Best Log Splitter

Best Log Splitter Reviews and Buying Guide

The traditional method to chop wood is, as we all know, with the dreaded axe, in addition to maybe hammers or wedges. This requires a lot of manual labor, which does put a strain on you, especially if your work is on the heavy side. Moreover, it takes a hefty amount of time, even if you are proficient at it. High powered machines, such as table saws, both contractor and portable ones, are also overkill and in no way really suited for this task. What we’re trying is say is that if you’re going with this method, you’re probably sick of it and want to improve the experience.

Enter the best log splitter.

This tool is made to make this process much more tolerable since it will largely cut the time as well as the effort needed to finish such a job. There’s no reason you shouldn’t get the best log splitter for your workplace. Just like a battery-powered weed eater can save a lot of time when you’re caring for your garden, a log splitter can turn this hard chore into a breeze.

This is where another problem appears though because there’s such a vast spectrum of products on the market that you need to choose from. This is precisely what inspired us to write this review article, where we searched among every product on the market to pick only the best log splitters. So now you only have to check our top five picks, and simply get the one that caters to your needs the most.

In a hurry? Here’s our top pick!
Pow' R' Kraft 65556 4-Ton 15 Amp Electric Log Splitter
  • Dependable 1,500 watt electric motor that runs on regular household current
  • Splits a log up to 20-inches long and 10-inches in diameter (capable of 12-inches for most woods)
  • All steel construction for a long working life
  • 4 tons of RAM splitting force
  • NEW stronger packaging to reduce shipping damage

The Best Log Splitter – Our Picks

#1 – Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton
  • Powerful 2 HP electric motor
  • 7 tons of splitting force
  • Convenient one-Handed operation
  • Automatic ram return
  • 2-year residential warranty.Hydraulic Pressure (psi):3500

This is your best bet if you’re fed up of manually cutting logs and want to switch to the advanced method. This is a beast machine of 7 tons that can take in woods up to 20.5 inches of length and 10 inches of diameter.

Now, don’t let these numbers fool you into thinking they’re a bit small, since machines that claim to cut more significant wood struggle to do it consistently, while the Boss Industrial ES7T20 doesn’t fail to do it. The 1500W motor, alongside the hydraulic system that has 3500 psi provide so much power, making it the best log splitter in terms of raw power.

14 seconds is this tool’s cycle time, and 5 seconds is the time the piston takes to retract after the cutting process. These values are in the right range. Another advantage of this product is that the build quality is excellent, which will stand the test of time, thanks to sturdy building material alongside trusty joints and connections. Boss even provides a limited warranty of two years since they trust their product, and they’re right considering it’s on our list of the best log splitters.

The only downside of this product is the absence of a two-handed operation, which is safer than the one-handed one. However, this is left to personal preference as you might prefer this variant more.

All in all, this product is truly one of the best log splitters on the market thanks to its multiple advantages and lack of inconveniences. This is why we recommend it for you if you’re in need of this kind of tool.

What we like about it

What really catches our eyes with this product is that it is a high-quality, sturdy model that can fulfill all your wood cutting needs while giving excellent longevity that will make the investment worthwhile. This is, without a doubt, the best log splitter on the market and we highly recommend it for you especially if you don’t have any special needs and you’re just looking for a generally excellent tool.

#2 – Pow’ R’ Kraft 65556 Log Splitter

Pow' R' Kraft 65556 4-Ton 15 Amp Electric Log Splitter
  • Dependable 1,500 watt electric motor that runs on regular household current
  • Splits a log up to 20-inches long and 10-inches in diameter (capable of 12-inches for most woods)
  • All steel construction for a long working life
  • 4 tons of RAM splitting force
  • NEW stronger packaging to reduce shipping damage

This is a 4-ton machine that can cut logs of up to 10 inches in width and 20 inches in length. This information might be unreliable, considering that the previous product is a 7-ton model that only goes up to 10 inches in wood length. There’s a difference, however: one denotes the maximal length in ideal conditions, while the latter is the actual reliable length. You can expect to get guaranteed splits for up to 6 inches, so it isn’t much to brag about.

