Having a log splitter on-hand is a great idea if you want to upgrade from splitting wood with a traditional axe. You may hesitate to spend money on bigger tools because you have no idea how much time it will save you. The simple fact is, splitting wood is a very labor-intensive job that is hard on your body. A high-quality log splitter can help reduce your fatigue levels while freeing up your time to spend elsewhere. You can split as many logs as you need to, but there are so many different brands, sizes, and styles available that make it challenging to narrow down one to the best choice.
This is why I’ve done all of the work for you and looked at several different log splitters. I’ve chosen 10 log splitters from several brands that I’ll review so you can compare side-by-side. Once you look at them, you can use the buying guide to help make your final choice before having it delivered straight to your door. With that in mind, let’s get started!
Being able to split and stock up on firewood is necessary for anyone who has a wood-burning stove or who likes to have fires when they entertain. However, it can be expensive to buy it, and a wood splitter can help you cut larger stumps down into manageable pieces to use all winter long.
1. WEN 56207 Electric Log Splitter
First up on the best log splitter list comes from Wen, and this powerful machine allows you to quickly and easily split enough wood to fill your firewood rack and keep your home or patio warm. You get a very powerful 15-amp motor that gives you over 13,000-pounds of pressure to neatly crack logs into smaller and more manageable pieces. It comes on a 34-inch stand to allow you to split logs without having to bend over or strain your body, but you can easily remove this stand if you’d prefer not to use it while you work. You can split logs that are up to 10-inches in diameter and 20.5 inches long without the splitter stalling.
The pull handle on this log splitter makes it very easy to start it and keep it running to give you a smooth workflow from start to finish. There are also 5.5-inch never flat wheels that make it a breeze to wheel this tool from spot to spot as you work without too much additional effort. It runs on electricity, and this means that there are no carbon monoxide emissions and no gasoline to make it safer for the environment. This electric design can also cut down on the general maintenance you have to do to keep it running in top shape.
- No harmful emissions
- Has a detachable stand
- Wheels make it easy to move around
- Pull start can stick
- Controls are difficult to see when you work
- Wheels are flimsy
2. Sun Joe Hydraulic Log Splitter
This is another powerful log splitter from Sun Joe that gives you an impressive 10-tons of driving force using a hydraulic RAM. It has a slightly larger capacity that lets you quickly and easily split bigger logs up to 18-inches long and 8-inches wide without a problem. The RAM return spring makes it very fast and easy to reset the splitter between jobs to keep your work flowing until you finish your project. There are no pull cords to worry about when you start it, and there is also no gas or oil to worry about because it runs on electricity. This makes it a healthier choice overall for your yard work.
This log splitter comes with a very durable steel frame that resists rust and corrosion, and this can help it stand up to heavy use in different weather conditions. When you purchase this product, you’ll get the Sun Joe customer promise and warranty that protects you from defects or damage. The warranty will last for a full two years from the date of purchase, and they’ll send you a new product if something happens with no questions asked if you contact them. The customer service team is very responsive.
- Gives 10-tons of driving force
- Can split slightly larger logs
- Two-year warranty attached
- Runs very slow
- May have to finish the split on larger logs
- Not suited for high-volume work
3. Southland Outdoor Power Equipment Log Splitter
If you’re still cutting wood with a chainsaw but you want to upgrade to something a little more powerful, try Southland Outdoor Power Equipment’s log splitter. You get a 15-amp induction motor that has 1.75-horsepower to cut through thicker logs with ease, and it also performs very well in the harshest conditions you can throw at it. This splitter comes with a rapid 18-second cycle time that is fast enough to help you fly through large project loads without having to slow down or stop halfway through. It comes with a bright red color scheme that makes it very easy to see and keep track of when you take it out to your job site.
Anyone who wants to split small logs can take advantage of the integrated stroke limiter function on this log splitter. You set it to the length you need to easily adjust the stroke to cut through smaller logs. There are seven-inch wheels on this product that make it very easy to move from point A to point B. Also, this product will configure to a vertical position to make it easier to maneuver in tight spaces and store wherever you’d like when you finish using it.
- 18-second cycle time
- Can adjust to split small logs
- Can fold vertical for easy storage
- Very low to the ground
- Manual can be very confusing
- Switch is very flimsy
4. Champion Compact Gas Log Splitter
Champion’s log splitter has a slightly more compact design that is very nice if you’re short on storage space between uses. This is a seven-ton log splitter that has an integrated log cradle with a very low profile that makes loading and unloading it easy and safe. There is a powerful 80cc engine in this product that will effortlessly slice through logs up to 19-inches long and 50-pounds without stalling or or not cutting all of the way through. It does run with the help of gas and oil, so you do have to make a point to keep an eye on it to ensure you have enough to finish your project.
