If you have a fireplace and you like warming your home every evening, you always need ready logs to throw in. This is where the best log splitters come in. To some people, chopping wood the conventional way isn’t an option.
It leaves their backs aching the whole day. Plus, the option isn’t that safe. It doesn’t take you long to chop wood with an axe before realizing how much time and effort it requires. Luckily, there is a solution for you.
Choosing the right wood splitter can be a challenging task, as there are several considerations to keep in mind. One of the critical aspects is portability – the convenience of towing it to different locations, and whether it’s speed rated for highways or smaller roads.
The width of the wood splitter is another crucial factor. You should be able to take it into the woods without any difficulty, but a wide stance could pose challenges on narrow trails. Moreover, it’s also beneficial to have a wood splitter that can operate both horizontally and vertically, especially when dealing with larger, gnarly rounds.
When it comes to loading logs onto the splitter, it’s important to consider the ease of handling and staging during the splitting process. Some models come equipped with a lift gate or accessories for convenience. Another key feature to examine is the maximum split width that the wood splitter can handle.
You need to ensure it aligns with the sizes of logs you typically work with, be it for campfire wood or larger outdoor boiler logs. Furthermore, the configuration of the splitting head – whether the wedge is at the top or the bottom – can significantly affect the ergonomics of the process and how the split wood falls.
Technical specifications such as an automatic reset feature for smoother operation and the power plant, including the type of motor and its horsepower, also play a vital role in the performance of the wood splitter. It’s important to evaluate the tonnage-to-horsepower ratio for optimal output. Other features such as hydraulic fluid capacity and accessibility and ease of maintenance for the wood splitter are crucial as well.
These include access to the engine, hydraulic system, filters, and other components that may need servicing. The cycle rate, indicating how fast the ram extends, travels, and fully resets, can also have a significant impact on efficiency.
Lastly, no matter the weather conditions, a well-informed choice based on careful consideration can lead to a productive wood splitting experience, rewarding the effort and support put into the task.
Top List Best Log Splitters
#1. WEN 6.5-Ton – Best Runner Up
Although you might think this force isn’t powerful enough for your needs, the machines split wood rather easily. It makes it an ideal tool that will turn your pile of logs into tiny pieces of firewood.
This particular machine can chop woods, which are 20.5 inches long and 10 inches wide. Any woodcutter can simply set this lightweight unit and allow its push plate that is connected to a fifteen-and-a-half-inch ram to do its work.
It takes only about 20 seconds for the whole process to be over. That is, six seconds for the wood to efficiently split apart, and about five seconds for the machine to retract the rim and assume a ready position. The machine is electrically powered, which means convenience and time saving for you. There are no binding maintenance needs and certainly no worries about harmful emissions.
I bought this to keep my body from getting damaged while swinging a maul. It’s quite useful. Won’t break dense, wet oak rounds or knots, but I’ll give them another go after they’ve dried a little. Works well on most straight-grained, dry rounds with diameters up to 12″ and lengths of up to 20″.
I was amused by the instructions. (“Convince a good friend or even a trustworthy foe to help” – “Talk to the log and explain what’s about to happen to make sure it’s properly prepared” – “Keep all other living creatures, including children, pets, and in-laws, a minimum of 20 feet away from the work area”) — This is not a mistake. Someone had a good time with this.
I called to have the unique screws sent to me since the manual said that the handle was already in place, but it wasn’t. You must tighten jigg bolts/screws each time you use the splitter because of the vibration produced while splitting logs.
Also, pay attention to the warning about keeping clear when using the splitter — 6.5 tons of pressure may suddenly hurl a 20-pound chunk of wet oak 15-20 feet away due to its tremendous force. You don’t want anything getting in its way!
On purchase, you get a 2-year warranty, with a nationwide network of skilled service technicians and a friendly customer helpline.
#2. LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton – Best Manual Hydraulic Log Splitter
It doesn’t use either. This means that you can save on the expenses of trying to maintain the motor or purchase the fuel. Also, it saves on the weight the machine would have.
Although the machine being manual requires a bit of an effort while splitting the wood, much of the muscle power is reduced by the hydraulics. As a result, the work is made easier. The LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton splitter is operated using two levers. One of the levers is high pressure, which makes splitting slower, and the other one low pressure, which is faster.