Let’s now move on to what makes the Pow’ R’ Kraft 65556 one of the best log splitters, which is the price to quality ratio. For a low cost, you’ll get a 2320 psi hydraulic system, in addition to a 1500W motor. Moreover, this model has a 15 seconds cycle time, and the piston automatically retracts. This product was manufactured with a pressure setting that is tuned-down.

The one advantage it truly has over the Boss ES7T20 is the two-handed operation which we find to be the safer way to do this type of work. Additionally, it comes with a similar warranty of two years for more assurance.

In conclusion, this is the best log splitter in the budget-friendly category, as it will offer so much for the investment while offering useful additional features.

What we like about it

We love that this product costs a lot less yet lacks very little when compared to the pricier products on our list. Being the best log splitter when on a budget, you can rely on this model to do small to medium work.

#3 – Champion Power Equipment No.92221

Champion Power Equipment 27 Ton 224cc Log Splitter
  • This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box

This model is one of the gas-powered log machines, which are meant for the industrial field since they offer so much power. When it comes to this type, this is the best log splitter, especially in terms of performance to price ratio.

An enormous 25 tons of power can be generated by this beast, mowing through 23.8 inches long and 22 inches wide logs like butter. Additionally, you can choose to either cut horizontally or vertically since this machine has two positions.

Its cycle time is a mere 12 seconds, and the piston retracts automatically, so you can do a lot of work in a short amount of time. Last but not least, a log catcher and stripper that is built into it adds even more convenience. All of these features contribute to the status of this machine as one of the best log splitters.

When it comes to mobility, this product certainly doesn’t fail to impress. You can easily tow it with your car or truck, and the wheels can handle speed as high as 40 mph. This just further tells how durable the Champion Power Equipment No.92221 really is. A two-year warranty is a must on such a product, so it is included.

All in all, the only thing that keeps this machine from being the norm for this type of tools is the substantial investment involved, which makes it too expensive for occasional use. So we can conclude that this is the best log splitter for industrial use.

What we like about it

We can’t help but love this product since it is superior to the competition in almost every way. Without a doubt, this is the best log splitter if you are looking for a product that will handle industrial use, and we recommend you don’t think twice before buying it. If you are a home user; however, this will be too much money spent on a product that is overkill for your need.

#4 – YTL International Forest King YTL23101 Log Splitter

YTL International Forest King  YTL23101 Manually Operated Log Splitter, 10-Ton
  • Operates Using 2 Steel Handles
  • Split Logs Up To 18" Long
  • 8-5/16" Ram Stroke
  • Two Wheels For Easy Maneuverability

This is the best log splitter when it comes to manual ones. If you don’t mind some manual labor, albeit less than conventional methods but still present, then this might be the one for you. However, it can’t really match automatic ones in terms of power and speed, so keep that in mind. But it is among the best log splitters, and you’re about to see why.

This tool serves a particular need, which is if you don’t want to go all the way when splitting a log. Moreover, it requires minimal effort to maintain since there are no motor parts that wear out. The mechanism that does the work is a hydraulic pump that requires dual-handed control.

What sets this model apart from other models, and makes it one of the best log splitters is that it costs far less than the electronic products. Moreover, it generates power enough to handle 8 inches width and 18 inches length wood, with a massive force of 10 tons. Even knotted wood won’t stand a chance against multiple attempts.

Last but not least, you get the standard two-year warranty to cover your product against manufacturer defects. However, it is a bit on the heavy side. Add to that; the manual part makes for slow cycle time.

All in all, this makes for a complete package that includes excellent performance and quality for a low price at the expense of some manual labor, and rest assured that this is the best log splitter in this category.

What we like about it

What we adore about the YTL23101 is that it offers outstanding performance and quality relative to what you have to spend on it. Moreover, it requires little to no maintenance, so it makes for the best log splitter for occasional use if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty a bit.

