Everything You Need to Know When Shopping for the Best Wood Splitter
Log splitter can be an essential tool for those that need to split firewood on a daily basis. Regardless of whether you’re a professional or just need it for a hobby, owning such a piece of machinery can come in handy. Of course, when looking to buy one, you need to do your best to make the perfect choice. We’re going to help you with that! You’re now going to learn which features make a wood splitter good.
The Size of the Log Splitter
Although it depends mostly on your needs, when it comes to the size of the log splitter, a general rule is – the bigger the better. Why? Because a larger log splitter can handle larger chunks of wood, which will save up on time, thus making your job easier! A log splitter that can deal with 25-inch-long logs would be ideal, but even a 20-inch splitter would do a good job.
Still, the problem with too massive log splitters is that they are usually not easy to handle. You probably wouldn’t be able to move them around on your own, even if there are wheels installed. So, before making the final decision, you need to be clear about what you’re going to use it for.
Log Splitter Tonnage
Another important thing to consider is the tonnage of the wood splitter. Again, it all depends on the type of wood you’re planning to split with it. Different species of wood have different levels of hardness. What this means is that some logs will need a higher force in order to split into two halves.
Of course, unless you’re an expert on trees, you aren’t going to be capable of knowing which log splitter tonnage you need. That is why before buying a wood splitter, we urge you to take a look at the list of woods according to their hardness. You can take a look at it on a Wikipedia page about the Janka hardness test.
As you can see there, most softwoods (e.g. pine, fir, box elder, etc.) fall into the 300-900 lbf hardness category. What this means is that in order to split them in half, your log splitter will need to be able to produce the force of up to 900 lbs. Hardwoods like oak, locust, or elm, require a much higher force. In order to split these types of logs, you will need a log splitter that can produce a force of as much as 1,800 lbs.
If you take a look at the wood splitter reviews, you will notice that the force is measured in tons. Don’t let this confuse you – metric system is used by most manufacturers. Even if you’re not familiar with it, the fact that the metric system is used is actually a good idea. Basically, the rule is that for splitting softwood, you will need a log splitter with the tonnage of between 4 and 6 tons.
On the other hand, if your job will consist mostly of splitting hardwood logs, you need to pick a log splitter with the force of at least 7 tons. Certain types of hardwood might require an even more powerful splitter, with a 10+ tonnage.
Still, the industry standard is the log splitter with the 7+ tonnage.Such splitter will allow you to deal with most commonly used types of wood. It will allow you to easily split softwood logs, while you will also be able to use it for dealing with most types of hardwood. Those include everything from walnut, magnolia, maple, cedar, etc.
Another reason why log splitters with 7+ tonnage seem as the best choice is that they’re usually much cheaper than those with a bigger tonnage. They are also much easier to use and are generally considered to be of a higher quality. So, unless you are required to split dogwood logs on an everyday basis, our recommendation is to go with a 7-ton splitter.
Manual vs. Electric Log Splitter
Of course, a manual wood splitter is going to cost much less than its electric counterpart. Still, as its name suggests, it will require quite a lot of manual labor from you. The whole point of log splitters is to save you from hard work, which is why our advice is to choose one with an electric motor. The purpose of the motor is to power a hydraulic pump, something that can also be done with a diesel or gasoline engine.
Of course, this is also something that you need to decide based on the type of work you’re planning to do. If you need a splitter to split a few logs once every couple of days, perhaps then it’s not smart to spend too much money. Instead of paying a couple hundred dollars on an electric log splitter, you should buy a manual splitter for less than a hundred bucks.
Still, if you’re asking us for an advice, we would tell you to stay away from the manual wood splitter. If you buy the best electric log splitter, you will be able to use it to split all kinds of logs with ease. Another reason why an electric log splitter is a better choice is that they can save you quite a lot of time. These days, there are some electric wood splitters with superb cycle times. What this means is that you will be able to do more work in a shorter amount of time.
When choosing a log splitter, you must not forget to pay attention to its cycle time. Basically, a fast cycle time means that you will be able to do more work in less time. However, if you’re not planning to use the splitter professionally, perhaps this should not be the main criteria. Still, our advice is to look for one that has the cycle time of at less than 20 seconds.
In fact, this seems as the optimal cycle time, as if it were faster, the log splitter might not be that safe to work with. If it were slower, doing the splitting would be a long and boring work. Of course, you can look for an even faster splitter than 20 seconds per a cycle, but we recommend against it. The reason, apart from safety, is the price. Super-fast wood splitters are usually meant for professionals, which is why they cost much more.
