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Splitting logs into firewood can be a difficult chore with an axe or sledge hammer and wedge. While it may keep you fit but sometimes you need to take a more modern and time effective route.
Or perhaps you have health concerns and need a less strenuous method to split up your wood. The obvious solution is a gas or electric log splitter.
We have researched the top log splitters, so you don’t have to. You probably have a huge pile of logs to split, so let’s look at them now!
Best Log Splitters
|Boss Industrial Log Splitter||Champion Log Splitter||WEN 56207 Log Splitter|
|Engine Size:||2 HP||5 HP||2.5 HP|
|Splitting Force:||7 Tons||25 Tons||6.5 Tons|
|Cycle:||14 Seconds||12 Seconds||20 Seconds|
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Log Splitters For 2021
- Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter
- Southland Outdoor Power SELS60 Electric Log Splitter
- WEN 56207 Electric Log Splitter with Stand
- PowerSmart PS90 Electric Log Splitter
- Champion 100251 Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter
- YARDMAX YU2566 25 Ton Full Beam Gas Log Splitter
- Frictionless World 100950 Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter
Our reviews of the top-rated log splitters with a comparison table and buyers guide will help you find the right splitter for your needs.
Best Electric Log Splitters
- Gas/Electric: Electric
- Engine Size: 2HP
- Splitting Force: 7 Tons
- Cycle: 14 Seconds
- Maximum Log Size: 20½” long, 10½” diameter
Our first log splitter is the impressive Boss Industrial ES7T20. Although it is more expensive than some other electric splitters, it is worth the extra money.
It has both the greatest splitting force and shortest cycle time among the electrical log splitters covered on our list.
The 2Hp electric engine produces an impressive 7 tons of splitting force. One point to note is that this horizontal splitter only requires 1 hand to operate.
On the one hand, this means it lacks the safety feature of 2-hand operation, so you must be extra careful while splitting logs. On the other hand, this makes it easier to operate.
An additional advantage of an electric motor when compared to a gas log splitter is that this machine will not produce noxious emissions. That means you can use it in an enclosed space, like in your garage at home.
The durable, horizontal cradle includes integrated rails that secure the log during impact, reducing the danger of flying splinters. The cradle is long enough to handle logs up to 20½” long.
Since it weighs 117lbs, it is slightly heavier than other electric splitters, but light compared to gas log splitters. Its light weight combined with the 7” metal hub solid rubber wheels and handles makes it really portable.
As you might expect from such a reputable manufacturer, Boss supplies a 2-year warranty for your peace of mind. Given the positive reviews this electric splitter receives, you probably won’t need it.
In fact, we feel that the Boss Industrial ES7T20 is the best electric log splitter for the money.
- Gas/Electric: Electric
- Engine Size: 1.75HP
- Splitting Force: 6 Tons
- Cycle: 18 Seconds
- Maximum Log Size: 20½” by 10” in diameter
Next on our list of superb log splitters is the Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SEL60 6 Tons Electric Log Splitter.
This is a very inexpensive electric splitter from a reputable manufacturer and a good choice for residential use where a smaller quantity of little logs requires splitting.
This tiny, 38” long horizontal splitter still packs a punch. With a 1.75HP electric engine generating 6 tons of splitting force, you can split logs up to 20½” long and 10” in diameter with a cycle time of 18 seconds.
If you want, you can also attempt to split larger logs because the automatic shut-off feature prevents damage to the machine. If you are splitting a large quantity of smaller logs, the integrated stroke limiter acts to reduce cycle time making your job much quicker.
Although it is designed to be heavy-duty, this splitter weighs a mere 106lbs. Using its ergonomic handles and solid 7” wheels, this machine is easily portable.
It may be stored in a vertical position to take up less room if required. Because it is electric and not gas, there are no toxic fumes, making it ideal for use in a domestic setting, like inside your garage.
Even when products are made by reputable manufacturers, things can still go wrong. Thankfully, Southland Outdoor Power Equipment provides a 1-year warranty.
- Gas/Electric: Electric
- Engine Size: 2.5HP
- Splitting Force: 6.5 Tons
- Cycle: 20 Seconds
- Maximum Log Size: 20½” long
The WEN 56207 6.5-Ton Electric Log Splitter only weighs 98 lbs and comes provided with solid 5½” wheels and pull handle, making it especially portable.
The supplied ergonomically-designed stand raises the machine 34” off the floor for easy use while standing. The powerful 2.5HP electric motor generates an impressive 6.5 tons of splitting force with a rapid 20 seconds cycle.
