Best Log Splitter 2017 – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
Splitting logs with an axe is supposed to be one of those character-building endeavors, but no one wants to pester homeowners who’re working up a sweat. While there’s nothing wrong in making kindling by using an axe and sweating out your brow, it’s wise to look after your health as you reach a certain age. That’s why so many people are searching for the best log splitter for homeowners.
Because an axe requires manual work, it can wear you out fast. Also, it puts you at risk of physical injuries such as joint ruptures and back aches caused by repetitive motions. And even if you have unwavering faith in your strength, chopping the wood you need can take forever. On the other hand, the best log splitter for homeowners can get the job done in a matter of minutes, without putting you at risk of physical injuries.
Log Splitters (Source: youtube.com)
However, there are so many models of log splitters that it can be challenging to find the best log splitter for homeowners. Do you need a horizontal or vertical log splitter? Do you need an electric hydraulic operation or a gas powered log splitter is good enough? The following reviews of the best log splitter for homeowners will address these questions.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Short Reviews of the Best Log Splitter for Homeowners
1. Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton – Top Pick
The Boss Industrial Electric Log Splitterapplies 7 ton of splitting force and is ideal for splitting logs up to 10 inches in diameter and 20.5 inches in length. It features 2 HP electric motor and automation ram return that cuts the time required to do jobs in half. This log splitter offers single handed operation; the buyer just needs to “turn on the push button” to get started. Releasing the handle with one hand reverses the ram immediately and makes the operation very safe.
The electric log splitter was built with superior materials and boasts a strong structure. The paint is durable for prolonged use. It uses a standard 15 amp (115v circuit), so you can plug it in and start splitting anywhere. The cycle time is also a bit faster than its big gas counterparts. The power of the splitter makes softer logs split like butter, regardless of their size.
The electric log splitter from Boss arrives fully assembled – no assembly is needed on your part. It also has high density rubber wheels that make it convenient to move this best log splitter for homeowners from place to place. The electric motor is low on the noise and works efficiently. In addition, it has a safety feature that prevents users from burning up the motor.
Another prominent feature of this electric log splitter is the professional-grade hydraulic system. It applies 3,500 psi pressure to power through Larch, Birch, Douglas fir, etc.
That said, the Boss electric log splitter does have a few negatives. Reports reveal that it sometimes ships with very little hydraulic fluid. That means homeowners have to shell out $15-$30 to purchase extra fluid. There’s no guidance on the type of hydraulic fluid users need to purchase.
Also, at 114 pounds, it’s a little heavier than its counterparts, but the front wheels make up for this shortcoming. Overall, it’s a powerful, multi-functional electric splitter for homeowners who desire compact fire wood.
ES7T20 7 Ton Electric Log Splitter (Source: youtube.com)
2. Grizzly H8171 Hydraulic/ Electric Log Splitter – Also Great
The Grizzly H8171 Hydraulic/ Electric Log Splitter cuts logs from 1-Inch to 10-Inch diameter and 15-Inch to 20-Inch length. It applies 5 tons of hydraulic pressure and features 110 V Motor, 1-3/4 HP and 15 AMP. Built-in handles and wheels the Grizzly hydraulic log splitter portable. Therefore, you can even lend it to your neighbors.
The Grizzly electric log splitter relies on electric power, so itis an ideal wood chopping companion in the garage or basement. It’s also low on the noise; ear protection isn’t needed. The Grizzly log splitter is easy to clean; users just need to wipe it down with a rag and brush after each use.
The electric splitter is designed extremely well. All parts are perfectly fitted, welded and have ideal weight. Both ends of Grizzly have handles, so it’s easy to put it on top of big logs for better positioning (it’s built low to the ground, like most electric splitters). There’s another feature that enables users to adjust the ram’s length which is handy when the Grizzly log splitter is used to split smaller length logs.
This best log splitter for homeowners requires a two handed operation, which keeps you from getting your hand in the way of splitting. Splitting is faster with two people because one can wrangle the logs while the other one runs the machine. You can control it with ease, even if you’re wearing gloves. The total weight of the Grizzly log splitter is 110 lbs.
However, it isn’t perfect in every sense. The Grizzly electric log splitter does have its fair share of issues. The major issue is with the machine’s manual. It mentions that the socket wrench needed to take out the hydraulic oil fill plug is 14mm, but its 8mm in reality. Also, it doesn’t include any detail on the type of hydraulic fluid users need to purchase when the ram stops functioning efficiently.
