How To Choose The Best Log Splitter

There are many different log splitter models to choose from, available from several different  manufacturers. You have to look at all the features, fuel sources, power,  and of course, price tags so you can choose the best log splitter for your needs.

You also have to look at power capacity, horizontal vs vertical usage, extra add-ons, the overall weight and size of the log splitter, and other factors that will dictate the overall performance of the log splitter. As a rule of thumb, bigger, heavier log splitters tend to be more expensive and powerful, but can also come with more features.

In addition to the log splitter itself, you have to think about the person who will be using it. People of different ages and strength use log splitters for multiple reasons, so you have to think about age, gender, physical condition, and location where the log splitter will be used.

Log Splitters can come in an wide range of shapes, styles, and sizes. Not only this, but they can also be designed specifically for remote use, as well as electric models that can perform well in both conditions where electricity can be produced.

When you take all this into account, it is no big surprise that picking the ideal log splitter is not an easy task. In this article, we will discuss the different details you should keep in mind when selecting a log splitter and give you our recommendation for the best log splitters available today.

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What Are Log Splitters

Although they vary in power, design, and fuel source, log splitters are powerful splitting machines that consist of a cradle and a wedge, some equipped with wheels. Most electric and gas designs feature two wheels and function in the horizontal position, while some of the gas units also work in the vertical position.

These powerful splitting machines are designed to help people split wood faster and more efficiently, so they can save time and backaches from manual work. Log Splitters can be divided into electric, gas and manual models, and they can come with different features.

The majority of log splitters are created for electric or gas usage, while some of the manual log splitters can be used without a power source.  However, you can also purchase models that are designed to work in remote areas, so they are easier to transport and do not need electricity or gas.

Depending on the type of log splitter you choose, they can come with a range of features. Some can operate on gas, electricity or others are manual which requires more human power but are easily transported and can be used in remote areas. 

The best way to choose the right log splitter is by looking at the size of the wood you need to split.  Keep in mind that the diameter of the logs which need to be split will require a certain tonnage or force from the log splitter.  

Manual log splitters consist of a frame, a cradle for the logs, hydraulic ram, wedge, and handles to work the device. The log is placed in the cradle and the handles move the ram and log into the wedge splitting the wood.  The tonnage is the amount of driving force of the hydraulic ram, the higher the tonnage the larger the diameter of logs it is able to split. 

On the other hand, electric and gas models bring more driving force and there are no handles to control the ram.  The driving ram is controlled by the motor while you still need to load the logs into the cradle.  Electric and gas log splitters allow people to split larger amounts of wood in shorter amounts of time.

Why You Should Choose Your Log Splitter Carefully

Choosing a log splitter can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time purchasing one. Regardless if you will be the person using it, power and fuel source are the two most important factors you have to keep in mind.

Also, remember that these powerful splitting machines can be pricy investments.  Whether you are purchasing a log splitter for business or residential usage, they will certainly get the job done more efficiently and save yourself from the usual back pain of manual splitting.


If you are not sure what you need to consider, keep reading this guide to find out about the different options and details you should take into account.

What To Keep An Eye Out For

Log splitter have one purpose but some different features so there are a few different aspects you need to look at. But, you should always remember that regardless of how many options it has, the main purpose of a log splitter is to split wood more efficiently.

This means that you should keep the size of the logs, amount of wood, and location in mind. In some cases, you also want to consider the reason why you are purchasing a log splitter, which can help you decide between a gas, electric, or manual model.

When choosing the best log splitter, you should always look at:

1- Type Of Log Splitter

As previously mentioned, log splitters can be divided into gas, electric and manual models. Despite the fact that their basic design is the same, all of these have key differences that make them suitable for different people in different situations.

Manual Log Splitters

As the name indicates, manual log splitters are controlled by the person using handles to control the driving ram.  They can vary in driving force from 3 tons to 10 tons of driving force. Manual log splitters are also available in slide hammer version which are very portable but require more human force.

Electric Log Splitters

Also known as power log splitters, these electric machines use a motor to drive the ram and log into the wedge, splitting the log into 2 pieces.  Electric log splitters vary in driving force from approximately 4 ton to 12 tons.  Most electric log splitters operate in a horizontal position and have automatic ram return.  Most will work on a typical 110 electrical outlet with a 15 amp circuit. 

