When it comes to log splitters, there are three basic types; they are broken down into gas-powered, electric and manual units. There are pros and cons to each type of unit, and as a consumer, it’s a lot easier for you to make a choice between the three when you know a little about how they work. Being knowledgeable helps you choose a log splitter that meets your splitting needs without forcing you to spend extra money on features that you don’t need.
If you’re not sure about what kind of splitter you need, I’ve compiled an easy-to-read list of the best log splitters on the market today; use this list to figure out which model is best suited for your needs.
Top 5 Best-selling Log Splitters
Reviews Of Best Log Splitter Models – Our Top Picks
This hydraulic log splitter offers 22 tons of heavy-duty and dependable log splitting in a portable gas-powered unit. It measures in at 40.75 x 85.83 x 45.87 inches, and it can handle a maximum log diameter and length of 24 inches. The core of this unit is its 196 cc Champion single-cylinder engine with a fuel capacity of 0.93 gallons. As a safety precaution, the engine will automatically shut itself off when it is running low on oil.
This Champion log splitter has a 14 second no-load cycle, a built-in log cradle, catcher and an adjustable stroke return. It can handle logs that weigh up to 100 pounds, so you never have to worry about overwhelming the unit. It has wheels for portability, and it uses a two-inch ball coupler to attach to your vehicle.
Type: Gas-powered splitter
- Operates both horizontally and vertically
- 14 seconds for a complete cycle
- Includes two-inch towing hitch; can be towed up to 45 miles per hour
- CARB air emissions compliant
- Log catcher included
- Easy starting mechanism
- The external hydraulic oil filter can be changed in seconds
- Engine shuts off when oil is low
- Cannot be run inside; runs on gas, so the emissions can be harmful in an enclosed area
- Debris can get stuck in the wedge; users must make sure that it stays clean
- 4-stroke 196 cc single cylinder engine; air-cooled to prevent overheating
- Hydraulic power; exerts 22 tons of force
- Cast iron sleeve; almost impossible to break
- Skewed wedge and log stripper; makes it easy to remove a log from the wedge after it is split
- Cylinder automatically recoils for easy operation
- Two-pull starting mechanism
- 16 inch wheels; DOT approved for a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour
- Measures in at 40.75 x 85.83 x 45.87 inches; weighs 396 pounds
The Champion Power Equipment Gas Log Splitter is a powerhouse that uses a powerful engine to quickly split logs as fast as you can stack them. If you need a heavy-duty piece of equipment, then this gas-powered machine is able to handle tough jobs without slowing down during the process.
Its two-pull starting mechanism, 22 tons of power and 14 second cycle time makes it one of the best log splitters on the market today.
Check Out This Video About Safety and Operating Techniques
If you need power and portability, then this unit is one that you need to consider. The unit’s cast iron sleeve makes it tough and durable, and its auto-shutoff engine protects the unit when it is running low on oil. This unit is a great deal, and when you buy it, you can feel confident knowing that won’t have to buy another splitter for years.
The Brave EZ uses a 3.5 horsepower gas engine to give users eight tons of splitting power, and it does this in a compact unit that is about a quarter of the size of other units. It weighs 134 pounds, so it’s one of the easiest machines to handle; this makes it perfect for home use, but don’t let that fool you. It has enough power to be used in an industrial capacity.
The unit can handle logs that are up to 18 inches in diameter and length, and it uses a high-carbon steel wedge and automatic cylinder return to make splitting logs quick and easy. The Brave EZ is made of steel, and it has a powder-coated finish to guarantee that it will never rust or breakdown due to the elements. If you’re looking for portability and power, then this is the best log splitter for you.
Type: Gas-powered horizontal splitter
- Lightweight and compact; can be moved easily
- Made of steel for durability; manufactured in the United States
- Eight tons of splitting power; can split logs just as well as a large splitter
- Easy to assemble
- It costs more than other small units, but it operates with the same strength as a larger unit.
- Horizontal log splitter
- Weighs 134 pounds; the unit’s wheels make it easy to transport
- Powerful 3.5 horsepower engine; eight tons of splitting power
- Can handle logs up to 18 x 18 inches
- Gas-powered engine
- RAM cylinder mounting method; can use a piece of wood to help push stubborn pieces through
- Easily assembled; takes about 15 minutes
When it comes to ingenious design, the Brave EZ ranks up there as one of the best log splitters on the market; its brilliant design gives users power and mobility in one small unit. This unit can be easily moved without effort, so it’s perfect for homeowners who don’t have heavy equipment to tow a large unit. The unit comes well-packed, and it’s easy to assemble.
Check Out This Video About EZ Split Horizontal Log Splitter
If you need a high-quality splitter without the headaches that come along with a large unit, then this powerful machine is right up your alley. It’s a great machine that never jams or clogs, and you can wheel it around with ease. The Brave EZ is an awesome unit that makes splitting logs a pleasurable and easy experience.
The Powerhorse Horizontal Dual Log splitter gives you 20 tons of splitting power; its 208 cc gas-powered engine can easily cut through the toughest logs without a hitch. When compared to similar models, this unit is a real steal. The manufacturers created an affordable unit that uses a dual design to increase the unit’s speed an efficiency, so you end up with a powerful and fast unit that can keep up with units that are twice its price.
The OVH engine in this unit has a cast iron sleeve, dual ball bearings and a forged crankshaft, so you never have to worry about it breaking down during a tough job. The unit can handle large logs up to 25 inches in length and 16 inches in diameter. It splits twice as many logs per cycle, so you can get your work done twice as fast.
Type: Gas-powered horizontal unit
- Tested for high performance
- Dual split design
- Durable design
- 360 pounds; can’t be moved manually
- Wedge made of steel for durability
- Seven second cycle time
- 4 x 24 inch cylinder
- OVH engine
- 25 x 16 inch max log size
- Unit measures 61 x 39 x 36 inches; weighs 360 pounds
- Two-inch ball coupler
The Powerhorse is a great unit that can easily cut through seasoned or fresh wood. It uses a gas-powered engine to slice through knots, and it’s built for durability, so you never have to worry about it breaking down during a job. It uses dual split technology to split wood twice as fast as other units, and because of this, we feel that this unit exceeds expectations by a mile.
The Powerhorse is perfect for people who need a log splitter that doesn’t need to be moved often. It weighs 360 pounds, but that’s because of the high-quality materials that the manufacturer uses when building it. We really like the dual splitting technology, and we wholeheartedly recommend this unit to people who need a high-quality stationary unit.
The NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter gives you 37 tons of splitting power from its gas-powered engine; this allows you to exert around 3,500 pounds of force per square inch, so you never have to worry about tough logs clogging your machine. You can split logs that are 25 inches in length and 16 inches in diameter, and the unit’s Honda G270 engine will automatically idle down when it is not being used, so you save money on gas.
If your unit does happen to get jammed, it comes with a patented log stripper to automatically remove debris from the wedge. It has a hydraulic pump that adjusts pressure based on the strength of your wood, so you always split your wood instead of shattering it.
Type: Gas-powered horizontal or vertical unit
- Dual split design
- Tested and approved for field work
- Durable design
- Fuel efficiency
- Dependable one-year warranty
- Can be used horizontally or vertically
- 560 pounds; tough to maneuver
- 90 x 45 x 45 inch unit
- 5 x 24 inch log cylinder
- Two-inch ball coupler for towing
- Automatic cylinder return
- 34.3 tons of continuous force
- 14 second splitting cycle
- Honda GX270 engine
- 1.4 gallon fuel tank
- The engine shuts down when low on oil for safety
The NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical splitter uses premium components and features to make log splitting a breeze. The unit’s features save you time, and they increase your output; you can depend on this machine to give you durability and strength every single time that you use it. You know that this unit is made of quality materials when you see its industrial strength I-beams reinforced with steel beams.
Check Out This Video About NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter
You can’t go wrong with this unit. It’s perfect for people who need a quality industrial strength unit with a wedge design to prevent jamming. The unit is heavy, but if you don’t plan on moving it very much, we definitely suggest that you check this one out.
The Ardisam Earthquake offers users 12 tons of splitting power at an affordable price; you can use the seven-inch splitting wedge to quickly split large and tough logs without a hitch. What’s great about this unit is that it comes with a large trailer, so you never have to worry about it tipping over and breaking when you transport it. It offers you two different splitting positions, so you have tons of flexibility when splitting wood.
The Ardisam is a great deal for people who are concerned with price, but don’t let its low price fool you; it’s a dependable and powerful unit that uses innovative design to make log splitting fast and easy.
Type: Gas-powered splitter
- Shipped with all fluids included; this saves you time and money
- Two position design for flexibility
- 12 tons of splitting power
- Can have a hard time splitting non seasoned wood with knots in it
- Two position beam to split logs at different heights
- Large tires and low profile make it stable during transport
- Tandem hitch for towing a trailer along with the splitter
- Weighs 218 pounds
This unit is great for people who need a portable splitter that doesn’t sacrifice the quality and strength that comes with a larger unit. The unit’s unique towing mechanism and dual height splitting abilities really make it special. It’s nicely built, and it’s shipped ready to use; you can literally use it as soon as you get it.
If you are looking to spend your money wisely, then this unit is one of the best log splitters out there. It’s powerful, durable and easy to transport, and it ships assembled with everything you need to get started. Overall, this unit offers excellent value for its price.
Troy Built is a popular name in the log splitting industry, and this 27 ton gas-powered unit lives up to the reputation that Troy Built has earned. The unit comes with a powerful Honda engine, so you can easily split tough wood like hickory, oak and birch without having to worry about jamming and machine failures.
The cast iron wedge on this unit quickly powers through logs. It has a quick cycle time of 19 seconds, and it’s easy to assemble; you’ll be splitting logs minutes after you get this machine.
Type: Gas-powered splitter
- 27 tons of force
- Horizontal or vertical operation
- 16 x 4.8 inch tires for stability
- Replaceable cast iron splitting wedge
- Gas needs to be emptied manually when put in storage for a long time; gas line needs to be disconnected and drained.
- 27 tons of RAM force
- Two-stage hydraulic pump
- Three gallon hydraulic reservoir
- Can be used vertically or horizontally
- Hitch and jack stand
- 160 cc Honda engine
- Two-year warranty
This splitter is perfect for people who need dependability and reliability. You can split all types of wood, and the hydraulic pump has the gusto to get through it without getting stuck during the process. The full cycle on this machine is a little slower than other units, but if you aren’t splitting on an industrial scale, then this really shouldn’t matter. The platform is a perfect height; people love that they can split wood quickly without having to worry about back pain or injury.
Check Out This Video To See Troy Built Log Splitter At Work
This unit is made for durability; the hydraulics inside of it are sealed, and we’ve heard of people leaving it out in the rain for extended periods of time without damage. We don’t recommend doing this, but it proves our point; this unit can withstand a lot of abuse before it breaks.
The SpeeCo Horizontal/Vertical log splitter uses a 10 horsepower Briggs & Stratton commercial-grade engine to power through tough logs with 28 tons of force. It’s also made to last; it comes with a patented Transport Guard system to make sure that your engine has a smooth and long life. The unit uses a hydraulic pump to power its wedge, and its large cylinder can split logs that are 26 inches in diameter.
If you need to split large logs with this unit, you can roll them over and use the unit vertically. If you have smaller pieces of wood, you put them on the horizontal beam and split them with ease.
Type: Gas-powered splitter
- Compact trailer; can be towed
- Vertical or horizontal positioning
- 10 horsepower engine
- Eight-inch steel wedge
- 11.5 seconds per cycle
- When you get this unit, hydraulic fluid isn’t included, so you’ll have to fill it yourself.
- Measures 78 x 49 x 42 inches; weighs 590 pounds
- Two-stage hydraulic pump; 10 horsepower commercial-grade engine
- Auto return for easy loading
- Operates vertically and horizontally
- Eight-inch splitting wedge
- Side beam support
- 12-inch wheels for easy towing
- Cylinder diameter of 4.5 inches
The SpeeCo Gas Splitter makes quick work of all your biggest projects. It’s a heavy-duty unit that can easily be moved with a trailer. It operates horizontally and vertically, so you have a lot of flexibility when using it. The unit exerts 28 tons of force, so you’ll never have to worry about a log that is too tough to handle.
We definitely recommend this powerful and compact splitter. If you’re serious about your work, then this unit will help you get it done quickly and effectively. The SpeeCo is built to last, so you never have to worry about shoddy craftsmanship preventing you from doing your work.
The Swisher Gas Log Splitter gives you 34 tons of power with a convenient electric starter. The unit has a heavy-duty steel frame, and its log cradles make bending down to pick up wood after it is split a thing of the past.
The unit’s powerful Briggs & Stratton engine uses two pumps to quickly split tough logs, and it comes with a handy hitch that allows you to tow the unit through all types of terrain.
Type: Gas-powered splitter
- Electric starter
- Vertical and horizontal splitting positions
- Easy to tow
- Removable log cradles
- Steel-compound wedge for effective splitting
- It’s heavy, so you probably need two people to hook it up to your trailer.
- Measures 90 x 41 x 39 inches; weighs 559 pounds
- 11.5 horsepower engine; maximizes power for efficient performance
- 34 tons of vertical and horizontal splitting power
- Two-stage pump for better cycle times
- Five-gallon hydraulic tank; you can observe liquid levels with a glance
- Wedge made of steel for tough and efficient splitting
- Vertical position lock for safety
The Swisher makes quick work of your large projects; its unbelievable power can get through tough and knotty wood without a problem. It weighs in at about 600 pounds, so you know that it’s tough and durable. It comes with a big and powerful engine, and it can split wood all day without overheating or clogging. If you want a heavy-duty splitter for large jobs, then this unit is one of the best log splitters out there.
This is a very nice unit. It does run slower than some other units, but its power makes up for it. You never have to worry about clogs or broken components. It starts easily with the push of a button, and you never have to strain yourself with a choke and cable to get it started.
The Swisher 28-ton splitter relies on a Briggs & Stratton engine to power through your toughest logs without performance loss. The splitter uses a heavy-duty two-stage pump to exert the right amount of force for they type of wood that you choose to split, and the unit can work both horizontally and vertically.
The manufacturers included a cold weather clutch with this unit, so it starts with ease in subzero temperatures. It has a beam lock for security in the vertical position, and its log cradles prevent logs from falling on the ground during the splitting process.
Type: Gas-powered splitter
- Five gallon hydraulic tank; easily check fluid levels
- The cold clutch makes starting the unit a breeze
- Two-stage pump adjusts pressure
- Beam lock and log cradle for security
- Can be towed easily
- Assembly is required; it takes users about 45 minutes to assemble the unit.
- 34 tons of splitting power
- 11.5 horsepower engine
- 22 seconds per cycle
- Trailer hitch and jack stand included
- Three-year warranty
- Wheels are 15 inches; unit can be towed on major roads
This unit uses a powerful engine to quickly split large and small logs. You never have to worry about how hard your wood is when you use this unit; its 34 tons of splitting power can easily get through almost anything without a hitch. It comes with a three-year warranty, so you know that the manufacturers truly believe in the product that they are selling.
We definitely recommend this splitter. It can be towed on major roads, so it’s very portable. If you need power, then this unit gives you 34 tons of it; we think that this is the best log splitter for people who need power and dependability in a unit that can be easily moved.
Steele Products Gas Log Splitter
The Steele Products Gas Log Splitter gives users great value along with a powerful 35 tons of splitting power; the unit’s nine horsepower engine can handle logs that are 24 inches in length and 12 inches in diameter. The unit features a two-stage gear pump to really give this unit extra power and efficiency.
If you need a unit that you can tow, then the Steele Products’ 16 x 16.5 inch DOT approved tires should make you pretty happy; the unit comes with fenders and a two-inch ball hitch to make long-distance hauling a breeze. It has both vertical and horizontal splitting options, and it comes with a steel wedge that powers its way through tough wood.
Type: Gas-powered splitter
- DOT approved wheels
- Two-stage gear pump for power
- Vertical and horizontal splitting options
- Eight-inch steel wedge can handle large logs
- The unit is made in China, and the instructions can be hard to follow.
- 35 tons of power capacity
- Nine horsepower engine
- Horizontal and vertical positions
- Eight-inch steel wedge
- 21 second cycle time
- 666 pounds
This unit is a powerhouse when it comes to splitting wood. Some people have had problems with the instructions, but once they get past this little hiccup, they have nothing but positive things to say about this splitter. It gives you all the power you need, and its two-stage pump guarantees that you’ll never have problems with efficiency. This is a great unit at a great price, and you really can’t beat 35 tons of splitting power.
The powerful engine in this unit can split all types of wood without hesitation. If you need power and dependability, then this unit will be perfect for you. We really like the horizontal and vertical abilities of this unit; if you need power and flexibility, then consider the Steele Products brand.
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?
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 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 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.
Need more info? Click Here to learn more about the best log splitters on the market today.
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.
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.
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.