Apart from its amazing features, it also comes with a warranty of 2 years. If you are scouting for a splitter that will enable you to chop wood into tiny pieces, this unit has the ideal power to cut through almost anything you load on it. Also, it is highly portable.
On Performance and Power
I’ve spent some good time with the LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter, and it definitely has its high points. With a splitting force of 10 tons, it’s not the most powerful log splitter out there, but boy, does it make up for it in other ways! It’s manually operated, which gives you total control over the splitting process. That’s a plus in my book.
Ease of Use and Portability
What strikes me most about the LJ10M is its simplicity and portability. The hydraulic ram returns quickly and allows for fast log splitting. It’s compact and lightweight, which makes it a breeze to move around, whether in the garage or out in the yard. And because it’s manually operated, you don’t have to worry about running out of gas or having access to electricity.
Strengths and Areas for Improvement
In terms of strengths, I’d say the LJ10M’s durability stands out. The steel construction feels solid and sturdy. And because there’s no motor, it’s pretty quiet. You can split logs without causing a ruckus, and that’s always a win. The log cradle is also a great feature, preventing split wood from falling to the ground.
However, nothing’s perfect. The Logger Joe’s 10-ton force might not be sufficient for splitting larger, tougher logs. For smaller logs, it’s excellent, but if you’re dealing with serious timber, you might want to consider a model with more power. Also, the manual operation might be a bit tiring for some folks if you’re splitting logs all day.
Dealing with the Unexpected
One day, while working with some reasonably gnarly rounds, the LJ10M surprised me. At first glance, I was skeptical that it would handle these rounds. But I gave it a go, and the LJ10M powered through most of them with relative ease. It’s worth noting that it did struggle with a couple of particularly tough knots, but then again, that’s to be expected.
The Final Verdict
I’d give the LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter an 8 out of 10. It’s a robust, easy-to-use, and portable log splitter that’s suitable for smaller tasks or for those who value simplicity and control. While it may not be the best option for heavier-duty tasks due to its manual operation and 10-ton force, its reliability and performance still make it a worthy contender in its class.
#3. Boss Industrial ES7T20 – Best Electric Log Splitter
No wonder it is called the boss. Being a combination of both the electric and hydraulic types, it has a lot to offer. That is, regarding how easy and powerful the machine is at its work.
The machine features a fixed blade against which the log is loaded. The 7-ton force is enough to split the wood within seconds. In fact, it splits a cord in an hour. It has a powerful two-horsepower electric motor to aid in the process. The engine is relatively light, making the whole system portable.
It can be conveniently operated using a single hand. This makes it even user-friendly, though you have to ensure that your other hand is safe. To prepare for the next log, the splitter’s ram system retracts automatically. This is important to keep the rhythm going. Users who have tried it claim that it chops the wood easier than it looks.
Other features include a warranty of 2 years, that is, for domestic purposes, but for commercial use, it reduces to 90 days. That said, the tool is recommended for those struggling with medium to heavy work while chopping wood.
#4. YARDMAX 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter – Best Log Splitter for Portability
It is also best suited for most domestic purposes. The reasonable price range it falls under is all the more reason why you shouldn’t pass it for anything else.
With a 15Amp motor, the engine is adequately substantial in producing about 5 tons of pressure. While this may not suffice for many industrial applications, it does wonder in turning logs into firewood.
This log splitter chops wood that is up to 20.5 inches in length and 10 inches wide. The operation is done using two hands. You should continuously control it with the lever with one hand when the other is on the power button.
The machine comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee. Although, as with many other types of electric products, it might need some coverage. All in all, it still makes the best and the most user-friendly log splitter ever.
#5. Champion 25-Ton – Best Gas Log Splitter for Both Commercial and Domestic Use
This is the reason they are the best choices if you want to split lots of wood either for domestic or commercial purposes. The Champion 25-Ton log splitter is one such tool.
This machine comes with the ultimate power you desire to ensure your work is made much easier. The unit can hold weights of up to a hundred pounds with a capacity of splitting wood of up to 23 inches. The time it takes for the cycle is only 12 seconds.
As its name indicates, this machine has a force of 25 tons. Splitting wood is very easy as a result, and with the two catchers it is equipped with, you won’t have to fret about the daunting task of collecting logs scattered on the ground.
