As much as I love going away to spend a few days in woods, there’s one thing that irks me somewhat, cutting wood.
It’s no fun using an ax, wedges, and a hammer to cut wood in near-freezing temperatures.
I mean, you have to either wake up early or get started cutting wood before nightfalls to have sufficient warmth when you hurdle around the hearth.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time I enjoyed swinging a maul as it helped strengthen my obliques, and made my wife crack a smile whenever I did it. Nowadays, I prefer going to the gym where it’s heated and indoors. 😊
But when it comes to camping and cutting firewood, I prefer using technology to simplify the job, if you know what I mean…With this notion in mind, I went on a quest to discover which is the best log splitter.
So what is the best log splitter? A log splitter is a human-made machine that splits firewood from hardwood or softwood logs. The separator is designed to be used as a saw bench or a chainsaw. Spacers make the dangerous and tedious chore a safe and smooth operation.
Log splitters can be operated both manually or automatically. It depends on the individual using the splitter.
On my questing to finding the best log splitters, I came across 7 that I find to be ideal for any occasion that will require log splitting.
Be sure to go through my list to get some insight about the same. Also, read all through to the buyer’s guide to get more information that might be useful before you settle on getting a log splitter…
And ooh, yeah, if you are into carving wood as a hobby perhaps sitting cozily by the fireplace, check out this guide.
- Powerful 2 HP electric motor
- 7 tons of splitting force
- Convenient one-Handed operation
- 30 Ton Full Beam Gas Log Splitter with 10.5HP 306cc Briggs & Stratton Engine
- Horizontal and Vertical Splitting
- Patent pending log spinner foot plate easily rotates logs for splitting, reducing stress on the beam
Best Manual Hydraulic: Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter
The splitter is manually operated. It comes with a hand lever that you use to operate. Your strength plays a key role here.
If you are muscled or want to burn some fat, this is an ideal splitter for cutting both small and large projects.
Don’t worry though; the Sun Joe splitter comes with a powerful hydraulic ram. The powerful logger builds upwards of 10 tons of force making this equipment ideal for large projects.
It’s equipped with a two-speed pump that helps generate the force. It comes pre-installed with two rear wheels for easy navigation.
The small log splitter is made of durable steel and manages to handle a variety of wood (both hard and soft).
You will be happy to know you can use the two hand levers to achieve different speeds when splitting wood. Moreover, you can cut logs that are 18” long and 8” thick.
The pump develops enough power without you having to expend a lot of energy. It can be operated with ease by people who might have mild back problems and can’t use an ax.
Depending on the log size, you spend between 20-40 seconds splitting wood. With a bit of patience and time, you can finish a whole cord in a day!
Buyers who own this log splitter say the only disadvantage is that it requires a specific log length to work correctly. The wheels only work on hard surfaces, and it’s difficult to maneuver it on grass and uneven terrain.
Other than that, users are pleased with how light it is compared to electric powered splitters, and the minimal force they use to operate the separator! You can check it out here.
Best Electric: Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton
The 7-ton electric Boss log splitter delivers almost 14-ton splitting force. Users love that they operate this machine with one hand and it does the job well.
The Boss industrial wood splitter features a rugged design and is built to last. It weighs in at 106 lbs and can be moved with a lot of ease. Its durable construction leads to efficient performance.
The user-friendly machine comes with loads of features that will work for your home, camping, and bonfire adventures. It comes with a durable yet powerful 2HP motor that gets started by an electric push button.
It produces 1500 watts that split the most robust log pieces within seconds. Boss Industrial splitter comes with 5.25 feet power cable length, long enough to connect to a 115-volt circuit. Its auto RAM feature allows users to split small and medium splitting projects with ease.
The log splitter features a hydraulic pump that emits upwards of 3500 psi pumping pressure. Use this product to cut logs that measure 20.5” in length and 12” in diameter.
The splitter wedge is made from high-quality steel and is used both ways. With a 0.75 gallon reservoir for its hydraulic pump, you will cut loads of logs before refueling.
Although portable, it doesn’t come with a towing feature, which is slightly disappointing. The push start button, also the fact that you can use it with one hand, compensate for the lack of a towing feature, however.
Check it out here.
YARDMAX YS0552 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter, Stand, Log Tray
The affordable electric YARDMAX log splitter delivers 5 tons of power behind its RAM. It cuts logs that are 10” to 12” thick. It’s also a little slow and takes up 18 seconds to cycle the cylinder.
The log splitter does a proper job on both soft and hardwood projects. It cuts through maple, oak, hemlock, beech, and hemlock log pieces like butter. When the splitter is operational, the machine remains stable thus eliminating the chances of getting a sore back.
The high log splitter is portable and only requires minimal assembly before you start cutting wood. The log splitter comes with a 15amp 1600 watt electric motor that produces 5-ton force to break both soft and hardwood logs.
The large log tray is for catching logs while the stroke limiter minimizes shorter logs cycle time. It has a sturdy stand that holds ground while the machine is in operation.
