A couple of centuries ago, log splitting was a strenuous and very slow process that relied entirely on your own strength. It was also a rite of passage for most men, and they were required to be good at it.
Technology has greatly advanced, and now you do not need to spend hours with an axe trying to chop wood into small pieces. This may even wreak havoc on your back trying to get the right sizes with your sledgehammer and wedge.
If you really need to split some logs, the best machine for you would be a log splitter. The best log splitter will actually make this process very fast and efficient, plus, you need not employ too much energy trying to get the right size of logs.
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Best Log Splitter Reviews
You will find a review of the best available log splitters – electric or otherwise.
1. Powerhouse XM-380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter
This is a very high-quality log splitter that comes with a 3HP motor which is probably one of the most powerful log splitters in the market today.
It has the ability to deliver a 7-ton driving force and be able to handle very thick wood of up to 20.5 inches.
It also has a very fast cycle which allows you to split more wood within a short period of time. It also comes with an auto-retracting system that allows you to speed up the process.
You will need to use both hands in order to operate it, which ensures that you are always safe while using this machine.
It is highly portable and weighs 104lbs.
- Powerful motor
- Auto-retracting system
- It has a fast cycle
- It is portable
- The manual is not very clear
2. Champion 37-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Gas Log Splitter:
This is a powerful electric log splitter with a capacity of 338cc. it has a champion single cylinder and an OHV engine.
It is versatile – This log splitter can be converted from horizontal to vertical modes easily. This allows you to handle large logs with ease.
It is very fast and efficient. It has a 12 seconds cycle speed which is highly dependable, plus, the auto-return valve provides 300 cycles per hour.
It has large and very tough wheels, which makes it portable and also towable. It can also fit comfortably into a tower.
Some key features are:
Driving Force: 25-ton
Power: Gas, 224 cc
Max Cut Length: 24 inches
Weight: 430 lbs.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- It is versatile
- Has a massive driving force
- It is portable and towable
- It is very expensive
3. Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter:
This powerful electric log splitter from Boss Industrial runs on a powerful 2HP engine. This makes it very effective in cutting even the toughest of logs.
It can be able to cut wood up to 20.5 inches long, which is more than enough for most homeowners and it is also very easy and convenient to use thanks to the easy to push button. It also has a ram return system that is automatic and allows you to cut wood faster than normal.
It is one-handed, but also comes with a very easy to hold handle that will make you keep going and going.
Some key features include:
Max Cut Length: 20.5 inches
Driving Force: 7-ton
Power: Electric, 2 HP
Weight: 106 lbs.
- Has a powerful engine
- Auto ram return system
- Easy to push button
- It comes fully assembled
- It is one-hand operated which is not very safe
- May be difficult to split green wood
4. Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter
This is one of the cheapest log splitters in this list, but it is still very powerful and effective in splitting wood. It is in fact perfect for your household tasks.
It is lightweight and comes with convenient wheels to make it highly portable.
It uses a hydraulic system to generate a high driving force that is easy for wood splitting and comes with a log cradle to prevent the split logs from falling off.
It is made of durable steel construction that ensures many years of service. It also has very long handles that ensure ease of use.
Some features include:
Driving Force: 10-ton
Max Cut Length: 18 inches
Power: Manual, hydraulic
Weight: 87 lbs.
- Lightweight and therefore portable
- Has a powerful hydraulic system
- Made of durable steel
- Has a log cradle
- Easy to use
- Very reasonably priced
- Cannot be used on very hard wood
5. WEN 56207 6.5-Ton Electric Log Splitter
The house of WEN is known for some of its wood tools. And the WEN 56207 Electric Log Splitter is no different. This 6.5-ton splitter is powered by a 15-amp 2.5 horsepower motor to save you a lot of trouble in getting your logs. You can get up to 120 logs in an hour.
The splitter can easily cut logs of up to 10 inches in diameter and 20.5 inches in length. You use the splitter two-handed which adds to the safety of this tool. You can also decide if you want to use the splitter with the cradle or directly on the ground. The cradle gives you an elevation of 34 inches off the ground.
The splitter can easily get through cedar, pine or oakwood with ease. The log splitter comes with a 2-year warranty.
Some key features include:
Max Cut Length: 20.5 inches
Driving Force: 6.5-ton
Power: Electric, 2.5 HP
Weight: 100 lbs
Here is a video review of the tool:
- Can be used on the ground or with the elevated cradle
- It has wheels so you can transport it easily
- It makes less noise
- It comes fully assembled
- May need to pull final chips apart manually
- Slower than other splitters
FAQ on Log Splitters
What are the different types of log splitters?
Before buying a log splitter, one of the most important decisions you will be required to make is on the type of log splitter.
Now, although they can be classified into many different categories, there will only be 3 main types per category which are manual splitters, electric and gas.
1. Manual splitters:
Just as the name suggests, these splitters are not powered and they tend to be much more physical. They are however not the same as doing it with an axe because they are faster and much less physical.
They are lightweight and easier to store and they come in models that are either foot or hand powered.
Some will actually operate on hydraulics and require the use of some weights and manpower.