#5 – WEN 56206 Log Splitter

WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter
  • Reliable 2 HP, copper-wound motor uses household current; No problems with cold starts or gas shortages; quieter, less expensive; Plug it in and go!
  • Safety first! Operation requires two hands to keep hands clear of the ram while fume free electric power allows for usage both indoors and outdoors
  • Built-in log cradle/guide keeps logs on track for even splitting of logs up to 10" in diameter and 20.5" in length
  • Portable with two comfort grip handles and 6" tires. Hydraulic pressure : 3000 PSI
  • CSA approved with a two-year WEN warranty. refer the Page 17 on user guide for Trouble shooting steps

This is another product that belongs to the budget category. It is more on the cheap side, and it packs quite a punch for its price. It has the power to cut 20.5 inches long and 10 inches wide wood.

This force stems from the 3000 psi hydraulic system and the 1500W motor. These traits are of a product that is worthy of appearing among the best log splitters, or it might seem that way.

The main problem with this model is the cycle time, which is a slow 25 seconds. It’s only half as fast as some of the tools we already reviewed, albeit still faster than the manual one.

Of course, all of the other useful features are present, including the automatic piston, the limited warranty of two years and the two-handed control.

This machine is the best log splitter for those who have an extreme budget constraint or don’t need to do much work in succession since aside from all its perks, it’s still far superior to manual labor.

What we like about it

We that this product is the best log splitter if you want to make an economical choice since for a low, low price you can benefit from a lot of features, coupled with good power and quality. Moreover, the only downside which is the absurd cycle time won’t be such a nuisance if you only use it sparingly.

Choosing the Best Log Splitter – Buying Guide

If you still have some confusion over which product you’re going to pick, don’t worry as this is totally normal. All of the different features and prices makes the process even harder, especially figuring what to consider the most. This is why you should ideally have a clear strategy in mind for comparison between products in terms of cost, performance, and different perks. So read through to know how to get the best log splitter you can get your hands on.

Cycle Time

This is the time it takes for one operation to take place. The ideal range is from 10 to  15 seconds since with such a time you can develop a good rhythm for the work.

Auto-Return

This represents whether the piston returns automatically to its starting position after the splitting of a log. This is used to gain time and prepare the next log while this process takes place.

Two-Handed Operation

Even though opinions differ when it comes to this point, we prefer this feature for added safety. It will reduce the risk of running your hand into danger since both of them will be busy with work.

Motor and Hydraulic System

An engine that packs good power is a must if you want to get the best log splitter. You should also check out for reliability, so seek manufacturers that have a good reputation on the market.

Warranty

The warranty is a standard for most products, but you should make sure it is present nevertheless.

How Do Log Splitters Work?

Many people think that log splitters work by cutting wood. Log splitters don’t really do this; they use pressure and a wedge that pushes into a log until it cracks. It’s looks like a cutting motion, but it’s really about the pressure that a log splitter can exert.

What Types Of Log Splitters Are Available?

Gas Splitters

If you plan on splitting lots of large pieces of wood, then you may want to consider a gas-powered splitter; these splitters are some of the strongest, fastest and most effective on the market, but they also tend to be the most expensive. They slice through wood easily, and this makes the splitting process very easy for the user. You never have to worry about overloading a gas-powered machine. Lots of gas-powered splitters come with a trailer hitch for easy portability, but if you plan on driving on busy roads or highways, then make sure you get a unit that has wheels that have been approved by the Department Of Transportation. Some splitters come with wheels that are approved for towing around your property; don’t take one of these out on a public road, or you may cause an accident. When using a gas splitter, you have to be careful of the gas fumes that it emits. They are made for use in well-ventilated areas like your backyard. You never want to run one indoors; the fumes can be harmful to your health.

