I purchased my Champion log splitter used about 2 years ago. My unit has a manufacturing date stamped on it in 2017, and it seems like the biggest issue I’ve had with it has been addressed on newer models.
I highlighted the issue in detail on my YouTube channel, Flat Creek Outdoors.
If you’re going to purchase a used Champion splitter, you’ll want to inspect this closely to see if you could experience a similar issue.
The return lines on the Champion splitters from a couple years ago had hose clamps holding them together. This includes the return line from the splitter control lever, as well as the dump hose back to the hydraulic oil tank. These clamp fittings can vibrate loose under normal operation and will dump hydraulic fluid all over the place, possibly spewing hot hydraulic oil on the operator or anyone else standing nearby.
If you have a newer Champion splitter, the return lines may all have threaded fittings, so you’re not likely to experience the same problem I’ve had. I have replaced all of the hose clamps on my machine, but the new ones also vibrate themselves loose every so often.
The other issue I’ve had is the control lever leaks oil, but I’ve heard that the levers can be rebuilt with new o-rings. I haven’t tried this yet.
After a couple years of work, the detent for the return handle has quit working as well. Replacement control handles can be purchased from Champion for about $160 as of this writing in February 2022, and that might buy the splitter another several years of use.
Overall, I can’t say the problems with my splitter have not been severe. I haven’t had any trouble at all with the engine or hydraulic ram. Given how many hours I’ve put on the machine, I’d say it had been a very reliable piece of equipment.
Thanks for checking out this article, and I hope you check out my YouTube channel for firewood and equipment videos.