Log Splitter Reviews
Manual, Electric, Hydrolic and/or Portable
Chopping wood by hand is time consuming, tiresome, and just not worth the effort. Log splitters make the job quick and painless, but how can you find the right one for your needs?
Welcome to Splitting Wood, your one-stop destination for reviews on the best, most efficient log splitters on the market today. I built this site while on my own personal journey to find the greatest log splitters so that I could help others who were like me – lost in a sea of confusing terms and too many options.
Below I’ve highlighted some of the best log splitters that I’ve come across. Each item includes some key points to help you understand what sets them apart from the rest, from portability options to splitting force. Thanks for stopping by, and happy splitting!!
Best Manual Log Splitter
Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe
When it comes to manual log splitters, I always look for a model that offers a good balance of safety and power. Finding a model that gives you both is hard enough, but this one does it all without forcing you to do all of the hard work yourself, thanks to the manual hydraulic pump.
Powerful Hydraulic Action
It’s pretty common to see manual log splitters that require you to do all of the hard work, which is why I really like the design of the Sun Joe splitter. After you insert the two operating levers, you just need to pump them back and forth to operate the 10-ton hydraulic ram. There’s no need for gas or electricity, but also no need for a lot of back-breaking labor. It’s still more work than a unit with its own power source, but it’s a solid trade off when you think about how much you save on fuel costs.
I love that this manual log splitter doesn’t require you to balance the logs on an unsteady platform, as that really increases the chances of an accident. You simply place the log into the loading chamber and use the levers to operate the hydraulic ram. You never have to put any part of your body in harm’s way. The base is sturdy and made of steel, so you don’t have to worry about it shifting or flipping on you. This is a serious issue with some of the other manual log splitters, because they don’t always have a solid base or support system like gas and electric splitters do. It really gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to manual log splitters.
Best Electric Log Splitter
Boss Industrial ES7T20
The major benefit of electric log splitters is that they are so easy to use, and this model is about as easy as they get. It’s got a 2 HP motor that starts up with a push of a button, you so don’t have to deal with the hassle of getting the engine up and running. The splits happen fast thanks to the hydraulic system, which makes it a huge time saver on big jobs. It packs a strong punch, but isn’t so massive that you can’t fit it in your backyard or store it at a cabin.
Easy to Use
There’s a lot to be said for a log splitter that’s easy to use, even though it seems like every model should be pretty straightforward. This Boss Industrial unit really takes ease of use seriously, beginning with the push button starter that gets the motor running in seconds. Once you place a log onto the cradle you don’t need to operate a complicated series of levers or buttons to start the splitting. One hand is all it takes to get a fast split. It also includes an automatic ram return feature, so you don’t have to do a thing to reset it for the next log.
Perfect Amount of Power
Once you make the jump up from manual log splitters into the electric class, the question becomes finding a unit with the right power for your needs. This model can apply up to 7 tons of pressure, which is a lot for an electric unit, but less than a gas model. You can handle a huge variety of wood types you’re likely to find around your home or yard with this model, thanks to all that force. The electric motor also runs quieter than a gas model, so it’s perfect for residential use.
Best for the Money
Anaconda 878 Slide-Hammer
If you want to keep your costs low without having to sacrifice splitting power, then this slide hammer model is the one for you. It doesn’t have a cradle, so you can take on logs of virtually any size, as long as you’re willing to put in the work for it. It also doesn’t require any hammers or mallets, so you don’t need to pick up any extra tools for it. It’s a versatile option if you only need to split a few logs here and there.
Tool-Free Slide Method
One thing I don’t like about a lot of these manual and budget-level log splitters is that they require you to use other tools to get the job done. Here, you don’t need anything extra to drive the splitter into the log. You just need to make sure the log is standing vertically and is stable, then line the wedge up with the location you want the split and use the sliding arm to drive it in. It might take a few drives on larger logs, so make sure you get a good grip on the handle. It definitely looks a lot easier than chopping with an axe, since you can’t accidentally miss. Once you line up the wedge and get it into the log a little bit, you just need to keep sliding until the block is split.
Big Bang for a Slim Size
The reason this is such a great budget model is that it’s completely self-contained and doesn’t take up more space than a broomstick. You’re not signing up for a huge machine that will take up your whole garage or fall into disrepair if you leave alone for too long. It’s a perfect choice for anyone who wants a backup splitter, or just needs something to break down a few logs from a fallen tree.
Best Kindling Splitter
Kindling Cracker Firewood
My grandparents used to have a cabin that we would all visit a few times a year. It got a little bit of snow in the wintertime, which is the perfect setting for relaxing by a roaring fire. The only problem was cutting up firewood, which can be hard when the temperature drops or the weather turns sour. The Kindling Cracker works under both of those conditions, making the best choice for preparing firewood any time of the year.
Chopping wood for kindling in the winter months means you have to contend with wet surfaces, damp wood or even snow and rain. I really like that this model has sturdy base and a full enclosure that holds the logs in place, so you don’t have to try and balance them yourself. It’s also made of cast iron, so it’s heavy enough to keep the logs in place without the whole thing falling over when you drive the hammer down. You just need to hold the log you’re splitting in place during the first hit.
