Whether you’re splitting wood to heat your own house in the winter or to sell as part of a business, finding the best log splitter to live up to the task you need is vital. Yes, you could be old-school and swing the maul over and over again, but having a gas-powered log splitter makes the job faster and easier — giving you more time with your family.
I’ll admit that I love firing up the wood stove throughout the winter, and my big woodshed is proof positive of that. I got through several cords of wood each winter, and my trusty log splitter is up to the task. I want something durable, of course, with enough horsepower to get through a large quantity of wood (even locust wood), and that’s portable without a big fight.
Here are six of the best log splitters that you should definitely consider when making your next purchase:
NorthStar 24-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter
This NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter’s multi-patented design provides premium components and exclusive features that save time, increase performance, and work effectively. The backbone of this log splitter is an industrial-strength I-beam with heavy plate steel reinforcement. The patented wedge design, made with alloy steel, maintains consistent split and has a unique curve that reduces initial contact area for maximum penetrating force.
- Honda commercial GX160 series engine with cast iron cylinder sleeve, low oil shutdown and steel fuel tank
- American-made Concentric pump and Brand valve
- Heavy-duty steel-reinforced hose
- NorthStar hydraulic cylinder with premium Halite seals
- Patented log stripper clears logs from retracting wedge
Want to beef up to the 37-ton model? Then follow this link.
YARDMAX 35-Ton Full Beam Gas Log Splitter
YARDMAX’s YU3566 35-Ton Full Beam Gas Log Splitter has patent-pending features that make this an especially great choice. The longer table length accommodates logs up to 26 inches, and oversized hydraulic components provide short cycle times. The hydraulic oil filter is mounted inside the reservoir, preventing damage from falling logs and operator entanglement. Dual end cylinder support for equal weight distribution and wear reduction. The beam handle offers easy transition from a horizontal to a vertical position. Log stripper mounted to end of hydraulic cylinder to remove tough log jams. You can read our full review of this log splitter here.
- Powered by Briggs & Stratton XR1450 10.5HP 306cc engine
- Patent-pending log spinner foot plate easily rotates logs for splitting, reducing stress on the beam
- 7.5″ 2-way wedge easily splits larger diameter wood into two pieces
- Longer table length to accommodate up to 26″ logs
- Beam handle offers easy transition from a horizontal to a vertical position
Powerhorse 22-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter
Sometimes a lot of power comes in a smaller package. This heavy-duty Powerhorse Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter is engineered to combine strength and innovation, creating a log splitter that is powerful, efficient and easy to use. It has a premium hydraulic system that includes a superior quality valve, wire-reinforced hoses, an 11 GPM cast iron pump with heavy-duty bracket and Zinga-made Powerhorse filter. The reliable Powerhorse engine has industrial-strength components, high-quality ball bearings, low oil shutdown, a cast iron sleeve and a steel fuel tank.
- Heavy-duty hydraulic system protects and extends the life of hydraulic system components by preventing contaminants from entering and circulating through the system
- 10 Micron Zinga-made Powerhorse filter removes contaminants created during operation or introduced when adding or changing oil
- 100 Mesh suction strainer acts as a pre-filter to prolong the life of the return line filter, valve, pump and cylinder and also prevents contaminants from passing through system components up stream of the return line filter
- 40 micron breather prevents airborne contaminants from entering the hydraulic system
Inlet and outlet locations are on opposite sides of the tank to promote cooling of the hydraulic fluid by increasing its travel time
Champion 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Log Splitter
Champion’s towable 25-ton log splitter with its 224cc engine easily powers through the toughest logs. The fast 12-second cycle time and auto-return valve reduce your work time, while the handy log catchers and easy adjustment from horizontal to vertical save your back.
- 25 tons of splitting capacity with a large 224 cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine
- Converts from horizontal to vertical in seconds, allowing you to handle large, heavy logs with ease
- 12-second cycle time, expanded operator area and dependable auto-return valve capable of 300 cycles per hour
- Towable up to 45 mph and fits most ATV/UTV towing applications with an extended tongue, 2-inch ball hitch coupler and 16-inch tires
- Champion Support includes 2-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
Southland Outdoor Power Equipment 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter
Not every situation calls for maximum muscle — in the cases of smaller logs, sometimes a solidly built electric log splitter will do. And this one is our favorite.
- Heavy duty 1.75 HP, 15 amp induction motor delivers maximum performance for the most rugged condition
- Effortlessly does big splitting jobs with a 18-second cycle time
- Integrated stroke limiter can adjust to a shorter stroke for smaller logs
- 7″ wheels and configuration to vertical position provides maneuverability and easy storage
How much is a cord of wood?
A cord is the most common unit of measurement when describing firewood. Officially, a cord is a stacked measurement of about 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long, totaling 128 cubic feet. In a very rough estimate, wood piled into the back of a pickup truck with an 8-foot bed comes to about half a cord.
We emphasize that it’s a “rough estimate,” largely because a proper cord measurement involves wood that’s tightly stacked, and we’ve almost never seen firewood in the back of a pickup stacked that meticulously.
How do I know what ton log splitter I need?
The tonnage listed on a log splitter determines the amount of pressure that the machine can apply to the wood it’s splitting. Electric splitters are often in the 5- or 6-ton range, while higher-end gas-powered log splitters are often in the 22- to 35-ton range. It’s expected that the electric splitters can handle logs up to 10 inches in diameter, while gas-powered ones are more appropriate for wood that’s up to 24 inches, for example. However, part of that, too, depends on the type of wood being split, as locust, oak, maple, and pine all have different densities and require different power to split.
Tips for heating your house with wood
If you do heat your house or your shop with a fireplace or wood stove, definitely check out our Tips to avoid getting burned by a chimney fire, so that everyone stays safe and property doesn’t get damaged or destroyed this coming cold season.
Updated July 23, 2021: This article was updated with new selections and with deeper explanations of related topics.