Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter Review


If you’re in the market for a reliable log splitter, the Predator 20 Ton might just catch your eye. Known for its robust performance and affordability, this model offers a blend of functionality and ease of use that appeals to both seasoned woodworkers and casual users. Priced at $999.99, it’s an excellent value for those looking for effective wood splitting without a hefty price tag.

Specifications of Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter

  • SKU: 61594
  • Brand: PREDATOR
  • Flow Rate: 8 GPM
  • Certification: EPA
  • Engine Displacement: 212cc
  • Fuel Type: 87+ octane unleaded gasoline
  • Horsepower: 6.5
  • Maximum Diameter: 16 in.
  • Product Weight: 378.00 lb.
  • Product Width: 41.38 in.
  • Shipping Weight: 413.00 lb.
  • Tire Size: 16 in.
  • Travel Length: 21.85 in.

Powerful Engine Performance

Close-up view of a Predator engine on a red log splitter, highlighting the 212cc label and air filter.

At the heart of the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter lies the 212cc engine, renowned for being a high-quality Honda clone. These engines are celebrated for their reliability and simplicity. From personal experience and widespread user feedback, these engines start effortlessly and run smoothly, making them perfect for heavy-duty tasks like log splitting.

Design and Usability

Close-up of a log splitter's tire, showing the tread detail and white wheel.

The design of the Predator log splitter focuses on user-friendliness. It features 16-inch wheels that facilitate easy transportation, whether you’re moving it across the yard or to a different location. The compact size also makes it convenient to store when not in use, a significant advantage for those with limited space.

Hydraulic System and Maintenance

Detailed image of a hydraulic cylinder on a log splitter, focusing on the silver metal and connection bolts.

This log splitter boasts a hydraulic pump that drives its powerful splitting action. However, it’s important to note an issue some users, including myself, have encountered: the hydraulic pump may have a seal that can protrude and potentially break, causing hydraulic oil to leak. This seems to be a rare manufacturing defect, and not a widespread problem, as most units work flawlessly. If you notice any part of a seal protruding upon purchase, it’s advisable to request a replacement immediately to avoid future complications.

Assembly and Setup

Man using a log splitter outdoors, placing a log onto the red splitter's beam.

Setting up the Predator 20 Ton can take a couple of hours, but the process is straightforward. The package includes well-labeled hoses and clear instructions, making assembly manageable even for those not mechanically inclined. While the assembly is mostly hassle-free, ensuring all hydraulic hoses are correctly fitted and protected with exterior lining is crucial for long-term durability.

Performance and Efficiency

Close-up of a person's Predator 20 Ton in action

In terms of splitting capability, the Predator 20 Ton efficiently handles logs up to 16 inches in diameter and 23.5 inches in length. Its unique dual-direction splitting feature allows it to split logs both ways, enhancing productivity by reducing the time spent repositioning logs. With an 8 GPM flow rate, each split is swift and smooth. The robust hydraulic system provides consistent force, making quick work of even dense, hard woods, ensuring efficiency in every task.

Unique Features

Detailed image of a person adjusting the hydraulic valve on a red log splitter outdoors.

One of the standout features of this log splitter is its valve operation. Unlike many other splitters that require constant manual control, this model includes an innovative valve system that automates some of the processes, reducing user fatigue and increasing efficiency.

Pros of Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter

  • I’ve used Predator engines before, and the 212cc engine on this log splitter doesn’t disappoint. It’s a robust Honda clone that handles tough jobs with ease, perfect for regular use.
  • It’s hard to beat the price point of this log splitter. It offers solid performance without costing a fortune, which is great for anyone not wanting to splurge but still expecting reliable operation.
  • Setting up this machine is straightforward, thanks to well-labeled components and clear assembly instructions. It’s user-friendly, even if you’re not particularly handy with mechanical equipment.
  • This log splitter can take on different types of wood, and it does so very efficiently, especially with softer woods. It feels sturdy and durable, a crucial factor when dealing with heavy-duty tasks.
  • Moving this splitter around is a breeze with its 16-inch wheels, and its compact design means it won’t eat up too much storage space—a big plus for those with limited room.

Cons of the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter

  • Upon purchase, double-check the hydraulic pump area. My unit had a visible o-ring issue that led to oil leakage. It’s fixable, but it’s something to watch out for right from the start.
  • If you’re looking for high-tech features, this might not be your best bet. It’s a straightforward splitter without the bells and whistles of more expensive models, which might be a downside depending on your needs.
  • Finding the right hydraulic fluid for this machine was a bit of a hunt, and it wasn’t cheap. This could add to your overall operating costs.
  • The tires do the job for moving around the property or low-speed towing, but they’re not cut out for frequent or fast transportation. You might want to keep it mostly on-site.
  • I had to buy additional protective coverings for some of the hydraulic hoses to extend their lifespan. It’s an extra step and expense, but it will ensure the machine lasts longer.

