10 Powerful Log Splitters Review - Top-rated Models of 2017

Who doesn't love a wood-burning fire?Champion Power Equipment No.92221 Gas Powered Log Splitter

If you heat your home with wood, you know the effort that splitting logs can take. A log splitter is a great way to save time and backbreaking effort as you turn log rounds into burnable wood. But what's the log splitter for you and your needs?

Whether you prefer an electric, hydraulic, or motorized log splitter, we have looked at some of the top-rated models in each category. Read on to discover the best of the best when it comes to log splitters and choose the perfect one to suit your inner lumberjack.

Make splitting wood a snap with one of these fantastic log splitters.

Product Name Image Splitting Force Power Overall Rating Details
Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal Splitter 22 Ton Gas 10 Check price
Powerhouse XM Electric Hydraulic Splitter 7 Ton Hydraulic 9 Check price
Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Hydraulic Splitter 10 Ton Hydraulic 8.5 Check price
WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Splitter 6 Ton Electric 8.5 Check price
Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Splitter 7 Ton Electric 9.5 Check price
Champion Power Equipment No 92221 Splitter 22 Ton Gas 8 Check price
Pow-Kraft 65556 Electric Splitter 4 Ton Electric 9 Check price
Southland Outdoor Power Equipment 25 Ton Gas 8 Check price
Goplus Electric Hydraulic Portable Splitter 6 Ton Electric 7 Check price
Northstar Horizontal Vertical Log Splitter 37 Ton Hydraulic 8.5 Check price

Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal Splitter

Dirty Hand Tools 100171, 22 Ton Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log SplitterGet Dirty with Dirty Hand Tools powerful 6.5 Horsepower beast!

A Kohler engine that can take anything that you throw at it is what you get when you use the Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal Splitter. This baby is designed for the big stuff- if you can lift it on your own, you can split it with this tough machine.

As an added bonus, the wedge offers a four-way split, which turns three splits into one and vastly cuts down on your time splitting wood. This is a great option for anyone with big trees or who tends to tear through half a dozen or more cords in a season. It's hard to find a bad review with this piece, and overall, it's a tough tool that is readily available at major stores and works great.

  • Product

Dirty Hand Tools 100171, 22 Ton Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter, 196cc Kohler...

The DHT 196 cc 22-Ton Gas Log Splitter features a Kohler SH265 engine that produces 6.5HP for powerful vertical and horizontal wood splitting. This gas log splitter also features log catchers ...

Features:

  • 22-Ton gas log splitter
  • 6.5 HP 196 cc kohler engine
  • Vertical and Horizontal splitting
  • 10.9 second cycle time to go both down and back
  • 24-inch stroke cylinder has a 4 inch diameter
  • 2-stage 13 GPM pump
  • 38 x 49 x 89 inches
  • 595 pounds
  • Factory equipped with 2 in. coupler and safety chains
  • Made in China

Conclusion

A definite winner.

Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal Splitter is one of the easiest splitters to set up and run. Everything about it-- power, reliability, capability, durability -- is excellent. The one caveat is that if something does go wrong, they're not easy to get ahold of to fix the problem. The good news is that bad, or even moderate, reviews are few and far between. You really can't go wrong with this Dirty Hand Tools splitter.

PROS:
  • 15-minute assembly time
  • Easily cuts through wood with 2-3 feet diameter
  • Kohler engine starts with 1-3 pulls every time
  • YouTube video details setup for anyone who needs assistance
  • Ram and beam are built for a lifetime
  • 4-way wedge makes splitting three times as fast

CONS:
  • Blade guards and wedge pin may warp in some cases.

Powerhouse XM Electric Hydraulic Splitter

Powerhouse XM-380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter

This quick, plug-in version will make short work of your woodpile.

This is a great choice if you want to split a lot of wood fast and not spend a lot of time tuning up a gas engine each year. The Powerhouse XM Electric Hydraulic Splitter is capable of handling up to 100 logs per hour, which can make fast work of a cord of unsplit wood. It requires two-handed operation as a safety feature and automatically retracts back when you let go so that the next log is ready to go.