Quality and Durability
Buying a log splitter is not something you do every week. That is why you need to make sure you buy the very best. Apart from being easy to use, safe and fast, the best wood splitter also needs to be durable. It needs to serve you well for a long time; otherwise you’ve made a bad investment. So, we urge you to buy a high-quality splitter, even if it means paying a bit more.
One of the ways to ensure that the splitter will work well for a long time is to check its warranty. If it doesn’t come with one, we advise you to stay away from it. If it breaks, you will have problems finding a good repairman, as there aren’t many of those with the expertise in fixing wood splitters. Furthermore, fixing a broken splitter could cost quite a lot.
This is why you should stay away from log splitters that don’t come with at least 1-year warranty period. Of course, in this case, the longer the warranty the better! Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find many manufacturers that are willing to give more than a couple of years of warranty. So, you also need to pay attention to other things in order to ensure you get a durable splitter. One of those things is the reputation of the brand.
Best Wood Splitter Brands
One way to learn whether a log splitter is good is to check out what others think about it. If the users are generally impressed with the manufacturer, the chances are that you will too be satisfied with it. A respectable manufacturer will do everything to keep the customers happy, which is why you can be sure that the product will be made of high-quality materials. A good customer service is also guaranteed in this case.
So, our advice is to take a look at the wood splitters manufactured by some of the most respectable brands, like Boss Industrial, Champion Power Equipment, or Dirty Hand Tools. You can be sure that if something goes wrong with the wood splitter, these manufacturers will take care of the problem.
Surely, there are many other highly-reliable brands that deserve your attention, so don’t let this be the crucial criteria for choosing the wood splitter. You also need to consider the specs of the splitter, as well as its price.
How Much to Pay for a Log Splitter?
As you’ve already probably figured out, when it comes to choosing the log splitter, it all depends on what you’re planning to use it for. If you need to split hundreds of hardwood logs every day, you will need a professional log splitter, capable of producing plenty of force. In that case, paying over a thousand dollars seems reasonable. After all, log splitting is what you do for a salary.
However, if you need a wood splitter for your hobby, or your job requires a light use of it, perhaps a cheaper machine is a better choice. The good news is that finding a quality splitter that costs just a couple hundred dollars is not that hard. In fact, the market is full of reasonably priced splitters that can do a very good job. The trick is in knowing how to find them!
Finding the Best Log Splitter
The best log splitter needs to satisfy a couple of conditions. First of all, it needs to be able to produce enough force. It depends on the type of wood you’re going to split, but in general, 7-tons force should be the minimum tonnage of your wood splitter. Secondly, it needs to be fast, something that’s essential if you need to split a lot of logs every day. The splitter also needs to be easy to use and move around.
Another thing you must not forget is the quality. You need a splitter that will not break easily, which is why we urge you to stick to the ones manufactured by respectable brands. The warranty is another thing you need to pay attention to. Of course, all of this won’t matter much if the splitter costs too much. You need one that won’t get you bankrupt!
So, how are you supposed to find a log splitter that matches all the criteria? You don’t, because we’ve already done it! Here are 5 honest wood splitter reviews, which should help you make the right choice. All of these splitters deserve to be called the best, meaning that whichever you choose, you won’t make a bad choice!
First of all, this splitter is made by an American company called Champion Power Equipment, which is considered to be one of the very best in the world of log splitters. The quality of this machine is guaranteed by a 2-year warranty. Apart from being made of high quality materials, the splitter is also superb in terms of its specs.
Features of the Splitter
The splitter is very easy to move around. It’s lightweight and features two wheels, meaning that you will be able to move it easily wherever you need it. The splitter is capable of producing plenty of force. With the tonnage being 7 tons, you will be able to use it to split softwood logs, but also some types of hardwood.
Another great thing about it is the 20-second cycle, after which the splitter will automatically come back in a neutral position. What this means is that after 20 seconds, you will be able to put another log and start another splitting cycle. Speaking of the logs, you will be able to split those that are up to 19.3 inches in length, which seems as more than enough for most of everyone’s needs.
- 7-ton force
- 20-second cycle
- Decent size
- Easy to move around
- 2-year warranty
- Fairly affordable price
- Not suitable for all kinds of hardwood, like oak for example
Unless you need a splitter for logs of superb hardness, this one should do the job. It seems ideal for splitting softwood logs and even comes at a reasonable price.