Although the product is heavy, the movement is aided by the D.O.T-approved tires. They make it easy to tow from one place to another.
#6. Northstar 37-Ton Log Splitter – Most Powerful Log Splitter
It comes with a very powerful engine and unbelievably 37 tons of chopping pressure! That is enough power to cut through all types of wood, although the company specifies 24 inches in length and a diameter of 16 inches.
Some users claim that they have loaded logs, which were bigger than that, but it chopped them with ease. The cycle time is about 14 seconds only.
The product packs many features to make it even more convenient and efficient. The two-star pump provides the machine the ability to use equal reassure as a single pump, while at the same time using less of the engine force.
If the amazing features and power it comes with do not tempt you to buy this particular product, then the 4-year warranty will. The manufacturer ensures everything is hassle-free.
#7. Pow’ R’ Kraft 65556 4-Ton – Best Log Splitter for the Budget
But with the metal frame, the Pow’ R’ Kraft 65556 4-Ton log splitter is constructed from, it has to be the definition of power and durability that you shouldn’t pass up.
The splitter is electrically run with 15Amp and is powered by a 1.75HP motor. It seems a little below what you may be anticipating, but it can drive the ram with a force of about 4 tons. This is still enough to accomplish most of your domestic needs.
In terms of safety, the machine can only be run with both hands. Removal of one hand will make it stop. Nevertheless, the machine is suited for many small to medium tasks.
Aside from the machine is the best for small tasks, one other thing that makes it attractive is the 2-year warranty it comes with. Also, it weighs less than a hundred pounds, making it easy to move around. Anyone would recommend this tool to you.
#8. Powerhouse XM-380 – Best Log Splitter for Domestic Purposes
A look at its reception and reviews, however, shows how quickly it is becoming the people’s favorite. It is one of the log splitters you should consider buying.
This machine has the capability of chopping approximately 100 logs every hour. This is quite impressive, which is why the splitter is perhaps one of the best tools you need if you are looking to make your domestic wood gathering a walk in the park.
It comes equipped with a powerful motor. With a Wattage of 2200, it spins the machine at 3500RPM. At this speed, any log will be chopped in only 6 seconds. Also, it takes 5 seconds for the ram to automatically retract.
Log Splitter Features
The Powerhouse XM-380 wood splitter has a 7-ton ram. This is enough force to cut several types of wood with varied thicknesses. Any log with a diameter of 12 inches and a length of 20.5 inches can be accommodated. You won’t have to worry about fueling this machine as it is electrically run.
In terms of safety, it comes equipped with overload protection that prevents the burning out of the motor. The unit is user-friendly and can be easily operated using both hands. The risks of injury are very minimal.
#9. Dirty Hand Tools 30 Ton – Best Gas Log Splitter for Versatility
It is gas-powered and it comes equipped with a powerful engine that is capable of splitting most of your logs.
The tool produces a whopping 30 tons of splitting force. Even the knotted wood types can be easily chopped. Anything smaller than 25 inches long doesn’t stand a chance.
The Dirty Hand Tools 30 Ton features road tires to enhance the towing speed. The tires are D.O.T approved, which means they are of good quality. Also, it comes with a log catcher, so, they don’t fall off the ground. Your logs can also be easily measured using the marks along with the cradle.
The purchase of this unit comes with a 4-way wedge, storage cover, and fenders. Moreover, you get a total of five replacement filters and a suction screen among other accessories. Depending on your choice, you can get warranties of up to three years.
#10. Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25 Ton – Best Gas Log Splitter
It produces an incredible 25 tons of pressure. As such, it is the best tool to own if you want to virtually do nothing while chopping wood.
The machine comes with an OHV engine, powerful enough to accommodate the tons of pressure it produces. The engine also has about 3750RPM. It has a cycle time of 17 seconds. This means it can chop the wood rapidly and assume the starting position conveniently. This is why it also cuts as the commercial option.
In terms of the wood sizes it can efficiently split, the Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25 Ton accommodates a length of 26 inches and a diameter of 30 inches. Also, the hydraulic oil can be easily pumped through the whole unit with the 2 stage pumping gear.
Yellow – You might make an assumption that this particular tool, with its power and strength, has to be producing lots of noise. You couldn’t be more wrong, it is relatively quiet, surprisingly, even better than some of the log splitters on the market.
