Who doesn’t love a wood-burning fire?
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.
Get 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.
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 ... Available: In stock
My wife and I split 4 cords of 30 inch plus Madrone just the way we wanted. No more getting crap wood you have to split anyway. We are both 82, so suspect most anyone can do it. Comes complete with Eng oil and Hydraulic fluid. We assembled in about 3 Hours.It is a bit heavey, but use your head and not your back and it is fine. June 19, 2014
This is has been a great splitter. I assembled it in about an hour, and my wife has been doing most of the splitting with this and she's able to move it around our property and set it up where it's needed. The Kohler engine usually starts on the first pull (when she remembers to turn the engine switch to ON). It splits the tanoak and madrone easily. I did have to go to the auto parts store and buy a 5-gallon bucket of hydraulic fluid for about $65, but I kind of expected that. October 15, 2015
This is a great low-priced log splitter with plenty of power to split even 36" round oak tree sections. Unfortunately, the crate in which the log splitter was delivered from the Amazon supplier had been punctured by a fork lift somewhere along the shipping chain. It was damaged and was returned. Fortunately, I had visited a local home center to purchase the required (but not supplied!) hydraulic fluid and engine oil. As I was leaving the store (with nearly $100 in extra oils!) I saw the identical splitter sitting in front of the store. Identical is not exactly correct. This Dirty Hand Tools splitter had been assembled (Amazon's is not) and had the hydraulic fluid and engine oil installed! AND, it was on sale at $300 less than the Amazon log splitter. Adding the oils that I purchased, this was a $400 savings, and I didn't have the problem of trying to assemble the unit. Needless to say, I purchased the splitter, towed it home and was splitting wood the next morning. Maybe Amazon's suppliers need to be aware of pricing at retail outlets! This is a smooth running, easy starting machine that handles BIG and dense logs.There should be a discount for the labor of assembling this HEAVY unit! Just sayin' May 11, 2015
- 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
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, durabilty– 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 splitter.
- 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
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- Blade guards and wedge pin may warp in some cases.
Powerhouse XM Electric Hydraulic 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 manuar recommends 16 amps or more.
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 ... Available: In stock
I wanted to let people know what my experience has been with this so far. I was skeptical like many others based on the low cost and the couple negative reviews. First let me say that I think a couple of the negative folks may have got a lemon. To the gentleman that has a hard time going through any logs at all, you have a lemon or you work for a competitor! Granted, I only got this yesterday. But let me tell you what this splitter has done thus far. I cleared about a half acre of black birch, oak, maple and some pine. I unpacked this thing and started small and easy. Within 10 minutes I was up to 24" diameter fresh cut oak and this thing was splitting these logs like they were nothing. I kept expecting this thing to at least bog down a little with the big stuff, but nothing. Even knotty pieces were fairly easy. So power is plentiful and a non issue for me. This thing executed splitting very similar to the big gas splitter I rented a couple of weeks ago. So the power is there folks. Do keep in mind that there is a bleed valve nut that needs to be loosened every time you use the machine and then re-tightened when not in use.I was also concerned about power draw and thickness of power cord and tripping breakers. Well I was again very surprised. I strung two average extension cords together for testing purposed to a regular 15 amp circuit. Now this setup does not and should not meet the manufacturers minimum specs. But guess what? I proceeded to split logs with ease with no power issues at all. I was afraid I was going to have to run a dedicated circuit for this thing. No worries any more on that front.The draw backs mentioned in some of the other more thorough reviews are right on the money. The throw on this is bit short. Like someone mentioned in another post, it is nothing that a piece of 4x4 as a spacer wont remedy, but it is slightly annoying. The wedge itself could be a little wider as well. So I do find myself having to finish pulling the split apart by hand if there is any material left holding the log together. Not a big deal.Yes, the wheels are too close together, so be careful pulling it behind you. If the surface is not smooth it will easily tip over. Again, not a big deal.As far as a stand in concerned, yes you will want one. I can point you to a really cheap one. It's called two upright logs. I placed mine on top of the flats of two 20" logs and it worked flawlessly.This also comes with a shield to install that forces two-handed operation as a safety feature. I was happy to leave this off and enjoy one-handed operation. That is up to you.I do hope very much that this product holds up over time. If it does, I feel like I made a great purchase. And that is the feeling we all strive for isn't it? Nothing worse than regret of a big purchase. And that's why I took the time to place this review. Because I almost did not buy this based on a couple of the negative reviews that I see do not paint an accurate picture of this unit.I hope this helps October 14, 2011
