The Top 5 Electric Log Splitters
There are few things as comforting as a wood fire, but few things as strenuous and monotonous as cutting your own wood. For those first few swings, there’s something almost primal and alluring about the swing of an axe. However, that appeal quickly fades away when your shoulders are feeling like they would rather fall off your body if they could.
The electronic log splitter takes away the work while providing all the firewood you need. The most common varieties include hydraulic splitters, which use incredible force to squeeze a block of wood between a wedge shape and a plate until it gives under the pressure and splits. Electric, or kinetic, instead use flywheels to store power that sends the wedge into the wood at great force.
Here, we’re going to look at some of the best log splitters on the market, both electric and hydraulic, to see which might help you best suit your needs.
Electric Log Splitter Comparison Chart
Best Electric Log Splitters
Electric log splitters tend to work faster than their hydraulic counterparts, but as a result, they are slightly more dangerous. Keeping your hands out of the way of the rapid delivery of power (and the debris that can sometimes shoot out as a result) is crucial. While the single-handed operation makes it easy to use, take care to keep your free hand out of the way of danger. The automatic ram return means you can quickly set up the next log after finishing the last, too.
It effectively handled multiple types of wood, including some hardier options like cedar, fir, and even oak. One minor downside is that it is positioned quite close to the ground, so it’s not the most ergonomic of log splitters, but for the convenience, power, and safety delivered, that’s not too much of a problem.
- Convenient single-handed controls
- Powerful, able to deal with harder woods than most
- Easy-to-use and space-saving
It advertises cutting logs up to a diameter of 10 inches in diameter, and this is roughly accurate. It has been able to cut logs with a diameter up to 12 inches, but not too much beyond that. However, it handles soft and hardwoods with ease, despite the seemingly low 5-ton power delivered behind the ram. This includes hemlock, maple, chestnut, beech, and oak
In comparison to the Boss Industrial, the increased height on the YARDMAX thanks to its attachable stand is a welcome change. You’re not going to get a sore back with this one and it offers a little more stability when the splitter is in use. Despite the increased height, it’s incredibly portable, with minimal assembly needed to get it in and out of standing position. One slight issue you might find is that the plastic wheels tend to degrade faster than any of the other components. They work well, to begin with, but can’t handle the weight over time. Replacing them with something a little sturdier might be in your best interest.
- Handles most soft and hardwoods
- Attachable stand makes it much more comfortable to use
- Quick installation and setup
It can effectively handle logs up to 10 inches. Though some users have noted that it can go beyond this recommended limit with some clever positioning, for safety’s sake, you should stick to the 10-inch diameter logs. However, a nice additional feature that we would like to see on more electric log splitters is the integrated stroke limiter. This is an option that can be enabled to provide a shorter stroke that can deal with smaller logs. It offers a little more precision while at the same time shortening that cycle time. If you don’t mind taking the time to cut and transport more, but shorter, logs, it can make the splitting process even more efficient.
Assembly is also incredibly quick. While others we have looked at, like the YARDMAX, can take up to 45 minutes for full assembly, there isn’t much to do with the Southland Outdoor Power Equipment splitter but fitting some wheels on. It doesn’t have a stand option, as a result, making it slightly more uncomfortable to use, but the convenience may well be worth it for you.
- Minimal assembly required
- Stroke limiter makes shorter logs a breeze
The splitter fits logs of up to 21 inches in length and is recommend for use with logs up to 10 inches in diameter but can effectively split just about anything up to 14 inches in diameter, too, including oak. The log cradle is a good feature which helps keep logs in place so there’s less risk of displacement and uneven splits when it’s in operation. While the splitter is a little on the heavier side (as it needs to be), the handles and wheels allow you to stand it vertically to quickly transport it from place to place, making it highly portable. It is not, however, designed to split green, knotty hardwoods, which can give it something of a hard time.
The ease of use, transport, and stand-up storage makes it one of the most beginner friendly splitters on the list and ensures it doesn’t take more space than it needs to. It does require two hands to operate but this actually makes it safer as it ensures you’re never in a position to have your hands in the path of the split wood.
- Vertical handles and wheels make transport easy
- Two-handed operation ensures safety
- Log cradle keeps logs held securely in position
The manufacturer recommends using with logs up to 12 inches in diameter, which is the widest of any splitter we’ve reviewed, but the loading tray makes it difficult to try split anything wider, though some users have mentioned being able to split up to 20-inch diameter logs. It splits woods like cedar, fir, birch, and pine with very little difficulty, and can even handle knotty oaks very well.
One problem that may cause some frustration, however, is the instructions provided. The manual has a few spelling errors and lacks some necessary information, so assembly can take a little longer than necessary. However, once it’s up and running, it’s a highly effective, power splitter, able to reliably handle harder woods than the others reviewed here. A low profile makes it a little uncomfortable to use for too long, but that won’t be a problem for most people using it simply to get firewood.
- Incredibly powerful, able to handle most kinds of hardwood and softwood
- Can hold logs of up to 20 inches in length
- Handles even knotty oaks well
Electric Log Splitter Video
If you have never used an electric log splitter before, here is a short YouTube video demonstrating their use:
The best electric log splitters, as explored in the reviews above, all bring something to offer. While they’re not the most effective tools for professionals, they are perfect for the homeowner that wants an efficient means of providing their own firewood. However, choosing the right one is all about finding the log splitter that best accommodates the kind of wood you need it to handle, including hardness and thickness. Hopefully, the reviews above help you find the answer to your specific needs.
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