The 7 Best Log Splitters of 2021
The Boss Industrial 16-Ton Electric Log Splitter (view at Log Splitters Direct) wins our top spot, thanks to its reliable and powerful performance that won't produce harmful, smelly gas fumes. But if budget is your main concern, the Sun Joe LJ10M Hydraulic Log Splitter (view at Amazon), which relies on your own power to pump up the hydraulics, is a very reasonably priced and effective tool.
There are three basic types of log splitters: gas, electric, and manual.
Gas-powered log splitters are the most powerful type. Many let you switch between vertical and horizontal splitting, which can be a major issue when working with very large, heavy logs. If you expect to use your log splitter regularly on very hard or large wood, this is the best option.
Electric log splitters are generally powerful enough to tackle mid-size logs of light-to-moderate hardness. But you’ll be tethered to a power cord, so these tools aren’t the best choice for splitting wood on the go. Still, their relatively light weight, lack of smelly gas fumes, and quieter performance makes them a good choice if you’ll only use your log splitter occasionally to create firewood at home.
Manual log splitters come in various forms, but all rely at least partly on your own strength to get the job done. Some merely require you to pump levers that work up enough pressure to drive the splitter through the log, while others hold the log in place while you do all of the heavy work. You won’t work your way through a lot of wood with a manual splitter, nor will you cut through very large or hard wood, but if you only expect to use the tool occasionally to produce kindling or very small pieces of firewood, and you’re watching your budget, a manual log splitter does the trick.
It takes a lot of force to push a blade through a log, and so one of the most important factors when choosing a log splitter is its driving force, which is usually measured in tons.
As a general rule, gas log splitters are far more powerful than their electric counterparts. You’ll find gas log splitters with well over 30 tons of driving force, but 25 tons is about average. That’s enough to split logs up to around 24 inches in diameter.
Electric log splitters typically have somewhere between 6 and 10 tons of driving force, which is enough to split logs up to around 12 inches in diameter.
Pump-style manual log splitters can generally tackle logs up to around 10 inches in diameter. These tools usually top out at around 10 tons of driving force, but get there much more slowly than gas or electric log splitters, and of course, rely on your own strength to create the initial power.
A log splitter’s cycle time measures how long it takes the tool to split through a log. There are a lot of variables that affect this number, however, including the size and the hardness of the log. But as a general rule, gas lot splitters are faster than electric log splitters, with an average cycle time of anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds, although you’ll find some high-powered models with cycle times as short as 3 seconds. For most people, however, around 15 seconds is sufficient when tackling a large load of logs.
This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs. For this roundup, she considered dozens of log splitters, evaluating each for basic features, extras, and customer evaluation.
7.5 Ton Portable hydraulic electric log splitter Auto-return with Wheels
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27-Ton Log Splitter
The Champion Power Equipment 100424 27-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Log Splitter not only offers relief from the back-breaking work of splitting logs, but also reduces your work time so you can move on to other tasks.
Depend on the reliable recoil start to start up the powerful Champion 224cc single-cylinder OHV engine, which features a cast-iron sleeve, a 0.8-gallon fuel tank, 0.5-quart oil capacity (recommended 10W-30) and a low-oil shutoff for safety.
Never struggle to lift a large, heavy log onto your log splitter again. It only takes a few seconds and three simple steps to convert your log splitter from horizontal to vertical. This powerful machine handles logs up to 24 inches long, weighing up to 100 pounds.
Twenty-seven tons of splitting capacity deliver the power you need. The hydraulic oil system has a 4.5-gallon oil capacity and operates at 11 gpm to power through tough logs.
Champion designed this log splitter for efficiency with the fast 11-second cycle time, expanded operator area and dependable auto-return valve, which is capable of over 300 cycles per hour. The handy log catchers save your back by keeping your freshly-split wood within easy reach.
The 2-stage gear pump reliably adjusts flow and pressure by delivering high flow/low pressure when there is no resistance and low flow/high pressure when cutting through a log to increase productivity.
This log splitter will fit in most truck beds, plus it’s easily towable with DOT-approved wheels for up to 45 mph, a 2-inch ball hitch coupler and an extended tongue that will fit most ATV/UTV towing applications.
Hassle free with included oil funnel, 10W-30 engine oil and hydraulic oil. (Note: unit comes assembled when purchased in-store; units ordered online come unassembled even if picked up in-store).
This log splitter is EPA certified and CARB compliant. Buy with confidence - our reliable support and network of service centers will back your purchase up with a 2-year limited warranty and FREE lifetime technical support.
- Oil Funnel
- Log Catchers
- Engine Oil
- Hydraulic Oil
Does all the (firewood) work
SpaltFix K-660 a-Vario log saw
Fully automated cutting & splitting
SpaltFix K-660 a-Vario 08.07.2019
The new splitter-cutter processes logs up to 65 cm in diameter to high-quality firewood – it cuts, splits and loads them without operator input.
Jack of all trades
This new firewood processor automatically cuts and splits firewood up to a log diameter of 65 cm. The log is transported to the saw unit by the hydraulic controlled front feed and measured by two optical sensors in the process. The electronic control can cut every billet in such a way that there is no offcut or it splits the piece of wood in equally sized pieces.