One of the most poorly written (or translated) user's manuals I have ever read. Everywhere the manual refers to a tool the word "fool" is used. After reading the manual I felt like "fool" was referring to me for reading it. No where in the manual does it say whether or not the splitter is shipped full of hydraulic fluid. Setting aside my fear of damaging the splitter, I started it and it worked fine. The splitter does a great job splitting live oak. My 4-star rating represents my grade for the splitter alone. The manual gets no stars be cause it sucks. The abbreviated English is represented quite well in my attached photo taken of the nomenclature applied to shroud around the two control levers. One can tell that the translation from (whatever language) Chinese (perhaps) to English was at best, bad. April 1, 2017
I have a log splitter that my wife and I have used for the last eight years. We finally wore it out splitting cord after cord of wood. I searched the web to find a similar splitter. I ordered this one from Amazon hoping that it might be as good as my previous one. I received the splitter today. I opened the box and to my surprise received the same splitter that we have used for the last eight years. I am absoutely thrilled with my purchase. This is an awesome splitter. We have split everything from small logs to ones that are are two feet in diameter with this unit. You have to understand the dynamics of splitting when you tackle a large log. All of the videos show a center split. On a large log you chip away at the log cutting sections off the sides until you have reduced the mass. We have split everything from oak and maple to pine and have never been let down by this splitter. The only difference between the old and the new is the loction of the electric cord. Much better set up.If you are looking for a small powerful splitter that will handle most everything that you thow at it, this is the unit to get. My previous unit was purchased from a different company that had numerous bad reviews about their customer service. I can't say anything about that. Whatever problems that arose were easily reapired by myself. I will probably try to repair my old unit again because it has always done what I have put it through.Because the price is so reasonable, I figure having two splitters can't be all bad. My wife and I are both in our mid 60,s and have no problems using the splitter. I would like to repeat, if you are looking for a great 7 ton splitter this is the one. You won't be disapointed. July 11, 2013
Powerful, convenient and efficient. Who could ask for more?
- 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.
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!
- 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
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- 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 4×4 spacer to correct
- Narrow wedge and wheel base; not ideal for towing
Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Hydraulic Splitter
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.
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 ... Available: In stock
talk about ease of splitting. just went through a half cord with zero issues. Handles could be a little longer to alleviate back strain, other than that, this thing gets it done. Excellent value! April 22, 2016
This is exactly what I needed. I have a bad back so using and actual axe log splitter is tough on me. I could not afford one of the fancy electric ones so I thought I would give this a try.Pretty straight forward; out of the box, put on your handles, set your log down and start moving your handles back and forth. In a minute you have a split log.Only reason I didn't give it a 5 is some reviewers were stating even their 8 year old could split logs it was so easy but I had a few logs you really have to put some muscle into to get them to split (I'm 6.1 220lbs) so on some logs you really have to work at it. Still 100% better than slinging an axe and killing my back. Also, this sucker is pretty heavy so be ready when they deliver it. I had to get my teenage son to help me move it while it was in the box. January 11, 2017
I bought this for an elderly woman, who has a very small woodstove and needs log pieces to be thicker than kindling but thinner than the pieces she gets from her wood guy. We put it INSIDE her house, on a big piece of cardboard. She splits the large pieces easily, breaking them into two or three smaller sections. I have played with it, and have handled some very big, stringy pieces of wood, and it works great.My little old lady, (all of 5 feet tall, with Parkinsons shaky hands), gets immense satisfaction from hearing the CRACK, when the initial split happens. The pumping action takes very little strength, until the split is about to happen. All it takes is one or two good pushes - you can lean into the push, using body weight instead of arm strength - and then CRACK, the hard work is done and the pumping gets effortless again.This is a really great piece of equipment. THANK YOU, whoever designed this thing! March 6, 2017
A great choice for those who don’t like the noise of power tools, too!