Expect to pay $15-$30 extra for the fluid. Lastly, it’s too low to the ground.
Apart from these drawbacks, the Grizzly log splitter is quick, strong and efficient.
Grizzly H8171 HydraulicElectric Log Splitter (Source: youtube.com)
3. Sun Joe Logger Joe LJ601E Electric Log Splitter – Also Great
The Sun Joe Logger Joe LJ601E Electric Log Splitter brings a unique combination of power, durability and portability. It generates 5 tons of driving force with its 2-horsepower/15-amp motor, making it a breeze to split standard size logs measuring 10 inches to 20 inches. It has rear plastic wheels, so you can easily move the electric log cutter from Logger Joe to different areas.
The comfortable grip handle of this electric log splitter keeps the user from bogging it down while splitting knots, bigger chunks, etc. The steel construction of the machine promotes long-lasting wear, season after season. It has several safety features including a dual-handed switch and a reset button for circuit overload. The Logger Joe electric log splitter is ETL-approved and inspected for quality control.
The Logger Joe electric log splitter is lighter than its counterparts with a weight of 88.2 pounds. The compact size makes the electric splitter cinch to store when you’re not using it. Users can be assured they’re investing in high-quality equipment as Sun Joe has years of experience in designing innovative, high-quality outdoor tools that maintain the beauty of your home in every season.
This electric log splitter makes less noise compared to any gasoline splitter, even the smallest one. Also, it has a nice outlook in terms of design. Green is the prominent color on the Logger Joe electric log splitter, so it blends in with the natural surroundings when you’re outdoors.
The major shortcoming of this electric log splitter is that any log bigger than the diameter will get pinned against the brace. And as in most electric log splitters, hydraulic fluid may leak, which will require you to purchase more fluid for $15 - $30. Its manual instructs to change hydraulic fluid after so many hours of operation.
The Logger Joe electric log splitter might not be as powerful as its counterparts, but it’s quick and efficient for splitting standard size fire woods.
LJ601E - Sun Joe Logger Joe 15 AMP 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter (Source: youtube.com)
4. Splitting Axe Leveraxe, Vipukirves 36-inch - Also Great
How many times has your axe got stuck in logs and you’ve struggled to get it out? If it’s a common occurrence, then you’d love the Leveraxe Splitting Axe. Its function is based on a rotational action and lever mechanism, with the axe head attached from the side to the handle rather than through the center. With this build, the axe head’s gravitational center stays on one side of the line of strike.
The steel head of the Leveraxe splitting axe weighs 4.18 lbs, and the whole weight of the axe is 5.5 pounds. Leveraxe splitting axe has a length of 35.5 inches, and the top grain leather handle is made of wood. The smooth material and light weight head makes it convenient for men and women of all abilities to split logs.
Leveraxe, the best log splitter for homeowners with a manual function, also features a brake on the back of the axe in the form of a hook. It fixes the axe on the top of a log, not enabling it to go into the user’s leg or the ground. You can use it to split nearly any type of diameter and length.
There’s no need to keep your aim at the log’s center to achieve an equal split. The axe allows you to begin at the edges and chop the easiest sides first, reducing the log to smaller pieces, regardless of its original size.
Also, the modern axe is also easier to control as it transforms kinetic energy into rotational motion. Its longer handle is an important safety feature, making sure you get a firm grip, and the axe doesn’t bounce wildly as you chop.
However, Leveraxe does have a few drawbacks. There have been a number of reports of the head becoming loose over time. You’ll need to invest in handle wedges to tighten it. You may also experience vibrations through the handle when you work with it for long periods.
Other than these shortcomings, it offers great assistance in splitting logs, making you feel like you’re wielding a weapon.
Splitting firewood safely and efficiently with Vipukirves Leveraxe (Source: youtube.com)
Top 4 Best Log Splitter Comparisons
The Log Splitter Buying Guide
Log splitters are a great investment for transforming the dangerous chore of log chopping into a safe and easy operation. Even homeowners with chainsaws will find log splitters useful. The former is used for chopping logs, but the latter enables the user to split the logs of a certain diameter and length efficiently.
But, what should I look for in a log splitter? First-time buyers often wonder. This buying guide answers this question by listing the essential features homeowners should look for in a log splitter.
