Times are changing. We have come to the point that even traditional axing can now be replaced with the best log splitter 2021. And if you think you’re sentimental enough not to ditch your long-time ax, think again. All it takes is to read these log splitter reviews to realize that you should have one as soon as possible. Simply put, the best wood splitter is your sure-fire ticket to a life of upgraded convenience and productivity!
What is a Log Splitter?
This is a machine or an equipment used for ‘splitting’ hardwood or softwood logs which have been pre-cut into round sections through a saw bench or more commonly by a chainsaw. Most log splitters are composed of an electrical or hydraulic rod with a piston assembly designed to generate force, rated by tons.
How Log Splitters Work
Basically, an ax and a log splitter have the same purpose – to cut wood. However, they differ on how they deliver their work. Log splitters tend to use strength while axes depend on speed to effectively split a wood.
Measured by tons
All log splitters are designed with a wedge that you will ram against a log you want to cut; the log splitter will slowly split the log in half through its strength. Ton is the measurement that defines the force exerted by the log splitter. Models with higher tonnage can fundamentally split harder and wider logs.
Contrary to most people’s ideas, log splitters do not take the place of traditional chainsaws. Matter of fact, it’s better to use chainsaws in conjunction with log splitters. That way you can cut wood into your preferred sizes or manageable pieces before you proceed with splitting them. And depending on your personal needs, you can also use wood chippers with log splitters.
What are the Types of Log Splitters?
Manual Log Splitters
This type is the most affordable choice but offers the least splitting prowess. Portable and lightweight, manual log splitters are usually powered by a 2-speed pump. The strongest manual log splitter can only go as high around 14 tons. Frequent users may not find themselves satisfied with a manual type considering the effort and amount of time it takes to use this one. In this article, you will not find any manual log splitter because we are talking about only the best which can only fall under the next two types.
Electric Log Splitters
An electric log splitter is ideal for consumers who don’t have the largest budget. Typically less expensive than gas-powered variants, electric splitters also offer less splitting capacity. But it doesn’t mean they don’t deliver power. Electric log splitters can also be as powerful as 20 tons!
You can tow most models easily. The only challenge is providing a power source or finding an electrical supply when you need to use it. Most models run at 120-volts and can be used suitably indoors. With that in mind, make sure you are able to prepare your unit and its corresponding needs should you wish to operate in remote areas.
Gas Log Splitters
The best log splitters usually fall under this category. This type offers the toughest splitting capacities that can go as high as 45 tons. Relative to that, gas variants are also the most expensive. You can easily transport most models as they can be towed with a trailer hitch.
The primary issue you can experience with gas models is fume emissions. That attribute makes them unideal for indoor use. Should you want to opt for a gas-powered variant for home use, make sure you have a conducive workplace with great ventilation.
Log Splitter Reviews – Top 5 Best Log Splitters on the market 2021
Choosing your first or next log splitter is a daunting task to do considering it’s a life-turning decision you have to make. But don’t worry, these log splitter reviews will help you big time in selecting the right unit that can adhere to your personal needs and preferences. Here are the Top 5 Best Log Splitters on the market today:
1: WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter – Best Rated Log Splitter
Able to split wood pretty quickly, the WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter is an ideal choice for people looking for a robustly engineered machine that will spare them from manually axing woods by themselves.
Using this one is fairly straightforward and the best part is you no longer have to do the back-breaking work. Moreover, you can use the WEN electric log splitter inside because there are no fumes to deal with.
The WEN 56206 is something that can offer you great performance in a convenient manner. This model is portable with handles that make movement and transport quite easily. Ideal for both hard and wet log pieces, this heavy-gauge welded steel machine can split logs with ease.
• Power type: Electric
• Maximum log diameter: 10 inches
• Maximum log length: 20.5 inches
• Motor: 2HP, 120V, 60 Hz, 15A
• Splitting force: 6 tons
• Cycle time: 25 seconds
• Hydraulic pressure: 3000 PSI
• Hydraulic tank capacity: 2.8 quarts
• Weight: 105 lbs.
• Warranty: 2 years
• Portable with two comfort handles for easy maneuverability
• NO FUMES; thanks to being electric
• Composed of PURE steel; durable and lasts longer
• Short 25-second full cycle; fast worker
• Impressive 3400 RPM motor; faster than most competitors
• Easy to assemble even if you have no technical skills
• Other models have more splitting power
2: Champion 7-Ton Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter with Auto Return
This Champion is a gas log splitter designed with automatic return. That said, you will need fuel to run this one. An impressive attribute includes chemical resistance; you don’t have to worry about exposing this one to water, wastewater, salt water, bases, and mild acids.