An important note with this and all 3HP electric motors is that you need to have the circuitry available to handle them without blowing a fuse. The manual recommends 16 amps or more.

  • Product

Powerhouse XM-380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter, 7-Ton

You may split more than 100 logs in less than an hour without giving yourself a backache or headache. This powerful tool eliminates injuries and empowers anybody to be able to split their own logs at ...

Powerful, convenient and efficient. Who could ask for more?

Features:

  • 7-ton, 3 horsepower motor
  • 2500 Watts and 3500 RPM
  • Splits logs up to 12 inches wide and 20.5 inches long
  • 15.7-inch ram travel distance
  • 104 pounds of weight
  • 19.29 x 11.81 x 38.19 inches in dimension
  • Comes in red
  • Splits a log in 6 seconds, up to 100 logs per hour
  • Two-handed operation required as a safety feature
  • Corded electric 110V

Check the MANUAL for this log splitter.

Conclusion

A great price and product for home use.

Powerhouse XM Electric Hydraulic Splitter is a great choice for the home hobbyist with adequate power and a dry location to use it. This is not the perfect choice if you need to tow it all over the property, but if you're bringing the wood to the splitter, it's a quality piece.

Nothing wrong with that!

PROS:
  • Six-second split and autoretract make short work of your wood
  • Two-handed operation increases safety
  • Works well on green or dry wood, hardwoods or softwoods
  • Reliable on large volumes of wood

CONS:
  • Not recommended in wet weather
  • Not great for homes with breakers smaller than 16 amps
  • Throw has been reported to be short and may require a 4x4 spacer to correct
  • Narrow wedge and wheel base; not ideal for towing

Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Hydraulic Splitter

Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe The power of hydraulics without the size or expense of a motor!

The Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Hydraulic Splitter has a two-cycle hydraulic motor that works by pump but requires no gas or electricity to operate. It won't split huge logs, and a split can take minutes instead of seconds, but overall it is an inexpensive, lighter version of a powerful tool.

It's perfect for anyone who doesn't have the power to split a log with an axe or who doesn't want the repetitive injuries associated with splitting a big pile of wood.

  • Product

Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter

LOG ON. LOG OFF. THEN SPLIT. Embrace your inner Paul Bunyan as you make light work of the piles of large logs you've been meaning to tackle around your yard with the Sun Joe LOGGER JOE LJ10M 10-Ton ...

A great choice for those who don't like the noise of power tools, too!

Features:

  • Fits logs up to 18 inches long by 8 inches wide
  • Hydraulic ram creates up to 10 tons of force
  • Log cradle keep split wood from dropping
  • Steel Construction
  • 2-year warranty
  • 11.8 x 8.12 x 41.12 inches
  • 87 pounds

Check the MANUAL for this log splitter.

Conclusion

No power, no problem!

If you need something that works manually and are willing to spend the extra time required to forego power, you will find this to be a light, compact, and powerful tool. In addition, Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Hydraulic Splitter is a little easier on the budget and maintenance fronts, which makes it the best choice in the no-frills, no-nonsense category.

Basically, it just works, and it works well.

PROS:
  • Lighter than most other log splitters
  • Convenient rear wheels to cart it through a yard
  • Relatively affordable
  • Can generate 10 tons of hydraulic force
  • Can be folded into a compact shape for storage

CONS:
  • Not as fast as a powered log splitter
  • Wheels are good for carting around a yard but not towing
  • Splitter good for smaller wood only

Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Hydraulic Splitter

WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Splitter

WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter

Everything you need from an indoor splitter.

Don't get me wrong, the WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Splitter is not a large log splitter to tow all over the property. It is designed to work in your garage or woodshed without fumes and cut small to medium-sized logs.

  • Product

WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter

The WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter quickly turns that pile of wood into something useful-firewood for your fireplace! Safer and more productive than swinging an ax! Our heavy-gauge ...

A great home-use option for those who have smaller piles of wood. A great price, too!

