Best Log Splitters of 2017 – Reviews & Buying Guide

log splitterIf you’re tired of cutting logs by hand, what you need is a log splitter! The log splitter is a piece of equipment that is used for splitting firewood that is cut into sections. This equipment uses sheer strength to do its job. There are several different types of log splitters available including manual splitters, electric splitters, and gas splitters.

The main reason to buy a log splitter is so that you can save time and energy! If you’ve ever spent time cutting wood, you’ll have some idea of how taxing and time-consuming it can be. The best log splitter can make this work quicker and easier which is especially useful if this is a job that you have to do on a regular basis. Want to know more? You’ve come to the right place!


The Best Log Splitters of 2017

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
Boss Industrial ES7T20
Boss Industrial ES7T20
20.5 x 13.5 x 40 inches
106 pounds
4.5/5
$$$$
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Dirty Hand Tools 100171
Dirty Hand Tools 100171
38 x 49 x 89 inches
595 pounds
4.6/5
$$$$$
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Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe
Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe
11.8 x 8.12 x 41.12 inches
87 pounds
4.3/5
$$
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WEN 56206
WEN 56206
18 x 11.5 x 37.5 inches
100 pounds
3.9/5
$$$
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Fiskars X27 Super Splitting
Fiskars X27 Super Splitting
1 x 1 x 1 inches
5.85 pounds
4.8/5
$
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With so many different types of log splitters and so many different features, how are you supposed to choose? We’ve made the whole buying process much simpler by presenting you with our log splitter reviews! Our in-depth reviews cover all of the pros and cons of each product. This should help you narrow down the options. If you still have questions about the different types of log splitters or the various features, be sure to continue reading to our buying guide. Let’s get started!

1. Boss Industrial ES7T20 – The Best of the Best

Boss Industrial ES7T20From design to performance to features, the Boss Industrial ES7T20 is the best electric log splitter on the market for many reasons. First of all, there’s the strong, durable construction which is so important for such powerful equipment. The 40 x 13.5 x 20.5-inch dimensions show that it has a compact structure for easier handling. What’s more, it is shipped fully assembled which can save a fair amount of frustration! We think that the quality of this product is fairly reflected in the 2-year warranty that is offered.

In terms of performance, the ES7T20 features a 2 HP electric motor which should be more than enough power even for the toughest of logs. An industrial hydraulic system ensures a hitting power of some 7-ton which is perfect for small to medium-duty log splitting. This electric log splitter comes with a few features that make it particularly easy to use. These include an easy push button electric startup and one-handed operation since the splitter can operate horizontally. Overall this is a fairly compact structure, though, at 106 lbs, it’s not the lightest electric log splitter around. What’s more, there is no towing feature so it’s not as portable as other products on the market. It offers good power and a warranty for peace of mind.

Pros

  • 2-year warranty

  • Compact structure

  • One-handed operation

Cons

  • Not the most portable


2. WEN 56206 – Best for the Money

WEN 56206As an electric log splitter, the WEN 56206 is relatively lightweight, making it more portable than most log splitters on the market. The 6-inch tires and two comfort grip handles go some way to demonstrating this. One minor problem is that the wheels are a little small which can cause difficulties on certain terrain. It weighs 100 lbs and its dimensions are 37.5 x 11.5 x 18-inches. As such, it’s relatively easy to store compared to some of the bigger log splitters. This 6-ton log splitter is great for mid-range cutting needs thanks to the 2 HP copper-wound motor. Because it’s electric, it’s nice and easy to start and as such, there’s no need to worry about cold starts or gas shortages.

Choosing an electric log splitter such as this is a quieter option. It’s also safer since it uses the household current and is fume-free. Some interesting features of the WEN 56206 include the built-in log cradle which keeps logs in place. In fact, it can split logs of up to 20.5-inches in length and 10-inches in diameter. There’s also a 2-year warranty. It’s worth knowing that this equipment does require two hands to operate, unlike the Boss Industrial ES7T20. With so many positives, it’s easy to see why this is the best log splitter for the money.

Pros

  • Relatively compact size

  • Handles and wheels make it more portable

  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Wheels are a little small

  • Requires both hands to operate


3. Dirty Hand Tools 100171 – Best Gas Powered Log Splitter

Dirty Hand Tools 100171When you’re looking for sheer power in a log splitter, a gas powered log splitter is the way to go. The Dirty Hand Tools 100171 has a 6.5 HP 196cc Kohler engine and is capable of exerting up to 22-ton of pressure. What’s more, it’s also capable of horizontal and vertical splitting, which offers additional flexibility. In some cases, this product is sold with engine oil and hydraulic fluid so you’ll be good to go! However, it’s still worth checking in advance of purchase to find out exactly what is included.