Because it is electric and not gas, there are no toxic fumes and this machine may be used safely indoors, like in your garage or shed.
This machine boasts sturdy construction, with an auto-return 4” by 4” push plate and 5” wedge reinforced by 3 gussets.
The distance between the push plate and wedge may easily be adjusted so that the cycle time is shortened for splitting a large quantity of smaller logs. This splitter can handle logs up to 20½” in length and 10” in diameter.
As an additional safety feature, this log splitter is 2-hand operated. You need to press the power button while holding down a handle to engage the ram.
That means that wandering hands cannot get caught between the log and wedge during operation.
WEN back this splitter with a 2-year warranty, a friendly customer helpline, and a national network of experienced repair engineers.
Given its low price but high specifications, if you want great value for money, this is the best wood splitter.
- Gas/Electric: Electric
- Engine Size: 2HP
- Splitting Force: 6 Tons
- Cycle: 22 Seconds
- Maximum Log Size: 21” long, 10” diameter
The PowerSmart PS90 Electric Log Splitter is a conveniently light and compact machine ideal for domestic use.
Because it only weighs 101lbs, it is possible for one person to handle it by themselves, especially with the help of the wheels and ergonomically designed handles.
It is designed to operate horizontally but may be stored vertically to take up less floor space so that it can be slotted easily into the corner of your shed or storage space.
Although the machine is a mere 42” long, it is capable of splitting logs up to 21” long and 10” in diameter. While insufficient for commercial use, that is ideal for use at home.
The 2HP electric engine can generate an impressive splitting force of 6 tons with a cycle time of only 22 seconds.
Despite its small size, this splitter boasts impressively solid construction. The steel wedge is welded to the end of the bed and reinforced by 3 gussets, and the push block for the ram is constructed using ¼” thick steel.
When splitting a log, you must use one hand to push a button on the hydraulic pump and your other hand to hold down a lever releasing the ram, which means that you don’t have a stray hand that can get caught between the ram and the wedge.
PowerSmart products come supplied with a limited 2-year warranty.
Best Gas Log Splitters
- Gas/Electric: Gas
- Engine Size: 5HP
- Splitting Force: 25 Tons
- Cycle: 12 Seconds
- Maximum Log Size: 24”
From a company with Champion’s fine reputation, it’s no surprise to find that the Champion 100251 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Gas Log Splitter is a reliable and efficient gas log splitter.
It boasts a powerful 5HP 224cc OHV engine, which is 4-stroke with a single cylinder and air-cooled. With a 0.9-gallon gas tank, you can process hundreds of logs before you must refuel.
This splitter delivers an impressive 25 tons splitting force through the hardened steel wedge. The Champion hydraulic system utilizes a dependable auto-return valve that enables a speedy 12 seconds cycle.
This attractive splitter has a durable, full-beam construction with integrated log cradle. Conversion from vertical to horizontal mode takes only 3 simple steps and a few seconds.
Although it weighs 430lbs, it is easily transportable with a 2” ball coupler that has an extended tongue making it compatible with most UTV/ATV towing applications, and the 16” road wheels are DOT approved for up to 45mph.
The Champion 25-Ton Combo is California Air Resources Board compliant and Environment Protection Agency certified to prevent unnecessary air pollution.
Not only does this product come with a 2-year limited warranty, Champion also provides free lifetime technical support.
If you’re looking to combine quality, value for money, and ecological awareness, then the Champion 100251 is the best log splitter for you.
- Gas/Electric: Gas
- Engine Size: 10.5HP
- Splitting Force: 35 Tons
- Cycle: 12.8 Seconds
- Maximum Log Size: 26”
Equipped with a powerful 10.5HP 208cc Briggs & Stratton gas engine, the YARDMAX 25 can produce a splitting force of 35 tons.
What’s more, if you upgrade to a larger 10.5HP 308cc engine, you can get an amazing 35 tons of splitting force, enough for most heavy-duty, commercial applications.
Because this ergonomically designed splitter is a combo, you can choose between a vertical and a horizontal position when splitting logs.
A spectacular design feature is the unique 4-way splitting wedge, which can be used in place of the supplied 2-way wedge.
Instead of splitting logs in half like the 2-way wedge, the 4-way wedge quarters them with each cycle, dramatically reducing the number of cycles required to reduce your logs to a manageable size.
Combining this with the log spinner footplate that rotates logs during splitting, this is the most efficient design you will encounter. And the elegantly designed YARDMAX hydraulic system provides the shortest cycle time in its class, 12.8 seconds.
The durable YARDMAX 25 utilizes a u-beam structural design, making it significantly stronger than other models that use the traditional i-beam design.
