10 Best Log Splitters – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Log Splitter

A couple of centuries ago, chopping wood would be a strenuous and slow activity that relied entirely on human strength.

But, over the years more and much easier methods of chopping and splitting wood have been coming into the picture. However, the log splitter is still by far the most popular option.

Log splitters make the entire process of chopping wood much easier and faster. But, you still need to find the best wood splitter to get the maximum benefits that come with using one.

Understanding the different types of log splitters which include manual, electric and gas splitters and the factors that set them apart such as power, capacity and cycle time will always make your log splitter buying decision much easier.

In our detailed guide below we highlight everything you need to know about log splitters and also review 10 top-rated log splitters.

10 Best Log Splitters - Reviews

Image

Product Name

Driving Force

Max Cut Length

Power

Rating

Current Price

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter​

1. Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter

7-ton

20.5 in

Electric, 2 HP

4.5

Wen 56206 Electric Log Splitter​

2. Wen 56206 Electric Log Splitter

6-ton

20.5 in

Electric, 2 HP

4.2

Snow Joe Sun Joe LJ10M Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter​

3. Snow Joe Sun Joe LJ10M Log Splitter

10-ton

18.0 in

Manual, Hydraulic

4.4

Champion Power Equipment Full Beam Gas Log Splitter

4. Champion Power Equipment Full Beam Gas Log Splitter

25-ton

24.0 in

Gas, 224 cc

5.0

GoPlus New 1500W Electric Log Splitter

5. GoPlus New Electric Log Splitter

6-ton

14.5 in

Electric, 1500 W

4.0

Southland Outdoor SELS60 Electric Log Splitter

6. Southland Outdoor SELS60 Electric Log Splitter

 6-ton

14.0 in

Electric, 1.75 HP

4.4

Powerhouse XM380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter

7. Powerhouse XM380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter

7-ton

20.5 in

Electric, 3 HP

4.0

Northstar GX270 Log Splitter

8. Northstar GX270 Log Splitter

37-ton

25.0 in

Gas, 270 cc

4.7

Champion Power Equipment Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter

9. Champion Power Equipment Horizontal Log Splitter

7-ton

19.3 in

Gas, 196 cc

3.9

Boss Industrial EC5T20 Electric Log Splitter

10. Boss Industrial EC5T20 Electric Log Splitter

5-ton

20.5 in

Electric, 1.8 HP

3.8

#1. Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter​
  • Driving Force: 7-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 20.5 inches
  • Power: Electric, 2 HP
  • Weight: 106 lbs

The ES7T20 electric log splitter from Boss Industrial runs on a powerful 2 HP engine that ensures that it has enough power to cut through even the hardest wood.

This mid-price log splitter can cut logs that are up to 20.5 inches long which should be more than enough for most homeowners. And it is also easy and convenient to start and use thanks to the easy push start button.

You will also not waste a lot of time when splitting logs as this splitter comes with an automatic ram return system that helps to cut the time it takes to split wood by half.

And if you also factor in other things like the one hand operation, strong tube log trays, conveniently located handle, durable rubber wheels, and the fact that it comes fully assembled you will see why it is our best overall log splitter.

Pros:

  • Powerful electric engine
  • One handed operation
  • Auto ram return
  • Easy push start button
  • Comes fully assembled

Cons:

  • Not useful for splitting large green logs

#2. Wen 56206 Electric Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Wen 56206 Electric Log Splitter​
  • Driving Force: 6-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 20.5 inches
  • Power: Electric, 2 HP
  • Weight: 100 lbs

If you prefer the convenience and reliability of electric tools here is the best electric log splitter on our list for you.

It also runs on a powerful and highly reliable 2 HP motor that gives the 15.5-inch ram enough power to cut through logs smoothly.

When compared to other electric splitters on our list and in the market, it is also relatively affordable and you can always be confident of quiet and fume-free operation when using it.

This log splitter comes with a spacious cradle that gives it the ability to handle logs that are up to 20.5 inches long.

And its rubber grip handles make it comfortable to operate while the 6-inch wheels make it easy to move around and they will never go flat.