Splitting is done impressively quickly with a 10.9 second cycle time. Because this is a big and heavy unit (it weighs just under 600 lbs), it is road towable for easier mobility. The towing equipment includes a 2-inch coupler as well as safety chains. Assembly is simple enough but can take an hour or two, depending on your level of expertise with such equipment but once set up, the Dirty Hand Tools 100171 should prove to be a very reliable and powerful piece of equipment. With such power comes a rather high price tag so it’s really down to whether you think you’ll be able to get good value out of the product for the money.

Pros

  • 22-ton splitting force

  • Horizontal and vertical splitting

Cons

  • Quite expensive


4. Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe – Best Manual Log Splitter

Sun Joe LJ10M Logger JoeThe Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe is a manual log splitter with a durable steel construction that should withstand the occasional bump or scrape. It has a simple yet effective design that allows it to cut logs of up to 18-inches long and 8-inches wide. A powerful hydraulic ram helps build up 10-tons of driving force and while the pump is quite small, it’s deceptively powerful. It also has two-speed variations which help to split the logs without choking them. Use is made easier by the presence of handles but these could be made longer as they’re uncomfortable to hold when crouching over.

One useful feature is the in-built log cradle which prevents split wood from falling to the ground. Another plus is that this product comes with a full 2-year warranty. This is usually a sign of a good-quality product. However, the best thing about this product that makes it the best manual log splitter is the size and weight. The LJ10M Logger Joe weighs just 87 lbs and its dimensions are only 41.1 x 8.1 x 11.8-inches. This makes it a very portable product as well as easily storable. It’s definitely not for heavy-duty log splitting but it’s perfectly capable of smaller tasks. Just bear in mind that it’s manual and you’ll have to do a little more physical work to split the logs!

Pros

  • Small and lightweight

  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Lacks power for heavy-duty tasks

  • Requires more physical exertion


5. Fiskars X27 Super Splitting – An Option Worth Considering

Fiskars X27 Super SplittingIf the previous log splitters didn’t take your fancy, then how about an axe? This Fiskars x27 Super Splitting is a 36-inch axe which is ideal for splitting logs of all sizes – even those that are large. The main advantages of choosing an axe over a gas splitter are that you’ll have a lot less noise and a lot more portability! At 5.85 lbs, it’s nice and lightweight which means that each swing is less tiring than a regular axe. Despite the low weight, it offers plenty of power with a hardened, forged steel blade.

What we really like about the Fiskars X27 is its excellent durability. Advertised as being virtually unbreakable, it’s sure to last you a long time. This is reflected in the lifetime warranty offered with the product. It’s little wonder then that it’s the number 1 best seller on Amazon as of 2017! It has a shock-absorbing handle as well as an inseparable PermaHead design so that the blade and handle cannot come apart. One issue to consider with this axe is that the handle is very long so it’s best for taller people. While an axe such as the X27 may require more work than electric log splitters, it’s cheaper, less noisy and more portable and as such, very much an option worth considering.

Pros

  • Excellent quality build

  • Very portable

Cons

  • Handle may be too long for shorter people

  • Requires more work than an electric or gas splitter


Factors to Consider When Buying a Log Splitter

The first key decision is which type of log splitter you want to go for. As we mentioned earlier, the key types are gas log splitters, electric log splitters, and manual log splitters. Let’s take a look at each type in order to find out which is best for you!

Gas Log Splitters

For sheer splitting capacity, gas log splitters win hands down and this is reflected in the expensive prices. They can exert anything from 8 to 45-tons of pressure and as such, are the most powerful log splitters you can find. For this reason, you should seriously consider a gas log splitter if you’re performing heavy-duty log splitting, especially if it’s on a regular basis. However here’s a compromise to such power – gas log splitters are significantly bigger and heavier than electrics and manuals. Most can be towed in order to make transportation safer and easier. Gas log splitters must be used in the open air due to the fumes they produce which aren’t safe for ventilation.

Pros

  • Very powerful

  • Rapid cutting

Cons

  • Big and heavy

  • Hazardous fumes

  • Most expensive

Electric Log Splitters

Electric log splitters provide something of a compromise between gas and manual log splitters. While more expensive than manual log splitters, electric log splitters are cheaper than those of gas. The reason for the lower price is because they offer less power or splitting capacity. Most electric log splitters can manage anything between 4 and 20-tons. They tend to be much smaller and lighter than gas log splitters and most can be towed quite easily. Because they depend on electricity (most models can run off a 120V household current), they can be limiting if you have little to no access to electricity in a particular area.