- 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.
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.
- 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
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- 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
WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric 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.
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 ... Available: In stock
Pros: A nice compact machine: smaller than I expected, and quite powerful. Moves and stores like a hand truck. Easy to use, and requires 2-handed operation to prevent injury. Customer support seems good (800#, short wait times).Cons: Packaged poorly: molded styrofoam is not what you use to pack 100 lbs of steel machine, should have been heavy cardboard. Mine arrived with the rubber ends on the 2 tubes that form the "frame" destroyed and the mounting ear for one of the wheels bent. I was able to make it usable, but I was not pleased.Manual was terrible BUT YOU BETTER NOT LOSE IT (YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT AT THE MANUFACTURER'S WEB SITE): the axle is held in center by a single cotter pin. It is not immediately clear where the axle should be when the pin is inserted (the pin should be inside the frame, but that was not immediately evident). There are contradictory warnings about length and gauge of extension cords (a hard to understand chart that appears to endorse use of heavy duty cords of substantial length), but elsewhere the manual warns not to use any cord longer than 25 feet. There is an unlabeled vent valve (that is shaped like a butterfly nut) that MUST be open during use and closed during storage, or else SERIOUS damage to hydraulic seals could occur. This is buried in the manual, and there is no quick use guide with simple steps. There is no label on the unit itself indicating how to use it. Hydraulic fluid is pre-installed, but Dexron trans fluid is recommended in colder temperatures. The warning against mixing the two might be missed for forgotten: a label should be present near the unlabeled dipstick indicating fluid type and warning against mixing. August 22, 2014
Hi all--Of course I read the reviews before I bought this machine, and now that I've used it, I think there are some misconceptions to clear up. This is my second log splitter--I built one with a 13 hp Honda engine, and it's very fast and very competent, so this electric model is definitely the little one. One of the first misconceptions is that splitters need tremendous force to do their job. That force comes from having a large diameter hydraulic cylinder, which causes the splitter to have a slow cycle time. That's a simple relationship--big cylinder means slower movement with more force. My big splitter has about the same size cylinder as this little electric--2-1/2", which means they are both in the range of 6 to 7 tons of available force. That's plenty for all of the wood I use, which is mostly spruce. The diameter of the wood really doesn't matter much--more about that later, but the electric splitter can handle much bigger diameter than the advertised 10" or so. The cycle time is OK-ish. The main issue with how fast you can work is actually in the handling of the wood anyway.I modified the splitter in several ways. We live in the Alaska interior, and I immediately changed the oil to Dexron 3, which is recommended for cold (come-on +40F--that ain't even a little cold, but--). I also replaced the cheesy little 6' cord with a nice new 12 gauge extension cord, 50' long, and rated for -50 degrees. That's not just for the log splitter--I do that with every electric device that will be used outdoors in the winter. Don't get me started.The splitting wedge was only 2-1/4" wide. I welded on wings to make it about 5-1/2" wide, which changes the splitting dynamics a lot. You know those sticks that almost split, but won't separate? The wedge needs to be big enough to push those apart, especially for big diameter sticks.The operating controls. Don't tell anyone, but I changed those too--I installed a nice well made two pole 20A switch and an extension for the hydraulic control valve, and they are both relocated to the highest part of the splitter when it's in use. Less bending over and one-hand operation now. The original controls were even more awkward than they need to be, but they are better now.Operating position. I tried to use it on the floor of my shop, and ended up setting it in the back of my pickup. The height is right, the handling is easier, and the split chunks land in the truck so I can move them easier. It helped a lot.Using the splitter with a generator. I bought this splitter for a friend who lives in a remote camp. It will be powered by his little Honda EU2000i portable generator, so I was concerned that the generator might not be able to handle the load. Turns out that the hard part is starting the motor. The generator lugs down briefly when I hit the motor switch, but handles the actual splitting with no problem at all. After splitting a pickup load of cottonwood and spruce ranging up to about 18" diameter, I'm comfortable with telling him the generator can handle it.