Features:

  • 2HP, 15 amp copper-wound electric motor is suitable for household current and breakers
  • Fume-free electric motor safe for use in an enclosed garage or shed
  • Works with wood up to 10 inches wide and 20.5 inches long
  • Two comfort grip handles and six-inch tires
  • Two year manufacturer's warranty
  • 4 by 4 inch push plate
  • 4.5 inch wedge
  • Includes AW32 hydraulic oil to fill the 2.8-quart reservoir

Check the MANUAL for this log splitter.

Conclusion

For electric/hydraulic, a good value and lots of function.

Let's be clear, electric motors only can go so big before they start to flip your circuit breakers. But they are the only choice you have if you want to split wood indoors without worrying about nasty fumes. The WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Splitter offers a powerful option given the constraints that come with hydraulic/electric motors.

Good price, good tool, good warranty. Excellent!

PROS:
  • 6 tons of splitting force
  • Easy, plug-in operation
  • Two-handed operation for safety
  • Fume-free operation safe for indoor use
  • Can be used with a generator

CONS:
  • Rubber feet may need extra securing to stay on
  • Not powerful enough to split larger than the recommended wood sizes

WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Splitter

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Splitter

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log SplitterThere's a reason they call it the Boss!

Another great choice in the range of electric/hydraulic combination log splitters, the Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Splitter has lots to offer in regard to power and ease. It is rated to split about a cord an hour, and it runs fume-free on residential power rated with breakers over 15 amps. What sets this apart from some of the other models is the one-touch functionality.

While other splitters create an intentional two-handed function in order to make sure your hands are clear of anything hazardous, this is a one-touch machine that requires less muscle to operate. This makes it especially good tool for those who struggle with heavy or even medium labor. Whether you're nursing an injury or looking to help your 80-year-old grandmother retire the axe, this is a great choice.

  • Product

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton

The Boss Industrial ES7T20 takes things to the next level. It offers the same convenience and portability of our EC5T20, but ramps the power up a notch to tackle larger projects! The powerful 2 HP ...

And check out these features!

Features:

  • 40 x 13.5 x 20.5 inches
  • 106 lbs
  • Made in China
  • 2HP electric motor on 115V AC
  • 7 tons of force
  • One-handed operation
  • Automatic ram return
  • Two-year warranty for residential use
  • Built-in side rails to keep logs from falling
  • Fits logs up to 10 inches wide and 20.5 inches long

Check the MANUAL for this log splitter.

Conclusion

Ultimately, this is a great yard tool if you need to do one to two cords per year.

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Splitter is especially nice if you prefer one-handed operation over two-handed. If you have mobility issues or are simply not strong enough to split by hand, this is probably the model that creates the least amount of work for you, including the weight to lug around and the force needed to run the splitter.

This makes it particularly nice for seniors who are ready to have a bit of a rest when it comes to splitting wood for their winter warmth.

A great choice to ease the strain on Mom or Dad's back!

PROS:
  • Easy, one-finger operation requires little force to use
  • Can handle knots without seizing
  • Can split about one cord per hour
  • Fumeless operation for indoor use

CONS:
  • May not work well with tougher hardwoods

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Splitter

Champion Power Equipment No 92221 Splitter

Champion Power Equipment No.92221 Gas Powered Log SplitterReady to take it to the next level? Check this out!

If the home electric models are not enough, the following choices offer additional power and more portability. They can all be towed behind a trailer and have DOT-approved tires, making them street legal. These are great choices if you have a large property and tend to drive your wood from where it is splitted and stored to your house.

Champion Power equipment offers a serious workhorse of a 5HP engine in their Champion Power Equipment No 92221 Splitter. This Canadian company offers a quality tow-behind splitter that is gas powered and ready to go. It takes some time to set this splitter up when you first get it- a couple hours and ten gallons of hydraulic fluid are required.

Most of this splitter's negative reviews come from people who didn't take the time to do it right-- those who did set it up correctly talk about the fact that it's powerful enough to take on a 2-3 foot diameter log with ease. Two cradles and a ball trailer hitch make this as versatile as they come. If you're looking for something with three times the power of your average electric splitter and all of the convenience, this is a great way to go.

