Easy Firewood: Finding The Best Log Splitter For The Money

If you’ve got some wood at home that needs cut for your fireplace, then a good log splitter makes the job easier. Don’t worry about getting callouses on your hands or wearing yourself out from using an axe when you can automate that process with a log splitter.

When shopping for a log splitter, there are three different types – gas, electric and manual. The type of log splitter for you really depends on your needs and things like how much manual labor you want to put into the process, how much wood you have to work with and the conditions.

Take a look below at my guide on the types of that you can buy, then keep reading to learn more about which one I use and like, as well as a few safety tips. I hope that I can help you come to a decision on which type wood splitter best meets your needs.

Which Type of Log Splitter Do You Need?

Before buying a new log splitter, it is a good idea to know which type you should look for. This is important because you want to make sure that the equipment can handle the job. And likewise, you don’t want more of a machine than you really need. Generally speaking, if you need something that can split a lot of logs, then a gas powered log splitter is the better choice. They tend to offer higher tons in capacity. Electric log splitters are good enough for most people as they have a pretty reasonable processing capacity. And manual log splitters have the lowest capacity. Let’s look a little closer at each type now.

Electric log splitters are the most popular because they offer versatility and have the capacity to handle most projects. You can use one of these either inside or outside. So, if it’s too cold out, you can do your log splitting in the garage or basement with no problems. Typically electric log splitters run off a regular 120V electrical outlet. And, they are usually cheaper than the gas models.

Gas log splitters
have the highest processing capacity and they are the toughest models on the market. It doesn’t matter how knotty the wood is, because a gas powered log splitter can handle it all. If you need to do your log splitting away from home, most gas powered models come with a trailer hitch to make it easier. The disadvantage of this type of log splitter is that you can only use it outside because the gasoline creates fumes that are toxic if used inside. In fact, even when you’re outside the fumes can be strong and you should wear a mask. The other downside to this type of model is that it is the most expensive type of log splitter.

Manual log splitters are a good old school choice if you don’t mind putting in the manual labor. These typically have the lowest capacity and max out at around 10 tons. So, if you have a lot of wood to split, then this type should probably be avoided. However, these are the cheapest type of log splitters on the market. And you can use them inside and outside since their are now fumes.

The Log Splitter I Use At Home – My WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter Review

If you have a stack of wood out in the yard that needs to be split for firewood, then I suggest that you take a look at the WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter to determine if it is the perfect machine for the job.

WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter

Right now, this is the model that I’ve been using for the last three years to deal with those trees I cut down for fire wood this winter. Based on my experience, this efficient electric log splitter is one of the options out there for the money when it comes to splitting logs for firewood at home.

I really like that it is not too big or not too small for the job that I need it to do. I find that the 6-ton capacity is just right for my household firewood projects like the clearing of a small areas of trees on my land. And for my budget, I found the price to be affordable which is one of the reason that I bought it. In fact, I think that this little machine is good for any homeowner who needs a quick and easy way to turn chopped down trees into manageable firewood.

One thing that I do want to point out is that this one right here is an electric model. I purposely chose it over a gas model cause I didn’t wanna be breathing in those gas fumes while I was working outside. Sometimes my son helps me, you see, and I really didn’t want him exposed to the gas smell since he’s just a kid.

And since the motor does use household current (and if you use an extension cord), it’s important that you use the proper one or this thing won’t function properly. A 50′ twelve-gauge extension cord is what you have to use with it. This is something that is very easy to overlook if you’re not used to dealing with this type of machinery, which is why I wanted to point it out.

I like that it is so easy to use too, without being too powerful for my son to help out (when he’s not texting his girlfriend!) But make no mistake, this thing does pack a punch. The 2HP, 15-amp motor uses up to 12,000 pounds of force when it splits the logs, which means that the job is a piece of cake if the wood is no bigger than 10″ in diameter and 20.5″ in length.

One thing that is unique about this model is that a two-hand operation is required. If you remove a hand, the ram goes back to its starting position. While this can seem frustrating at first, it is purposely designed this way for safety cause it means you’re less likely to get injured.

This model has 6″ tires so that you can easily move it around as you need to. And as long as you have the correct extension cord, you can use this indoors and outdoors. There are also comfort grip handles on the WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitters.

WEN backs this piece of equipment with their two-year warranty. It is a high quality machine though, so I don’t expect you to run into any issues with it.

One thing to note about this model is that you cannot use it vertically. So, if you need that option, you should skip this machine.

More Log Splitter Reviews

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton, Review

If you need just a little more from your machine than the WEN model above offers, then I suggest you take a look at the Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter. Boss Industrial is one of the top log splitter brands and this machine is another one of their high quality models.

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton

Unlike the WEN machine listed above, this one is a one-handed operation. So, that might appeal to you if you don’t like the two-hand requirement with the WEN. The price is different as well at Home Depot. Click here for Amazon price.

The easy push-button start is a nice feature that lets you start splitting wood right away. The motor on this machine is similar to the WEN, with just a little less amps. It features a 2HP electric motor that gets up to about 13.5 amps. And a 50′ twelve-gauge extension cord is what you have to use with it.

The automatic ram return makes the log splitting process quick and easy since it is a time saver. In terms of size, the machine can handle up to about a 17-inch diameter log with no problems. Much bigger than that and you’ll probably need to break the wood down a bit before putting it through.

Like the WEN machine, you cannot use Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitters vertically. You can split all different types of wood with this machine, even fresh wood as long as it’s not too knotty. Overall, this is a high quality wood cutter that should last you for many years.

Swisher LSRB875281350 28 Ton 8.75 Gross Torque Log Splitter Review

If you need a wood splitter that can handle a big job, then the Swisher LSRB875281350 28 Ton 8.75 Gross Torque Log Splitter is the best gas log splitters for the money right now. It is one of the top rated log splitters on the market and can handle even the toughest jobs out there.