Gas Log Splitters

Gas log splitters are the most powerful machines which also use a motor to drive the ram and log into the wedge, splitting the log into 2 pieces.  Gas log splitters vary in driving force from approximately 7 ton to around 35 tons.  Gas log splitters also operate in a horizontal position while some of the more expensive models also operate in a vertical position.  They are built on wheels which allow them to be towed to any location.   Gas log splitters are a hefty investment but are the some best log splitters available, especially if you splitting large amounts of wood or are in a location without electricity.

2- Driving Force

You need to consider the size of the logs you need to split before making a purchase. If you want to split large diameter sized logs, you will want to find a model that has more driving force.  Driving force is measured by the tonnage rating of the log splitter.  A 6 inch diameter log will require a 4 ton log splitter while a 12 inch diameter log will require a 16 ton log splitter.

3- Horizontal vs Vertical

Most manual and electric log splitters are operated in the horizontal position, with a few exceptions.  You need to make sure you find a log splitter that is suitable for your environment and location. This means finding the best log splitter that will withstand the wear and tear of the quantity and size of logs you will be splitting.

Vertical log splitter allow you to handles larger and heavier logs without requiring you to lift them as high to get them in the cradle.  Horizontal log splitters require you to lift each log into the cradle which can be back breaking work when handling large logs all day.  

4- Wheels

As we have mentioned before, the most important factor when choosing an electric or gas log splitter is maneuverability.  People want the flexibility to use log splitters anywhere they want, so having a sturdy frame and large tires is critical to towing these machines.

Note that different machines have different requirements, so you need to make sure the log splitter you choose provides the right portability for you. Finally, you should look at additional accessories and add-ons, such as log splitting axes and kindling .

5- Fuel Source

Electric log splitters can only be used with electricity.  As you can imagine, electric log splitters are a better choice for residential usage where there is typically electricity.  Electric log splitters can also be used in conjunction with a generator as the electric source.

Gas log splitters operate on gas engines so can be used in remote areas where electricity is not present.  Gas log splitters offer more power and the freedom to tow your machine where ever you want to get the job done.  Your best bet is a gas log splitter if you need a powerful and versatile machine to split your wood.

6- Additional Features And Accessories

Different log splitters can come with different features and accessories. Some can include large wheels for better towing ability, while others are made of ultra-lightweight materials that allow them to be easily carried to remote locations.

If there are any additional requirements or additions you would like to have for your log splitter, you can always get in touch with manufacturers, or check out our list of recommendations to see if any of our top picks will fit your needs.

There are many log splitter options to choose from so making the right choice can be extremely difficult. To help you out, we have put together a list of our top recommendations for the best electric, gas and manual log splitters.

Best Electric Log Splitter

The best electric log splitter should be powerful and durable.  Moreover, it should also be easy to maneuver and have a affordable price for the features and benefits it offers.

Winner: Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7 Ton 

The Boss ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter is designed and manufactured by Boss, one of the most reputable brands in the industry. This powerful and durable log splitter gives you an affordable option to split wood.

The Boss name is famous for always delivering powerful, high-quality machines, and this ES7T20 will not disappoint. This awesome log splitter falls under the category of electric models and has 7 tons of driving force.

Although some machines sacrifice size for durability, the ES7T20 is an affordable option that was designed with practicality in mind. This electric log splitter can be setup and in use in just a couple of minutes, and because it only weighs 106 pounds, it can easily be maneuvered.

Our Rating

Not only is the ES7T20 compact, but it’s also one of the most durable models of electric log splitters.  Because it’s strong and light at the same time, the Boss ES7T20 also offers great performance in terms of power and splitting force.

The ES7T20 has a powerful 2hp electric motor which draws up to about 13.5 amps.  It can be operated with a heavy duty extension cord plugged into a 15 amp circuit breaker.  This log splitter also features automatic ram return and has convenient one hand operation.  

One of the reasons why the ES7T20 stands out is because it is able to handle many different sizes of logs quite easily.  This machine can handle 14 - 16 inch diameter logs quite handily without having to turn the log over.   It is also very portable at only 107 pounds and can easily be transported to different locations.

Boss has delivered yet another great machine that includes a powerful motor, plenty of driving force, and the durability to last a lifetime.

Priced at just under $500 and with great customer rating and satisfaction, we can’t recommend this model enough. Note that you can purchase additional log splitting accessories that can help make log splitting a little bit easier.

Runner-Up: WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter

WEN 56206 is another well-known brand that has been delivering powerful and durable products for years. The company specializes in delivering high quality and affordable power tools for the past five decades.

The reason why we chose the WEN 56206 as a runner-up is because it gives other electric log splitters on the market a run for its money. It is suitable for medium sized logs and can make a large pile of wood disappear in no time.