  • Product

Champion Power Equipment No.92221 Gas Powered Log Splitter, 22-Ton

The Champion 22 Ton Gas Powered Log splitter provides heavy duty, dependable, and portable log splitting with power and speed. 22 Ton performance with 23" x 4" Hydraulic Cylinder, 2 Stage Hydraulic ...

Nothing to complain about here. A performance as solid as the steel that it's built from.

Features:

  • 22 Ton Performance, 4" x 23" hydraulic cylinder
  • 14 second cycle time
  • 11 GPM
  • 2-stage hydraulic pump with 3500 psi maximum
  • 2-inch ball hitch and DOT approved tires make it great for driving main roads behind a pickup
  • one year limited warranty
  • 19.9 x 23.4 x 58 inches
  • 396 pounds

Check the MANUAL for this log splitter.

Conclusion

Power, quality, and North American Champion Construction.

Any company who will provide free lifetime technical support is a company who makes tools that they believe in. There is nothing bad to say aboutChampion Power Equipment No 92221 Splitter. If you're serious about splitting wood, this is the serious tool to meet your needs.

PROS:
  • Tow-behind capabilities with DOT-approved tires for legal road use
  • Serious power at 5HP and 22 tons of force
  • 2-stage pump means that the hydraulics are protected from burnout
  • Comes with lifetime free technical support
  • One year limited warranty
  • Steel construction

CONS:
  • First use requires 10 gallons of hydraulic oil and a couple hours of set-up time
  • Cylinder can get very hot during use and has burned people who leaned on it

Champion Power Equipment No 92221 Splitter

Pow-Kraft 65556 Electric Splitter

Pow' R' Kraft 65556 4-Ton 15 Amp Electric Log SplitterThe Pow-Kraft 65556 Electric Splitter is a great choice if you want something small but powerful for small wood and limited loads of firewood. It's corded and works on any home with 15 amp breakers without concern for blowing a fuse. This is not your tow-behind gas-powered workhorse, but a smooth, electric choice that works on small jobs.

Home splitting has never been easier!

Features:

  • 1,500 watt electric motor that runs on regular household current
  • Can split logs up to 20-inches long and 10 inches in diameter
  • Durable, All steel construction
  • Protective packaging to reduce shipping damage
  • 14 x 23.25 x 40.5 inches
  • 105 Pounds

Check the  Manual  for this log splitter.

Conclusion

If your wood is small, dry, and soft, this will make quick work of your rounds.

Pow-Kraft 65556 Electric Splitter is a great option if you are looking for something reliable to split wood that has already been mostly split or if you want a splitter for small logs only. It's great if your woodpile is close to the house and you stick to one or fewer cords per year. It is relatively light, compact, and inexpensive, making it a good choice for limited firewood needs.

The suburban powerhouse.

PROS:
  • 15 Amp functionality works with most residential power without worrying about circuit breakers
  • Works with logs up to about 12 inches
  • Very safe and hard to get your hand stuck in there
  • Good, small splitter for home and occasional use

CONS:
  • Not good for large pieces of wood
  • Plug-in design limits location
  • Not great for use in rain

Southland Outdoor Power Equipment

Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25 Ton Gas Powered Log SplitterWhat's strong and red and cuts through hardwoods like butter?

The Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25 Ton Gas Powered Log Splitter is equipped with a 208cc 8.5-foot of torque OHV engine to power through large piles of wood quickly and easily. This is a great farm or log cabin choice, as it can be towed behind a truck with its two-inch ball hitch.

  • Product

Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25 Ton Gas Powered Log Splitter

The Southland 208cc 25-Ton Gas Log Splitter features a Southland OHV gas engine that produces 8.5 ft. lb. of torque for splitting the most demanding types of wood. Save time and effort with easy to ...

A powerful and most excellent tool!