The especially long table can accommodate logs up to 26” long. Two large log cradles are supplied as well as a log stripper mounted at the end of the hydraulic cylinder to remove log jams.
At 636 lbs, it is heavy but comes supplied with a 2” tow coupler, safety chains, and road tires DOT rated up to 45mph for portability.
The overall high specifications and the great 4-way wedge supplied with this product make it the best gas log splitter currently on the market.
- Gas/Electric: Gas
- Engine Size: 6.5HP
- Splitting Force: 22 Tons
- Cycle: 10.9 Seconds
- Maximum Log Size: 25”
Last but not least in our list of log splitters is the Frictionless World Dirty Hand Tools 100950 Combo Log Splitter.
This impressive, gas-powered log splitter may be used in either a horizontal or a vertical position. It boasts a reliable DHT 196cc 6.5 HP engine that delivers 22 tons of splitting force.
If you want to split logs fast, you’ll be delighted by its super-quick 10.9 seconds cycle time. The built-in cradle can handle logs up to 25” long.
With a 7” footplate and a 7” heat-treated steel wedge, this machine is sturdy and robust.
Although this product is relatively heavy, weighing 473lbs, a 2” ball coupler with safety chains and DOT approved 16” high-speed road tires mean that you can transport this log splitter anywhere with ease.
Given how solid the construction is, you should not find any problems with this machine. However, rest assured that if you buy this splitter then you are protected by a 3-year warranty.
Log Splitter Comparison Table
|Boss Industrial ES7T20 Log Splitter||Electric||2 HP||7 Tons||14 Sec||4.5 / 5.0|
|Southland Equipment SELS60 Log Splitter||Electric||1.75 HP||6 Tons||18 Sec||4.4 / 5.0|
|WEN 56207 Electric Log Splitter||Electric||2.5 HP||6.5 Tons||20 Sec||4.6 / 5.0|
|PowerSmart PS90 Electric Log Splitter||Electric||2 HP||6 Tons||22 Sec||3.9 / 5.0|
|Champion 100251 Horizontal/Vertical Splitter||Gas||5 HP||25 Tons||12 Sec||4.3 / 5.0|
|YARDMAX Log Splitter||Gas||10.5 HP||35 Tons||12.8 Sec||4.6 / 5.0|
|Frictionless World 100950 Log Splitter||Gas||6.5 HP||22 Tons||10.9 Sec||4.6 / 5.0|
How To Choose The Best Log Splitter – Buyers Guide
If you are still unsure, that’s fine. There are many important factors to take into consideration, making it a difficult decision. The following comprehensive buying guide is designed to help you through that complex decision-making process.
This guide details the most important factors you need to know about when making your choice. Once you’ve read it through, you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision and buy the perfect log splitter for you.
Gas Vs Electric Log Splitters
The kind of log splitter you buy depends largely on where you need to use it and what you want to use it for.
Electric Log Splitters
Generally, electric splitters are more affordable than gas-powered splitters. They are smaller and lighter, making them easier to store and move. Also, they do not produce toxic fumes, so may be used safely indoors, such as inside a garage or workshop.
However, they are typically less powerful and have a smaller capacity than gas-powered models. Electric models also have longer cycle times than gas splitters. On average, an electric splitter is designed to split logs up to 12” in diameter and 20½“ long.
Gas Powered Log Splitters
If you need to split bigger logs or to work through your log pile quicker, a gas splitter would suit you better. They are typically designed to handle tougher and larger logs, often up to 18” in diameter and 25” long.
Another advantage gas models have over electric is that they can be used where there is no electricity outlet. If you wanted to use an electric splitter in the woods, in a field, or in your yard a long distance from your house, then you would also have to take a generator.
Vertical, Horizontal, & Combo
All log splitters, whether gas or electric, are designed to split wood in one of two positions: vertical or horizontal. Most splitters are fixed in one or the other position, but some versatile models can operate in both ways.
Vertical – In a vertical position, the wedge descends vertically to split the log downward. In a horizontal position, either the log is rammed horizontally onto the stationary wedge or the wedge is rammed horizontally into the stationary log.
Horizontal splitters – These may be used on the ground or at waist height utilizing a stand. Such stands are either standard with the model or purchased separately. Most inexpensive domestic models are horizontal.
The upside of a horizontal design is that when used with a stand you can work standing up. The downside is that you must lift the logs from the ground to waist height, and logs can be heavy. If you suffer from back pain, this may be a problem for you.
Vertical splitters are often larger and more powerful, designed for heavier commercial use.
