The hydraulic log splitter is one of the most useful implements we have. We bought this 12-ton heavy-duty unit many years ago and it has performed flawlessly for around 25 years now. We split between 4 and 5 cords of wood a year for our woodstove and fireplace.
The splitter is attached to the tractor's 3-point hitch and to its hydraulic system. This makes for a sturdy and reliable arrangement for us. However, there are divided opinions about whether it is best to use this type of log splitter or use one with it's own (usually gasoline driven) power source and power pack (hydraulic pump and reservoir). Some say it is less expensive to run a splitter with a small gas engine than with a large diesel, and that it is more convenient not to have it hitched to the tractor for the duration of the wood splitting. If you only split a few cords of wood a year like we do, I suppose the choice of splitter doesn't make much difference.
More recent log splitters seem to have the splitting knife attached to the hydraulic cylinder rather than to the end of the splitter beam. Also, many splitters now have the facility to be operated either horizontally as well as vertically to facilitate the loading of larger rounds.
Here are two PDF files showing details of our log splitter:
1. The construction with measurents. Note that all measurements are in millimetres.
2. Details of assembly and parts.
Finally, here's a link to the manufacturer of the hydraulic valve we're using and, if you're in North America, a link to Princess Auto who sells it online.
If you'd like more information about our log splitter, please send me an email.
Updated Tuesday, 10 January 2012