Features:

  • 208cc Southland OHV gas engine
  • Internal oil deliver system provides extra lubrication to internal engine bearings reducing heat build-up and extended engine run life
  • 17-second cycle time and automatic returns
  • 2 in. hitch and 16 in. x 4.8 in. pneumatic wheels
  • can switch from horizontal to vertical splitting position
  • 25-ton splitting capacity.
  • 26-inch log length capacity.
  • 8-inch heat treated splitting wedge
  • 3-2-1 Year Limited Warranty (steel frame: 3 years, engine: 2 years, hydraulics: 1 year)

Conclusion

Serious power. No complaints.

Question: What's hella powerful, comes in a beautiful red, and splits three-foot logs like they're nothing? Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25 Ton Gas Powered Log Splitter.

Few negative reviews make it hard to make a case for why you shouldn't use this splitter. Few positive reviews mean that the jury may still be out on long-term durability and use. There is little to know about how customer service does with warranties, but it has one of the most comprehensive warranty plans on our list, which is a definite plus.

Serious splitting is a snap with these gas-powered workhorses.

PROS:
  • backed by a 3-2-1 warranty meaning 3 years for the steel frame, 2 years for the engine, and 1 year for the hydraulics.
  • 6 inch pneumatic D.O.T. approved wheels
  • ensures longer splitting life and maximum performance due to the tall 8 inch heat treated splitting wedge
  • can reach a max towing speed of 45 mph
  • Quieter than a riding lawn mower

CONS:
  • Initial hydraulic setup can have problems if you don't follow instructions carefully.

Goplus Electric Hydraulic Portable Splitter

Goplus New 1500W 6 Ton Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter Wood Portable Cutter PowerfulSix tons of fun!

The Goplus New 1500W 6 Ton Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter Wood Portable Cutter is a great choice for softer, smaller wood. The 15 amp design is great for splitting wood without worrying about flipping the breakers.

  • Product

Goplus New 1500W 6 Ton Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter Wood Portable Cutter...

This is our 6T wood log splitter. It is a great choice for any home with a wood-burning stove or fireplace. The log splitter's 6-ton of RAM force can split logs to 20.4 inches long and 1.9-9.8 inches ...

Features:

  • 6-ton splitting force
  • Class B Insulation
  • Waterproof Rate is IP 54
  • 1500W working power
  • Voltage: 120V-/60HZ
  • Motor no-load speed: 3450RPM
  • Max cylinder travel:15.3"(390mm)
  • Diameter of cylinder: 2.3"(60mm)
  • Log length:14.5"(370mm)
  • Log capacity Diameter:1.9"-9.8"(50-250mm)
  • Hydraulic oil capacity: 2.8 Liter
  • Overall size:37.0"x12.2"x18.1"(LXWXH)
  • Product weight: 102.1lbs

Conclusion

Not for big logs, but great if you want to trim down some smaller wood into kindling.

Goplus New 1500W 6 Ton Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter Wood Portable Cutter is a good choice for a small home splitter, but it's not a powerhouse. Reviews on this piece are limited, but the safe, two-hand design and the streamlined steel shape make it a great choice for anyone looking for a powerful tool.

PROS:
  • 1500W works with 10-inch softwoods particularly well
  • Light, reasonably priced, and compact
  • Electric motor means free of fumes
  • Works on an extension cord

CONS:
  • Not for logs over 1 foot in diameter
  • Some hardwoods are too tough for this splitter

Northstar Horizontal Vertical Log Splitter

NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter The biggest engine of all for the most power!

At 37 tons of force, there is nothing else that comes close to the power of this Northstar Horizontal Vertical Log Splitter. This is a serious tool for serious acreage and the kind of thing that any timber professional would love.

  • Product

NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter - 37-Ton, 270cc Honda GX270 Engine

This powerful 37 ton NorthStar Log Splitter will split any log that gets in its way in either in a vertical or horizontal position. Powered by a Honda GX270 engine with an exclusive idle down feature ...