Splitting Force & Motor Power
The log splitter’s wedge can only split a log if sufficient force is applied by the hydraulic ram. The maximum amount of force your log splitter can generate is the splitting force, which is measured in tons.
Gas motors generate more power than electric motors and so produce a higher splitting force, some capable of as much as 35 tons. Electric motors typically generate a force of between 4 and 7 tons.
The time taken for the wedge to split a log and return to its starting point is termed the cycle time. The shorter the cycle time, the faster your log splitter can split logs. A fast cycle time is somewhere between 10 and 20 seconds.
Maximum Log Size
The log size capacity of a log splitter is determined by the maximum distance between the wedge and the base or ram during a cycle.
Typically, splitters can handle a log with a maximum length between 20” and 26” long. When making your selection, ensure you only consider log splitters large enough to handle the size of logs you need to split.
Three factors affect portability: weight, wheels, and handles. The heavier your log splitter is, the more difficult it is to move, but good quality wheels positioned well on the machine will help.
Some models come equipped with handles to make movement even easier. Smaller splitters and electric splitters tend to be lighter. Larger log splitters come equipped with road-worthy tires and a ball hitch so that they can be towed by any vehicle fitted with a tow bar.
The most obvious safety risk with a log splitter involves the operator’s hands becoming caught between the wedge and the log or footplate during a cycle.
To minimize this risk, some manufacturers have made their products two-hand operators. The user must always use two hands to operate the machine, which effectively keeps both hands out of danger.
FAQs About Log Splitters
Q: How do log splitters work?
A: An axe uses speed to create a cutting force upon impact with wood. A log splitter uses pressure instead. A hydraulic drive, like the one used in a jack, is used to ram the wedge into the log with a huge amount of force. A gas or electric motor powers the hydraulic ram.
Q: Should I sharpen the wedge?
A: Yes. After a period of continuous use, the wedge will grow blunt. How soon this occurs will depend upon how many logs you split and the kind of wood you are splitting. Greenwood and hardwoods will blunt the blade quicker. The wedge can be sharpened by application of a coarse metal file followed by a fine metal file to restore the edge.
Q: How long does it take to split a log?
A: The depends upon the model you buy, but a typical rate would be around 100 logs per hour. When choosing your log splitter, ensure you learn its cycle rate and watch out for special features that might speed up the process, such as adjustable cycles to match log length.
Q: Is it better to split greenwood or partially seasoned logs?
A: The drier the log is, the easier it is to split. For that reason, it’s easier to split seasoned logs. However, when greenwood logs are split into fragments, the wood dries out faster. If you have a choice between splitting greenwood or seasoned, go for seasoned.
If you only have greenwood, don’t wait for it to season before splitting because it will dry out and make good firewood quicker if you split it immediately. However, you will require a more powerful splitter for greenwood when compared to seasoned wood.
Tips For Using Your Log Splitter
#1 Establish a safety zone
A huge amount of force is applied to a log during the splitting process, and the resulting movement of the freshly split log is unpredictable. Splinters could fly in any direction and potentially cause injury. Also, a hand placed near any moving part of the machine while in operation could become trapped.
For that reason, it is sensible to establish a safety zone around the machine that excludes any person not operating the splitter. Children and animals should never be allowed near an active log splitter.
#2 Keep the log splitter steady
Select a firm and level area to use your log splitter. If it has wheels, place wedges, bricks, or stones around them to prevent movement. Unexpected movement could cause an accident.
#3 Always split logs lengthwise
Log splitters are designed to cut along the length of a log, not across. Split the wrong way, a log may burst and cause damage.
Now you are an expert about log splitters, it is up to you to decide which of top log splitters will be splitting your logs over the coming years. Whichever model you choose, it will be one of the best products on the market.
But it is essential that you choose a model that works best for you and fulfills all your log-splitting requirements. We hope this buying guide has helped you to find what you needed. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you again soon!
How We Researched
To come up with the top log splitters, we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as Home Depot, Lowes, Target and AcmeTools along with our own personal experience.
We also consulted online magazines for product research and reviews to get as much unbiased information as we could. To help weed out fake reviews we used Fakespot.com to make sure we only looked at genuine reviews.
With so much quality gear available, we had to narrow it down based on what we felt were the best options were for the price. The staff authors have a wide and varied background in yard maintenance and home repairs.
The authors have decades of experience and are eager to share their knowledge with readers.
To help narrow down the selection we used personal experiences along with recommendations from landscapers, bloggers and contractors.
After extensive research, we came up with our list to help you choose the right one for you.