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Do you enjoy the warmth of a wood burning fireplace or stove? Whether you live out in the woods or just enjoy a winter’s night by the fireplace, nothing beats relaxing around a fire. Unfortunately, splitting the logs is another matter entirely. Short of buying pre-cut logs, making your own supply or working as a professional splitter requires the right tools for the job. You may imagine spending hours outside, splitting logs with a single swing of an ax, but that can be quite grueling if you have a lot of wood to split.
These days, you can use a hydraulic log splitter to get the job done more easily. Log splitters, powered by gas, electricity, or human muscle, use force to split a log. Larger logs and denser woods will require more force going up to the 30-ton range. For most home use, however, you can safely find something under 10 tons. Take a look at these top log splitters that cover the entire range of home and professional log splitting use.
01 of 07
Best Overall: Champion Power Equipment 27 Ton Splitter
While more hydraulic force is often better for larger logs, more force does not mean the splitter is the best around. In fact, there are plenty of log splitters that cannot tackle large logs but offer more reliability and utility than professional options. As a result, the best log splitter is one that is more versatile than just powerful. Luckily, the top pick on this list will give you both power and versatility without any issue. The Champion Power Equipment 27 Ton Splitter is the best all-around performer for professionals and homeowners alike. If you need to cut your own supply of lugs for the winter, this splitter can handle up to 24-inch logs with ease. The splitter is small enough to fit into the bed of a truck and can be towed via a hitch at speeds under 45 miles per hour. This means you can take the splitter out into the woods when necessary to split logs at the source.
02 of 07
Best Budget: Snow Joe LJ10M Logger
It is no secret that most log splitters are quite expensive. For daily home use, the cost of a professional splitter does not make sense unless you are opening your home business or you have a lot of wood to cut often. Instead, a budget option can be the right purchase if you can find one that will tackle the log sizes you need without too much effort or set up.
If you do not have the budget for an engine-powered, log-splitting behemoth, the Snow Joe LJ10M Logger is a good way to split logs, save some money, and get a decent workout at the same time. Using the same hydraulic pressure of more expensive options, this splitter is hand operated, leveraging your strength to deliver up to 10 tons of force on logs up to 18 inches in length.
03 of 07
Best Electric: Boss Industrial ES7t20
Most log splitters require the use of a separate engine and a supply of gasoline to tackle large, thick logs. If you need something for professional use, this is the only setup you should consider. For home use where your log splitting needs are smaller and less frequent, an electric splitter is a better alternative since you can skip the engine and gas and go straight to a wall outlet.
The Boss Industrial ES7t20 is designed for small home use on logs you would normally use for wood burning purposes. The two horsepower motor offers seven tons of splitting force without the need for gasoline or a separate engine. Since the motor is quiet and clean, you can even use the splitter indoors when it is too cold or wet outside.
04 of 07
Best Vertical/Horizontal: Champion Power Equipment 25 Ton Gas Splitter
Most log splitters come in a horizontal configuration, meaning you lay the log down into the track and let the ram do the work. This is good enough for the majority of logs, but if you are splitting something that looks like a mini-tree trunk, gravity may be a problem. When weight prevents you from lifting the log into the correct horizontal position, a vertical splitter will be more gentle on your back. This is where a vertical/horizontal splitter, capable of changing the loading orientation quickly, comes in handy. For quick vertical-to-horizontal conversions, the Champion Power Equipment 25 Ton Gas Splitter is one of the best log splitters to consider. Not only can the ram change from vertical and horizontal positions, the change only takes a matter of seconds so you can convert on the fly. Beyond its adaptability, the splitter offers 25 tons of force for logs up to 24 inches in length using a two-stage hydraulic pump.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Under $500: Yardmax YS0552 5 Ton
Don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a professional log splitter but need something more powerful than a hand operated option? A $500 or less budget limits your choices but not the potential of finding the right automatic splitter for your needs. In fact, most electric log splitters fit right at or under this budget cutoff, meaning you can find a simple splitter for home use without spending a lot. With $500 being around the limit of a truly automated log splitter, the Yardmax YS0552 5 Ton splitter does a good job of handling large logs (around 20.5 inches in length/10 inches in diameter) using a small electric motor. The five-ton ram uses built-in guides to keep the log in place for the best results. A quick 16 second cycle time also means you can handle a series of logs in a short amount of time.
06 of 07
Best Gas-Powered: Cub Cadet 166 cc Honda Logger
There is no substitute for a gas-powered engine when it comes to splitting the toughest logs around. When you need a splitter than can deliver over 20 tons of force, the gas-powered splitter makes it quick and easy to get large logs split in seconds. More importantly, these larger options tend to be more mobile with small frames, built-in wheels, and trailer attachments for easy transportation. The Cub Cadet 166 cc Honda Logger is capable of handling some of the longest logs up to 25 inches in length. This makes it perfect for professional use, especially since the 19 second cycle time means you can tackle three logs in about a minute. The splitter is transportable via a 2-inch hitch attachment and 16-inch wheels built into the frame. It is also capable of horizontal and vertical splitting for better versatility.
07 of 07
Best Manual: Estwing Sure Split Wedge
Even though most log splitters are designed to take the work out of splitting large logs, there is something unique about completing the task by hand. Sometimes, you may not even have the luxury of hauling a gas or electric splitter with you. For a step up from a simple ax, the best way to manually split your own logs quickly is with a metal wedge and some good old-fashioned gravity. For the true budget-conscious consumer, the Estwing Sure Split Wedge offers a lot of savings and a hands-on approach to log splitting. Designed as a splitting wedge, the Sure Split focuses the force of a hammer into a single edge for quick and easy splitting. At only five pounds, the wedge is also light enough to carry around with you for splitting while camping or out at a cabin in the woods.