Electric Splitters

Electric splitters run on the electricity from a standard 120 volt outlet, so you can use them in confined spaces like your basement or garage. They are very powerful machines, but you always need to be near a power source when you use one. They usually cost a little less than gas-powered units, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t offer you the power and speed that you need.

Manual Splitters

Manual splitters come in many different shapes and sizes, but we’re going to be talking about the ones that use a manual hydraulic pump to split your wood. These pumps are pretty powerful; some of them even have ten tons of splitting power, but you have to crank the hydraulic pump by hand. If you only have to split a couple of logs, then a manual system will probably work for you. They are slow, and they take a lot of work compared to gas and electric units. They typically have two speeds; one speed is used to initially split the wood, and the other is used to finish the task. You have to pump the lever manually; it works kind of like a car jack does, so it takes a lot of time to get through a whole log. The great thing about manual units is that they can be used without gas or electricity, and they are better than splitting logs with an ax. They are portable and easy to take care of, so you can throw one in your back seat and bring it on a camping trip. You probably don’t want to use one of these if you have a ton of wood to split.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Log Splitter

When buying a log splitter, you need to factor in things like its weight, its power source and how much wood you are actually going to be splitting. If you plan on splitting large and fresh logs, they tend to be the hardest on your splitter, so you’ll need to buy a unit with a lot of tonnage. If you are buying a splitter for home, you might be best off buying a portable unit that has a little less power; you really don’t want an immobile unit sitting around in your back yard. Always figure out what kind of power source is best for you; gas units are the most powerful, but you definitely can’t use them inside. If you plan on splitting wood inside, you need to consider buying an electric unit. It makes sense to figure out where you’ll be splitting your wood; this allows you to get a unit that suits your needs. Before you buy a new splitter, figure out the size of the wood you plan on splitting, where you’re going to use your log splitter and the amount of labor that you are willing to put into the process. Watch this video on YouTube

Log Splitter Alternatives

When it comes to log splitter alternatives, the only other realistic option you have is to do it by hand. You can use an axe or a special tool to do this, but it’s very labor intensive work. If you’re young and healthy, a couple of logs won’t be a problem, but if you have to split a whole cord of wood by hand, it’ll take you hours, and you’ll definitely feel some pain when you are done. If you have a lot of wood to split, we definitely recommend a log splitter.

Can You Make A Homemade Log Splitter?

Log splitters look like pretty simple machines, and people sometimes make the mistake of thinking that they can build one them by themselves. We don’t recommend this; when you are using 20 tons of pressure to split wood, you definitely don’t want something going wrong with your unit. It may work well, but why take the risk of injuring yourself or the people around you? When you buy a log splitter from a dependable manufacturer, you pay for stability and dependability. Making your own splitter can be disastrous, and if you aren’t a mechanical engineer, you’re better off avoiding making one. If you are serious about your log splitting, then we recommend that you buy one from a dependable manufacturer; you always know that it’s safe.

What’s The Best Log Splitter Brand?

There isn’t one brand that is necessarily better than others. We tend to like brands that are manufactured in the United States, but this doesn’t mean that units built overseas are bad; lots of companies build their parts in the US, and then they ship them overseas to be produced. When buying a log splitter, you’re best off reading reviews; they give you a good idea of how the unit performs in comparison to others on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

I See There Are Many Types of Log Splitters. Which One Is Best for Me?

It’s true that there are numerous types of log splitters on the market, but the best log splitters for users at home tend to be either of the electric or the gas variety. They are similar in that they use the same mechanism to cut the wood. Both are equipped with a wedge and a piston that splits the logs. The difference lies in the source of power for the hydraulic pump that provides power to the piston.

Even though splitters that use gas as a power source provide more power than their electric counterparts, they also produce too much noise and smoke. Electric log splitters need a considerable amount of electric power though, and not all sockets are able to provide a current high enough.

With a gas splitter, you won’t run into this issue as it’s enough to fill your tank with fuel and that’s it, although you still have to be wary of wearing out of it. On another note, an inherent advantage of electric motors is that they’re easier to maintain.