1. Log Splitting Range
Check the log diameter and length a log splitter can accept. This determines what wood size you’d be able to use it on. Ideally, homeowners who chop wood frequently should look for log splitters that can handle large lengths and diameters; it’s better to err on the side of caution with the best log splitter for homeowners. Electric and gas log splitters are suitable for splitting a certain length and diameter, while manual log splitters can cut logs of any diameter and length. The latter is a lot more time consuming, though.
2. Splitting Capacity (Tonnage)
Splitting capacity/tonnage refers to the amount of force a log splitter can apply. The amount of tonnage capacity you need depends the size of the logs to be split, the hardness of the wood, and the hours of manual labor you can apply during the wood splitting process. The greater the thickness or diameter of the logs the more splitting capacity is required to split them, likewise, the harder and fresher the logs, the more splitting capacity is required to split them. Most electric log splitters offer 4-7 tons of force to handle the job efficiently. Gas log splitters offer the most tonnage, ranging from 25-40. The least expensive option, manual log splitters, offer 10 tons of force, but require more labor.
The ability to move a log splitter indoors to protect it from dust is important for its durability. Additionally, homeowners need to use certainlog splitters with proper ventilation to prevent containment from the production of harsh fumes, so portability should be an important consideration for log splitter buyers. Also, just one person should be able to take a splitter to different areas, so buyers should consider a log splitter with wheels as the functionality allows you to move freely. The best log splitter for homeowners (electric and gas) comes with wheels. In case of manual log splitters, homeowners should consider lightweight models that can be taken on a camping or field trip with ease.
4. Horsepower, AMPs, Etc. (Motor)
If you’re considering an electric log splitter, look at its horsepower, amps, ram, and select the one that helps you get through the toughest logs. The more powerful the splitting force the bigger will be the size of the motor. Invest in a log splitter with a powerful motor if you want speed and reliability. A log splitter with 2 HP motor would be suitable for an average amount of wood splitting. However, you’ll need a log splitter with a 3.5 or above horsepower if you have a bigger amount of wood to split. The good thing is that electric motors don’t have to be winterized and don’t require as much maintenance as their gas counterparts.
5. Cycle Times
Cycle time refers to the time taken by the ram to reach its initial position after a split. It determines how productive and efficient a log splitter is. Log splitters with a fast cycle time are able to go through a large quantity of wood in less time. Unbranded splitters that claim higher tonnage often have slower cycle times than the branded log splitters. For better productivity, you should aim for the best log splitter for homeowners that offers at least 15 seconds of cycle time. Anything below would offer a speed that users won’t be able to accept.
6. Horizontal or Vertical Make
Electric and gas log splitters are either horizontal or vertical. Horizontal log splitters can be used where the wood to be split isn’t heavy or when the user is going to work on an incline as keeping the logs upright is challenging. Vertical log splitters are suitable for larger logs as the user can just use a base plate and stand the log from the ground to split it with the machine. Special models of log splitters allow for both horizontal and vertical operation, just like manual log splitters, so they’re suitable in all circumstances.
A log splitter should include extra safety measures to prevent accidents. Gas and electric log splitters should require dual-handed operation where one doesn’t have to worry about getting hurt as the machine splits the logs. Dual redundancy also ensures that your hands are at a distance from the wedge when the ram moves or when the splitting process is taking place. Features like an overload circuit reset button are also important to prevent damage to the electric unit the splitter is connected to as well as the machine itself. Buyers can make an exception and consider a single handed operation when considering electric log splitters that include an automatic ram return.
Every individual has different splitting requirements, but the best log splitter for homeowners will be equipped with these features. Other than these considerations, buyers should always research reputable manufacturers who offer warranty on their products. Reputable companies like the ones in the list will be a wiser investment.
Over to You
All of the log splitters in this post will get the job done, however, the right purchase depends on your requirements. If you don’t have a lot to split, then the Leveraxe Splitting Axe would be an ideal buy. You can use it on family weekends to split a few logs for the fire pit. It is way cheaper and will take up less space in your shed than other options.
If wood splitting is a frequent chore for you, then consider the Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, the Grizzly H8171 Hydraulic/ Electric Log Splitter or the Sun Joe Logger Joe LJ601E Electric Log Splitter. All of these electric log splitters function on electricity, offer top-notch safety and allow you to split a wide range of woods.
If you are looking for power, efficiency, reliability, durability and ease of use, the Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter is the best option. You may need to drag it around, but the benefits it offers (7 tons of force, automatic ram return, etc.) outweigh the disadvantage of hydraulic fluid shortage.
Image credits: Amazon.com