Splitting wood by hand is far from fun. In fact, for most it’s a grueling chore that involves sweat, sore muscles, and occasional bleeding. Anyone who has ever used a traditional axe to split a cord of wood knows how time consuming and laborious it can be.
Log splitters solve this dilemma, allowing you to split cords of soft and hardwoods in record time, but which log splitter is right for you? After putting several to the test, we have the rundown on the best log and wood splitters being made today!
Our Top Picks
- Best for Easy One-Handed Operation – Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton
- Best for Cheap Price – Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe Hydraulic Log Splitter, 10 Tonr
- Best for Quality – Champion Power Equipment 90720 Compact Portable Log Splitter, 7 Ton
- Best for Heavy-Duty Usage – Champion Power Equipment 100251 Full Beam Towable Log Splitter, 25 Ton
- Best for Large Logs 22 Ton – Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter, 22 Ton
- Best for Long Lasting Durability – Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter, 22 Ton
- Best for Budget Friendly – YARDMAX YS0552 Electric Log Splitter, Stand, Log Tray, 5 Ton
- Best for Commercial & Heavy Duty – Titan Towable Hydraulic Deluxe Log Wood Splitter with Log Lift, 37 Ton
- Best for Efficiency and Speed – Boss Industrial GD16T21 Gasoline Dual Action Log Splitter, 16 Ton
- Best for Home Usage – Goplus New 1500W Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter Wood Portable Cutter Powerful, 6 Ton
Comprehensive Comparison Chart of Best Log and Wood Splitters: Electric and Gas
Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton
2 / 7
Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe Hydraulic Log Splitter, 10 Tonr
No / 10
Champion Power Equipment 90720 Compact Portable Log Splitter, 7 Ton
2 / 7
Champion Power Equipment 100251 Full Beam Towable Log Splitter
7 / 25
Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter, 22 Ton
38 x 49 x 89
6.5 / 22
Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter, 22 Ton
6.5 / 25
YARDMAX YS0552 Electric Log Splitter, Stand, Log Tray, 5 Ton
2 / 5
Titan Towable Hydraulic Deluxe Log Wood Splitter with Log Lift, 37 Ton Generator
15 / 37
Boss Industrial GD16T21 Gasoline Dual Action Log Splitter, 16 Ton
6.5 / 16
7 second per split
Goplus New 1500W Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter Wood Portable Cutter
2 / 6
Things To Consider before buying the Best Log and Wood Splitters: Electric and Gas
What to Know Before You Buy a Log Splitter
A log splitter can be your best friend when winter rolls around, but picking out a quality log splitter to warm your home or provide firewood to the masses is easier said than done. As is the case with anything else, it helps to know a little about them in order to choose the best one for you and your needs.
How Log Splitters Work
Unlike old fashioned axes, log splitters utilize strength rather than speed to split wood both safely and effectively with much less effort. A log splitter works by ramming a wedge into a log, which then slowly splits it in half. Measured in tons, the greater the force of a log splitter, the harder and wider the logs it’s able to split.
Types of Log Splitters
There are three primary types of log splitters: manual, electric, and gas powered. Here’s the rundown on each type of log splitter to help you determine the best option for your budget and needs:
Gas Log Splitters
Gas log splitters are the most powerful and offer the best splitting capacity, with many models providing in excess of 20 tons of splitting force. A number of gas log splitters can also be towed using a standard trailer hitch, making them ideal for both personal and commercial use. However, since they’re gas powered, proper ventilation is required for safe use.
Electric Log Splitters
Electric log splitters are less costly than gas-powered models, but they also have less splitting capacity. Although they can be used safely indoors due to their zero emissions. They need to be near an electrical source, limiting their versatility in the field.
Manual Log Splitters
Manual log splitters are more affordable than electric and gas-powered models, but they offer the least amount of splitting capacity. In fact, nearly all model max out at 15 tons. Despite having less splitting power, manual log splitters are lightweight, portable, and easy to transport. That being said, they also require more time and effort, making them less than ideal for frequent use.
Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitters
Horizontal/vertical log splitters are typically gas-powered and offer maximum versatility. By removing a couple of pins; these flexible hybrid splitters allow you to convert the log bin from the standard horizontal position to a vertical one and split logs at ground level. Not only does this make it easier on your back, but it allows you to split larger logs as well.
Log Splitter Features
Log splitters come with a variety of features for added convenience and performance. The most important features to consider when shopping for a log splitter are:
Typically found on electric horizontal log splitters, log stands allow you to raise the splitter from ground level to eliminate bending and save your back.
Adjustable log plate
Found on vertical log splitters, this nifty feature makes it easier to split logs of various sizes. While some models may offer more or less, most vertical splitters offer three adjustable positions.
Shaped log cradle
Often found on horizontal log splitters, this feature provides added stability by keeping logs from rolling off while being split.