Similarly to the Boss electric log splitter, it is a versatile electric log splitter that can be easily transported anywhere there is a pile of wood to split.  It has wheels for easy maneuverability and weighs in at just 100 pounds.  It is can easily fit into an SUV or pickup for easy transporting to a remote location.

Our Rating

Note that the WEN 56206 is an extremely reliable log splitter which is easy to maneuver.  At only 100 pounds, it’s no surprise that this machine is a favorite among home owners. It operates on a 2hp engine and uses household current.  You can use up to a 50' heavy duty 12- gauge extension cord to extend the range of use for this machine.  

It’s evident that this electric log splitter was designed with maneuverability in mind as it is only 37.5 inches long, 11.5 inches wide, and 18 inches high.  It features 6 inch tires and can split logs up to 20.5 inches in length and 10 inches in diameter.

Finally, the WEN 56206 makes an awesome choice because it brings a relatively low price tag of just under $350, which is significantly less than other models on the market today.

This, combined with the fact that is was built with durability in mind makes it one of the best choices available.

Best Manual Log Splitter

Winner: Sun Joe LJ10M Logger 10-Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter

If you are looking for a more affordable and portable option, then the Sun Joe LJ10M hydraulic log splitter maybe be the perfect choice for you.  This log splitter will require more effort and force, but is much smaller than an electric or gas log splitter.  It can handle logs up to 18 inches long and 8 inches in diameter.  It features a log cradle which prevents the split wood from falling out.    

Many people like this manual log splitter because it is very versatile.  It can be transported to any location and fits in a car trunk.  It is a great choice for small amounts of wood that is not too large in diameter.  

The Sun Joe LJ10M Logger is built out of durable steel for reliable power and performance. It comes with a full two year warranty so your investment is fully protected.  

Our Rating

The long operating handles harness up to 10 tons of driving force allowing you split most logs quickly.  The Sun Joe LJ10M is a favorite among residential homeowners who need a log splitter for a few cords of wood per year.  With a price tag of under $200, this is one log splitter that cannot be matched in terms of cost and performance.  

Runner Up: Wel-Bilt Horizontal Manual Log Splitter-10-Ton

The Wel-Bilt horizontal manual log splitter is another great choice for a portable yet powerful log splitter.  It features a 2 speed pump which builds up to 10 tons of splitting power.  This Wel-Bilt splitter can handle logs 13 1/2 inches to 18 inches in length up to 6 1/2 inches in diameter.  

As illustrated in the picture below, the size makes the Wel-Bilt a great choice for a portable log splitter.  It easily fits in a truck, SUV, or the trunk of a car for easy transport to any location as it weighs only 94 pounds.   

Our Rating

Note that this manual log splitter has two wheels for easy maneuverability around your log pile. It also features a log cradle which keeps the split wood from falling to the ground.  The splitting wedge is fairly large at 5 inches tall which is great for most medium to average sized logs.  .

Running right under $300, this Wel-Bilt log splitter is exceptionally priced considering the quality and durability it has to offer.  If you are sick of the back breaking work of using an axe to split your wood and do not want to spend a large amount of money, the Wel-Bilt is a great choice to get the job done. 

Best Gas Log Splitter

Winner: Champion 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Gas Log Splitter with Auto Return

When it comes to the best gas log splitter on the market, the Champion 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical is the best available.  It features 25 tons of splitting force with a large 224cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine.

The feature that residential and commercial users like the most is the versatility of switching between horizontal and vertical positions.  By switching this machine into vertical splitting position, it allows you to handle much larger logs much easier with less effort.

Designed with comfort in mind, the Veranda comes equipped with desk-length padded armrests, so you will be able to sit at most dining tables and desks without any problems.

Our Rating

The nylon upholstery provides a durable and easy to clean alternative, so you will not have to worry about extensive wear and tear. Besides being comfortable for the person sitting in the chair, the Veranda can also be easily folded and stored away.

It features swing-away footrests that can be removed, so you can easily store in confined spaces. Moreover, the silver frame combined with the black wheels and upholstery give it a minimalist look that is stylish and discreet at the same time.

Lastly, you will not require any tools to assemble the Invacare Veranda. When you receive the box, all you have to do is pull out the chair, unfold it, hook on the footrests, and your chair will be ready to use!

Final Verdict

Choosing the best log splitter is not easy, but by following the tips outlined above, you should be able to identify the best log splitter for your specific needs. Always remember to keep the fuel source and splitting force in mind in order to find the best log splitting machine for your specific woodpile.


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