Pros

  • Cheaper than gas splitters

  • Fairly compact and portable

  • Respectable power

Cons

  • Not as powerful as gas splitters

  • Requiring electricity can be limiting in some environments

Manual Log Splitters

If you’re on a budget, manual splitters are an option very much worth considering. They’re cheaper than gas and electric log splitters but provide the least splitting capacity (up to 14-tons). They’re the most lightweight and portable of the three options. While splitting wood is easy with a manual log splitter, it’s not as quick or as powerful as with gas or electricity. As a result, manual splitters are only really for the lightest tasks and infrequent use.

Pros

  • Cheaper than gas and electricity splitters

  • Very portable

Cons

  • Not very powerful

Safety

Like any heavy equipment, there are some safety considerations. This is especially the case with the more powerful log splitters that can exert many tons of force. The main safety feature to be found on many log splitters is the two-hand operation method. This means that you must have both hands on the controls in order for the equipment to operate. The result of this is that your hands are out of the way of danger and the chances of an accident are greatly reduced. Here are a few other safety tips:

  • Make sure you’re wearing the appropriate safety gear which includes goggles, gloves, and appropriate footwear.

  • Your log splitter should always be placed on flat, even ground.

  • Your splitter is for splitting logs – don’t try anything else!

  • Don’t operate your log splitter in poor weather conditions such as snow or rain.

  • Gas log splitters should only be operated in well-ventilated areas.

  • Ensure that you have enough lighting. Don’t work in the dark.

  • Be careful where you place your hands. There are log splitters that require you to have two hands on the controls in order to operate the equipment. This is safer.

Other factors to consider

Safety definitely comes first! And now that we’ve addressed that, we can take a look at some of the more exciting things to consider when you’re looking at purchasing a log splitter.

Motor: The motor of the log splitter is obviously one of the most important factors to consider. The more powerful the motor, the quicker and easier it will cut through logs. Naturally, some logs are much bigger than others and you’ll want a motor that is capable of performing your cutting needs without overstraining. Most electric log splitters have an engine of 2 HP. But look at gas log splitters and you’ll see that they have triple the horsepower. You should also look at the splitting force. Manual splitters can manage up to 14-tons, electric splitters can do up to 20-tons and gas splitters are the most powerful with up to 45-tons. Consider the sizes of the logs you’ll be splitting. The thicker they are, the more likely you’ll need more power!

Log length and diameter: Log splitters come in varying sizes and that means that the log length and diameter they can accept varies too. This determines how much work you can get done. It’s always better to overestimate how much wood you’ll need to split rather than underestimate and end up with equipment that is too small. For most medium-duty projects, try to find a log splitter than can handle 20-inches in length and 12-inches in diameter.

Portability: The importance of portability can really vary from person to person. If you’re only ever going to be using a log splitter in one place, maybe it’s an essential factor. But if you need a log splitter for different work sites then you’ll want something that is portable. The least portable log splitters are gas splitters. These are the biggest and heaviest. However, as is the case with electric splitter, it is possible to tow them. And unlike electric splitters, you don’t have to hook them up to electricity. The lightest log splitters are manual but whether you buy one of these really depends on how much power you require.

Cycle times: Keep an eye for the cycle time of whichever log splitter you have in mind. The cycle time refers to the amount of time it takes for the equipment to split the log. The advantage of having a quick cycle time means that you can get more work done in less time! 15 seconds is a fairly respectable cycle time and some quality log splitters can be as quick as 10 seconds.

Construction: The very best log splitters (particularly gas splitters) aren’t super cheap and that’s because they’re built to last. You don’t want to buy a very cheap splitter that has issues within the first months of use. Look for a splitter that has an all-steel construction to ensure that you’ll get many years of trouble-free use out of it. It may not seem attractive to pay more at the outset but if you’re getting a better quality product, the investment can be returned if it lasts a long time.

Warranty: A long warranty is usually a sign of a quality product. If a manufacturer is confident enough to provide a 2 or 3-year warranty, it means that they have confidence in the durability of the product. When you’re spending good money on heavy equipment such as a log splitter (particularly if it’s gas or electric), you should look to have at least a 2 or 3-year warranty for peace of mind. By checking online reviews, you can find out if the manufacturer in question respects the warranty and helps consumers when issues do arise.


Conclusion

Whether you decide on an electric, gas or manual log splitter, there’s still plenty of factors to consider before you buy. Make sure you look at the product’s safety features as well as the motor, quality of construction and overall portability. There are so many great products on the market at varying price points so, with a little research, you should be able to find the perfect log splitter to match your needs.

With our detailed reviews of log splitters and our comprehensive buying guide, you now have the right information to be able to make the right choice for you. We hope that this guide has been informative and that you’re soon enjoying the log splitting abilities of your new purchase!