At a maximum pressure of 3000 lbs per square inch, this splitter can move 3 gallons of hydraulic fluid per minute. As a result, it can perform pretty quickly at only 20 seconds per cycle with its hardened steel wedge. It may not be able to handle the ‘largest of the largest’ logs but this one can easily replace any manual labor of axing.
If you are looking for a wood splitter that can be of great service for cutting medium logs, the Champion Compact Log Splitter is an ideal choice. This one is the smallest splitter the brand sells but still packs with great power.
• Power type: Gas
• Maximum log diameter: around 18 inches
• Maximum log length: 19.375 inches
• Splitting force: 7-tons
• Cycle time: 20 seconds
• Fuel capacity: 0.4 gallons
• Pump: 3 gallons per minute (GPM)
• Maximum PSI: 3000 PSI
• Weight: 143.3 lbs
• Tire size: 10 inches
• Warranty: 2-year limited
• Fast cycle time
• Integrated log cradles and auto-return
• Impressive delivery volume
• Tires never go flat; easy transportation
• Chemical resistant for longer life expectancy
• Comes with FREE lifetime technical support
• Comes with clear water fittings
• Can’t be used indoors due to fumes
3: Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter – Best Electric Log Splitter
Now here’s another electric variant that works wonders. The Boss Industrial Electric Log Splitter is the solution if you’re looking for a convenient one-handed operation. It has a 7-ton splitting force with a powerful 2 horsepower motor.
This Boss Industrial log splitter has a hydraulic ram that automatically returns to its original position, effectively cutting down the manual labor you need to exert. Now you can dedicate your strength and energy to stacking your woodpiles alone.
This one is so user-friendly that even the least expert can easily use the unit thanks to the one-handed operation technology. Just read the manual for a few minutes and you’re good to go! Its 7-ton force and 2 horsepower capacity will help you big time in successfully splitting your log even for the first time.
Having an electric unit means you are having a cleaner operation. Electric log splitters emit no noxious gas emissions which makes them significantly healthier than their gas counterparts. The best part is you’ll be able to use the unit indoors during an inclement weather!
The Boss Industrial ES7T20 also has built-in side rails that offer stability so you can focus more on the safety and power factor. Overall, the Boss Industrial electric log splitter is an ideal wood-cutting companion for most wood needs.
• Power type: Electric
• Maximum log diameter: 10 inches
• Maximum log length: 20.5 inches
• Cycle time: 10 seconds
• Color: Dark red
• Splitting force: 7 tons
• Material: Steel
• Weight: 106 lbs
• Hydraulic capacity: 1 gallon
• Hydraulic ram automatically returns to the original position
• Can easily split green logs
• One-handed operation, utmost convenience
• Minor hydraulic oil leaks
4: Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25 Ton Gas Powered Log Splitter
Now make way for this beast! The Southland Outdoor Power Equipment possesses a staggering 25 tons of splitting force. It features high power and versatility that makes it superior to other log splitter models under the same price range.
An impressive attribute is its ability to be used both horizontally and vertically at will. The vertical mode offers the toughest force projection ideal for maxing out the unit’s cutting ability. Now can break the monotony of your repetitive routine by being able to split at any of the two orientation.
There is virtually no wood that you couldn’t cut with the Southland Outdoor Power Equipment. And it’s powerful and robust enough to work for extended sessions. It even has an automatic oil system that lubricates your engine by itself to make sure the engine maintains proper temperature all throughout.
This one’s powerful enough to split logs up to 26 inches in length. Impressively, it can do its job in just a mere 17-second cycle!
Overall, the Southland Outdoor Power Equipment is something that defines the essence of being versatile and high-end. This log splitter is worth every penny spent.
• Vertical and Horizontal
• Power type: Gas
• Maximum log length: 26 inches
• Splitting force: 25 tons
• Cycle time: 17 seconds
• Durable engine and frame
• Outstanding fast cycle time
• Highly powerful
• Specialized tires
• Easy assembly
• Large logs are no problem
• Incompatible with a 4-way wedge
5: Champion 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical – Best Gas Log Splitter
This one from Champion has similar attributes with the Southland Outdoor Power Equipment above. For starters, this one also has a 25-ton splitting force that can handle any wood you want to cut. The model features a giant 224 cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine, making it one of the best gas log splitter on the market today.
The Champion log splitter also possesses versatility as you can convert this one from vertical to horizontal mode in just a few seconds; allowing you to handle large and heavy logs with ease. This one is like a beast; its power can penetrate through gnarly, large, knotted sections of wood. It would be hard to find something this machine can’t handle.
