Choosing the best log splitter when you need to take care of projects for your home can seem a bit daunting. There are several choices available and if you aren’t an expert or someone with a great deal of experience, it might seem like the information you find is written in a different language. Even if you understand the features and facts about log splitters, you might feel overwhelmed by the variety of choices—there are hydraulic log splitters, electric log splitters, gas powered log slitters, manual log splitters, horizontal log splitters, vertical log splitters… the list goes on. Therefore, we’ll help you narrow down your options and make the best choice based on the best wood splitters on the market in 2017.
First and foremost, you want something durable and dependable. The best log splitter in the world isn’t going to do you any good if it breaks after its first use or two. Finding a balance of reliability, affordability, and effectiveness is essential when you’re shopping for a log splitter for your home use.
What to Consider When Choosing a Log Splitter
Start by considering the size of the log splitter you need. Obviously, the ones built for commercial use won’t be necessary, but you also don’t want something that is weak and ineffective. You can choose a manual log splitter that offers lower tonnage, but will still likely get the job done for your backyard needs. Too many people opt for higher tonnage machines because they figure more powerful is always better—especially when the price variations aren’t that much. You really don’t need the fastest and most powerful option out there. The best thing you can do is make a reasonable choice and don’t let your over-the-top power fantasies get the best of you when shopping.
You’ll also want to consider log length. To get an accurate idea of how much your log splitter needs to be able to handle, measure both the length and diameter. For most people, a log splitter than can handle logs of about 20 inches long and 12 inches wide is enough to work, but some machines can easily handle up to 25 inches or more. Estimate how long the logs you’ll be cutting are and choose a machine that can handle that and a little bit more. That’ll ensure you have more than enough room to work with once you get to work.
The next consideration is motor power. This is important because it ensures you’ll have the power to get through the chunks of wood you’re cutting without burning up or shutting down the machine. Horsepower, amps, and RAM are all an important part of how the motor functions and the force of splitting you’ll enjoy.
Cycle time also matters. The greater the cycle the more you’ll be able to get done in a given period of time. The best log splitters—those used on professional worksites—are able to get through logs in seconds or less. These are best for jobs that require a great deal of splitting and long periods of time of labor. At-home log splitters should work fast, but it’s not imperative that you get through hundreds of logs in a short period of time. Choose a cycle time that’s reasonable, but still lets you get the job done.
You’ll also want to consider how portable your log splitter is. You won’t necessarily be taking it with you anywhere, but you want to be able to move the splitter to the work area. This makes it convenient to handle a bigger job without dragging pieces of trees all over your property. The larger your property the more important it is to have something mobile.
Finally, think about the overall design and construction of the log splitter. You want something that can handle the elements and can work hard and still in great shape. Something made of sturdy steel and reliable parts is the best option.
Electric vs. Gas Log Splitters
The main reasons people choose electric over gas when it comes to any outdoor appliance usually boils down to a few factors: Weight, price, and how “clean” the machinery is. Electric log splitters weigh less and cost less than their gas models. And, like most things that run on electric instead of gas, they tend to be better for the environment.
Unfortunately, these benefits don’t always make them better than their gas counterparts. Gas log splitters work faster and are more efficient than electric options. And you can use a gas log splitter without being close to an electrical outlet. You can use a gas log splitter anywhere on your property without concern for outlets and extension cords—you just need to keep it filled with gas and keep the engine in good working order.
When you’re choosing a log splitter, regardless of the specific features of the machine, make sure you opt for something from a brand that’s reputable and well-known. You might not be familiar with log splitter brands, but when you’re researching, see what people have to say about various brands. You’ll want to buy something from a company that offers a warranty of some kind and has a good reputation for customer service. This way if you face any issue with your splitter, it’ll be easy to take care of it and you won’t be wasting your money.
So, out of all the log splitters on the market, what are your best options for at-home use?
The Champion Power 92221 is powered by gas and features a 4x23” hydraulic cylinder. It’s able to handle 22 tons of stock without affecting efficiency. It’s also powered by a 196 C OHV engine that has cast iron sleeves. Its heavy-duty steel frame is able to withstand most loads and delivers a best-in-class performance at 3500 PSI. It has DOT approved tires and a 2” ball hitch that makes it easy to move around your worksite without a great deal of effort.
This is a great option if you want an electric log splitter. It’s made by Boss and can handle a capacity of 20.5” in length. Its design features an exclusive dual split design that makes it possible to insert logs one at a time without having to wait for the hydraulic RAM to recycle. This model is great for first-time log splitter owners and is a great upgrade from chopping wood with an ax.