There is a 20-second cycle timer with an auto-return valve that helps to reduce your work time and keep on well on track with large and small projects. The skewed wedge on this splitter improves the efficiency level to give you a clean cut each time you pass a new log through it. When you purchase this product, it comes with a limited two-year warranty to protect you from mechanical failure. Additionally, Champion will give you lifetime customer technical support at no additional cost.
- Features a more compact design
- Integrated log cradle
- 20-second cycle time
- Return lever is plastic
- Hydraulic fluid can leak
- Engine stalls on big projects
5. Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter
Sometimes, it’s nice to have heavy-duty manual log splitters available because they have zero moving parts that will break down on you from repeated use. Once you finish splitting your logs, you can load them into your wheelbarrow and take them to their storage rack. This is an easy and safe way to split small and medium-sized logs with no moving blades or sharpened objects going by your hands. You’ll be able to split your firewood with less force than you’d use with a standard axe, and this can help remove some of the stress and strain from your body when you perform this project.
The top ring is 6.5-inches in diameter, and this size dictates how large the logs can be that you want to split. It’s an almost maintenance free choice due to the simple design and heavy-duty materials, and it comes made from high-quality Australian cast iron. The cast iron is very resistant to rust or corrosion, and this allows you to use it in wet or humid conditions without it breaking down. You get a very stable base that ensures it won’t tip over when you apply the force required to split your logs.
- Cast iron for the body
- Almost 100% maintenance-free
- Very stable and sturdy design
- Can’t support larger pieces of wood
- Expensive for what you get
- Design is slightly too short for complete splits
6. Inertia Wood Splitter
The next log splitter on the list is a second manual option from Inertia. This is a safe and effective way for you to manually split any wood you need without worrying about cutting yourself on sharp edges. There is also a reduced chance that you’ll injure your hands when you use it. All you have to do is place the log into the splitter and let the metal rail hold it in the correct position for you to strike down on it with a hammer and drive it through the inner edge to neatly split it into kindling. You can use it one-handed, and the opening allows you to split both smaller and larger logs without running into a problem.
This log splitter weighs in at just 10 pounds, and this makes it lightweight enough to easily pick up and carry with you from log pile to log pile to keep your workflow going uninterrupted. You can even take it with you when you go camping. There is a 100% satisfaction guarantee attached to this product, and the company will send you a refund no questions asked if you have a problem with it. This is great if you want to try out a manual splitter and find that you prefer an automatic option.
- Very user-friendly design
- Has durable cast iron for the material
- Very lightweight and portable
- Wood can get stuck in the inside
- Have to apply a lot of force to use it
- Slightly narrow base
7. SPEED FORCE Log Splitter
Speed Force’s log splitter comes with a very safe design that eliminates the swinging hatchet that could accidentally injure you. If you want to get more force, you can easily buy a base blade and use this product to help clean up your yard. You get a heavy-duty hammer blade shaped like a very thick wedge that will open up the log when it hits it to split it into neat pieces. Slip on a pair of work gloves and stack your newly split wood neatly into your preferred storage area. The total weight of the machine is 25.3-pounds, and this makes it relatively easy to move from project to project.
You get up to 14-tons of splitting pressure with this log splitter that will crack even the toughest logs with ease. It comes designed to be very durable and safe, and it can withstand heavy usage without breaking down or having problems. The maximum height of wood pieces that will fit into this splitter is 22-inches, and this gives you a huge range of possibilities when it comes to cleaning up your yard or garden area. The bright orange coloring is very easy to see, and it has a very user-friendly design that allows you to get out and use it as soon as you get it.
- Handles larger logs with ease
- Gives 14-tons of splitting pressure
- User-friendly and safe design
- Instructions are confusing
- Need to buy a base blade separately
- Longer cutting time with every piece
8. Logosol Smart-Splitter
Logosol’s smart wood splitter is a very efficient product that anyone in your family can use because it comes with a superior design that focuses on safety features. It’ll hit the log in precisely the correct spot with 14-tons of pressure behind it to give you a very neat and clean split all of the way to the bottom. It’ll support splitting wood with a maximum length of 55 centimeters, and it has a recommended wood length of 40 centimeters. The wood width capabilities is unlimited, and this gives you the flexibility to cut through small and large logs without it stalling out or stopping.
This high-quality wood splitter will take the work out of splitting wood, and this can help reduce the strain on your neck and back while you complete big wood splitting jobs. It uses durable materials that ensure it can easily survive extended use without breaking down or showing a lot of wear and tear. It has a very slender profile that makes it easy to store between uses, and it also makes it easy to transport to your cabin or campsite when you go. It weighs in at under 20 pounds.
- Lightweight and portable
- Very safe to use
- Reduces strain on your body
- Time-consuming to set up
- Very loud
- Takes multiple passes to split a log
9. YARDMAX YS0552 Electric Log Splitter
Anyone who has a log cabin kit that needs to split logs to help finish the project should look at this log splitter by Yardmax. This product comes with a 5-ton RAM Force motor that will help you complete your project on time without any large delays, and it comes with a two-handed operation that helps to improve operator safety when you use it while reducing the risks of having accidents. You get a stroke limiter when you buy this product that allows you to safely and effectively cut through smaller logs, and it also comes with a log tray and a stand to make loading, unloading, and using it quick and easy.