***Edited to add--The generator has a hard time spinning up the motor when the oil is cold. That's mostly due to the marginal power output of the generator--once the motor gets up to full speed, it's fine. If the splitter is stored in a warm place, the generator can handle it. When I use it at home with a grid-connected power supply, there's no problem. ***There was a comment to the effect that the splitter failed to produce enough power to split wood. I believe that was because it was sucking air--if the splitter is used with the handles lower than the motor end, the hydraulic oil goes to the wrong end and the pump sucks air. Just raise the handle end a bit to fix this problem.So, pros and cons. The two handed controls are an issue, but probably necessary for the target market. Cold weather operation may be a problem, but it can be kept indoors, so that cancels out. The low operating position is very awkward, so I recommend using it on a raised platform. It works with a 2000 Watt generator. September 22, 2015
Awesome back saving tool! I purchased this not expecting much but needing a splitter because of a back injury. It will split almost any size log if you place it right. My buddy brought over a few of his most stubborn logs that his teenage boys couldn't split to see if this thing would do the job. It split them with ease. I told his sons not to watch because it would ruin there wood splitting ambition:-) One log required a different placement to get it to split but it split. I have split a cord so far into little tiny pieces for our small Morso woodstove. Follow the instructions provided for proper extension cord size and oil requirements for temperature and this thing will do what it intended to do. One other thing is we burn almost exclusively black and white spruce which Is a hardwood here because of our climate. A log that is 12 inches can be over 300 years old with growth rings thinner than a fingernail. Conclusion if you want to save time and your back buy one and try it. If you have teenage boys that need chores to do, don't let them know this thing even exists! August 10, 2014
A great home-use option for those who have smaller piles of wood. A great price, too!
- 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.
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!
- 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
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- Rubber feet may need extra securing to stay on
- Not powerful enough to split larger than the recommended wood sizes
Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Splitter
There’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 from anything hazardous, this is a one-touch machine that requires less muscle to operate. This makes it especially good 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.
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 ... Available: In stock
I bought the 7-ton Boss splitter to handle a load of fir logs. The unit is advertised to handle 10-inch logs, 20.5" long. I cut my logs to 16", but they ranged up to ~12" diameter. The ES7T20 handled the larger diameter w/o a problem, unless there were a lot of big knots. Most pieces split easily. I built two small tables to hold the pieces when I split larger logs. I just grabbed the pieces from small logs and put them onto my cart. It was handy to have the tables to hold pieces that required a second split to reach the size I prefer for my stove. I attached a foot pedal to actuate the control valve. That small mod, completely unapproved by the manufacturer, made it a lot easier to use the splitter.I had a hydraulic oil leak from the seal on the control handle. Replacing the o-ring with the next larger size reduced, but did not eliminate the leak.Overall, I believe the ES7T20 is a good value, and I would recommend it to a friend. April 26, 2014
My husband had always used an ax to split wood. I showed him this Boss ES7T20 and said we could return it if he didn't like it. Well, this will not be returned. This little thing is AWESOME! I love it, I can honestly operate it with one finger. We have split so much wood with it and I am so glad we purchased this. This winter is suppose to be a harsh one and so far we have been without electricity for about 4 days and I'm thankful that we had all the firewood split to keep us warm. I know that had we not purchased this splitter we would not have had a nice stockpile of wood handy! Thank you Boss for making a quality product that is simple to operate and at a very affordable price! Oh, and I did not receive a discount for a review, how are so many people doing that on Amazon anyway? It makes me think there must be a lot of fake reviews out there. I have to scroll through all the reviews until I see ones that look like they are actually real. Maybe I'm wrong, but it does seem strange to me that so many people seem to be getting discounted product. Anyway, this is a real, honest review from someone who paid full price for this product. I just wanted you to know. 🙂 January 5, 2016
IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT BUYING THIS SPLITTER, DO IT. THIS SPLITTER IS BUILD VERY WELL. IT IS TRULY HEAVY DUTY. I HAVE BEEN SPLITTING SEASONED MONTANA DOUGLAS FUR AND LARCH. MOST PIECES ARE 18"X12", BUT I HAVE SPLIT PIECES UP TO 18"X15" WITH ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM AT ALL. THE ONE HAND DESIGN IS GREAT. IF YOU ARE SPLITTING BIGGER WOOD I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THE STAND. FOR ME THE HEIGHT IS PERFECT, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIFT THE PIECES TO HIGH AND WHEN THEY SPLIT THEY DON'T HAVE FAR TO FALL. THIS MACHINE WAS REALLY THOUGHT OUT. AAA+++ ALL THE WAY. THE ONLY NEGATIVE I HAD WAS SHIPPING. THE FIRST ONE I ORDERED CAME LOOKING LIKE IT FELL OFF A FORKLIFT. I REFUSED DELIVERY. I CALLED AMAZON AND THEY ORDERED ME ANOTHER ONE AND HAD IT SHIPPED ONE DAY SHIPPING AT NO CHARGE. THE SECOND ONE CAME WITH NO PROBLEM.YOU CAN'T BEAT THAT SERVICE............. August 27, 2014
And check out these 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.
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!
- 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
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- May not work well with tougher hardwoods
Champion Power Equipment No 92221 Splitter
Ready 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.
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 ... Available: In stock
Purchased the splitter to split fresh cut 26" oak tree. After assembly, and filling with engine oil and hydraulic oil,the unit worked great. Very strong splitter for medium size machine and easy operation.You must get 10 gallons of hydraulic oil and once it is in operation the cylinder gets hot,so be careful not tolean on it. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to put together and helps if you have someone to assist you. July 22, 2013
This is the first time I have written a review or critique of a product I purchased from AMAZON for public viewing and dissemination. The splitter equipment was delivered without incident. AMAZON help in resolving this purchase was negligible at most and laden with the recitation of inaccurate facts.I purchased this equipment with the anticipation of splitting accumulated logs for the winter fireplace. The product arrived and was assembled with two (2) people in less than 3 hours.The required fluids were added, all connections were checked and the unit started immediately The following day the unit was wheeled out to the log pile. The first operations (ca. 15 minutes) went smoothly in spitting several logs generally in the 12 inch diameter range. I hired two (2) individuals to help split the wood and stacking the split wood in a cradle.After several cycles of spitting the engine stopped running. After numerous attempts at restarting the engine, I called the service support for Champion and was told to disconnect the yellow oil level sensor wire. I returned to the splitter and had the yellow sensor wire disconnected. The spitting operation was attempted but the engine stalled out again....the engine would not operate. All fluids were checked again.I called technical support again with no answers to why the engine kept stalling out but technical support individual indicated that I would be called within an hour by an expert. I sent home the workers with pay for their time.After three (3) hours I called back technical support and finally spoke to a technical support expert...Fred. Fred diagnosed the issue as a fuel issue.....he sent me a new fuel control valve and carburetor that were immediately installed after arrival by USPS Priority Mail. The new parts did not work as the same problem of the engine quitting continued. Fred was professional and helpful.NOW the splitter is with a local authorized Champion service center coordinated by Champion Technical Support (Christian) with the apparent skills to solve the problem. While not a mechanic I believe that the engine needs to be replaced as it is a LEMON with a new engine that assures that the splitter will be reliable and dependable for its intended use.NEW 22 ton Champion splitter sits with the service center to be fixed or I will need to seek the remedy to replace or refund the money paid for the splitter.I cannot quantify the frustration and disappointment I have had on multiple levels with this experience. I have other Champion products that are dependable and have worked as intended for years! August 31, 2015
The machine arrived boxed and in multiple pieces. The assembly was easy for anyone who can follow directions. You need five gallons of hydraulic oil and a quart of motor oil to put in service. The parts are heavy and it would be easier to assemble with two people but a little persistance and I put it together alone.When initially starting the engine it takes a while to get things primed and working.The machine was impressive in action. Split oak 36" diameter pieces like nothing. The verticle position works great for this task. The horizontal position works great for smaller diameter logs.The machine is quick and you will tire faster than it splits.The only negative is when in the verticle position the bottom plate is on the ground and is difficult to move in that position. It is benifical to move around closer to the work when dealing with heavy large logs. All in all you can put intothe horizontal position and it moves easy. Just lazy on my part.It split oak fine so not sure why you would need the heaftier 35 ton unit.Delivers as promised! May 20, 2013
Nothing to complain about here. A performance as solid as the steel that it’s built from.