Perfect Size for Rural Use
This is exactly the type of log splitter I wish my grandparents would have kept at their cabin because it’s so small, yet so useful. It could fit in a corner and you’d never even notice it. This also makes it a great choice if you’re going camping and want to bring something along to split a few logs for the fire. If you don’t have a hammer, you can even use a sturdy log to drive the split by hammering it into the wedge. Carrying a huge gas-powered model or a cumbersome manual splitter is too much for a camping trip, so this model can definitely save some space during the packing.
Best with Gas
Champion Power Equipment No.90720
Gas log splitters give you more power, more force, and more mobility; this unit from Champion delivers on every front. You get a solid 7 tons of pressure and the ability to split logs that weigh up to 80 pounds, which means you can handle a huge variety of lumber types. The gas engine also means that you can take it with you to a job site, or move it from your garage out across your property very easily.
Serious Splitting Capacity
As I said before, gas log splitters are the best choice when you’re dealing with heavier and more troublesome types of wood. This model is not only powerful enough to handle some heavy blocks, but it splits logs that are up to 20 inches long, which is a common size when you’re dealing with bigger trees. There’s a 20-second cycle once you pull the actuator lever, which is fast enough to keep the job moving along at a great pace while still being slow enough to offer the right amount of safety.
Easy to Move
You would think that with all the power this model has it would have to be a stationary unit, but Champion Power Equipment comes through again. It has two never-flat wheels, so you can take it across all kinds of terrain without having to worry about the wheels popping or breaking. It’s also got an easy handle at the loading end, so you can just pick it up and pull the splitter wherever you need to go.
Best Portable Log Splitter
Quality Craft Foot-Operated Splitter
Portable log splitters can end up sacrificing power or cutting other corners, but not this one. That’s why this foot-operated model from Renegade really caught my eye. It does require some assembly out of the box, but that’s to be expected for a model with this type of design. It allows you to easily split logs up to 18 inches while minimizing room for error, unlike some hammer and upright models.
This model does away with motors, which can be incredibly heavy and make moving the splitter difficult. Instead, it uses a foot lever design to give you the pressure to split logs while keeping the weight nice and low. Once you’re done with it, you can fold up the legs and use the handy latch to lock it in place, then tuck it away in the garage, put it in a utility shed, or even keep it in the bed of your truck. It’s definitely a big bonus for anyone who needs to move between locations to split logs, especially if you don’t have a truck to deal with moving a gas or electric splitter.
Foot Powered for Ease of Use
A lot of manual log splitters require you to use a hammer or a tricky configuration to split the wood, but not this one. Once you set the log on the splitter, which needs to be under 10 inches in diameter, all of the action comes from stepping on the depressor lever. You can really make use of your body weight for extra power, which is great for those deceivingly hard logs. It allows you to apply steady pressure for an easy split, or push down faster for a ramming split on thicker blocks.
Best for Heavy Duty Jobs
NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter
When you’ve got a major splitting job that requires speed and power, NorthStar’s30 ton splitter is the way to go. It can handle seriously big logs in either a vertical or horizontal position, and it includes a ton of convenient features that give you more splitting options that you’ll know what to do with. It’s the best choice for anyone who splits a lot of logs on a regular basis.
Convertible Splitting Style
One of the features that really makes this model a cut above the rest is the convertible splitting mode. This means that you can load logs on it horizontally like with other models, or easily shift the entire unit upwards so that the cradle sits up vertically. I’ve had to deal with some unbelievably heavy logs in the past, usually tree stumps, and I hated having to lift them into splitters. With this, all I would have to do is drag the log over to the cradle and get it a few inches off the ground to fit it onto the splitter.
Versatile and Portable
With this much power, you have to choose a model that has a gas engine to avoid motor burnout. Since this splitter has a gas engine, it makes it easy to take it to different locations to handle whatever job you have in mind. You’ll still need to load it into a truck or hitch it to a utility cart to move it, but with this much power it’s definitely worth it.
The Smart Splitter
I’m not going to pretend that splitting logs is a simple process, even with some of the models I listed above. Operating an electric or gas model can be tricky or dangerous for someone who isn’t familiar with the process. When you need a log splitter that practically anyone can use, from teenagers to older parents, The Smart Splitter is definitely the best choice.
Simple, Easy Design
Trying to explain all the different safety precautions to an older parent that has never used a splitter before is challenging. I really like that The Smart Splitter has such a straightforward design. All you need to do is set up the log on a sturdy base, then attach the smart splitter to it by drilling a guide hole on top so that it rests flat. Make sure the wedge is pushed up against the log so it sits firmly on it; then just pull up on the handle, and drive it down to make the split. It’s a straightforward process that I would feel comfortable letting my mother use. No problems explaining where the on and off switch is, or worrying about anyone getting in the way of the wedge, either during the split or when trying to reset the ram.
Since you can drill a guide hole so that the anchor fits right into your base, you don’t have to worry about it coming loose as with other manual models. The sliding design also means there’s no need for hammers or other tools, which can be confusing or troublesome to line up right. Also, the lack of an engine means that you never have to worry about accidentally turning it on or clothing getting stuck in any parts of the machinery. The guiding system also means that you don’t have to worry about lining up each strike. Even with some other manual splitters, you run the risk of the wedge popping out of the log, which could lead to some trouble.
My Final Thoughts
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at these reviews. I really hope you found them helpful for whatever log splitting needs you have. I didn’t start out with the goal of making this site, but after learning everything I did about log splitters I really wanted to share my findings with other people who were in the same situation as I am. If you found this information useful, or were able to find the perfect log splitter for your circumstances, then that’s “mission accomplished”.