Pros:

  • Reliable and powerful motor
  • Relatively affordable
  • Fume-free operation
  • Built-in log cradle
  • Comfort grip handles

Cons:

  • Requires two hands for operation

#3. Snow Joe Sun Joe LJ10M Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Snow Joe Sun Joe LJ10M Hydraulic Manual Log Splitter​
  • Driving Force: 10-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 18 inches
  • Power: Manual, hydraulic
  • Weight: 87 lbs

Snow Joes LJ10M is the cheapest item on our log splitter reviews but it is still quite a useful tool for splitting wood for your household needs.

It is also our lightest wood splitter, and it comes with some convenient wheels to make transporting it much easier.

This manual log splitter uses a hydraulic system to generate a lot of driving force for easy wood splitting and it also comes with a log cradle to prevent the split logs from falling.

The durable steel construction ensures that you get many years of service from the log splitter, and it also comes with longer handles that provide maximum leverage for ease of use.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Powerful hydraulic ram
  • Durable steel construction
  • Handy log cradle
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Not ideal for splitting super hard logs

#4. Champion Power Equipment Full Beam Gas Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Champion Power Equipment Full Beam Gas Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 25-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 24 inches
  • Power: Gas, 224 cc
  • Weight: 430 lbs

If you are in the market for the best gas log splitter, this 25-ton one from Champion Power Equipment will be an excellent buy for you.

With this log splitter, no wood is too hard or too large as it not only generates a lot of force but can also convert from a horizontal to a vertical position to handle the oversize pieces.

And it is also quite a fast and efficient log splitter thanks to the 12 seconds cycle time and highly dependable auto-return valve that provides up to 300 cycles per hours.

The large and tough wheels make this a highly portable gas log splitter and it is also towable as it fits most UTV towing applications.

Pros:

  • Highly versatile
  • Faster cycle time
  • Massive driving force
  • Portable and towable

Cons:

  • Relatively pricier

#5. GoPlus New 1500W Electric Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

GoPlus New 1500W Electric Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 6-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 14.5 inches
  • Power: Electric, 1500 Watts
  • Weight: 102.1 lbs

Log splitters do not always have to be expensive because and affordable electric one like this still works fine.

It is impressive performance and durable overall construction makes this the best log splitter for the money on our list but there is still more to it than this.

This log splitter will work efficiently with 1500 Watts of power and is capable of generating up to 6 tons of driving force.

Since it does not produce any fumes, it will be ideal for both indoor and outdoor use which make it highly convenient.

There are also two large wheels on this log splitter and comfortable grip handles that make it easy to move around.

And you will never have to worry about keeping the logs in place as the built-in log cradle will do this for you.

Pros:

  • Relatively affordable
  • Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Built-in log cradle
  • Large and sturdy wheels
  • Comfort grip handle

Cons:

  • Does not provide a lot of driving force

#6. Southland Outdoor SELS60 Electric Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Southland Outdoor SELS60 Electric Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 6-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 14 inches
  • Power: Electric, 1.75 HP
  • Weight: 105.8 lbs

The 1.75 HP motor on the SELS60 electric log splitter gives it enough power to handle small and medium size logs efficiently

Although the maximum 14-inch cutting length is relatively small when compared to most other log splitters on our list, it should still be enough for most household needs.

With a cycle time of 18 seconds, this is also quite a fast log splitter and you should be able to split a lot of wood in less time when using it.

This log splitter comes with an integrated stroke limiter to reduce the cycle time for small logs and vertical configuration for easy storage without taking up a lot of space.

Pros:

  • Integrated stroke limiter
  • Large and heavy duty steel wedge
  • Relatively fast cycle time
  • Convent vertical storage

Cons:

  • Requires two hands for operation

#7. Powerhouse XM380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Powerhouse XM380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 7-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 20.5 inches
  • Power: Electric, 3 HP
  • Weight: 104 lbs

Powerhouse XM380 is a high-quality log splitter that comes with a 3 HP motor that makes it one of the most powerful log splitters on our list.

The 3 HP motor delivers a 7-ton driving force and gives the log splitter the capability to handle logs that are up to 20.5 inches long.

With its fast cycle time, you get to split more wood within a relatively shorter time, and it also has an auto-retracting system that is one of the factors that help to speed up log splitting.

For operation, you need to use both hands and this helps to reduce the risk of injury significantly. This is also a relatively lightweight log splitter that is quite easy to move around.

Pros:

  • Highly powerful 3 HP motor
  • Auto-retracting system
  • Fast cycle time
  • Portable and relatively lightweight

Cons:

  • Poor instructions on the manual

#8. Northstar GX270 Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Northstar GX270 Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 37-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 25 inches
  • Power: Gas, 270 cc
  • Weight: 625 lbs (shipping weight)

Despite this being the most expensive log splitter on our list, you will never regret buying it as it is also one of the best gas log splitters on the market.

It also produces the highest driving force on the list at 37 tons and will cut logs that are up to 25 inches long. This log splitter will do all this while producing minimal noise.

The log splitter also comes with 4-way wedge wings that make it possible to split your logs four ways in one split, and it will also retract automatically.

For such a large and powerful log splitter it also has relatively fast cycle oil and its large oil reservoir provides long run times.

Pros:

  • Massive driving force
  • Relatively longer log capacity
  • Fast cycle time
  • Minimal operating noise
  • Large oil reservoir

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Heavy

#9. Champion Power Equipment Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Champion Power Equipment Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter
  • Driving Force:7-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 19.3 inches
  • Power: Gas, 196 cc
  • Weight: 143.3 lbs

A compact log splitter like this one is always very convenient to have around, and this is more so given that it is quite a powerful gas powered unit.

It runs on 196 cc engine that delivers more than enough power to handle most domestic wood splitting needs. And if you combine this with the skewed wedge design, there is almost no wood that this log splitter cannot handle.

With a relatively quick 20-second cycle time and an auto return control valve, this is a relatively fast log splitter that will help you chop up more wood within a short time.

And to make it even more convenient, it also has an integrated cradle that is very useful for holding the logs in place when splitting, and some large 10-inch tires that will never go flat for easy mobility.

Pros:

  • Integrated log cradle
  • Highly efficient skewed wedge
  • Low profile design
  • Dependable auto-return valve
  • Large never-flat tires

Cons:

  • Uses lots of hydraulic oil

#10. Boss Industrial EC5T20 Electric Log Splitter

Editor's Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Boss Industrial EC5T20 Electric Log Splitter
  • Driving Force: 5-ton
  • Max Cut Length: 20.5 inches
  • Power: Electric, 1.8 HP
  • Weight: 104 lbs

Like most other high performing log splitters, the Boss Industrial EC5T20 comes with an automatic ram return that helps to speed up the log splitting process.

This electric log splitter runs on a 1.8 HP that delivers a 5-ton driving force and it can cut logs that are up to 20.5 inches long.

Since it is an electric log splitter, it will not produce any fumes and this makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.

Also, it allows for easy one-handed operation, it has a durable overall construction and it comes in a lightweight and highly portable design that will fit most car trunks.

Pros:

  • Automatic ram return
  • Great for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Easy one-handed operation
  • Compact and highly portable
  • Durable overall construction

Cons:

  • Significantly lower driving force

Types of Log Splitters

If you are planning on investing in a good log splitter, one of the first decisions that you need to make before you go out shopping is the type to buy.

And although there are different ways of classifying them, in general, there are three main types which as manual, gas and electric log splitters.

#1. Manual Log Splitters

Manual Log Splitters

As the name suggests, the manual log splitter is not powered and is much more physical than the electric and gas types.

However, manual log splitters are still quicker and much less physical than using an axe to split wood. Also, they are lightweight and much easier to store.

Manual log splitters will come in models that are either foot powered or hand powered and while some will operate with hydraulics, most will rely on weights and manpower.

The lack of an engine means that these log splitters do not produce any fumes and they also have few parts and are hence cheap to operate because they require minimal maintenance. And you do not have to pay for gas or electricity.

Pros:

  • Relatively more affordable
  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • No fumes
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Cheap to operate

Cons:

  • Takes more effort to use

#2. Electric Log Splitters

Electric Log Splitters

Electric log splitters are probably the most popular log splitter types as they are very reliable and convenient for both indoor and outdoor use.