Another factor that makes this one convenient is the automatic-return valve that effectively increases the efficiency and speed of the machine. You might want to read your manual on how to set it for the best settings as it can be sensitive sometimes.
Most impressively, this Champion probably holds the world record for the fastest cycle time – a staggering 12 seconds! The unit is capable of doing an outstanding 300 cycles per hour. Further, you also get to have an efficient expanded operator area.
Overall, the Champion log splitter has every reason to compete for the best log splitter title. It’s one of the most high-end models but is one of the most powerful.
• Vertical and Horizontal
• Power type: Gas
• Maximum log length: 23.8 inches
• Splitting force: 25 tons
• Cycle time: 12 seconds
• Hydraulic capacity: 5 gallons
• Weight: 430 lbs
• Color: Black and yellow
• The fastest gas on the list!
• Automatic return valve
• 12 second per cycle; up to 200 cycles per hour
• Easily switches between vertical and horizontal
• Can be conveniently towed
• Assembly takes time
Best Log Splitter Buying Guide
In the world of wood cutting parlance, there are a lot of factors you need to consider to come up with the right log splitter suitable to your specific needs. Here are the things you should look out for.
One of the most important factors, the cycle time pertains to the time it takes for the log splitter to split a log of wood. So basically, the lesser the cycle time the faster and the more efficient a particular unit is.
When shopping, consider 15 seconds to be fast already. Less cycle time means you are going to split more woods compared to other log splitters at the same time. Simply put, lesser time, more productivity.
Log Diameter and Length
Now, this is where models differ from each other. A particular log splitter can only cut a certain size of wood. Basically, the longer the length and the wider the diameter the more powerful a log splitter must be. You’ll learn more about the log size and the necessary tonnage to split it in the FAQs section below.
Motor: horsepower and splitting force
One of the most important things to evaluate, the motor fundamentally defines the log splitter. The machine can be only as good as its motor – where speed and reliability conspires.
A home user may do well with 2 horsepower units. If you are a more frequent user, you might want to opt for something more like a 3.5 HP.
Apart from the Horsepower, you should also check for the RAM force of the model. Together they define strength and efficiency.
Splitting force / Tonnage
The higher the tonnage the greater the splitting force of that model is. Every unit is designed with their force to split a log – called splitting force.
A good log splitter is something that has wheels on it – which means it’s portable and you can transport it easily from one place to another. The wheels make it easier to move and maneuver the splitter. Additional factors that offer more convenience are handles and a ball hitch so you can tow your unit on the freeway.
Your log splitter must have a log plate which height is adjustable to accommodate logs of different sizes. An average splitter may cater two to three positions of height adjustment.
You can tell a log splitter is durable by knowing its construction. A robust model is something made of mostly steel. It’s better if you can find something crafted with high-grade steel.
A durable log splitter is capable of consistent, long-term use, without experiencing any wear and tear – an attribute you can’t find on low-end machines.
Of course, all machine needs to be maintained and taken care off to preserve durability and to maintain its productivity. The servicing needs differ from each type, giving you an insight as to what type you might want to purchase.
Due to their nature, gas splitters requires servicing after a certain number of uses. For instance, a hydraulic log splitter may require you to check the hydraulic fluid level after every use. Otherwise, you can’t ensure whether the optimum pressure is sustained or not.
On the other hand, the beauty of electric variants is their ability to last for a dramatically long time without having the need for any servicing.
Ultimately, you should also check for any near authorized dealer that caters your model brand. This is in case you are past the warranty coverage and have to purchase some spare parts and the like.
It may not be the most vital factor but this one really counts. You need to know how long the manufacturer can cover a particular model in terms of repair and maintenance.
Single-handed operation (one-handed)
Most log splitters you can encounter are single-handed. This means one of your hands is always free. Its disadvantage is the risk of your free hand to get injured.
However, it’s only a matter of being careful and using one’s alertness and wit to attain consistent safety. Remember, both beginners and experts must read the safety instructions before ever using their unit.
To counter the single-handed concept, the two-handed operation offers a safer approach in using your splitter. This type only operates when both of your hands are in use – one hand pulls the lever while the other must hold the switch. Moreover, the machine instantly stops when you remove one hand.
While some people despise the concept due to the hassle it can cause to one’s hands, no one can conceal the fact this type is significantly safer.
Log Splitter FAQs
What is the difference between a green and seasoned log?
Green logs mean fresh. This is the type that is freshly cut with its moisture still retained on it. Its name is derived from its appearance as green logs tend to slightly look yellow or green. On the other hand, a seasoned log has a more brownish color.
