If you burn wood, whether it is in a fireplace, a wood burning stove or a fire pit, a log splitter is definitely a tool that you are going to want to have. A log splitter is a tool that helps you to split firewood that has been cut into sections, eliminating the need for you to manually split the logs yourself. While a log splitter is certainly a handy tool to have, choosing one that meets your specific needs can be a bit of a challenge. There are so many different types of log splitters available, and so many different options to choose from. With so many choices, how do you know which log splitter best suits your needs? By reading this buyer’s guide, of course! In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about log splitters, including the different types there are, the factors that you should take into consideration when you are shopping for one, the different features that log splitters can offer, and the best log splitter brands. After reading this guide, you will have all of the information that you need to choose the best log splitter for your specific needs.
Types of Log Splitters
In order to choose the best log splitter for your specific needs, the first thing you need to do is understand the different types that are available. All log splitters have the same purpose: They are meant to split wood in half that has been cut for firewood. They all make the process of splitting logs a lot easier. With that said, log splitters differ in the manner in which they operate. There are four different types of log splitters, which include:
- The electric log splitter
- The gas log splitter
- The manual hydraulic hand log splitter
- The manual hand log splitter
Below, you will find a detailed description of each of these four types of log splitters, including how they operate, what applications they are best used for, their advantages, and their disadvantages.
The Electric Log Splitter
The electric log splitter is the most popular type of log splitter. It is adequate for use in most applications. This type of log splitter uses an electric motor to power the hydraulics rather than a gas engine. Because it has a compact size, it is more portable than other types of log splitters. The electric log splitter operates at ground level, on a bench, or on a stand. With soaring gas prices, electric splitters can be a more cost effective than those splitters that are powered by gas. Another major bonus with electric splitters is the fact that they can be used indoors, outdoors, or anywhere else where there is a standard electrical outlet. They also require less maintenance because you are not maintaining a gas engine because you do not need to change fluids like you have to do with a gas powered log splitter. On the downside, you are limited with an electric log splitter because you have to have access to a power outlet in order to use it.
The Gas Log Splitter
The gas log splitter is the largest and most powerful of all log splitters. The gas splitter usually accepts larger diameter logs, so if you are going to be splitting larger logs, this is an ideal choice for you. In addition to being powerful, the gas log splitter does not need to be plugged in, which expands the area that you can use them, as you do not need to be near an electrical outlet to use it; however, because of the exhaust the engine makes, it cannot be used indoors. Also, the gas log splitter is the most expensive type of splitter because they are larger and more powerful. Also, it requires gas to run, which can be costly, and it does require regular maintenance. Just like any other piece of equipment with a gas engine, it will require oil changes, air filter changes, spark plug replacements on a regular basis in order to ensure that it runs its best.
The Manual Hydraulic Hand Log Splitter
A manual hydraulic log splitter is simply a log splitter that is made out of steel and has a hydraulic press that has a wedge or a rod that you can activate with your hands. In other words, this type of log splitter is powered by hydraulics; it is not powered by gas or electricity. It is small in size, which means that it can be transported easily, and it can be used anywhere. It is also cost effective, as it does not require gas or electricity to operate.
The Manual Hand Log Splitter
The manual hand log splitter is not powered by hydraulics, gas or electricity. Sliding hammers, kindling crackers, standard wedges and wood grenades are all types of manual hand log splitters. While this is the least expensive type of log splitter, it is also the most difficult to use, as you do need to use your own power to split the wood. With that said, it is much easier to split wood with a manual hand wood splitter than it is to split wood with an axe.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Log Splitter
In order to purchase the best log splitter for your specific needs, there are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration. Some of the most important factors to consider before you choose a splitter include the tonnage, the type of wood you will be splitting, and the cost of the log splitter. By taking these factors into consideration before you start shopping for a log splitter, you will be able to choose the best one for your needs. To learn more about these and other factors that we consider to be the most important when you are shopping for a log splitter, please keep on reading.