Features:

  • Auto idle/throttle control for extended engine life, improved fuel economy and reduced engine noise
  • 2-stage pump allows the log splitter to achieve the same pressures as a single stage pump
  • Cylinder: 5 in. x 24in
  •  4-Way Wedge Wings
  • Continuous Force (Tons): 34.3
  • Cycle Time (sec.): 14, Max. PSI: 3,500
  • Low oil shutdown
  • Dimensions L x W x H (in.): 90 x 43 x 42
  • Tire Size: 4.80 x 8
  • Retracting Wedge

Check the MANUAL for this log splitter.

Conclusion

Want to go pro in log splitting? This is the tool to do it with.

Northstar Horizontal Vertical Log Splitter is the biggest of them all. If you live in a forest with serious old growth or you have a lot of super dense hardwood to split, there is no better choice than this Northstar splitter. All of the reviewers loved this piece, so if you have use for something that will split logs that run in the 4-5 foot wide range, then this is the beast that can do it.

However, not very many people have need for this, and it runs at least double the cost of any other splitter, in addition to being bigger and heavier.

If you need, it will work great for you. If you don't it's a good tool to aspire too once you get addicted to splitting wood.

PROS:
  • The closest thing to a professional timber tool on the list
  • Serious power to hit any size of log you want to throw at it
  • Quality brand that is known for great service and excellent results
  • Reviewers all give 4-5 stars

CONS:
  • The biggest and most expensive of the splitters, which requires room and money to own
  • Does get hot if you run it a long time- don't touch or you'll burn yourself

Champion Power Equipment No 92221 SplitterNorthstar Horizontal Vertical Log Splitter

All Types Of Log Splitters

What is the difference between these three log splitters?

There are three kinds of log splitters available on the market. Three are hydraulic, but the question is a matter of power. Some are powered by hand, called manual. Others require electric or gas power.

The level of force that a log splitter can offer is based on the power that can be generated to push the log through the wedge. A kinetic log splitter is not hydraulic, and relies on a different kind of technology, discussed in the section below.

Read on to learn more about each kind of log splitter:

  • Kinetic Log Splitters

Like to do it by hand? Try kinetic!

Most log splitters require hydraulics to work. A kinetic log splitter uses a series of flywheels instead. This system stores energy in these wheels in order to release it in one powerful burst of cutting. This makes it fast and strong. Here are six facts about kinetic splitters:

  • Their cycle time is 2-3 times faster than hydraulic models at 2.5 seconds, including autoretract
  • They should be considered in terms of power burst, not tonnage like hydraulic models
  • There is no oil needed to maintain them, making them easier to keep functional without a lot of time
  • They are capable of handling extra-hard woods and knots
  • An electric model is equal in force to a gas-powered hydraulic splitter
  • The technology is adapted from water-powered mill machinery from the turn of the century

  • Manual Log Splitters

Small and light and used by hand!

The simplest of the hydraulic log splitters is the manual. These work much like a hydraulic jack- you must crank or pump something to increase the hydraulic pressure. This takes more time than a model with a gas or electric-powered motor. However, it's smaller, cheaper, lighter, more compact, and easier to maintain.

Not bad tradeoffs!

  • Gas Log Splitters

The most powerful version of splitter- this is what the pros use!

Gas log splitters allow more horsepower in the motor to give a stronger push to the log. This cannot be done with electric motors unless you have a high enough amperage to use it without blowing a breaker.

Gas motors are not just stronger, they are bigger and heavier. This means that they can handle bigger logs, and they have the framework to do so. They are typically heavy enough that you don't want to push them around like a wheelbarrow but you will tow them behind a tractor or other motorized vehicle on a tow hitch.

Gas-powered splitters create exhaust, so they are for outdoor use only. They can be used in the rain, however, which is not a recommended use for electric splitters. The true workhorse in the log splitter family. And your only choice if you need big pieces of wood brought down to size.

The truly heavy duty versions have off-road tires to get them into areas of uneven ground where trees have been cut. They also tend to have higher ground clearance as a result, which can also have the effect of less bending to use them.

  • The Electric Log Splitter

What's up with electric splitters?