A light curtain makes sure that the automatic cutting system stops when the buffer is full and independently re-starts when it is empty. Offcut is transferred to the designated discharge at the back of the machine.
Details zur Stammsäge
The log saw at a glance
- For log diameters of up to 65 cm
- Max. log length: 6 m
- Feeding device for optimal loading
- SuperCut cutting unit with harvester chainsaw (90 cm length)
- Cuts logs to a length of 20-50 cm (with OnlyCut function: 10-50 cm)
- Control of loading & automatic on the control panel or via radio remote control
- Offcut discharge (see image on the right)
Details zum Spaltautomaten
Split finest firewood
Sections on the 2-m buffer belt are split fully automatically with 16 t of splitting force by the AutoSplit’s X-shaped splitting knife. Thanks to a continuously variable feeding device the billet size can be precisely adjusted to an edge length of 5 – 15 cm.
Thanks to an optical sensor on the buffer conveyor, the splitting process is started automatically and stopped when there are no more log sections.
The AutoSplit automatic wood splitter at a glance
- X-shaped splitting knife
- 16 t splitting power
- Optical sensor on buffer belt: fully automatic splitting process (stops when no log sections are detected)
- Stepless feeding device
- Desired billet size adjustable: Edge length of 5 – 15 cm
Request the SpaltFix K-660 a-Vario now >>
The fully automatic firewood processor at a glance
The SpaltFix K-660 a-Vario in action
- Automatischer Sägespalter: SpaltFix K-660 a-Vario | POSCH Leibnitzby POSCH Leibnitz
- Spaltfix K-660, Posch K660, Sägespalter, Posch Leibnitz, Stepa M16 Rückewagen, Mühlböckby Brennholzwerk Trier
Splitter auto wood
Prince Auto Cycle Log Splitter Valve RD523MMEE5A1A1
Brand new PRINCE. Special Auto-Cycle valve allows operator to completely cycle (out and back) a double acting cylinder by only one handle movement.
Ideal for log splitter applications
Both levers are pulled out to detent position, cylinder extends and at end of forward stroke one lever automatically returns to neutral and cylinder reverses. When fully retracted second lever returns to neutral. (3 work ports are used, two are tied to together and then run to rod end of cylinder, third connects to base end of cylinder).
- Open Center
- Spools Special For 1 DA Cylinder
- Double pressure relief detent
- Flow Max 25 GPM
- Pressure Max 3000 PSI
- Relief valve Adj.1500-3000 PSI factory set @ 2000 PSI
- Detent Pressure Range Adj.1000-2000 PSI
- In/Out Ports 3/4" NPT
- Work Ports 3/4" NPT
- Size 9-1/2" x 7-1/2" x 3-1/4"
- Shpg 29 lbs.
Showing Questions of 5
Can this valve be converted to closed center and what plug is needed to do this. Running my splitter off tractor hydraulics that are closed center.
A: No. This valve cannot be converted to closed center.
Date Submitted: 11/27/2020
can this valve be used to power another downstream valve
A: No, it cannot. We offer a Power Beyond capable version (9-6587-PB) for a few dollars more.
Date Submitted: 08/23/2018
Will this valve work with the dynamic 28 gpm 2stage log splitter pump. This valve it says is rated only for 25gpm and pump puts out 28gpm. Or is there another auto cycle valve i can use
A: While there may be a slight pressure loss and minimal heat buildup from any restriction through the valve, other customers have used those two items together and have not reported any failures from doing so.
Date Submitted: 04/16/2018
I have a homemade firewood processor that I want to use this valve on to auto cycle the splitter. The processor is powered from the high flow auxiliary hydraulics on a skid steer. The skid steer provides 30 gpm at up to 3,000 psi. I'm planning on splitting the incoming lines with your Divider Valve (Item 9-1048-C) to give me 15 gpm going to the auto-cycle valve/ splitter and 15 gpm going to the other directional valves (log conveyor, log lift, etc.). All the directional valves are open center. Therefore, the pressure is very low until a valve is activated. If I use a valve on the other inlet line (downstream of the divider valve) while the splitter is cycling, will the detents be affected by the drop in line pressure? I assume that the Divider Valve does not regulate the pressure, it simply divides the flow evenly, is that correct?
A: Item 9-1048-C is a pressure-compensated proportional flow divider with a 50:50 ratio. The output flows should remain equal even with very different pressure loads, as long as the input flow is within the valve's stated range. Keep in mind if your skid steer's hydraulic system is a closed center system, operating open center valves on it will cause the pump to work constantly and overheat the system in a relatively short period of time. If your skid steer is an open center type it shouldn't be an issue.
Date Submitted: 02/07/2018
I have a 28 GPM DYNAMIC 2-STAGE PUMP Item number 9-7971 with this spool. And on the return stroke, it broke the 1 inch plate off the 3 inch cylinder shaft. Is there a way to get the detent to release with less pressure on the return cycle?
A: The detent release is controlled by the main relief valve pressure setting. Unfortunately there is no way to have different pressure setting on the two different directions of movement.
Date Submitted: 03/23/2016
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