Unfortunately, you need to use both hands to operate the YARDMAX splitter. One side controls the motor switch that pushes the ram, while the other holds down the control lever. Taller users may have to squat or bend a little more to operate the machine.
The log splitter works superbly well on both seasoned and semi-seasoned Birch, Pine, Oak, Ash and Cedar logs. It cuts through 10”-14” thick logs without a struggle. Check it out here.
Pow’ R’ Kraft 65556 4-Ton 15 Amp Electric Log Splitter
The log splitter is one of the machines that have very low ground clearance. It compensates with a full, flanged cradle for the logs. Its build to contain falling wood as the ram detaches from the splitter.
Its made from durable steel and comes with a 4-ton hydraulic splitting force. The 15amp 1.75 HP electric motor can operate on a 116 V power outlet. Its build allows the splitter to cut down 20” long and 10” thick logs.
The versatile Pow’ R’ Kraft log splitter cuts through softwood and hardwood logs. The ram has been set to auto-return for the next log piece after you release the controls. The log splitter is made from a heavy duty steel construction and features hydraulic components.
The Pow’ R’ Kraft machine comes with a 2-speed power stroke that generates up to 4-ton splitting force and upwards to 7-ton when required. Lower speeds cut wood with 7-ton force, while faster speeds produce 4-ton force for lighter logs.
Some people point out that the log splitter has some difficulty splitting fresh cut hardwood trees and have to lower the speed settings to increase the force.
However, it cuts seasoned and semi-seasoned red and white oak and cherry trees with ease. Look at it here.
Powerhouse XM-380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter, 7-Ton
The massive gauge Powerhouse electric hydraulic machine splits 24” thick logs with ease. Users say that it cuts through 100 plus logs within an hour or less. It comes with 2,500 watt and 3,500 RPM electric motors running on normal household electric current.
It produces 7 tons of RAM splitting force and cuts through 20 ½” long and 12” thick logs within six seconds on the higher side.
The log splitter comes with overload protection that keeps the motor from burn-out. It comes fitted with an auto-retract ram system and a 5 second return cycle time. Users love using this splitter because it doesn’t trip breakers, nor does it bog down when they work on large projects.
It’s also one of the simplest to transport and affordable log splitters on the market today. Its robust build makes it a great machine to split tough iron like knotty logs. It is operated with two hands making it safer and better at preventing accidents.
The manufacturer has installed a safety feature that stops the machine automatically if its unable to split a log.
Most users find this as a quality log splitter, and only one said they had difficulty having it repaired after owning and using one for several years. I found this one here.
WEN 56207 6.5-Ton Electric Log Splitter with Stand
The WEN log splitter comes with a stand and a powerful 15-amp 2.5 HP motor. The machine cuts logs that are 20.5” long and 10” thick.
The stand gets installed to lift the cradle 34” off the ground. Others opt for assembling the wheels onto the body directly thus achieving a low-profile design that sits on the ground.
The splitter comes with 20-second cycle time, 16” push plate, 5” wedge and a 14.75” cylinder stroke. All these elements combined make the log splitter an excellent machine for splitting hardwoods.
The portable machine can be moved with ease as it rides on 5.5” wheels and comes with an onboard pull handle. The powerful 15A motor pushes through 13,000 lbs of force pressure, depending on your preferences, you can use the machine with or without the 34” stand attached.
Since its electric, you don’t have to worry about gas or oil running out! The only complaints about this machine are the controls location.
Users have to spend more time locating the controls as they do placing the wood on the splitter. However, this durable and well-built log splitter works on anything you throw at it whether seasoned, semi-seasoned or freshly cut soft and hardwood. Get yours here.
Best Gas Splitter: YARDMAX YU3066 30 Ton Full Beam Gas Log Splitter, 4-way wedge, Briggs & Stratton, CR1450, 10.5HP, 306cc
I was drawn to this log splitter due to the Briggs and Stratton engine. I own one, and I can attest that 10.5HP does develop a substantial 30-ton force that splits wood with ease. The gas powered log splitter comes with 306cc and attached to it are durable log stripper plates.
It’s built for both horizontal and vertical log splitting and comes with a log spinner foot plate that rotates logs efficiently thus minimizing the amount of stress on the beam. The log splitter features a stronger U-Beam light that is better than the I-Beam design.
The 2-way wedge makes the machine split wood in two pieces effortlessly; you can also split smaller diameter logs into 4 parts thanks to the 4-way wedge design feature that connects to this splitter.
I bought mine together with a log table that I mount to catch splitting wood. The stand works in tandem with dual log cradles that come as standard with the machine.
The log splitter weighs roughly 580 lbs and is compact, rugged and has a solid build. Although gas powered, it’s easy to assemble, move around and splits logs both safely and effortlessly.
One downside I’ve noticed with my log splitter is how the engine stops at once without warning. However, it kicks back to life with the first pull, it could be an ignition issue, not sure, but it still works correctly cutting down seasoned, semi-seasoned and freshly cut wood. I got mine here.