Best Log Splitter – Buyer’s Guide
With no knowledge of what to look for when searching for the best log splitter on the market, the search can be such an overwhelming task. These tools come in various types, sizes, and capabilities. There are those that are suited for smaller tasks while others can easily accommodate large-scale projects.
Aside from knowing how a log splitter works, how do you know the perfect one for all your needs? Here are some of the things you need to consider.
The Type of Work
The type of work you are looking to do matters a lot in terms of which product to buy. For instance, a machine best suited for domestic purposes won’t be the best choice for large-scale projects. Also, the electric types are limited in terms of functionality.
As a result, you need to determine the sole purpose to which the unit will serve. If you are a homeowner and you need the tool for occasional chopping of wood, the most expensive and heavy splitter shouldn’t be an option.
What Safety Features Does it Have?
Safety is mandatory regardless of the purpose to which you are buying the tool. When that tool has sharp edges that could lead to injuries, it even becomes the first priority. Apart from wearing all the safety gear, you should ensure that the machine itself is safe for operation.
Some log splitters expose you to risks of getting hurt. There are those that can be operated using both hands while others with a single hand. Choose a product that has safety features like low-light shutdown, and overload protection among others.
Here’s a table listing some equipment that can enhance the use and safety of operating log splitters:
|Safety Glasses||To protect your eyes from flying wood chips and debris.||Anyone using a log splitter.|
|Work Gloves||To protect your hands from splinters and provide a better grip.||Anyone handling logs.|
|Steel Toe Boots||To protect your feet in case a log accidentally drops.||Anyone operating a log splitter.|
|Log Jack||To elevate logs from the ground, making them easier to move onto the splitter.||Those splitting larger logs.|
|Log Carrier||To facilitate the transport of logs from the splitting area to their destination.||Those moving split logs over a distance.|
|Ear Protection||To protect your ears from the noise produced by the log splitter, especially if it’s a motorized model.||Users of gas-powered or electric log splitters.|
|Wedges||To split logs too large for the splitter or to finish off partially split logs.||Those dealing with larger or tougher logs.|
|First Aid Kit||To be prepared for any minor injuries that may occur while operating the log splitter.||It’s a good safety measure for anyone using a log splitter.|
|Log Holder/Rack||To organize split logs neatly for drying or storage.||Those splitting a larger quantity of logs.|
|Log Splitter Cover||To protect the log splitter from weather elements when stored outside.||Those storing their log splitter outdoors.|
Remember, safety should be the top priority when operating machinery like log splitters, so protective gear is essential. And as always, make sure to use equipment that suits your specific needs and environment.
How much force does the log splitter produce? Is it enough for your needs? Each product on the market has a capability that is different from the next. However, not all of them can do what they say they do.
The machine might be producing enough power, but when you use large types of logs, they do not perform as effectively as the small logs do. This might force you to chop them into smaller logs before using the machine. The last thing you want happening is doing half the work.
What are its Features?
Even though any product that is loaded with features might cost an arm and a leg, it does you good if you gave the traits a hard look.
Most of these different products have varying modes of operation, capabilities, and the extra features they pack. Only consider those features that are useful to you. Overload protection or low-oil shutdown are some of the important features you should consider.
Others include the amount of force it provides, that is, in tons – this will allow you to determine if it will fit your needs or not, the length of the cord needed to power the machine, as well as the outlet type. The product’s warranty also goes a long way in hinting at how trustworthy the manufacturer is.
The Size It Cuts
This tells you right away if it will suffice for your needs or not. Check the maximum length and the diameter of the wood the log splitter is capable of handling before making the purchase.
Do not go buying a product that will require lots of services to keep it running. Ensure that the maintenance needs are minimal. Otherwise, you will end up spending more on it than you should have if you had chosen a different product. If it is changing the oil, the process should be simple and clean. If it requires cleaning, it should allow you to keep it free from debris among other types of dirt to keep it running efficiently.
Other things you might want to consider is the motor current – it determines the splitting force, the cycle time, and whether you need electric, a gas, manual/hydraulic log splitter.
How to Choose the best log splitter
Choosing the best log splitter is like embarking on an exciting journey! There’s a world of different models out there, and finding the perfect fit is such a rewarding experience. But where do you start? I’m here to share some insights to help you navigate this process.
