How to Calculate the Splitting Force of a Log Splitter

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Log splitter pressure rating

  • Calculator

The larger the logs, the more splitting force you will need.

Store-bought log splitters are listed with specs, including splitting force, which is usually expressed in pounds or tons. The higher the splitter's pressure rating and piston area, the higher the splitting force will be. Because log splitters use hydraulic systems, you need to use the force of a hydraulic cylinder equation.

Step 1

Measure the diameter of the piston. As an example, a piston has a diameter of 5 inches.

Step 2

Square the diameter, multiply it by 3.14 and divide the result by 4 to calculate the area of the piston. In the example, squaring the diameter of the piston gives you 25, multiply 25 by 3.14 gives you 78.5 and dividing 78.5 by 4 gives you 19.625 inches squared.

Step 3

Multiply the piston's area by the splitter's pressure rating. In the example, the splitter has a pressure rating of 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). Multiplying 19.625 by 3,000 gives you 58,875. The log splitter has a splitting force of 58,875 lbs..


Find your splitter's pressure rating in the owner's manual or by contacting the business that sold you the splitter.


Jordan Whitehouse

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jordan Whitehouse has been writing on food and drink, small business, and community development since 2004. His work has appeared in a wide range of online and print publications across Canada, including Atlantic Business Magazine, The Grid and Halifax Magazine. Whitehouse studied English literature and psychology at Queen's University, and book and magazine publishing at Centennial College.