- 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.
Power, quality, and North American 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.
- 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
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- 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
Pow-Kraft 65556 Electric Splitter
The 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.
POW R KRAFT 4-Ton 15 Amp Electri Available: In stock
I love this little GUY!!! It arrived Wednesday, the box was pretty damaged, but contents were ok! UPS is a little rough on heavy items I think, but anyhow I removed the box and Styrofoam and inspected the splitter, and all was ok. Looked over the manual to make sure I knew all that their was needed to know. Backed my old truck up to the wood pile, in which I had several pieces of wood that needed split, laid down my tailgate and set the splitter on it( just the wright height ) and then commenced in splitting wood. I split about a cord or so and the little guy never sputtered once, and I'm splitting Montana Pine with plenty of knots in it. I went today, 2 days later and cut a 1/2 cord of wood, got back home, set splitter on the tailgate and in no time all was done. I don't understand what the problem is that these other people are having ( Must B CITY SLICKERS ) and don't know what they are doing. The only thing I don't like is the 2 hands operation, I'm used to a Gasoline model and 2 hands aren't required on those....I'll figure out something, I'm a retired Engineer, just right up my alley! Ok I'm very pleased and glad I didn't spend the money for the larger one, 4 ton is plenty so far. Have split several pieces 10"-12" in dia. and no problem so far. Ok, enough of this and good splitting, you'll be surprised.....Montana HAPPY!!!! A couple weeks later and 2 cords later and the splitter is still doing fine. Hasn't refused to split anything I have throw-en at it, and check the pics. A cheap way to get around the 2 hand operation.....HAPPY Splitting! November 16, 2012
Wasn't sure if this little splitter would do the job, since we needed to split a lot of large chunks of wood left after an 80' tree fell into our yard last year. After the tree service left with the really big stuff (>3 feet/diameter) we had several stacks of pieces 16" long x 12 - 22" wide.(est. 3 cords after splitting). We let those pieces sit/cure so they'd be lighter & easier to work with.Up to this time hubby usually split wood by hand, but now there were just too many. I decided to surprise him with a log splitter & started doing my research. I looked at probably 15 different electric splitters & the Pow'R'Kraft got consistently high marks despite being one of the lowest-priced.& seem to fit the bill. ( I didn't bother with gas splitters. We've had terrible luck with gas-powered tools, plus they pollute & they're usually noisy.) Once ordered, it arrived right on time & was quite securely packaged. The UPS delivery man had to use a power lift to get it to the door as it weighs ~100 lbs.! Fortunately, our son had come over and was able to help get it Into the house.After reading through all the directions we took it out to the garage where there were about 15 -18 pieces of assorted types of wood (mostly cottonwood with some maple & birch) too thick for our fireplace insert. I left hubby to his fun and went back inside. 20 min. later he was back in the house. I asked if there was a problem & he shook his head grinned and said, "Nope, I'm done!" I couldn't believe it & went back out to look. Sure enough, those giant pieces were now neatly split & stacked against the wall. He'd even loaded on a huge 20" diameter piece which he said split effortlessly. There was was only one piece that didn't split: it was a 3-way 'W' where 3 large branches had conjoined & was full of knots. S'okay....the chainsaw took care of that. Other than that one piece every log, regardless of diameter split in under 5 seconds. After he was done he wiped it down & stood it in a corner of the garage until he had time to make a place for it in the toolshed.Pros: VERY powerful, very fast, very easy to use. It's also amazingly quiet - just hums when idling.Takes up very little room in the shed/basement.Cons: 1) Unless you lift weights & are physically fit, at ~100lbs. this baby's NOT easy to move. As an RN w/30yrs in ED/Trauma I lost count long ago of patients who'd gotten hurt - or killed themselves - trying to lift heavy items. Everyone thinks they're in better shape inside/out than they really are. Lifting anything - even 20lbs - the wrong way or when you're not in shape can cause strains, tear muscles, rupture disks, cause hernias or trigger a pulmonary embolism (blood clot or plaque which ends up in the lungs). Worst, especially for men >40, is what we call a 'widowmaker'...a plaque/clot that breaks off with exertion/strain & lodges in the L. ventricle of the heart. If that happens, you die. Period.I suggest you prepare for delivery right after you purchase this splitter so you avoid having to fuss later. Make room in your garage & get the UPS guy to put it right inside.