American CLS Log Splitter Review


When it comes to processing large volumes of firewood efficiently and reliably, the American CLS AM-25S Super stands out as a true powerhouse. This log splitter, boasting robust construction and high-end performance features, is designed to tackle the most demanding tasks with ease and precision. In this review, we delve into the specifics of the AM-25S Super and explore its capabilities alongside its companion, the highly efficient firewood conveyor.

Features of the AM-25S Super

  • Honda 390GX Engine: Known for reliability and power, this engine ensures the splitter operates smoothly under various conditions.
  • 22 GPM Cast Iron 2 Stage Hydraulic Pump: Guarantees a steady and powerful splitting force, making the machine efficient and time-saving with a 6-7 second cycle time.
  • Heavy Duty Construction: The AM-25S features a robust 4″ x 6″ x 1/2″ tube structure, ensuring durability and longevity.
  • Auto Return Valve & 4″ x 24″ x 2″ Cylinder: Enhances the machine’s efficiency, making the splitting process smoother and faster.
  • 13″/5-Lug Highway Tires & Powder Coat Finish: Ensures easy transportation and resilience against the elements.

This splitter isn’t just about robustness and power; it’s also about user convenience. With a working height of 25″ and features like the cradle with bolt-on tabs and a wedge backer, it’s clear that every aspect of the AM-25S is designed with the user in mind.

Performance and Usability

Upon testing, the AM-25S Super lives up to its name. The splitter, described as the “little brother” of the more advanced model ‘The Animal’, still packs a hefty punch. The 22 GPM hydraulic pump, combined with the reliable Honda GX 390 engine, ensures a swift cycle time of around 6 seconds. Whether you’re using the standard single-way wedge or experimenting with the provided ‘Fat Boy’ wedge, the splitter manages to process logs effectively and efficiently.

The AM-25S Super’s design also caters to ease of use. Its relatively compact size, considering its power, means it’s manageable in various spaces, though moving it on softer surfaces like wood chips can be challenging. However, this minor inconvenience is overshadowed by the splitter’s overall performance and the thoughtful inclusion of features like bolt-on tabs for easy attachment of accessories.

The Firewood Conveyor: A Perfect Companion

The American CLS Firewood Conveyor is designed to work seamlessly with the log splitter, enhancing productivity and easing the process of firewood handling. This conveyor is not just built for durability but also for performance in all weather conditions. The Honda 200 GX engine and top-drive hydraulic motor ensure that the conveyor operates smoothly, moving firewood efficiently with its 3″ high steel paddles.

In Practice: A Real-world Test

Putting the AM-25S Super and the firewood conveyor to the test demonstrates the practicality and efficiency of these machines. The splitter, even when tested with different types of wedges, performs consistently, splitting logs cleanly and quickly. The conveyor, with its hydraulic lift and easy controls for moving paddles forward and back, complements the splitter perfectly, making the entire process of splitting, handling, and transporting firewood remarkably smooth.

Pros and Cons of the American CLS AM-25S Super Log Splitter

  • The Honda 390GX engine and the 22 GPM 2-stage hydraulic pump ensure high efficiency and a rapid 6-7 second cycle time, making it a high-performing machine suitable for demanding tasks.
  • With its heavy-duty construction, including a 4″ x 6″ x 1/2″ tube structure and a Cold-Roll Steel Finish Slide, the AM-25S Super is built to withstand heavy use and harsh conditions.
  • Comes with different wedge options, including the standard single-way, the four-way, and the innovative ‘Fat Boy’ wedge, allowing users to handle various types of wood and log sizes effectively.
  • Features like the auto-return valve, powder coat finish for durability, and working height of 25″ make it convenient and comfortable for operators to use for extended periods.
  • The option to pair it with the robust American CLS Firewood Conveyor makes moving split wood efficient, reducing the need for manual labor and increasing overall productivity.
  • While the splitter is equipped with highway tires for transportation, moving it on softer or uneven grounds like wood chips may require additional effort or machinery, potentially limiting its mobility in some conditions.
  • For new users, there might be a learning curve associated with operating the machine efficiently, especially when it comes to attaching different wedges and maintaining the machine for optimal performance.
  • Weighing 995 lbs., the machine’s size and weight could be a drawback for those who require a more portable splitter or have limited space for operation and storage.
  • Being a commercial-grade machine with high-end features, the initial investment might be significant, which could be a consideration for individual users or small-scale operations.
  • The efficiency of the machine is highly reliant on its hydraulic system. Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent potential downtime due to hydraulic issues, which could be a con for users not familiar with such maintenance.