This log splitter can handle logs that are up to 10-inches in diameter and 20.5-inches long. The short 16-second cycle time lets you coast through splitting dozens of logs without having to stop or taking hours at a time. This is great news for people who need a lot of logs split but don’t have hours to dedicate to it. The durable stand gives this product a solid base to work on, and the stand can fold under the machine to make storage or transport very easy.
- Has a foldable stand
- Two-handed operation
- 5-ton RAM Force
- Wheel pins are flimsy
- Paint can chip off quickly
- May stop short of splitting the full log
10. Hi-Flame Firewood Kindling Splitter
The final log splitter on the list comes from Hi-Flame, and this is another simple manual product that you can easily use for small projects. It comes in at just nine pounds and 9.5-inches tall, and these measurements make it an ultra-portable project that will fit neatly into your car or truck for transport or into your shed for easy storage between uses. You can fix it to any flat surface like a wooden block using the four bolt holes to give you more stability, but you do have to supply the bolts yourself if you choose to go this route. Since your hands stay away from the cutting area, this is a very safe option.
This log splitter features an attractive design with a bright orange coloring that gives it a high visibility factor when you take it out into the woods to use it. The entire product features a powder-coated steel to make it more durable. It won’t rust or corrode, and the powder coating helps to seal the steel body by keeping moisture out. In turn, this product can last for years at a time with hard use without showing a lot of wear and tear.
- Very lightweight and bright
- User-friendly manual design
- Can bolt to flat surfaces
- Won’t work for larger pieces of wood
- Blade area is dull and thin
- Won’t split all of the way through
Log Splitter Buying Guide
When it comes time to purchase your new log splitter, there are several things you want to consider to ensure you get a quality product that will perform to the level you need it too without breaking down. You can use this short guide to help you decide which product is going to work best for your wants and needs.
One of the first things you want to consider is how large the majority of the logs are that you want to use the log splitter with. Wood containers fiber-like and long living cells that run inside the tree. They go up and down the tree’s branches and the trunk, and this is what you see as the wood grain when you cut into it. A splitter applies pressure to split the logs along the grain because this is easier than cutting against it.
The larger and thicker a log is, the more force yoru splitter will have to exert to force the grain apart. So, maple tree logs with a bigger diameter need more pressure to split open. A 24-inch trunk will need at least a 20-ton splitter while a four-ton splitter will have enough force to split six-inch branches.
Larger logs will take much more force to split than smaller ones, so it’s a good idea to know the approximate size of any wood you want to split before you buy this product. If you don’t you could run into problems later with not having enough force to split the log completely from end to end.
Wood Splitter Type
Once you decide on what the most common log size is that you’ll use with your wood splitter, you’ll have to decide on a type. This will help you narrow your choices down right when you start shopping, and this makes it less overwhelming.
- Electric – An electric splitter uses either a battery or electricity to run. They’re nice to have around the house because they can give you a constant source of power without putting out any emissions for you to breathe in. They’re not very portable, but this is what you sacrifice for power.
- Gas – Gas splitters are more traditional because they give you the ability to take them almost anywhere. You do have to bring additional gas and oil with you, but they can run for hours on a single fill. They do product emissions that could be harmful to the environment.
- Manual – The final type of splitter on the list is a manual option. Manual splitters require you to use blunt force to split the wood. You typically put the log into a metal ring and hit it with a mallet or hammer to force it down onto the blade to split it. This is slower, but they won’t break as easy because there aren’t moving parts.
Choosing the correct type of splitter for your needs will help save your frustration levels in the long run. You want to tailor your choice to suit your needs and capabilities, so consider where you plan to work and the scope of the projects you have in mind.
Taking your time to pick the splitter that is going to help you the most around your yard or garden requires you to take a hard look at the build materials. For example, you wouldn’t buy a plastic shovel for yard work, so why would you buy a splitter with a host of plastic components? Your splitter should be stainless steel with a powder coating or cast iron. These two materials can withstand heavy usage without breaking down, and they withstand rust and corrosion very well.
You won’t use this product every day, so you have to have a place to store it when it’s not in commission. Look and see if any part of your machine folds up to make it easier to store. Some fold up vertically and some have stands that fold down to give it a very low profile. Both will work to help save you space in your shed or garage, and it can also make it easier to fold up and transport from job to job.
Picking out a high-quality log splitter shouldn’t be a stressful time. My top 10 list and short reviews give you an excellent starting point that you can use to see what options you have available. I have manual, electric, and gas options you can compare. When you start to narrow down your choices, you can easily use the buying guide to find the one that suits your wants and needs the best so you can get out and tackle all of your wood splitting projects this weekend.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.