(Most will as long as the garage is next to the house & the car's not in the way). If you must bring it inside, go up or down stairs or over a high jamb unless you're Vin Diesel you'll likely need help. Getting it to the back of our yard (200') we had to put the power snow-blower away for the year anyway, so we hooked the splitter to it & walked it back. Once back, it was fine. It does roll nicely on its wheels on pavement, but takes more effort on grass. 2) The manufacturer should have put a reminder sticker by the 'On' switch to remind users to open the bleeder valve.(see below). 3) There is NO child safety lock-out! If you have kids make sure the splitter's kept where they will not be able to plug it in with or without an extension cord. NEVER leave it plugged in & unattended. It's just too inviting & easy to switch on& use.Recommendations & Notations: 1) When using out in the yard if the ground is soft it helps to put the unit on a sheet of plywood. Of course, NEVER attempt to use this splitter - or any electrically-powered device - on wet ground or in the rain. Plywood also helps keep the grass from being torn up & makes clean-up easier.2) There MUST be electric outlet within 30 feet of where you're working. My husband works electronics/electrical and computed what the motor draws in current. He said the extension cord had to be rated No. 10 (No. 12 could work if using it only for a few splits) & absolutely no longer than30' in length or the motor would burn up. (Something to do with the resistance of the wire times length in feet causing improper amounts of voltage. Running even a short time on an too-thin or too-long of an extension cord,, even if it was heavy-duty would ruin the motor.)3) To make splitting big/heavy pieces I recommend what my husband did: he made a solid wedge out of some scrap wood to fit against one side so he & I could roll logs up onto the machine, rather than lift each one by hand. 4) Tape a reminder on top of the unit to remind you to open the bleeder valve 2 turns each time you use the splitter. It's easy to forget to do, or if you loan it out, that person may not remember. Once the unit's cool, close the valve again til next time.All-in-all, this dandy little splitter worked every bit as well as the heavy-duty one we'd rent on occasion from the home improvement store. Now we don't have to worry about having a hitch on our vehicle, driving there & back, worrying about returning it on time, etc. We use a lot of wood (mostly picked up from tree lawns) & having this splitter is going to make life a LOT easier. We won't need to leave big pieces of wood behind because of not having the means to make them fit our insert (16" x 8"). When the city drops off a load of firewood (Ours is one of the few which still does this) we can split any over-sized logs fast & not have to play around w/wedges & sledgehammers. May 3, 2015
This thing surprised me- after years of using a splitting maul, and for a short period of time having a splitter that used a bottle jack, I decided that it was time to get a powered splitter. Since I'm not doing cords and cords of wood at a time, the gas powered one didn't appeal due to maintenance and cost, and after seeing the reviews on this one, decided to take the plunge, and I'm really happy I did.Pros-Smoother operationSplits about anything you throw at itSafe to run as you can't accidentally get your hand in thereDoesn't split so fast that it throws wood all over the placeCons-Two hands to run it- safety feature I believe, so sometimes the wood will shift. Holding the back lever leaves the ram in place so you can re-position the wood if neededThe stand is a must- either run it on your truck bed or on the stand, using it on the ground is a jokeBig power draw- had it on a 15 amp circuit to start that had some other stuff going on- popped a breaker. No issues after switching to a circuit with less load on it.Runs slow, so some wood doesn't split as cleanly. Generally only an issue if splitting stuff that's a bit green February 13, 2016
Home splitting has never been easier!