Comparative Analysis: American CLS AM-25S Super vs. DR RapidFire Flywheel Log Splitter (Pro-XL)

Feature/AttributeAmerican CLS AM-25S SuperDR RapidFire Flywheel Log Splitter (Pro-XL)
EngineHonda 390GXKohler Command PRO 7HP
Cycle Time6-7 seconds3 seconds (kinetic)
Pump22 GPM Cast Iron 2 Stage Hydraulic PumpN/A (uses kinetic energy, no hydraulic pump)
Splitting ForceNot explicitly stated, heavy-duty performance34 tons (kinetic energy)
Wedge OptionsMultiple (standard single-way, four-way, ‘Fat Boy’ wedge)Standard wedge, no mention of alternatives
ConstructionHeavy-duty 4″ x 6″ x 1/2″ tubeSteel frame with industrial-strength I-beam
Tires and Mobility13″/5-Lug Highway Tires16″ DOT approved tires
Operational PositionsHorizontal (standard)Horizontal & vertical (optional)
Additional FeaturesPowder Coat Finish, Auto Return ValveFlywheel design for rapid splitting
Weight995 lbs.570 lbs.
Intended UseCommercial and heavy-duty residentialCommercial and heavy-duty residential
  • Power and Performance: The American CLS AM-25S Super stands out with its robust Honda engine and hydraulic system, delivering a swift 6-7 second cycle time for heavy-duty tasks. Contrastingly, the DR RapidFire Flywheel Log Splitter (Pro-XL model) employs kinetic energy and a flywheel system powered by a Kohler Command PRO engine, achieving an impressive cycle time of 3 seconds. While the AM-25S Super excels with reliable hydraulic power, the DR RapidFire demonstrates the efficiency and speed of kinetic energy, offering distinct operational advantages in different wood splitting scenarios.
  • Construction and Durability: Both machines have a heavy-duty build. The AM-25S Super has a heavy-duty tube structure, while the DR model features a steel frame with an industrial-strength I-beam.
  • Versatility and Operation: The AM-25S Super offers multiple wedge options, providing versatility in splitting different types of wood. The DR model is noted for its kinetic energy mechanism, which allows for rapid splitting, though it doesn’t mention alternative wedges.
  • Mobility: Both models have robust tires suitable for transport, with the AM-25S featuring 13″ highway tires and the DR model having 16″ DOT-approved tires.
  • Intended Use: Both splitters are designed for commercial and heavy-duty residential use, indicating their robustness and reliability.

In conclusion, while both log splitters excel in performance and durability, the choice between the two may come down to specific needs such as the preferred power source, cycle time requirements, and the need for versatility in wedge options. The American CLS AM-25S Super offers robust hydraulic power and multiple wedge options, making it versatile for different types of splitting tasks. On the other hand, the DR RapidFire Flywheel Log Splitter (Pro-XL model) stands out for its rapid kinetic splitting capability and a lighter frame, offering speed and efficiency in operation.