The lack of an engine means that they will not produce any fumes and they have few parts which make them very cheap in terms of cost. They are easy to maintain and easy to use, plus, you do not need to spend any money on gas or electricity.
2. Electric log splitters:
These are probably the most popular type and they are very reliable and convenient for both indoor and outdoor. They are ideal for all situations and can operate the same way as the gas splitters. The only difference is that these electric splitters run using an electric motor.
They come in a compact size which makes them very light and hence portable, which is a great feature if you need to move them around, or when you do not have enough space to keep them.
You can either set them up on the ground or on a stand to make them efficient and easy to use.
Their only disadvantage is that they are not as powerful as the gas splitters.
3. Gas log splitters:
If you are the kind of person that splits lots and lots of wood, then a gas log splitter is a great investment for you. It is quite large and extremely powerful, plus it can handle a wide range of heavy-duty tasks easily and efficiently.
When you have the best gas splitter, there is almost no log splitting task that it cannot be able to handle.
Also, since this is gas-powered, you can be able to split your wood right off the grind and never have to worry about power outages.
Now, you will, however, require to maintain it regularly in order for it to perform as required. This will involve oiling the spark plugs and also replacing them from time to time.
4. Other types:
Vertical and Horizontal Log splitters:
Most of the log splitters you will find in the market are horizontal. They will have a place for the log to sit on while it is being split. You must load them with your hands and they require a separate operator who will keep lifting the log and putting it in place. This is normally a difficult job and requires a few extra pairs of hands to accomplish.
Now, the vertical splitters are better than the horizontal splitters because you do not need to lift any logs off the ground and put them in a position to be split. You can also be able to roll the large rounds and turn them onto the platform.
Hydraulic and Kinetic splitters:
A kinetic splitter will combine the use of pinion gears and flywheels in order to produce a quick release of energy that will be used to drive the wedge. This energy release is normally powered by a lever. This mechanism actually produces a quick cycling rate.
A fast-cycling speed is great especially when a lot of small cuts are needed.
A hydraulic splitter will apply pressure on the wedge which produces a split in the wood. Some good quality hydraulic splitters may have speeds that are almost as high as the kinetic splitters but they are never as fast.
These are not the best because they are slow, they have many movable parts and they require some hydraulic fluid to operate.
What is the difference between a horizontal and vertical splitter?
Horizontal splitters have a place for the log to sit on while it is being split. You must load them with your hands and they require a separate operator who will keep lifting the log and putting it in place. This is normally a difficult job and requires a few extra pairs of hands to accomplish.
While vertical splitters are better than the horizontal splitters because you do not need to lift any logs off the ground and put them in position to be split. You can also be able to roll the large rounds and turn them onto the platform.
What are some benefits of using a log splitter?
Having a log splitter is definitely a great thing, but you may wonder, if you have an axe, and you do not need to keep splitting wood all the time, is it worth?
Here are some benefits you will accrue as a result of having a log splitter:
It saves you a ton of time:
The process of splitting logs by hands takes way too much time. Not only do you need to keep cutting until you can find the right sizes to fit into the fireplace. But it also requires you to initially cut them into manageable pieces.
With a log splitter, you will only be required to cut the wood once and make it into shapes that can fit into the log splitter. This will take much less time compared to having to cut each individual piece on its own.
The length of time it will take to split the wood will also depend on the type of splitter you have. The electric and gas splitters are very fast compared to manual splitters.
It is less tiring:
Splitting wood with an axe requires a lot of energy. The force needed to completely split the log into two will actually exhaust any person, and although cutting one piece of wood may not take time, making enough to build a pile of firewood will definitely wear anyone down.
Using a log splitter saves you this energy because the machine will do the work for you. The only work you shall keep doing is to load the splitter with wood to be cut, which is definitely less tiring compared to doing all the work by yourself.
It produces a lot of firewood:
The log splitter has no limit, and it can be able to produce plenty of firewood compared to doing it manually. It will also be able to split a lot more wood in one sitting compared to doing it manually, so, if you have a need for lots of wood, this is the best option.
For those who need wood for industrial use, a log splitter will give you as much wood as you need.
It saves on heating bill:
Of course, buying a log splitter is not cheap. It is an investment and for every consumer, there is always the initial cost which may be high. This upfront cost will, however, save you money, in the long run, depending on what you shall be using the wood for.
If you will use the wood to heat up your home, this can be an extremely worthy expenditure because you will not be required to electrically heat up your home. Heating is always expensive and the heating bill always has extra expenses and costs.
With a log splitter, you will be able to cut your own wood and save on the cost of heating.
It is environmentally friendly:
Using wood to heat up your home is actually much better than using any other method. The manual log splitter is even better because it does not produce any fumes or chemicals because it is not powered by any fuel.
By using your own manpower rather than gasoline to power the machine means you are contributing to a very healthy environment, which is always a great thing.
It requires minimal maintenance:
Whilst any type of machine will require regular maintenance, and especially the large machines will need more maintaining, log splitters are fairly simple and do not require you to do much or spend too much to keep them running.
As a result of this, you do not have to worry too much about its upkeep or that it will overwhelm you.
It is portable and easy to store:
They are designed for easy mobility, and therefore they are lightweight. The ability to move it from one place to another makes it very easy to store and you can even be able to go into the woods with it and do you splitting if you do not need the noise around you or the dirt.
It can be used indoors:
When its very cold outside, being able to use your log splitter indoors is a great option. Firewood is mostly needed in the fall and winter, and being outdoors for long periods of time during the cold seasons is very uncomfortable and unsafe.
Electric and manual splitters can be used in enclosed spaces such as sheds and garages. Always ensure you have enough room to move around.
It doesn’t make too much of a mess:
They are actually quite neat contrary to popular belief. While some chips will be able to fly off the machine, if you are outdoors, you can simply pull the chips together and use them as tinder or add them to the composite pile.
Is log splitting really safe?
Yes. It is quite safe if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the following safety precautions;
- Never do it while tired or absent-minded.
- Focus all of your attention to the job of splitting wood.
- Wear protective clothing such a fitting overall, safety goggles, gloves and the right kind of boots.
Which is the right size of logs to split?
This will depend on the type of splitter you buy. First, identify what you need, and then buy a log splitter that will give you that size.
Can I be able to move it around?
Yes, log splitters are very portable, and not too heavy. You can be able to move them around from one place to another, and in fact, some come with wheels to facilitate this process.
How much do they cost?
This will depend on the type that you buy. Generally, the manual splitters are cheaper compared to the gas or electric splitters.
Buying Guide for Log Splitter
With so many options in the market, you may be spoilt for choice. The following factors should be considered when buying a log splitter:
This is very important when considering the type of log splitter, you are going to buy. It also helps in determining the size of logs that will be cut by the log splitter. Now, when splitting wood, the diameter of the log is normally used as the base point while determining the tonnage rating.
The other consideration you will need when determining this is whether the wood is green or seasoned.
Greenwood contains moisture and is difficult to cut, while seasoned wood is dry and easy to cut.
Hardwood normally requires more tonnage to cut than softwoods, so, ensure to keep that in mind when buying the log splitter.
The length of the logs you shall be cutting will be limited by the type of splitter you will buy. You will need to thoroughly consider this before buying the wood splitter so you can find the right type of logs when you cut the wood.
For most people chopping wood at home, the cycle time may not matter, but, for industrial purposes, this is a big consideration that must be put in mind before buying a log splitter.
A hydraulic splitter can take up to 30 seconds per cycle with some taking even shorter times of 10-15 seconds. A kinetic splitter is actually 6 times faster.
The only way you can be able to take advantage of a short cycle is to have more than one person working on the splitter.
Choose a splitter that can take more time per cycle, so you can be able to maximize its use.
Most of these log splitters are normally lightweight and can be moved around from one place to another.
The manual splitters are actually the most portable and can easily be manhandled to and from.
The electric and gas splitters are normally heavy and a little difficult to move around but they are still portable so you can move them.
Mode of operation:
You can either find a single-handed or two-handed log splitter. This is how you operate the functions during the log splitting.
A single-handed splitter means you operate with only one hand, and the other hand is free to do other tasks such as load the wood for splitting. A two-handed one means that you must use both hands to operate it.
Log splitters are however dangerous tools and must be handled with care. Manufacturers are aware of this and have designed log splitters that require both hands to operate in order for you to be safe as you work.
Log splitters are generally expensive and will cost you even up to $1000 for the high-quality ones.
Though we are not saying that you should spend exorbitant amounts on a log splitter, you should ensure that cost is a factor when purchasing one.
Be careful of the very cheap ones, because at the end of the day this is a machine and if it is too cheap, it will probably fail you.
A log splitter is a long-term investment, so ensure to buy one that will be economical and also serve you for a long time.
You must consider the power of the log splitter in order for it to be able to do the job you need it to do.
What you should be looking at is the total horsepower, the splitting force, and the amps.
The more powerful the splitter, the better it will be at cutting logs.
Safety tips when using the log splitter:
A log splitter is a dangerous machine to operate and you must always take care when doing it. Safety should always be your number one concern, both for you and anyone around you. Here are some tips you can use to ensure that you are always safe;
Understand the type of wood you are cutting:
Different types of wood will react differently when you cut them. It is therefore vital that you understand the type of wood you are about to cut. E.g. if you split wood that has markings and whose grain is not straight, it will split irregularly and this can be dangerous if you have not taken any special precautions before cutting this type of wood.
Always pay attention:
Log splitting should never be done when you are absent-minded. DO NOT at any one time focus on anything other than the log splitting. Don’t even listen to music or have a conversation with someone, because it may save your life.
Ensure there are no distractions and that you direct all your attention to the job being done.
Another thing you should do is ensure that you are very well rested before you start splitting the wood.
Wear fitting clothes, and not clothes that are loose, use safety goggles and put on comfortable boots before embarking on the exercise.
Log splitting is an exercise that will save you time and energy. For those very cold winter months, when you need as much heat as possible, using your fireplace to burn wood can be a very rewarding exercise, so, we highly recommend that you buy a wood splitter for your home.
Have we missed out on any log splitter in the review?