Another type we shouldn’t forget to mention is the manual one. They are convenient for those who have occasional small work as even though the power source is the user, it’s still a significant improvement in time and effort to the traditional methods.

If you aim to buy the best log splitter, then you just have to identify your exact needs. Want a lot of force and mobility? Go for the gas-powered model. Want to economize instead? Choose an electric log splitter.

How Much Power Should My Splitter Have?

The power of a product is expressed in tons, so if you want to know which is the best log splitter that has the minimum power you’ll need for the job at hand, there are some factors to consider.

  • Type: Softwood is obviously more comfortable to handle than hardwood.
  • Diameter: Surely enough, there is a direct correlation between the power needed for cutting and diameter.
  • Length: Much like the diameter, the power necessary increases with more length.
  • Shape: Wood with a prism-shaped is harder to cut than the log-shaped type.
  • Dryness: The ease of splitting increases with dryness.
  • Grain structure: The closer the grains, the easier the cut. Also, knots make the whole process harder.
What size log splitter do I need?

If you are using seasoned wood, you probably won’t need a splitter that has a tonnage of more than 20. Fresh wood tends to be a little tougher, and if you’re splitting tough fresh wood, you may need up to 30 tons of power to split it. Use these general guidelines to figure out the size of the splitter that you need: 6 inch seasoned – 4 tons 12 inch seasoned – 12 tons 12 inch fresh – 16 tons 24 inch seasoned – 20 tons 24 inch fresh – 30 or more tons

What are the shipping costs and delivery methods?

Shipping prices for log splitters can be expensive; a 600 pound unit isn’t very easy to ship, and some companies try to offset the costs by making the consumer pay for shipping. Always make sure to pay attention to shipping and handling before you buy your unit. Many places ship for cheap or free, and if you can find a company that does, you’ll end up saving a couple hundred dollars.

Does it come with the accessories I want?

When buying your splitter, figure out what accessories you need. You don’t want to buy a splitter without a hitch if you plan on moving it often. Look for things like safety features, log catchers and units that can be used horizontally and vertically if you need more than the basics.

What is the best log splitter for the money?

This question doesn’t have a concrete answer. Some log splitters work great for some people, but they might not be powerful enough to do a good job in an industrial setting. This is why it’s important to know what kind of jobs that you’ll be doing before you go out and buy your new splitter.

Do the log splitters need any assembly?

Some log splitters are delivered pre-assembled, but it’s pretty rare. Most splitters involve some assembly, but manufacturers tend to make it pretty easy for consumers. If you don’t want to put your unit together by yourself, make sure to buy one that it is shipped to you assembled and ready to go.

What are the safety features you should look for?

We personally like units with log catchers; they prevent logs from falling off of the unit and hurting the user. You can also look for units that shut down automatically when they sense that something is wrong with the engine. Lots of gas-powered units will shut down when the oil is low. This is safer for the user, and it prevents the engine from breaking due to a lack of oil.

What’s the difference between a kinetic log splitter and a hydraulic log splitter?

A hydraulic splitter uses the power of liquids in a piston to generate force, but a kinetic splitter uses a pulley mechanism to build up energy. Kinetic systems are like a spring that is waiting to pop; once you hit the lever on a kinetic system, all the built up energy is used to quickly push your wedge into your piece of wood. Hydraulic systems aren’t as quick and violent as kinetic systems, but they tend to produce a lot more force.

Conculsion

In conclusion, these were the top five products on the market currently, so you can comfortably limit your choice between them. In the end, the choice between price, power, and features is in your hands, and you should make your pick according to your needs.

No matter which one you end up buying among those on this list, rest assured that it is the best log splitter in its category. And if you still feel confused, you should follow our buying guide which will take you through the whole thinking process.

Now, what’s stopping you from splitting wood left and right? Get working already!

James
James

I've worked in the landscaping industry ever since college. I love being outdoors and working on DIY projects around the farm.