The tonnage of the log splitter
Typically, a log splitter works by driving a piece of solid metal through the length of a log. The amount of pressure, or tonnage, the splitter will apply to the metal, and thus the wood, will impact how effective it will be at splitting the logs. In other words, the amount of tonnage the splitter can apply is crucial.
The type of wood you will be splitting
Another factor that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping for a log splitter is the type of wood you will be using it to split. Some logs are much more difficult to split than others. For example, gnarled wood, twisted grain patterns and y-shaped sections are tougher to split than others.
The power of the motor
A log splitter has to have a motor that is powerful enough to cut through hard and wet wood without straining. Again, the amount of power that you will need will depend on the type of wood that you are going to be splitting. It is better to err on the side of caution and choose a log splitter that offers enough power to cut through all types of wood, as it will allow you to handle any wood that you may use. When considering how powerful the motor is, consider the total RAM of the splitting force, the amps, and the total horsepower of the splitter.
The length and diameter of the logs
You are also going to want to consider the length and the diameter of the logs you are cutting. Different log splitters can accommodate logs in different lengths and diameters, and you want to make sure that you choose one that will work for your needs. In other words, the length and the diameter of the logs that the splitter will accept will determine the amount of work that you will be able to get done. It’s always better to choose a log splitter that can accept more than enough wood size than not enough.
The cycle time
The cycle time will impact how quickly you can get the job of splitting your logs done. A log splitter that offers a fast cycle time means that you will be able to get more work done in less time. A cycle time of about 15 minutes is a good option, as this will ensure that your splitting needs are both efficient and productive. A lo splitter that offers a faster cycle time – the amount of time that it takes for the RAM to go back to the starting position after splitting – will be able to split larger amounts of wood in shorter amounts of time.
The construction of the log splitter
The materials that the log splitter is constructed out of will impact the durability of the tool. If you want it to last for a long period of time, you are going to want to make sure that it is constructed out of durable materials. Steel is the best material, as it is the strongest, which means that it will last the longest, as it will be able to take the force and the wear and tear that is put on it when splitting logs.
The cost of the log splitter
The cost of the log splitter is also an important factor that you are going to want to take into consideration. Log splitters can vary widely in price, and you want to make sure that you choose something that will fit into your budget. The more powerful the log splitter is and the more features that it offers, the more expensive it will be. Keep this in mind when you are shopping so you don’t overextend your budget.
The Features Log Splitters Can Offer
There are a number of features that log splitters can offer. These features are intended to make the log splitter easier to use and more effective. As was mentioned above, the more features that a log splitter offers, the more expensive it is going to be. In order to determine whether you want or need certain features, and if the added cost will be worth your while, it is important to understand the different features that a log splitter can offer.
Here is a look at some of the most important features that a log splitter can offer.
If you are going to be buying a large log splitter, look for one that offers wheels. With wheels, it will be much easier for you to transport your log splitter to the locations where you want to use it, as you won’t have to worry about lugging a big, heavy piece of equipment around.
A Ball Hitch
A ball hitch will also make it easier to transport your log splitter. This feature will allow you to hitch the splitter onto a truck or anything else that has wheels, making it easier to move.
If you want to protect your investment, look for a log splitter that is backed by a warranty. Should anything happen to the log splitter during the span of the warranty, you will be able to have it repaired or replaced, or you may even be able to have your money reimbursed.
The Best Log Splitter Brands
There are several manufacturers that make log splitters. This can make it difficult to determine which brand is the best. We have conducted thorough research, which has allowed us to determine that the following brands of log splitters are the best of the best.
Dirty Hand Tools
This company offers log splitters that have short cycle times, are extremely durable, and are backed by warranties. They are also durably constructed and offer a range of features, which means they last a long time and are easy to use.
Swisher is another very trusted log splitter brand. They make high powered splitters that can take on various types of wood, and various sizes. They are also extremely durable and very easy to use.
10 Ton Boss
We are also very fond of the log splitters that are produced by 10 Ton Boss. This company uses the latest technologies to produce high quality log splitters that are powerful, durable and last a long time.