These log splitters are ideal for most situations and they operate on the same model as the gas log splitters. But, the main difference between the two is that the electric models run on an electric motor.

Also, the electric log splitters come in a compact size that makes them quite light and portable which is a great feature for those that do not have a lot of space.

You can set up these log splitters either at a ground level or on a stand or workshop bench and this makes it quite a versatile power tool.

But, like the manual log splitters, they also have some shortcomings. Key among them is that they are still not as powerful as the gas-powered models, and they will not be very useful where there is no electricity or in the event of power outage.

Pros:

  • Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Require less maintenance
  • Relatively lighter and portable
  • Usable on ground level, stand or bench

Cons:

  • Still not as powerful as gas splitters
  • Only useful where there is electricity

#3. Gas Log Splitters

Gas Log Splitters

If you are going to be splitting lots of wood, the gas-powered log splitter is your best choice. It is a large and powerful log splitter that can handle heavy-duty tasks or large logs and do it faster than any other type.

With the best gas log splitter, there is almost no log splitting task that is too larger as it will handle almost any situation.

Since these log splitters run on gas, they make it possible to split wood off the grid and so you never have to worry about power outages.

But, like any other machine with a gas engine, they will require regular maintenance as there are many things like oil and spark plugs that require replacement.

Also, they produce a lot of exhaust fumes which means they are not ideal for indoor use.

Pros:

  • Most powerful log splitters
  • Great for heavy-duty tasks
  • Do not require plugging in
  • Splitting off the grid

Cons:

  • Exhaust fumes
  • Require regular maintenance

What to Buy

When it comes to choosing the right log splitter type, your budget and preferences should guide you. If you want something cheap for splitting small bunches of logs for domestic use, the manual log splitter will be sufficient.

For those that have small diameter logs and would like a splitter they can use both indoors and outdoors, the electric log splitter is the best choice.

However, if you want something for heavy-duty use or for splitting large logs, the gas-powered log splitter is your best pick as it is the most powerful.

How to Buy the Best Log Splitters

How to Buy the Best Log Splitters

Choosing the best log splitter type for your needs is always an important step. But, regardless of what you pick there are still many options available.

And so to pick between the different log splitter brands and models, you need to keep the following important points in mind when shopping.

#1. Hydraulic vs. Kinetic

When choosing your log splitter you will also need to think about the mode of operation and here you need to choose between hydraulic and kinetic log splitters.

While both are still highly efficient and effective in splitting logs, they will be suitable for different situations and types of users.

1. Hydraulic Log Splitter

Hydraulic log splitters are the more common of the two mechanisms. They use a hydraulic pump and this means that they can either be gas or electric-powered.

Although they have slower cycle times than the kinetic log splitters, they make up for this with their massive power which ranges anywhere between 5 and 80 tones.

However, these high force splitters will require a tractor to pull them or use from a stationary point. But, their greatest downside is that they are slower. They are also more mechanical which means that they will need more maintenance.

Pros:

  • More powerful
  • Best for heavy duty tasks
  • Highly versatile

Cons:

  • Slower
  • Require more maintenance

2. Kinetic Log Splitters

While the hydraulic log splitter will provide incredible power, the kinetic log splitter will cut with incredible speeds hence making it the best choice when you want to cut a lot of wood fast.

However, the massive speed also comes with a tradeoff as you will not be able to split large logs with the kinetic log splitters.

And since these splitters do not have as many components as the hydraulic types, they will require less maintenance than the latter. Also, you will never have to worry about messy oil leaks or leaky valves as they do not use hydraulic oils.

With the best kinetic log splitters, the only thing that you will need to worry about is the occasional engine tune-up.

Pros:

  • High speeds
  • Relatively lower maintenance
  • No messy oil leaks or leaky valves

Cons:

  • Not very powerful
  • Cannot handle large logs

When it comes to choosing between kinetic and hydraulic log splitters, you should go for the kinetic types if you want something fast for handling small logs and the hydraulic ones if you want something powerful for large logs.

#2. Power

Any log splitter that you buy needs to be powerful enough to cut through hard and wet wood as you do not need something that limits its use to soft, dry logs.