The list is composed of some of the log splitters I have had an eye on and may invest in one or two more, soon. I have owned my gas log splitter for 4 years now and other than the ignition issue it still serves me well.
I cut 3 cords for the year and store it away safely and securely. Before you proceed to make a purchase, I urge you to read the buyer’s guide below for more insight…
Which type of log splitter is best for me?
From the three types of log splitters (manual, gas, and electric) available today, each model comes with an equal share of ups and downs.
The best way to decide on which machine type works for you is by making the decision based on the amount of log splitting you will be undertaking. Your choice will also be determined by the size of the logs you will be cutting.
Some are better for splitting small logs, others are suitable for large diameter logs, while others can cut hundreds of logs in a single session. All three kinds of log splitters use different energy sources. Make your preferred selection based on the source of power you will be using.
If you’re camping or have a massive pile of logs to split (3-4 cords), a gas-powered splitter is the best option. The machines are heavy duty and produce upwards of 38 tons force to cut the toughest of logs.
Electric log splitters can be used indoors. They produce between 4-7 tons of force and will cut enough wood with minimal time.
List down the uses and the capacity of logs you will be splitting, this will help you determine of the three (manual, gas, and electric) log splitters, which one will work for you.
How powerful should it be?
For small projects such as splitting branches for keeping the fireplace on to warm the house during fall, then an electric log splitter will suffice.
However, if you want to cut large logs as fast as possible, you will need a splitter that has a lot of hydraulic force. If you are cutting hardwood especially freshly cut, you need a lot of tonnages. A gas-powered log splitter is an obvious choice.
Pick one that has 20 or more tons of force. Get a machine that is well built and has an efficient hydraulic pump.
A manual machine isn’t bad for home use; it comes in handy also when you want to flex a bit of muscle!
What features you should look out for when buying a log splitter?
To purchase a quality log splitter, get one with these features:
Power output: You choice of a separator should kick in enough power that splits the toughest of logs without straining.
The motor should be robust, it should emit a high horsepower, have high amps and an equally higher splitting pressure. These power features ensure that the machine will cut through seasoned, semi-seasoned and freshly cut tough wood.
Cycle Time: Get a splitter that has a faster cycle time to lessen the time you take to split a cord. Get one whose cycle time is 15 seconds or less and improve your productivity.
Dual Speed Function: This feature allows the wedge to move the log at high speed, it then slows down to apply splitting pressure. It saves much needed time and produces the energy required to have the job done in seconds.
Size Range: Get a splitter that has a higher size capacity than what you need. An average good splitter handles 20” long and 12” thick logs. Size range is an important feature to consider while shopping for a log splitter.
Maneuverability: Most log splitters are made from heavy, durable materials. Lifting or moving them is next to impossible. Get one with sturdy wheels that work on almost all terrains. Nowadays, splitters are being fitted with moving handles, and a ball hitch for easy towing.
Durable Build: All steel log splitter will stand the test of time. Get one that will serve you for years. Always look into the manufacturer’s warranty before purchasing.
Safety: Safety comes first. Look for a splitter that offers two hand safety operation, control levers, clamps, and comfortable non-slip rubber grips that drowns vibration shocks as you work the tool.
Some splitters (vertical style) come with clamps that hold the log securely as the splitting process in on-going. Not all but several high-end models feature an emergency stop that gives you improved safety.
Customer Reviews: Read customer reviews to learn the first-hand experience from people that had purchased before you did. Look for manufacturers with maximum positive reviews.
An Ax vs. A Log Splitter?
Swinging an ax to split wood is an enjoyable exercise if you are young and don’t have any back or shoulder problems.
An ax helps you focus your eyes and mind at one point to split the wood right at the middle on one swing.
However, log splitters have come in to lessen the work and the body problems an ax can cause if you cut lots of wood.
Hydraulic splitters are not only powerful, but they also lessen the time taken to cut down wood. They also make minced meat of the twisted grain and knots that mess up a maul.
The benefits of Using Log Splitters
- You split more wood
- Log splitters are low maintenance
- You can use the splitter indoors
- They are compact and easy to store
- They save lots on heating and electric bills
From the list and buyer’s guide above, you can see that I put in considerable time looking for a log splitter.
I read numerous blogs and forums to settle on the 7 best log splitters above. I happen to own one ( YARDMAX YU3066 30 Ton) that I purchased after my relentless search.
I’ve been fortunate to drag it to the log cabin a few times, and it works well for my needs. My brother in law borrowed it during this past winter and used it while on a trip in snowy Wisconsin.
He was amazed at how he split through freshly cut wood and will be getting a similar splitter soon.
I have picked my best splitters that I believe to be worth investing in, and i hope my guide helps you find one that suits your needs and is a worthwhile investment. If you have a better option, kindly share with me!
And at the end, check out this awesome infographic done by the guys at austter.com, on the subject of log splitter safety: