Best log splitters for the money: Reviews & Buying Guide 2020

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A log splitter which is also known as a wood splitter is a kind of machinery that is primarily used when it comes to splitting firewood from logs that are hardwood or softwood. The logs that are put into the log splitter are previously cut into rounds or sections with the aid of a chainsaw or by placing them on a saw bench. 

In today’s market scenario, with the advancement in the levels of technology, the traditional log splitters have seen a substantial amount of innovations and development. In today’s market, log splitters of all kinds are available. And owing to this fact, selecting a log splitter that serves to be the best log splitter for money becomes challenging. Some of them are gas-operated log splitters that fall into the category of advanced log splitters; while the other log splitters are operated with the use of electricity. Electric log splitters are more basic in nature and conventional in their operation. To get the best log splitter for your money, you should have a clear idea about how frequently you will be using the log splitters along with your budget. Log splitters that operate with the use of electricity, being the conventional version of log splitters, are cheaper as compared to log splitter’s that operate using gas. Gas operated log splitters are costlier in price. 

Log splitters generate tons of force to split the logs. The amount of force or tonnage provided by the log splitter is directly proportional to the thickness or length of the rounds that the log splitter is capable to split.

A conventional log splitter can be lowered easily with the use of an electric motor that drives a hydraulic pump. A gasoline or diesel engine can also be used for the purpose.

In the case of a non-electric version of the log splitter, it can be moved to the location of the cut wood source. Log splitters are used both by professional contractors and households. Log splitters that are used by professional contractors are hydraulic models that can exert 30 tons of force or even more than that. However, the log splitter’s that are used by households exert around 10 tons of force. There is also a presence if manual log splitters that use mechanical leverage to force logs through a sharpened blade assembly which further executes the operation of cutting and splitting the log.

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How does a Log Splitter Work?

Let’s have a detailed view of the working of an electric log splitter. An electric log splitter works in the same way as a person works with an axe. With a hydraulic pumping system, the log gets pushed into the blade. In some other cases, it simply swings the blade at the log, to split it. Talking in simple terms, all you need is to place the log in the machine and the log splitter will automatically do the rest amount of work.

The presence of two stages of the hydraulic pump in an electric log splitter ensures time-saving. It has two sections of pumping along with an internal pressure sensing valve that passes between the two sections. One section of the pump is used in pulling the piston back as it produces the maximum GPM flow rate at low pressure. When the piston is pushed back into the log, it needs the highest amount of pressure possible to generate a maximum amount of splitting force. The pump then switches to the state of high pressure and low volume and it helps in splitting the current log of wood.

When it comes to a conventional log splitter, the user is required to place a log on the splitter and then shifts its directional valve to route fluid from the pump which is at the cap end of the hydraulic cylinder. The combined flow that comes from both the pumps extends the piston of the cylinder to reduce the time it is going to take to advance the wedge to engage the log. Once this is being done, the log further resists the cylinder’s extension and consequently, fluid pressure builds. 

As soon as the fluid pressure extends its predetermined thresholds, the larger displacement pump gets disengaged and full motor torque gets applied to the smaller displacement pump. The smaller pump then facilitates the movement of the piston rod at a lower speed, but it can easily achieve higher amounts of pressure to push the wedge into the log and spill it with ease.

 

Top 10 Best log splitters for the money Reviews

With the advancement in the level of technology, numerous kinds of innovations have been seen when it comes to log splitters. In today’s market, numerous kinds of log splitters are offered by different companies that come with various features. It may prove to be a bit confusing on the part of the buyer that which log splitter would serve to the best of its needs. A piece of very descriptive information about log splitters of different companies is going to be provided in this article. Let’s have a look.

 

1. BOSS INDUSTRIAL ES7T20 ELECTRIC LOG SPLITTER

The boss industrial electric log splitter comes up with an electric motor that generates a force of 2 HP. With this amount of power, it exhibits 7 tons of splitting force. It’s an application and use becomes much more convenient and easier with its one-handed operation. Its automatic ram return feature makes it a safer proposition as compared to other log splitters. It comes with a 2-year residential warranty.

PROS

  1.   Its built-in side rails keep the log stable while splitting.
  2.   It does not emit any harmful substances.
  3.   Its front handle promotes easy maneuvering.

            

CONS

  1.   With strenuous use of the log splitter, there are chances that the handle might break.

 

2. CHAMPION FULL BEAM GAS LOG SPLITTER WITH AUTO RETURN

The pieces of equipment built under the Champion brand are in themselves the one that stands out in the market. This version of champion log splitter easily gets adjusted horizontally or vertically when it comes to splitting larger and heavier logs. It rotates with a speed that promotes 300 cycles of revolution per hour. It is appropriately designed to fit in most of the truck beds and it comes with a 2-inch ball coupler. It can be towed effectively when the speeds are up to 45 mph.

PROS

  1.   It easily accommodates itself horizontally or vertically depending on the size and weight of the logs.
  2.   It is designed appropriately to provide power even in tough working conditions.
  3.   It comes with a 2-year limited warranty along with FREE lifetime technical support from experts.

CONS

  1.   The two racks of this log splitter are not bulky enough.
  2.   In case you are not familiar with log splitters, you might have a hard time assembling this log splitter.

 

3. YTL INTERNATIONAL FOREST KING YTL23101 MANUALLY OPERATED LOG SPLITTER

This log splitter operates with the use of 2 steel handles. Owing to this feature, the YTL international forest King log splitter can easily split up the loge that is 18″ long. The presence of 2 wheels in it facilitates easier maneuverability and it operates effectively even at a horizontal position.

PROS

  1.   Its lighter weight makes it easier to use, even by women and old age people.
  2.   This log splitter is functional in its operations and it can work well with logs that are six inches in diameter.
  3.   Its unique design facilitates easier splitting of logs.

CONS

  1.   It is not too fast when it comes to splitting logs.
  2.   When it comes to taking longer logs that are more than 20″ in length, this log splitter could be inefficient to be put into application.

 

4. SUN JOE LJ10M 10-TON HYDRAULIC LOG SPLITTER

The powerful hydraulic RAM present in this log splitter provides 10 tons of huge driving force. It’s larger capacity makes this log splitter capable enough to easily split logs that are 18 inches long and 8 inches wide. The presence of an efficient RAM in it provides it with the capability to return for quicker resets. Its steel frame construction with wheels promotes ease in its portability.

PROS

  1.   The presence of a log cradle in this log splitter prevents split wood from falling on the floor.
  2.   It’s ram return spring facilitates quicker resets.
  3.   It’s longer handles provide maximum leverage to the user, thereby causing this equipment easy to use.
  4.   The rear wheels present in this log splitter makes it easier to maneuver.
  5.   Its compact size makes it easier to store.

CONS

  1.   There is no room for splitting up the logs that are more than 18 inches long.
  2.   It is a bit slower in splitting logs.

 

5. YARDMAX YU2566 25 TON FULL BEAM GAS LOG SPLITTER

This log splitter is an appropriate amalgamation of performance and practicality. It can be used efficiently both by a homeowner and a professional contractor. It is available in 25, 28, 30 and 35-ton force and all these are powered by Briggs and Stratton engines. It can easily accommodate logs that are 26 inches long. The presence of oversized hydraulic components in this wood splitter provides shorter cycle times. Its dual-end cylinder support promotes equal weight distribution and wears reduction.

PROS

  1.   It splits wood effortlessly with a 2-way wedge.
  2.   It catches splitting woods with log cradles.
  3.   Its U-Beam design makes it stronger as compared to the I-beam design log splitters.
  4.   It is designed to take on heavy-duty applications.

CONS

  1.   It has got a horrid engine.

 

6. SOUTHLAND SELS60 6 TON ELECTRIC LOG SPLITTER

The Southland outdoor power electric log splitter comes with a powerful 1.75 HP, 15 amp induction motor. It facilitates ease in splitting the most demanding kind of woods. It’s integrated stroke limiter reduces cycle times when it comes to shorter logs. It comes with a vertical storage option that allows for lesser space to be taken by the log splitter in the shop, garage or storeroom.

PROS

  1.   Its heavy-duty 5-inch steel wedge splits logs easily and effortlessly.
  2.   It facilitates easier maneuverability.
  3.   The unit present in this log splitter works efficiently.
  4.   The ram present in the log splitter does not retract.

CONS

  1.   It is a bit low on hydraulic fluid.

 

7. WEN 56207 6.5 TON ELECTRIC LOG SPLITTER

The WEN 56207 electric log splitter comes up with a 15-amp motor that provides a cracking pressure of 13000 pounds. It can easily split logs that are 10 inches in diameter and 20.5 inches in length. It’s 20- second cycle time, 16-square-inch push plate, 5-inch wedge, and 14.75-inch cylinder stroke provides the machine with the ability to take on even the hardest of the woods. It also had side-mounted support wings.

PROS

  1.   With its 34-inch stand mount, you can maintain a good posture while working on it.
  2.   Its technical specifications can provide it with the capacity to handle over 129 logs in an hour.
  3.   This log splitter provides you with reliable startups whenever you need it.
  4.   Its 5.5-inch wheels promote easy transportation and storage of the log splitter.
  5.   It’s the 5-inch wedge that measures in at 45 degrees facilitate sharper and accurate splitting of woods.

CONS

  1.   It won’t work well in cases of split and wet oak rounds.
  2.   The cotter pin around the wheels is made from thin gauge metal.

 

8. YARDMAX YSO552 5 TON ELECTRIC LOG SPLITTER

The YARDMAX YSO552 electric log splitter comes with a 5-ton ram force that gets the job of splitting logs done by exhibiting huge amounts of power. It has a logging capacity to split up logs that are 20.5 inches in length and 10 inches in diameter. It has a short cylinder timing of 16 seconds. The YARDMAX electric log splitter is a perfect amalgamation of performance and practicality which makes this machine an ideal choice for both typical homeowners and professional contractors.

PROS

  1.   It is easier to maneuver and operate.
  2.   It is lighter in weight and exhibits high power.
  3.   It provides the necessary ruggedness that is needed to get the job done.
  4.   With its log tray, it ensures that the split logs lay safely.
  5.   It does not require any complex assembly operation.

CONS

  1. We were unable to find any negative issues with this product.

9. CHAMPION 7 TON COMPACT HORIZONTAL GAS LOG SPLITTER

The champion compact horizontal gas log splitter I well engineered and designed to provide the required amount of power in tough working conditions. It comes with the capacity to split logs that have a maximum length of 19.3 inches. It provides a maximum pressure of 3000 psi. Its hydraulic oil capacity is 1.3 gallons and it’s cycle time is 20 seconds.

PROS

  1.   Its convenient handle and never-flat tires provide it with a greater amount of portability.
  2.   With its 2 inches ball coupler, it can be towed at the speeds of up to 45 mph.
  3.   It comes with a skewed wedge that increases the splitting efficiency.
  4.   This log splitter is EPA certified and CARB compliant.

CONS

  1.   Its engine has a low amount of compression.

 

10. BOSS INDUSTRIAL ES10T20 INDUSTRIAL ELECTRIC LOG SPLITTER

Talking about its class, the boss industrial electric log splitter is the most powerful in its class. It has got a patented dual-direction splitting that allows quick performance on the part of the splitter. It has got side mounting racks, which gm facilitate easier clearance if logs for the next split. A consistent amount of performance and splitting is provided by this log splitter’s heavy-duty industrial motor that is combined with its patented hydraulic System.

PROS

  1.   Its optional cross wedge provides for the faster splitting of logs.
  2.   No need for bending for splitting the wood.
  3.   It comes with a bidirectional splitting system.

CONS

  1.   It is heavier in weight as compared to other log splitters which makes it difficult to carry by a single person.
  2.   Its wheelbase is narrower.

 

How to choose the Best log splitters? Buying Guide

Purchasing a log splitter will include investing a substantial amount of your finance on a log splitter. This investment can be fruitful to you only in the case if you intend and you need to use a log splitter regularly. If you are one of those who require a log splitter only for occasional purposes, investing a substantial amount of money on a log splitter would not be a profitable proposition for you. 

Apart from this, in today’s market, there is a presence of log splitter of different types. When it comes to picking the right kind of log splitter, it is hugely dependent on the type and size of wood that you intend to split. Let’s have a look at some of the types of log splitters.

ELECTRIC AND HYDRAULIC SPLITTERS

They are apt to be used on softer wood that is free of knots and kinks. The wood also needs to be seasoned enough.

GAS POWERED SPLITTERS

When it comes to bigger and tougher hardwood logs, their splitting requires greater amounts of power. In that case, a gas-powered log splitter will serve you in the best interests.

In the case of manually powered log splitters, small, incremental and more powerful pushes are generated by the hydraulic piston ram. You must look out for the following features in manually powered hydraulic splitters.

  1.   Durable Steel construction to let you apply the full force to a log without shifting the wedge.
  2.   Presence of log cradles to keep the log from rolling out.
  3.   Presence of multi-speed pumps to let you charge the hydraulic RAM quickly.
  4.   Presence of wheels on the splitter to make it portable.

In the case of electric log splitters, you can use household current to make them more reliable outside the house too. You should look out for the following features in an electric log splitter.

  1.   It should be a portable model that comes with wheels and handles.
  2.   It should have a log bed cradles.
  3.   It must have two-hand operation modes. It helps in ensuring that the user does not get caught in the ram.
  4.   It should have copper wound motors.

Gas-powered splitters are the most advanced kind of log splitters. They can easily split logs that are larger in diameter. When it comes to splitting hardwood like cherry, elm, oak, etc, a gas-powered log splitter will provide you with enough force and tonnage to get the job done. The following features must be present in a gas-powered log splitter.

  1.   It must have 4-way blades to make the most out of the power which comes from the gas.
  2.   It must have an electric start engine that makes the engine start easily and effectively.
  3.   The presence of 2-stage hydraulic pumps must be there to ensure that the log splitter gets plenty of power.
  4.   It should have catcher trays as well which can collect firewood pieces.

 

CONCLUSION

When using a log splitter, safety is such a matter which can never be overlooked. While using a log splitter you must keep this thing in mind that the log is on stable and flat ground. A log splitter should never be operated on a slippery or icy surface. It may lead to disbalance which can further cause injury to the person using it. A log splitter should also not be used on slopes. It may cause falling over of the wood or the log splitter.

Before turning the hydraulic action on a log splitter, be sure about checking the tools that might have been left on the machine while turning the hydraulic action on. Wearing gloves and ear protection gear while working on a log splitter can be helpful while working on it. Splitting of woods should be supervised by the person doing the task and it should be made sure that the log splitter is being used in an area that has plenty of light. Wearing safety glasses while working on a log splitter can also be a good idea as it protects your eyes from splinters that are released whole log splitting.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. Is there any requirement of maintenance or service for log splitters?

In cases of hydraulic gas engine powered log splitters, a common inspection of the splitter is required. It’s maintenance include inspections for leaks, lubrication issues, oil changes, etc.

2. How often should the fluids be checked and changed?

  •   Before every use, the fluids should be checked.
  •   Engine oil should be changed once a year. It also depends on the amount of use that the log splitter is subjected to.

3. What is the difference between a vertical and a horizontal log splitter?

A vertical log splitter is more heavy-duty due to its design. It facilitates easier splitting of logs. Using it, you can easily chop off the logs.  However, in the case of a horizontal machine, the split log tends to fall and you need to pick it up from the ground if you want to split it further.

4. Is it easy to bring log splitters around?

The presence of wheels at the bottom of the log splitter facilitates portability and mobility in a log splitter. In most of the modern-day models of log splitters, the presence of wheels is a common feature.

5. Is it needed to sharpen up the log splitter’s splitting wedge?

If you are correctly using your log splitter, then you would never be encountering any situation in which the splitting wedge would need sharpening. If it is being used only on wood and is not abused, the log splitter’s splitting wedge would remain sharp.

6. What things should be taken into consideration when it comes to buying a log splitter?

Certain things must be considered when it comes to buying a log splitter. These include:-

  •   Splitting force
  •   Size of cylinder
  •   Safety features 
  •   Price
  •   Engine power
  •   Cycle time.

7. What is the ideal size of the logs that can be split with the log splitter?

It largely depends on the type and model of the log splitter that you are intending to buy. However, a good splitter can easily split a log of size 20 inches.

8. Is it needed to assemble a log splitter?

The answer to this question is hypothetical and is dependent to a large degree on the model of the log splitter. However, when it is the case of certain models and types that require assembly, proper manuals with instructions and guidelines are provided alongside the log splitter to provide information about the assembly of the log splitter.

Eric Arnow