As we mentioned before, electric splitters can be either hydraulic or kinetic. Electric refers to the motor that helps push the log through. Most electric models are plug-in, though many can be run off of a portable generator if you're working somewhere a bit more remote. They are great for working in a sheltered area where you wouldn't want to get a bunch of fumes, but they don't work so well in the rain.

Electric motors tend to be less expensive, lighter, and less powerful than gas models, but they are often plenty of motor to use in the typical home situation where you are splitting 1-2 cords per year for home use.

The home hobbyist's preferred choice.

Log Splitter Wedge

The wedge is the tool that all log splitters, including your granny with an axe, uses to get into the wood. It is essentially a really strong triangle that, when pushed into the log, forces it apart.

While simple triangle-shaped wedges are the norm in many cases, some powerful gas splitters will make use of a four-way wedge, which offers the wedge shape in a cross, splitting the log in four directions at once instead or making you reload the log three times to split it into quarters. Wedges are one of the easiest pieces to replace and upgrade in many log splitters.

This is the main tool- the rest is just trappings.

Log Splitter Cylinder

What does the cylinder do?

A hydraulic log splitter uses a cylinder, also called an actuator, as the mechanism to push the log into the wedge. This is a telescoping piece that goes in and out with each new log.

A crucial piece for this powerful tool.

Log Splitter Plans

Because a log splitter is simply a series of simple tools, there are a number of build-it-yourself log splitter plans that you can find online if you would prefer to use them. You will need a wedge, a frame to cradle the log, a cylinder to push the log forward, and a hydraulic pump.

It is important to use a two-phase hydraulic pump to avoid burning out the pump. However, if you're handy and want to build your own, there is a lot of information out there on how to make your own bespoke splitter.

Log Splitter Pump

The hydraulic pump is the item that is used to build up the pressure in the hydraulic fluid and give it the strength that it needs. It is important to use a two-phase pump so that it doesn't burn out.

A one-phase pump will work well as long as you are regularly and smoothly running the machine, but if you leave it on and unmoving, it can overload and burn out due to too much pressure. The second phase offers release and prevents this from happening. Smart advice!

Log Splitter Hydraulic

Most log splitters are hydraulic. Hydraulic fluid is known for being very hard to compress- this means that adding pressure to a system with hydraulic fluid can turn into an incredible amount of power. This is how these small electric motors can generate 6-7 tons of force with only 2 or 3 horsepower.

Hydraulics is so powerful that you can slowly pump or crank a manual splitter and generate tons of force as well. It is amazing the amount of magnified force that this system provides. Considering the force at which you need to push a log into a wedge to split it, this is the perfect choice for log splitter designs.

Log Splitter Valve

What does the valve do?

With any hydraulic system, you need to also have a relief valve. This allows you to remove the pressure that was pushing a log forward and retract it back into the original position.

Log Splitter Cover

While you should always keep your electric splitter under cover to keep it functioning well, a cover can help you to do this if you don't have the garage or shed space you need and you need to keep it out by your woodpile. Some covers are hard plastic, while other covers are canvas or a different waterproof fabric.

If you are keeping your splitter outside in extreme temperatures, you may consider using some form of insulated cover. The manufacturer may offer a choice of covers, but in many cases you will need to choose a third-party cover if you want anything specialized.

A good alternative when you don't have a lot of storage solutions.

Log Splitter Accessories

While some log splitters are all-inclusive, others may require some extra purchases to turn them into everything you need. Actual accessories will differ based on the brand and style of log splitter you are looking at. Common accessories that you may find for splitters can include:

  • A replacement wedge or change from 2-way to 4-way wedge
  • A cover or storage box
  • A stand to keep it more secure
  • A trailer hitch kit
  • A larger set of tires to take it off road
  • A log cradle to catch freshly split wood

Wheels And Ball Hitches

Let's face it. If you want to split logs where you cut them in the first place, you need to be able to tow your log splitter to your location.

Whether you've got lots of acreages and you cut down your own trees, you've had a cord dumped in the back corner of the farm, or you have some other situation where your wood is not right next to your house, you will need a log splitter with tow capacity (a trailer hitch) and adequate tires to run over rough ground.