  • Daily Maintenance: Before you begin your workday, a thorough inspection of the AM-25S Super is essential. Check for any loose bolts, signs of fluid leaks, or damaged components, ensuring that all safety guards are securely in place and functional. Pay special attention to the hydraulic fluid levels, topping them off if necessary with the manufacturer-recommended type to maintain the integrity of the system. The engine also demands attention; verify that the oil level is within the optimal range and inspect the air filter, cleaning or replacing it if you find it clogged or excessively dirty.
  • Weekly Maintenance: Weekly checks should focus on the hydraulic system, a critical component of your log splitter. Inspect the hoses and fittings for wear or damage, and ensure all connections are tight to prevent any operational failures. The condition of the splitting wedge is equally important; a sharp wedge means efficient splitting, so sharpen it if you notice it becoming dull. Don’t overlook the tires – maintain them at the manufacturer-specified pressure to facilitate easy and safe transportation.
  • Monthly Maintenance: Regular lubrication is key to smooth operation; apply high-quality grease to all moving parts, including pivot points and the cylinder rod, to prevent rust and ensure seamless functionality. For those with an electric start model, battery maintenance is crucial; keep the terminals clean and the battery itself sufficiently charged. Additionally, the hydraulic filter should be checked and replaced periodically based on the manufacturer’s advice, preventing any contaminants from compromising your hydraulic system.
  • Seasonal Maintenance: As the season winds down, take proactive steps to ensure your splitter remains in top condition. Replace the hydraulic fluid and engine oil to guarantee your machine operates with clean, effective fluids. Proper storage is paramount; clean the splitter thoroughly and store it in a dry, covered area to protect it from harsh weather conditions. If possible, elevate the machine off the ground to prevent any potential damage to the tires. To combat rust, apply a light coat of oil or a rust inhibitor on exposed metal surfaces, safeguarding your splitter during its idle time.
  • Additional Tips: For specific maintenance recommendations and schedules, always refer to the user manual provided by American CLS. Should you encounter significant issues or if your machine requires complex servicing, such as hydraulic pump repair or engine overhaul, consider seeking professional service. Maintaining a log of all servicing activities not only helps in tracking the maintenance work done but also assists in planning future maintenance sessions, ensuring that your American CLS AM-25S Super Log Splitter remains a reliable and efficient asset in your firewood processing activities.

Regular maintenance of your American CLS AM-25S Super Log Splitter is a proactive approach to ensure its reliability, safety, and longevity. Keep a maintenance log to track all your service activities and schedule future maintenance sessions accordingly.


The American CLS AM-25S Super, along with the robust firewood conveyor, stands out as an exceptional duo for anyone serious about firewood production. With its powerful performance, user-friendly design, and durable construction, the AM-25S Super is more than capable of meeting the demands of commercial-grade firewood processing. Whether you’re operating a firewood business or simply ensuring your woodpile is stocked for the winter, this log splitter and conveyor combo promises efficiency, reliability, and longevity, making it a worthy investment for anyone in the firewood industry.


  1. What engine powers the American CLS AM-25S Super Log Splitter?
    The AM-25S Super is powered by a robust Honda 390GX engine, known for its reliability and performance.
  2. What is the cycle time of the AM-25S Super Log Splitter?
    The splitter boasts a swift cycle time of 6-7 seconds, ensuring efficient and quick splitting.
  3. Can the AM-25S Super handle different types of wood?
    Yes, the AM-25S Super is designed to handle various types of wood, with different wedges like the standard single-way, the four-way, and the unique ‘Fat Boy’ wedge to accommodate different splitting needs.
  4. What makes the American CLS Firewood Conveyor a good match for the AM-25S Super?
    The firewood conveyor is designed to complement the splitter, with a robust build, a Honda 200 GX engine, and hydraulic controls that make transporting split firewood efficient and effortless.
  5. Is the AM-25S Super portable?
    Yes, the splitter comes with 13″/5-Lug Highway Tires, making it relatively easy to transport. However, moving it on soft or uneven surfaces might require additional effort or equipment.
  6. What are the key durability features of the AM-25S Super?
    The splitter is built for durability, featuring a heavy-duty tube structure, a powder coat finish for weather resistance, and a Cold-Roll Steel Finish Slide for longevity.
  7. Is the AM-25S Super suitable for commercial use?
    Absolutely, with its robust construction, powerful engine, and quick cycle time, the AM-25S Super is well-suited for commercial firewood production operations.
  8. How does the auto-return valve benefit the user?
    The auto-return valve enhances the machine’s efficiency by automatically retracting the splitting wedge after each split, saving time and effort for the operator.
  9. Are there any safety features included in the AM-25S Super?
    Safety is a priority, and the splitter includes features like the 2″ Coupler with Safety Chains for secure towing and a stable construction to ensure safe operation.
  10. Where can I purchase the AM-25S Super and the accompanying conveyor?
    You can inquire about purchasing the AM-25S Super and the firewood conveyor directly from American CLS or authorized dealers. It’s recommended to contact them for the most accurate information on availability and pricing.

Join the discussion below by sharing your experiences, tips, or reviews. Your contributions help others make informed decisions and navigate their chainsaw choices with confidence. Let’s build a community of shared knowledge for all wood-cutting enthusiasts!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


What is the hydraulic fluid capacity?

Daniel Adams
June 11, 2024 3:44 pm

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