And when it comes to log splitter power, there are plenty of things that you need to think about. They include the total splitting force, total horsepower, and amps.

The more powerful the log splitter the better but the right idea is to choose one that suits your needs because the powerful ones are also the priciest models and are often quite massive.

#3. Construction

The overall construction of the log splitter matters a lot as it determines where and how long you get to use it. Hence, the simple rule here is always to go for the toughest log splitter that you can afford.

When it comes to the construction, you will need to think about both the overall built of the frame and the quality of the individual components that make up the splitter.

For the overall built, an all-steel frame is always the best option as it is tough and highly durable.

#4. Splitting Capacity

The splitting capacity of the log splitter will determine the log length and diameter that it will accept or can handle.

It is a vital factor to consider as it determines the suitability of the splitter for your particular needs. And it is important to note that among the three common types, the gas splitter can handle the biggest and longest logs.

Your firewood needs and the type of wood that you encounter often should guide you when it comes to choosing the right capacity.

For example, if you cut wood with a diameter of around 10 inches and a length of 20 inches often, an electric log splitter is your best pick.

#5. Cycle Time

Cycle time is the amount of time the RAM takes to get back to its initial position after making the split or the amount of time the machine takes to get ready for another split.

Most top rated log splitters will have a fast cycle time which means that you will be able to cut more wood in less time.

The cycle time plays a vital role in productivity and efficiency of the splitter and anything around 15 seconds should be good enough.

#6. Warranty

A warranty is in most instances your only assurance that the log splitter will last for long enough, and it also gives you some security for your investment.

The best log splitters will come with at a 2-year limited warranty but the longer the better. A money back guarantee and free lifetime technical support are also great.

Safety Tips When Using Log Splitters

Safety Tips When Using Log Splitters

A log splitter can be quite a dangerous machine to operate and also for people around you. Hence, safety should always be a concern when using one. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind to prevent accidental cuts and injuries

#1. Understand the Type of Wood before Cutting

Different kinds of wood will react differently when you split them. And so it is vital to make sure that you understand the type you are cutting before you start.

For example, if you are splitting wood with markings or whose grain is not straight, it will split irregularly. This can be pretty dangerous and so you have to take extra precaution when handling such type of wood.

#2. Pay Close Attention

Log splitting is one of those activities that you should never do when focusing on something else or even listening to music with headphones on your head.

Make sure that you direct all your attention to the process and that there are no distractions around you because even a few seconds of lack of concentration can have adverse consequences.

Also, make sure that you are well-rested before using these machines to avoid dozing off or placing the hands in the wrong place due to fatigue.

#3. Wear Proper Clothing

Many people tend to overlook the importance of wearing proper clothes when working around the home. But, this is a mistake you should never make when splitting wood with a log splitter.

You do not want your long shirt to get caught on the machine and so it is always important to wear clothes that fit well and not too baggy.

Also, remember to wear safety goggles and comfortable boots with a non-skid sole. And make sure that you never operate a log splitter barefoot or when wearing sandals.

#4. Read and Understand Instructions

Nobody likes to read equipment instructions as they are in most instances long and boring. But if you want to use a log splitter safely, make sure you read and understand them.

Even if you have already used many log splitters in the past, it is still vital to read and understand the guidelines for assembling and using any log splitter before using.

Note that all log splitters are not the same and they will differ in much more than the appearance and brand, and so assembling and using them is different.

#5. Use the Machine for Splitting Wood Only

Log splitters are tough and sturdy and with a sharp cutting edge but you should never use them for anything else besides from splitting wood.

Trying to use the log splitter on other materials will not only damage them but can also be quite dangerous for the user.

Conclusion

There are many sources of fuel for the home but wood is still by far the most popular option. Not only is it relatively affordable but it also comes with a certain satisfaction.

But, if you are going to be using logs to heat up your home or for cooking, you need to invest in the best log splitters. Luckily there are more than enough options in the market.

Since log splitters come in various types you need to first understand these types and consider factors like power, splitting capacity, cycle time and overall construction when choosing between various brands and models.

And with our top 10 reviews above for recommendations, it should be easy to find that great log splitter for your household or commercial needs.

Last Updated on

Tom Bradly
 

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise.