The Best Log Splitter
If you’re tired of splitting logs with your axe and are looking for a tool to get the job done easier and faster, look no further than the humble log splitter. Log splitters come in a wide variety of power sources, operating styles and log capacities, so you’re pretty much certain to always find a log splitter that works for your needs.
The benefits of buying a log splitter
Log splitters are definitely the way to go if you have a need to split a lot of logs. Some families use their wood-burning fireplace occasionally; for them, splitting logs the old-fashioned way is a funny hobby or pastime. But if your household uses logs every day for basic needs like heating your house, cooking and even heating your bathwater, then you’re going to want to buy a log splitter. It not only saves your back a lot of ache, it’s also a way to turn out a large volume of split logs in a minimal amount of time, freeing you up to do your day job, other chores, or spend quality time with friends and family.
The ultimate timesaver would definitely be an electric or gas-powered log splitter. Since they don’t use manual force to operate, you’re only limited by how long their cycle is. Many feature handy extras built-in like an auto return so you can prepare the next log without losing valuable time and efficiency.
Log splitters are pretty much a must if you’re going to be splitting very hardwood. If you’re splitting oak, ash, maple or beech, a wood splitter is pretty much an essential tool. If these are the predominant tree types on your property, a log splitter will definitely become an invaluable part of your power tool arsenal.
Tips on how to choose the best log splitter for your needs
There are a few things to consider when choosing the best log splitter for your needs. Keep the following things in mind:
- Decide up-front whether to go manual or not. Manual log splitters are great for those without access to electricity or gas, but if you’re splitting hardwood, you’re going to need something with a bit more force behind it.
- If you’re not going manual, weigh the pros and cons of electric vs. gas-powered and determine which best suits your needs. Remember, electric always requires electricity, so a generator will be needed if there’s a power outage. (Like when trees not down power lines in an ice storm, for instance.) Conversely, gas-powered log splitters don’t always meet California’s CARB emissions standards, because their source of energy isn’t as clean. If the environment is your top priority, you will likely prefer electric over gas if manual isn’t an option for you.
- Some log splitters are only horizontal or vertical; some are both. Most splitters designed for residential purposes, however, are horizontal because many find it safer and easier. Vertical splitting is generally reserved for very big logs. But keep this issue in mind while you’re on the search for your dream log splitter.
Log splitter reviews
The YARDMAX electric log splitter makes quick work of tough logs thanks to its 5 tons of RAM force powering every split.
YARDMAX designs and makes their own electric motors in-house to ensure quality, durability and longevity. Since the YARDMAN splitter is electric powered, it takes much less effort to split logs compared to a manual splitter, saving you not only time and energy, but wear and tear on your back.
Easy to use
For operating safety, the YARDMAN 5-ton Electric Log Splitter features two-handed operation. The stand, log tray and stroke limiter are all included with purchase. The stand is sturdy and provides an excellent work surface while the log tray catches the logs you split. Additionally, since it’s an electric splitter, it’s safe to use indoors, which is a handy feature for those who prefer working in their own workshop instead of outside in the bitter winter cold.
One of the highlights of the YARDMAN electric splitter is its log capacity; this splitter can tackle logs up to 20.5 inches in length and 10 inches in diameter, making it suitable for most homeowner applications.
Portable and lightweight
Since it’s an electric log splitter, the YARDMAN is designed to be portable and lightweight so it can be easily moved inside for indoor usage, especially in the frigid winter months.
- 5-ton RAM force for quick hydraulic log-splitting action
- Electric power; motor designed and made in-house by YARDMAN
- Can be used indoors
- Two-handed operation safety feature
- Horizontal operating position
- Stand included
- Log tray included
- Stroke limiter included
- Log capacity: 20.5-inch length, 10-inch diameter
- 16-second cycle time
- Minimal assembly
- 90-day commercial warranty
- 2-year residential warranty
- There is some assembly required. However, the assembly involves the stand only, so it’s not that difficult or time-consuming.
A full cycle on the Champion 7-Ton Compact Portable Log Splitter is only a mere 20 seconds; aided by its reliable auto return valve, the Champion splitter is capable of up to an impressive 180 cycles per hour for heavy duty log splitting applications.
Integrated log cradle
With the auto return feature and the fully integrated log cradle, log splitting becomes less of a chore and more of a simple, no muss, no fuss process.
The Champion Compact Portable Log Splitter’s low profile is designed to make loading even heavy logs a much easier task, which means less strain on your back, with more efficient log splitting in return.
The Champion 90720 log splitter comes complete with 10-inch Never Flat tires, so you never have to worry about how you’re going to get the splitter from point A to point B.
The Champion 7-Ton Compact splitter can handle up to a 19.3-inch log with a maximum weight capacity of 50lbs. This means it’ll be good for just about any homeowner’s log splitting needs.
- 7-ton log splitter
- 180 cycles per hour; 20 cycle full cycle
- Auto return feature
- Integrated log cradle
- 3-inch length, 50lb weight log capacity
- Low profile design for easy loading
- Horizontal operation for ease of use
- 80cc Champion OHV engine
- Meets emissions standards in all 50 states
- 10-inch Never Flat tires for easy transport
- Free lifetime technical support from Champion
- 2-year limited warranty
- It’s a little on the heavy side at 143lbs, but the Never Flat tires make this less of an issue.
- The log length capacity is slightly shorter compared with comparable log splitters, though the difference is pretty small, so this likely won’t be much of a problem for most folks.
The Goplus hydraulic log splitter features 6 tons of log-splitting force, making it a heavy-duty and efficient choices for those who need to split logs on a regular basis.
The Goplus splitter’s log capacity is 20.4 inches for length and 9.8 inches in diameter; this capacity is well within the standard range and will be ideal for most homeowners.
Goplus’s 6-ton electric log splitter features Class B insulation for durability and safety. It’s also designed to be rust-resistant with a waterproof rating of IP 54. Because of these features, operation in snow won’t be as perilous as it once was with older splitters.
The Goplus hydraulic log splitter is lightweight as far as log splitters go, weighing just 102lbs. It also features durable rubber wheels; when combined with its lightweight, these features make for effortless portability.
- 6-ton hydraulic log splitting force
- 1500W power
- Log capacity: 20.4 inches length; 9.8 inches diameter
- Class B insulation
- Waterproof rated IP 54; rust-resistant
- Horizontal operation
- Lightweight at 102lbs
- It’s not as feature-heavy as many comparable log splitters from other manufacturers, but it still offers 6 tons splitting force and great log capacity, so it’s still a respectable no-frills option.
The Dirty Hand Tools 100171 gas-powered log splitter offers a whopping 22 tons of log-splitting force, making it a very useful tool not just for log splitting in general, but for splitting hardwood—a feat many of today’s residential log splitters can’t always handle.
A gas-powered splitter, the Dirty Hand Tools model features a reliable 6HP, 196cc Kohler engine for durability, longevity and raw power. Despite being a gas-powered splitter, the Kohler engine is so efficient that it’s both CARB and EPA-approved, so it can be used in all 50 states.
Thanks to the powerful Kohler engine and the 22-ton splitting force, the Dirty Hand Tools 100171 is capable of splitting logs up to 25 inches in length—a nice option for those who have particularly heavy-duty log splitting needs.
The Dirty Hand Tools log splitter can be used both horizontally and vertically, and toggling between the two modes is very simple, so you can easily use the method that works best for you at any given time. The vertical mode, particularly, makes it easier to cut harder, thicker logs.
Easy to use
With an impressive 10.9 second cycle down time, auto return, and integrated log cradle, the Dirty Hand Tools log splitter is made to be easy to use, so that your hands are free enough to keep the log splitting process going by prepping the next log instead of manning the splitter constantly.
- 22-ton splitting force
- 6HP, 196 cc Kohler engine; EPA and CARB-approved
- Log capacity: 25 inches in length
- Horizontal or vertical operation for versatile applications
- 9-second cycle down time
- Auto return
- Integrated log cradle
- Easy to use
- At 595lbs, it’s extremely heavy. This is a pretty noticeable con. But for those who have extremely heavy-duty needs, this is likely a trade-off they’re willing to make, due to the splitter’s 22-ton splitting force.
The YTL International log splitter offers 10 tons of splitting force, which is very impressive for a manual option.
Manual log splitter
Most of today’s log splitters are electric or gas-powered, which are very convenient but simply aren’t an option if you’re living off-grid or in an extremely rural location. Additionally, many people may wish to own a manual log splitter as a backup log splitter in case of a blizzard or other natural disaster that might prevent their access to gasoline or electricity. Manual operation works via two sturdy steel handles for ease of use.
The YTL International manual log splitter boasts a log capacity of up to 18 inches, making it a good choice for those who need a high-capacity manual log splitter.
Easy to use
With convenient steel handle, horizontal operation, and wheels for transport, the YTL International YTL23101 manual log splitter is extremely easy to use manual log splitting option.
- 10 tons splitting force
- Manual operation via steel handles
- Horizontal operation
- Log capacity: 18 inches in length
- 2 wheels; easy to transport
- Easy to use
- It’s a manual log splitter, so splitting will definitely take more elbow grease. However, for those living off-grid or who need a manual backup, it’s about as good of a manual log splitter as you could hope for, so it’s worth taking note of if you’re actually in the market for a manual splitter.
There are a lot of great log splitters on offer, but the ultimate winner of this best log splitter roundup is the YARDMAX YS0552 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter. The reason the YARDMAX takes top spot is because it hits the sweet spot between raw power and ease of operation. Additionally, it’s a highly portable splitter that requires very minimal assembly, making it great for families on the go.