This will include clearance that is high enough to handle some terrain. Ball hitches are more secure than pin hitches and can fit on a pickup truck or SUV.

It's important to note that log splitters with these features are almost never electric, because you typically won't also carry a generator out to a remote location and they are almost always plug-in models. This is simply too much power to run off of a car battery alone.

Important stuff for the woods or the farm yard.

How to Choose the Best Log Splitter

Which one is right for me?

To choose the best log splitter, you need to consider some basic requirements.

  • Do you plan to split many cords of wood or just the occasional load for a decorative fire?

  • Do you have a large garage for storage or just a tiny wall?

  • Do you plan to use it next to the house under cover or in the back of your ten-acre lot?

Basically, you need to consider whether the splitter is powerful enough for your needs, whether it will work where you want to use it (Electric splitters require a cord and won't work in the rain.

However, you can use it in a closed garage in the winter without worrying about carbon monoxide fumes.), and whether it fits into your budget. All of these things should be considered carefully, and the choice for you should meet as many of these boxes as possible without causing major tradeoffs.

Essentially, home use close to the house typically calls for a smaller electric splitter and large use in a more remote area will call instead for a large, tow-behind gas powered motor model.

Finally, consider the size of wood you have access to, and make sure it is powerful enough to cut that size or you will find yourself either injured or out of luck.

Ask the right questions and you're sure to find the right choice for you.

How to Use

Once you have chosen and ordered the splitter of your dreams, the next step is to learn how to use it. Here are the basics:

  1. Make sure you are all set up before you begin. Consider wearing safety gear: long sleeves, eye protection, gloves, and closed-toe boots are recommended. The splitter should be placed in an area that is free from clutter and that will be easy to clean of chips (or fine to leave the chips) when you are done.
  2.  The splitter should be on a level surface and the wheels should be blocked with chucks, wedges, bricks, or other heavy items to prevent rolling during use.
  3. Precheck the splitter. If you have a manual splitter, be certain the jack is tight before you begin. Check the power on an electric model and the fluid levels on a gas-powered version.
  4. Position the log in the correct location and make sure the splitter has a tight grip on it. When ready, push the release for the actuator and watch it push through the wedge.
  5. Clean up and reload. Now, take your split wood and place it out of the way of the log splitter. Get the next log ready and repeat.
  6. Clean up the log splitter. Wipe down any mechanisms that can get clogged with sawdust. Be sure to store it securely in an area where it is protected by weather and other problems.

Brand Quality

Does brand matter?

There are a number of things that you might consider when it comes to brands of splitters, especially when it comes to the really expensive gas powered models. Brand makes a difference not only in the quality of machine you will get but also in the level of service available when and if something goes wrong.

Here are some things to consider when looking at brands:

  • What kind of warranty is available?
  • Does the brand offer a local service agent who can fix the problems for you?
  • Are there a number of parts available to quickly fix problems? (This is a good sign that you can keep it well-maintained and working for many years rather than buying a replacement.)
  • What process do you have to go through to get your splitter fixed?
  • Is there a local service provider that might offer a preventative maintenance plan?
9 Total Score
Our Verdict

First, we need to say why we have decided on a gas over an electric log splitter. Most of the reason for this is because of versatility. You can use it in more places (you're not tied to a location with hard power) and you can split bigger wood, as well as wood with a four-way wedge.

While you can do everything that an electric splitter can do with a gas-powered splitter, it is definitely not true in the opposite direction. Because of this, the winner of the contest is definitely a gas-powered model. (That said, if you are a homeowner who wants a budget tool that works for the smaller wood you work with, you don't need to spend the cost or afford the space of a gas model if you don't need one.)

How did we choose?

Out of the gas-powered models, we looked at several factors. This included ease of setup and use, percent of positive and negative reviews, warranty presence, and the versatility of the wedge design.  The winner overall was the top of all these categories.

Our favorite? Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal Splitter.

Was this your favorite too?

Price
8.5
Power
9.5
Durability
9

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Cozzy.Org
Register New Account
Reset Password

Send this to friend