A traditional log splitter moves the splitting wedge towards logs at the exact same speed it splits the wood. A dual-speed or dual-action feature, on the other hand, speeds up the process by allowing the wedge to move towards logs faster; and then slow down when it’s ready to apply force and execute the splitting action.
On/off switches with emergency stop functions are added safety features found on a number of new log splitters.
Some vertical and combination horizontal/vertical log splitters have clamps to keep logs securely in place during the splitting process. Some clamps provide a fixed grip, while others are adjustable to secure logs of different sizes.
Control lever guards
This thoughtful safety feature helps protect your hands during the slitting process.
Transport wheels and handle
Wheels are a must for transporting your log splitter from the wood pile to the garage, jobsite, or anywhere else. Some models come with small basic wheels, while others feature larger all-terrain tires for easy towing virtually anywhere. Meanwhile, a transport handle or hitch is also needed to help move a log splitter from one area to another.
Rubber hand grips
This feature provides added comfort and combats fatigue by reducing the effects of the vibration generated by a log splitter when running. Rubber or sponge grips are especially important for gas log splitters, which generate greater vibrations during use.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Best Log / Wood Splitter
Before purchasing a log splitter, it’s important to think about how much splitting force you’ll need. The amount of force needed largely depends on the types of wood you plan on splitting and using. For example, maple logs require a minimum of 1,400 pounds of force. Certain hardwoods require even more. It’s also important to consider whether or not you plan on using green; or cured wood as cured or “seasoned” wood requires less force than wood that’s been freshly cut.
After deciding on the type of wood you’re likely to use, the next step is determining the size of the logs you plan on splitting. The wider and thicker the log, the more tons of force it will take to split. In addition to the diameter of the logs, the length of the logs also plays a factor. Since log splitters have different maximum stroke lengths, some are able to cut longer logs than others. Most log splitters have a maximum stroke length of 24 inches., but several gas models have longer stroke lengths for handling larger logs.
Hydraulic or Flywheel?
One of the most difficult decisions when choosing a log splitter is whether; or not to go with a hydraulic splitter or one with a flywheel. Hydraulic splitters utilize hydraulic pumps to gradually force the ram through and split the logs; while flywheel splitters use a pinion gear and flywheel system. Hydraulic log splitters take longer to complete a split. Flywheel splitters, on the hand, store energy created from the engine and allow users to discharge all of the energy at once via a handle and essentially split logs with a quick burst of force.
Towing and Storage
If you plan on moving your log splitter around and taking it with you to different locations, a towable log splitter is a must. The good news is, most quality log splitters are towable and feature a pin hitch, so they can easily be moved around a property. Some are even roadworthy and DOT approved, allowing them to be towed on public roads. This helps with storage as well.
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1. Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton
As far as electric log splitters go, the Boss Industrial ES7T20 7-Ton Electric Log Splitter is one of the best in its class. With seven tons of splitting force, a reliable two horsepower electric motor, automatic ram return, and easy one-handed operation, it will allow you to tackle nearly all home and light commercial projects.
The Boss ES7T20 is also well-built, portable, and truly heavy duty. While it may not be ideal for green wood, if you have a pile of cured wood and you’re tired of grueling with an axe to keep up with your winter firewood demands, it might be the right log splitter for you.
2. Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe Hydraulic Log Splitter, 10 Tonr
The Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10-Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter is an affordable manual log splitter with plenty of force to split logs up to eight inches in diameter and 18 inches in length. It features a durable steel construction, a convenient log cradle to catch split wood, and a compact design for easy storage.
If you’re looking to speed up your log splitting but still want to channel your inner Paul Bunyan by putting in a little sweat equity, it’s tough to go wrong with the Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe. Simply move the handles back and forth for 30 seconds or so and you’ll have a perfectly split log. It also costs considerably less than electric and gas powered log splitters, which is always a good thing.
3. Champion Power Equipment 90720 Compact Portable Log Splitter, 7 Ton
Searching for a powerful gas powered log splitter that’s compact and won’t break the bank? If so, the Champion 90720 7-Ton Compact Portable Log Splitter may be for you. Featuring a low-profile design, never-flat tires, and a convenient handle, it’s as portable and compact as gas log splitters get.
In addition to its portability and compact design, however, the Champion 90720 is also equipped with a proven Champion 80cc engine and an auto-return control valve, providing it with a surprisingly quick 20-second cycle time. This allows you to split up to 180 19-inch logs per hour. It also comes with a two-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.
4. Champion Power Equipment 100251 Full Beam Towable Log Splitter, 25 Ton
The Champion 100251 25-Ton Full Beam Towable Log Splitter can just about do it all. Designed for heavy-duty use, it features a 224 cc Champion OHV engine, 25 tons of force, and an efficient 12-second cycle time, making it capable of splitting large logs with ease.
It can also easily switch from horizontal to vertical operation and vice versa to handle a variety of log sizes. When you factor in its dual-log catchers and rugged yet towable design, it’s easily one of the best heavy-duty log splitters for the money you’re going to find anywhere. If you want topnotch splitting performance year in and year out without spending several thousands of dollars, the Champion 100251 is definitely worthy of consideration.
5. Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter, 22 Ton
Powered by a 196cc 6.5-horsepower Kohler engine and featuring 22 tons of force, the Dirty Hand Tools 100171 22-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter can split all softwoods and most hardwoods with ease. The dynamic machine also has a sub-11 second cycle time and can easily flip from a horizontal to vertical splitting position with a simple pull of a pin.
All of these features and more allow it to split large logs up to 25 inches in length and 36 inches in diameter. In other words, the smooth running splitter can easily handle large dense logs that others in its price range wouldn’t dream of tackling. On the downside, this Dirty hand Tools splitter is quite heavy and requires some serious assembly. However, if you’re mechanically inclined and have lots of large logs to split, it definitely deserves a spot on your short list.
6. Dirty Hand Tools 100171 Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter, 22 Ton
All of the log splitters in this guide are well-made and designed to provide several seasons of splitting performance. However, the Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25-Ton Gas Powered Log Splitter may take the cake in the durability department. Thanks to its internal oil delivery system, it provides the engine bearings with extra lubrication to promote extended engine life.
The Southland SLS20825 also offers an impressive 25 tons of force, horizontal and vertical splitting positions, and a rugged 208cc OHV gas engine to tackle a variety of soft and hardwoods. Unfortunately, it also has a slower cycle time, which translates to fewer splits per hour. However, if you’re willing to sacrifice a little speed for durability and solid performance, it might be the log splitter you’ve been searching for.
7. YARDMAX YS0552 Electric Log Splitter, Stand, Log Tray, 5 Ton
Need a budget-friendly log splitter with pushbutton operation for light seasonal use? The YARDMAX YS0552 5-Ton Electric Log Splitter may fit the bill. Designed to get the job done without paying too much or requiring much sweat equity, this practical 5-ton electric splitter is an ideal option for light occasional use.
The YARDMAX is electric, so it’s quiet and operates with zero emissions as well. That being said, it’s only suitable for logs 10 inches or less in diameter and 20 inches in length. Although larger logs can be split, it may take several passes to do the job of its larger gas counterparts. Operating the YARDMAX also requires two hands, which is good for safety but less than ideal in terms of ease of use. Nonetheless, its lightweight, portable design and surprisingly low price tag make it a solid option for many homeowners.
8. Titan Towable Hydraulic Deluxe Log Wood Splitter with Log Lift, 37 Ton
The Titan Towable Hydraulic Deluxe 37-Ton Log Splitter w/Log Lift is by far one of the most capable, heavy-duty log splitters being sold today. Not only does it have a massive 420cc engine and a heavy-duty hydraulic system, but also utilizes a fixed blade and 37 tons of splitting force to effortlessly cut large logs into four pieces. Talk about getting the job done!
The impressive Titan Towable Hydraulic Deluxe also comes with a handy log lift designed to automatically lift thick heavy logs onto the splitting platform, big ports and hoses, and a variety of other great features that make log splitting as easy as can be. If you need to unleash your inner Paul Bunyan and split large logs, this monster of a machine may be the log splitter for you.
9. Boss Industrial GD16T21 Gasoline Dual Action Log Splitter, 16 Ton
Sometimes bigger isn’t always better, and the Boss Industrial GD16T21 16-Ton Gasoline Dual-Action Log Splitter is an excellent example of this. While this 6.5-horsepower, 16-ton gas log splitter lacks the punch of some of the other gas splitters in this guide, it splits logs at record pace and allows you to get more done in less time.
The Boss Industrial GD16T21 is also remarkably easy to use. With one-hand operation, wheels, and a built-in trailer jack, you can wheel it anywhere and split a variety of soft and hardwoods with minimal effort. We don’t condone multi-tasking while splitting logs, but it can be done. If you adhere to the “time is money” credo and don’t have huge hardwoods to cut, it’s hard to go wrong with this impressively efficient splitter.
10. Goplus New 1500W Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter Wood Portable
The Goplus 1500W 6-Ton Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter is a great choice for light at-home use. Its six tons of RAM force is capable of splitting most cured softwood logs into 20.4-inch long sections. Plus, it can be adjusted to cut anywhere from 1.9 inches to 9.8 inches in diameter.
This nifty little electric log splitter is also quite easy to use. It has an efficient design and is made with convenience and portability in mind. That being said, it does require two hands. While this may not be ideal for some, it definitely helps in the safety department. All things considered, if you have smaller logs that need splitting for your home’s fireplace or woodstove, the affordable and efficient electric Goplus will may become your go-to wintertime tool.
A quality log splitter will become your best friend come October. In addition to saving your back and other muscles, it will save you valuable time as well and allow you to make short work of cord after cord of wood. When deciding on the best log splitter for you, consider your needs and all of the factors above. By doing so and reading our comprehensive reviews, you’ll be splitting wood easier than ever before in no time at all!