- Firstly, consider the type of logs you’ll be splitting. Are you dealing with softwood like pine, or tougher hardwood like oak? The toughness and size of the logs are important to consider because they will determine the power and size of the splitter you need.
- Secondly, take into account the frequency of use. If you’re splitting logs occasionally for personal use, a smaller, manual or electric model may be more than enough. But, if you’re handling large quantities of logs on a regular basis, say for a wood-burning furnace, then you might want to consider a larger, gas-powered model.
- Portability is another factor to consider. If you need to move your log splitter around, look for a model with good wheels or one that’s light enough to carry. Trust me, your back will thank you!
- The cycle time of the splitter, which is the time it takes for the machine to split a log and return to its starting position, is another crucial factor. A splitter with a fast cycle time can dramatically increase your productivity.
- Noise level is something else to think about. If you live in a residential area or prefer a quiet working environment, an electric log splitter could be a better choice since they tend to be quieter than their gas-powered counterparts.
- Lastly, don’t overlook safety features. A log splitter is a powerful machine, so features like two-handed operation, which ensures your hands are away from the splitting wedge, are paramount.
Picking the best log splitter is all about understanding your needs and aligning them with the right features. With the right choice, splitting logs can go from a daunting task to a smooth and efficient process! Happy log splitting!
Useful manufacturers resources
Here great resources that I’ve found particularly helpful when researching the best log splitters
- Husqvarna Log SplittersHusqvarna is a renowned manufacturer when it comes to outdoor power products. I’ve personally found their website a reliable source of information. They offer a good range of log splitters, from smaller, portable models to heavy-duty, professional ones. I like how each product page on their website provides detailed specifications, helping you understand what each model is capable of.
- DR Power Log SplittersDR Power is another trusted brand in the world of log splitters. They offer a comprehensive collection of machines suited to a variety of tasks, from residential to commercial use. What I like most about the DR Power site is the reviews and ratings from real users, which offer genuine insights and can assist you in making a well-informed decision.
Remember, while these are excellent resources, it’s important to also consider your specific requirements. Factors like the types of logs you’ll be splitting, the frequency of use, electric log splitter vs gas log splitter, and your budget should also be taken into account when making your decision.
If you have made it this far through the post, you certainly have gained insight into what type of log splitter to buy. Still, if you have any doubts, the Boss Industrial ES7T20 is the first option you should consider for most of your needs. It is user-friendly, splits several types of wood, and ideal for medium and small types of projects.
Hopefully, the buyer’s guide gives you what you need to know to make an informed decision on buying the best log splitter available. Don’t forget to share!
Frequently Asked Questions about Log Splitters
What size log splitter do I need?
The size of the log splitter you need depends on the type and size of the logs you’re splitting. For instance, if you’re mostly dealing with softer woods or smaller logs (under 12 inches in diameter), a 20-25 ton splitter should suffice. If you’re regularly tackling larger logs or hardwood, you may need a splitter with a higher tonnage.
Is a gas or electric log splitter better?
It depends on your specific needs. Gas log splitters are typically more powerful and suitable for larger, harder logs. They can be used anywhere, making them ideal for remote or outdoor locations. Electric log splitters are quieter, easier to maintain, and can be used indoors since they don’t produce exhaust fumes. However, they do require access to a power outlet.
How do I maintain my log splitter?
Regular maintenance of a log splitter includes checking and changing the hydraulic fluid, inspecting and replacing the hydraulic filter, and sharpening or replacing the splitting wedge as needed. Always refer to your splitter’s user manual for specific maintenance procedures.
What safety precautions should I take when using a log splitter?
Always wear safety gear like gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy shoes. Never put your hands near the splitting area when the machine is in operation. Be sure to operate the log splitter on stable, level ground and keep bystanders, especially children, away from the operating area.
Can a log splitter split any type of wood?
While log splitters are designed to handle various types of wood, the effectiveness can vary depending on the hardness of the wood and the power of the log splitter. Some hardwoods like hickory or oak may require a more powerful splitter compared to softwoods like pine or cedar.
What’s a reasonable cycle time for a log splitter?
Cycle time refers to the time it takes for the ram to extend, split the log, and retract. Average cycle times range from 10 to 20 seconds, but high-performance models can have cycle times as low as 4 seconds. The best cycle time for you depends on your workload and efficiency needs.