Swisher LSRH5128 5.1 HP 28 Ton Direct Drive Log Splitter

Unlike the models profiled above, you can use the Swisher LSRB875281350 28 Ton 8.75 Gross Torque Log Splitters for vertical and horizontal log splitting. And since it comes with a towing hitch, it is ready for you to tow it to the job site and get to work.

In general, gas powered log splitters have a higher price than electric models and this machine is no different at Home Depot. However, it does offer the best value for the money right now in terms of performance for the cost. Click here for Amazon price online.

This 28 ton log splitter features log cradles, a 875 gross torque Briggs and Stratton engine, a 2-stage pump that gives you the maximum log splitting power, a beam lift handle, a 25″ opening, and 2.5 gallon protected poly hydraulic tank.

As you can see, this model offers a lot for the money. And that 28-tons of splitting force can handle pretty much any type of wood that you throw at it. This is one of the heavy duty log splitters and you can expect it to last you for many years to come. It is one powerful machine and it is very easy to start.

Usage Safety Tips

Whether you are using one of these things for the first time this season or if you’re an old pro at it, you should still take a moment to brush up on these safety tips. Make no mistake, if you are not careful then you can end up causing injury to yourself or anyone else you might be nearby when using one of these. And while most of our tips below are just common sense, we still urge to you read over them before heading out in the yard to split some logs.

Always put on protective gear.

I know how tempting it can be to just go on out there in your jeans and long sleeve shirt without putting on any protective gear other than a pair of gloves. Well, don’t be that guy cause you just might get yourself injured.

You’re definitely gonna need some safety goggles or something else to protect your eyes from flying debris. And unless you’re using one of the quieter electric models, you’ll also want to get a good pair of ear plugs or headphones to block out those loud decibels that can damage your hearing.

Those gloves that you put on should definitely be one of the heavy duty options. And since logs and other wood parts can fall on your toes or hit you in the legs, you need long work pants on and some good steel toe boots. That last thing you need is a 50-lb log falling on your toes and breaking some bones.

Don’t let the kids help or watch.

This is some serious machinery and it is the last place that kids belong. You definitely do not want them thinking that it is a toy. And you don’t want to start splitting those logs if the kiddos are nearby cause you never know how far debris might fly. Keep them safe by keeping them away from the machine.

Don’t Forget The Owner’s Manual

It is easy to toss aside the manual whenever we get a new toy or machine like this, but it exists for a reason. Giving it a quick read lets you brush up on the best way to use the splitter so that you get the best possible results. It also helps prevent you from doing something stupid that gets you hurt.

Prevent Back Pain

Each day I realize that I’m not as young as I used to be, and it is no different for you. One of the biggest injury risk when using splitters is back pain or back strain. It is easy to see how that can happen when you are leaning and standing at odd angles and lifting up heavy logs. But here’s the thing – there is probably a height adjustment mechanism that you can use to reduce that chance of back injury. So definitely take steps to make this process easier on your body.

Keep a Clean Work Area

Sometimes, just having a cluttered work space outside can contribute to some safety issues and injuries. Since the wood can fly up and away from the machine, you should clear a space around your work area of about three feet. This also gives it plenty of room for proper ventilation.

Watch For Irregularities

It is common for wood to have knots in it and weird grains, and you should keep an eye out for this sort of thing. Why? Because it can result in the wood splitting in an irregular fashion that you might not be prepared for, which can lead to an injury. But, by knowing that you are putting in the splitter, you stay ready for any thing that might go wrong with the woods.

No Booze, Drugs or Medication

As I’m sure you noticed in the user manual, you should never try to operate one of these things while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any prescription or over the counter medication. This includes things like cold medicine and allergy medicine. These things can slow your reaction time, which can lead to terrible injuries if something goes wrong out there. They can also just make you sleepy, which is a recipe for disaster.

Only Use Gas Models Outside

Sure, this seems like common sense, but it can be tempting to use a gas-powered model inside if it is really cold out. But you should never do that because the fumes from the gasoline have carbon monoxide, which is not good for you to be inhaling.  In fact, it can be deadly. If you have to use a machine inside, even if it’s just a garage or shed, then it needs to be an electric model.

Only Use in Good Light

This one is another common sense tip. Always make sure that you use the machine in a well-lit area. This means that if the sun is going down or is already down and you don’t have a good light outside, then you need to leave the job for the next day. If it is too dark or dim, you might end up injuring yourself accidentally.

Summary: Top Log Splitters Recommended

For a quick comparison, check out the table below of our top picks right now.

Top Pick - Best Value!
Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton
Cheap Pick
Sun Joe 10-Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter
Quality Pick
WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter
Heavy Duty Pick
Swisher LSRH5128 5.1 HP 28 Ton Direct Drive Log Splitter
Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton
Sun Joe 10-Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter
WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter
Swisher LSRH5128 5.1 HP 28 Ton Direct Drive Log Splitter
from $500.20
from $169.99
$849.99
$2,199.95
Top Pick - Best Value!
Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton
Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton
from $500.20
Cheap Pick
Sun Joe 10-Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter
Sun Joe 10-Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter
from $169.99
Quality Pick
WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter
WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter
$849.99
Heavy Duty Pick
Swisher LSRH5128 5.1 HP 28 Ton Direct Drive Log Splitter
Swisher LSRH5128 5.1 HP 28 Ton Direct Drive Log Splitter
$2,199.95

Updated: 2019-07-15 at 10:58 / Affiliate disclosure / Images by Amazon Product Advertising API

Keep in mind that plenty of models are available, so you can shop around for something else if these don’t meet your needs.

image: USDA/Flickr

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