This splitter is very similar to the one before, both in terms of performances and the price. It’s fast and easy to use. Actually, Boss Industrial ES7T20 is another splitter that’s best used for softwood logs. You will be able to split a huge number of logs each day, without getting tired.
Features of Boss Industrial ES7T20 Log Splitter
With the 7-ton splitting force, this machine can be used for all types of softwood. Furthermore, you can even use it for certain kinds of hardwood, such as cedar or maple. The whole process of splitting logs takes just about 10 seconds. When done with the splitting, the ram will return in its place automatically.
The size of the splitter is really decent, meaning that you can use it to split logs of up to 20.5 inches in length and 10 inches in diameter. Another great thing about this product is the warranty. You get a 2-year warranty period when you buy this machine, although you probably won’t have to use it. This is because Boss Industrial splitters are considered to be among the best ones on the planet.
- 7-ton splitting force
- Very fast splitting cycle
- Decent size
- 2-year warranty
- Good price
- Not suitable for splitting all kinds of hardwood logs
This is one of the cheapest wood splitters on the market. But, its low price is not a sign of a poor quality. On the contrary, this log splitter has all the features you may need.
The previous two splitters are meant for splitting softwood logs, as well as certain types of hardwood. This splitter, on the other hand, can handle literally any type of wood. It’s all due to its impressive splitting force of 22 tons!
Features of Dirty Hand Tools 100171
Apart from being very powerful, this log splitter is also very fast. The splitting cycle takes less than 11 seconds, meaning that you will be able to split hundreds of logs without any problems in less than an hour. Another great thing about it is its size. You will be able to use it to split logs of up to 25 inches in length.
The log splitter is also very durable, something that is backed by a 2-year-long warranty. In fact, everything about this log splitter seems amazing, apart from its price. Costing more than a thousand dollars, this machine is meant for professionals, who make a living out of splitting wood.
- Superb splitting force
- Extremely fast
- Good dimensions
- 2-year warranty
Although this log splitter is much more expensive than the first two on our list, we still recommend it heartily. Why? Because this is one of the best log splitters currently on the market! You can use it to split all kinds of logs without any problems, in the shortest amount of time. So, if you’re a professional, we advise you to get this machine straight away!
Similarly to the previous item on the list, this log splitter is also meant for professional use. It has a superb splitting force, meaning that you will be able to use it for literally all kinds of logs. Furthermore, the splitter can be used for splitting logs both horizontally and vertically.
Features of the Splitter
The splitter is very convenient to use. It’s pretty spacious, so that you can split logs of up to 25 inches in length. It’s also very easy to move around due to the fact that it features road tires. What this means is that you can tow it with your car or a tractor.
Another great thing about the splitter is that it’s extremely fast. It can split a log in less than 11 seconds, which makes it perfect for professional use. It will surely make your work easier, so you should get it despite its a-bit-higher price.
- Superb power
- Very fast
- Good or both horizontal and vertical splitting
- Pretty spacious
- 3-years warranty
If splitting logs is what you do for money, then buying this machine is the right investment. It might cost a bit more, but it will surely pay off.
Here’s another log splitter made by Champion, proving that this USA-based company is among the leaders in this area. This is one of their best machines currently on sale. The gas-powered splitter is extremely powerful and with its 22-tons of splitting force, is one of the best professional log splitters on the planet.
Features of Champion Power Equipment No.92221 Gas Powered Log Splitter
The splitting force of this splitter is more than enough to handle all kinds of wood logs, regardless of how hard they might be. Furthermore, the machine is very fast, so that you will be able to do more work in less time.
The splitter can handle really large logs. The maximum length of the log should be no more than 24 inches. The maximum log weight is 100 kilograms. Another thing that makes it ideal for professionals is that you can move it around easily. It features high-speed road wheels, meaning that you can tow it with your car, truck, etc.
- Superb splitting force
- Extremely fast
- Easy to maneuver
- Only 1 year of warranty period
- Not cheap
For professionals who are looking to improve their log splitting time, this machine seems perfect. It will make your job much easier, enabling you to do much more work.
Hopefully, you’ve learned how to choose the best log splitter. Let this article serve as the guideline for finding the best splitter for your needs. We’ve pointed out the most important features each splitter needs to have, so that you’ll know what you’re looking for. If you still have problems finding the one that fits your needs and wishes, perhaps the best choice is to pick one from our top 5 list. All of the splitters we reviewed there deserve to be called the best!