In terms of strength, seasoned logs tend to be more brittle and easy to split due to the lack of moisture. On the flipside, a freshly cut wood is more difficult to split because of its fresh moisture content, so you’ll either split them with a higher tonnage splitter unit or wait for the log to age. An aging wood will slowly lose its moisture, making it brittle over time.
What is the right tonnage required for a particular length of wood?
Evaluate your woodpile and base the size on the widest log in your pile (pertains to diameter, and not the length). Note that older woods are easier to split than fresh ones. Here’s a comprehensive list of tonnage capacity and the wood diameter size it can handle:
• 4 ton: 6-inch seasoned
• 7 ton: 12-inch seasoned
• 16 ton: 12-inch green
• 20 ton: 24-inch seasoned
• 30 ton: 24-inch green
What are the usual prices for each log splitter type?
Here are the usual starting prices of the three different types of log splitters:
• Gas: around $$$
• Electric: around $$$
• Manual: around $$$
What is the difference between “one-hand operation” and “two-hand operation”?
The terms are pretty self-explanatory. The one-handed operation means you are only using one hand to operate the unit while your other hand is free, but has a high risk of injury.
So the difference between one-hand and two-hand operation lies in the safety factor. One hand operation increases the chances of your free hand accidentally coming to the razor-sharp blade working at tons of force to crush the wood.
The two-hand technique is significantly safer because the machine won’t operate unless both of your hands are away from harm.
Can I turn green wood into a seasoned one?
Yes. You can do the process of firewood seasoning. This is the act of drying firewood to remove all the moisture within. When that happens, the wood turns more brittle, making it easier for the machine to split it.
The process of seasoning involves cutting and stacking the woods in a strategic place where both the wind and the sun can dry them. Moreover, seasoning process can take as long as 9 months.
What is the ideal firewood?
A good firewood is something that only has around 25 percent of moisture in it. Freshly cut woods can hold as high as 75 percent moisture, which hinders the burning process by prohibiting oxidation.
How can I measure wood moisture?
Good question. You can actually purchase wood moisture meter – a device you can stick to a wood that will analyze the water present in the wood and will display the findings on a screen.
Famous Log Splitter Brands
Founded way back in 1951, WEN has been making high-quality power tools like log splitters and chainsaws to name few. The brand has made an impressive mark in 2001 for having a record sales of more than 50-million consumer units sold! That alone gives you a glimpse of how the people patronize this brand.
WEN originally got so popular by “putting the power into power tools” by merging tools and electricity together. With that, they pioneered in designing a wide variety of products that help people live better lives. Their goal is to help artisans and woodworkers execute and achieve their “wildest imaginations” through their products. Today, WEN headquarters is located in Elgin, Illinois.
The brand where innovation is at the core. Champion Power Equipment is an industry leader in what they do and provide. For starters, Champion has a dependable line of log splitters that possesses impressive attributes that other brands find hard to beat. The brand name is accompanied by certain words like portable, heavy-duty, and time-saving – gives you an insight into what makes this brand stand out.
Apart from log splitters, this well-known brand also manufactures log splitters, portable generators, water pumps, cultivators & tillers, winches & hoists, chainsaws, and so much more.
Another thing that makes Champion a ‘champion’ is their dedicated customer service; probably the best in the industry.
Ultimately, Champion is composed of great people and smart engineers behind who are able to provide tomorrow’s technologies today. So if you’re shopping for your first or next log splitter, you might want to opt something from this brand.
Boss industrial is committed to finding out what will make them stand out from the competition. And you can see how their dedication is reflected in each product they make.
The company boasts their log splitters to have superior hydraulics. They pride themselves on crafting equipment with a stronger structure and high-quality materials.
Boss Industrial uses full gear shafts, unlike most competitors who only utilize half gear shaft system. This feature ultimately increases the capacity of each model in terms handling the amount of stress. As a result, you can expect your Boss Industrial to deliver greater productivity and less downtime.
Each log splitter from this brand also features sturdier log cradles that get rid of impairment from dropped logs. You can also take your Boss Industrial over rough terrains as each unit is equipped with a large wheelbase. Ultimately, the brand creates their models with safety in mind. Each log splitter maximizes portability and ergonomics by having strategically located handles and optional stand accessories. Truly, Boss Industrial is one of the best brands out there.
Investing in the best log splitter is a life-turning decision that you have to make. A log splitter is a sure-fire ticket to saving significant effort and valuable time. Simply put, a log splitter is something that allows you to achieve a whole new level of productivity.
These wood splitter reviews have introduced you to the Top 5 best log splitters on the market today. Now it all boils down to finally choosing one which will become your primary companion in splitting logs for either home or commercial use.