Maintenance of Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter

Maintaining the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter involves several key practices to ensure it remains in top working condition. Here’s a straightforward maintenance checklist:

  1. Regularly Check the Hydraulic Fluid: Inspect the hydraulic fluid level before each use to ensure it is at the recommended level. Change the fluid and clean the hydraulic filter annually, or more frequently with heavy use.
  2. Engine Care: Change the engine oil after the first 20 hours of use, and every 100 hours thereafter. Use the type and amount of oil specified in the user manual, typically SAE 30 or 10W-30, depending on the temperature.
  3. Inspect and Clean Air Filter: Check the air filter for debris and clean or replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, generally every 100 hours or annually.
  4. Check for Hydraulic Leaks: Regularly inspect hydraulic hoses and connections for leaks or wear. Replace any damaged hoses or fittings immediately to prevent further damage and ensure efficient operation.
  5. Sharpen the Splitting Wedge: Keep the splitting wedge sharp for efficient cutting. Sharpen the wedge as needed, depending on usage and the type of wood being split.
  6. Tighten Loose Bolts and Nuts: Due to vibration, bolts and nuts may loosen over time. Before each use, check and tighten them to ensure the log splitter is safe and effective.
  7. Clean the Unit: After each use, clean off wood debris, dirt, and grime from the log splitter. A clean machine prevents the buildup of materials that could cause rust or interfere with moving components.
  8. Protect from the Elements: Store the log splitter in a dry, covered area to prevent rust and weather damage. If outdoor storage is necessary, use a waterproof cover.
  9. Inspect Tires: Check the tire pressure regularly and keep them inflated to the specification listed in the manual. Also, check for wear or damage, especially if the log splitter is moved often over rough terrain.
  10. Winter Storage: If the log splitter will not be used during the winter months, drain the fuel from the engine or treat it with a stabilizer. This helps prevent the carburetor from gumming up and ensures an easy start when you use it next.


The Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a powerful, reliable, and easy-to-use log splitter at an affordable price. While there are a few concerns about potential hydraulic pump issues, these are not common and can be addressed quickly. With its robust construction and efficient operation, this log splitter is sure to make your wood splitting tasks much easier and faster. Whether you’re preparing firewood for personal use or tackling larger projects, the Predator 20 Ton is up to the task.


  1. What type of engine does the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter use?
    The Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter is equipped with a 212cc Predator engine, known for its reliability and efficiency, similar in design to Honda’s renowned engines.
  2. Can the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter be used on uneven terrain?
    Yes, the Predator 20 Ton comes with large 16-inch wheels that provide stability and maneuverability on various terrains, making it versatile for different outdoor settings.
  3. How does the Predator 20 Ton manage tough, knotty wood?
    With its robust 20-ton splitting force and efficient hydraulic system, this log splitter can handle tough, knotty woods, making splitting easier and less time-consuming.
  4. What safety features are included in the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter?
    Safety features include a control valve that returns to neutral automatically when not in use, ensuring the splitter blade does not move unexpectedly.
  5. Is the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter environmentally friendly?
    The Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter uses unleaded gasoline and complies with EPA certifications, minimizing its environmental impact while maintaining efficient performance.
  6. How long does it typically take to split a log with the Predator 20 Ton?
    The cycle time is optimized for efficiency, typically taking only a few seconds to split a log, depending on the wood’s hardness and size.
  7. Does the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter require assembly upon purchase?
    Yes, some assembly is required, but it is straightforward. The log splitter comes with clear instructions and labels on parts to aid in assembly.
  8. Can I adjust the splitting force on the Predator 20 Ton?
    While the splitting force is not adjustable, the 20-ton force is more than sufficient for both residential and commercial wood splitting tasks.
  9. What is the maximum log size the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter can handle?
    It can split logs up to 16 inches in diameter and 23.5 inches in length, accommodating a wide range of log sizes for various uses.
  10. Where can I purchase replacement parts for the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter?
    Replacement parts can be sourced directly from Harbor Freight or through various aftermarket suppliers that offer compatible parts for Predator equipment.

Enjoyed our review of the Predator 20 Ton Log Splitter? Have a question or want to share your own experiences? Drop us a comment below—we love hearing from you! Don’t forget to share this review with anyone who might find it helpful. Happy splitting!

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.


Leave your comment

Please enter your name.
Please provide a valid email address.
Please type your comment.