- 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.
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.
- 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
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- Not good for large pieces of wood
- Plug-in design limits location
- Not great for use in rain
Southland Outdoor Power Equipment
What’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 pounds 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.
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 ... Available: In stock
This unit works perfect! I assembled it by my self except for the heavy cross beam that sits on top. It takes two to stand it on end but then I'm 59 years old. Once the beam is standing it's very easy to hook up to the trailer. I have not found anything it will not split. The engine runs well and is easy to start. It is quieter than my mower an does a great job. The engine is American made by Liquid Combustion Technology in South Carolina. Their web site is: [...]I put a 2" ball on my lawn tractor and pull it to where it is needed. Large sections of wood can be split in the vertical position without problems. Not sure what else to tell you except I'd buy it again. September 14, 2016
Easy to understand assembly instructions, easy to assemble, easy to use AND it splits stringy wet white fir just on idle. Four cords took less than two gallons. Love it. July 23, 2016
The assembly took a bit longer and the main beam was heavier than expected. We rented an engine hoist to pick it up. The vertical operation of the splitter is smooth and steady.. We have split white and red oak, walnut, cherry, apply and maple with good results. January 10, 2017
A powerful and most excellent tool!
- 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)
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.
- 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
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- Initial hydraulic setup can have problems if you don’t follow instructions carefully.
Goplus Electric Hydraulic Portable Splitter
Six 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.
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 ... Available: In stock
I have now split a few cords of wood with this tool. I am using it only on pine and aspen, both soft woods, that are very dry and 15 inches or less. It splits about 99 percent in the first try and 100 percent within a few attempts. I suspect that if one had to split large hardwood logs it would not be up to the task. I initially was not very happy with the fact that one must use two hands to operate the splitter, but this is actually a pretty good safety feature as it forces me to be in a position where I am never in the path of the split wood that is often thrown with an impressive force off of the right side of the tool. If one is to use this tool for an extended period of time the fact that it sits so low would be a problem. I built a low table, like a wide sawhorse, to put the splitter on. The wheels would be cheap on a children's toy wagon; I don't expect them to work for very long. Otherwise, the tool seems to be well made. Works very well. At slightly over two hundred bucks this was the best value I could find. August 15, 2016
I bought the Goplus 6 ton electric log splitter to save my back from manually splitting logs. After using it I found it to only split 1 or 2 out of 10 to 15 logs. it could not split already split logs. I was very disappointed with the product and am in the process of trying to return the machine. The seller has been giving me a hard time on the return. Will update. January 9, 2017
Works great and I have it on a 50 ft. extension (12 gauge). December 7, 2016
- 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
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.
- 1500W works with 10-inch softwoods particularly well
- Light, reasonably priced, and compact
- Electric motor means free of fumes
- Works on an extension cord
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- Not for logs over 1 foot in diameter
- Some hardwoods are too tough for this 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.
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 ... Available: In stock
I spent a lot of time reviewing and researching log splitters. I'm a solid fan of Honda GX engines, so that was a requirement. I also have some real challenging splitting tasks, so I went big on capacity. This rig does what I want, and well so far. It does get hot under extended use, so there is a duty cycle issue. Also, I like to warm up an engine, so with an automatic throttle, you have to manually hold the throttle lever down upon starting until it gets some oil pressure and heat in the motor. Minor stuff. Plenty of power, good hydraulic oil capacity. I might add a hydraulic oil filter, just because I'm anal. October 23, 2010
run a cord in a little over an hour, November 16, 2016
What a wonderful tool! Our new 37 Ton NorthStar Log Splitter turned a three week job into one day!! This unit does come partially assembled, so be prepared to spend a few hours putting it together. We would definitely recommend this log splitter to those who are shopping for a dependable machine. February 28, 2015
- 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.
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
|Product Name ||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 |
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:
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
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!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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