So it is vital to use the manufacturer-recommended fluid at the required amount to run the machine smoothly. It is also essential to change the fluid over time to avoid damage to the hydraulic system.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *