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When the weather gets cold, millions of homeowners turn to firewood as a source of heat. Slipping the wood is no easy task, especially if you’re using conventional methods such axes. But who uses an axe these days to split firewood? Gone are the days when splitting logs into firewood was a back-breaking, time-consuming affair. If you use firewood to heat your home, it’s time to ditch the old laborious ways for the new, innovative option that is the electric wood splitter. Log splitters have the mechanical strength to ensure you never run out firewood, can be used indoors in the basement, are smaller and lighter and most importantly are an affordable option for homeowners.
That said, choosing the best electric log splitter can be quite challenging because you need a unit whose functionality is in line with your needs. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that. We’ve sampled the highly rated splitters and reviewed them comprehensively so that you can spend your money on the unit that serves you best. Here are the best electric log splitters 2016 and what to expect with each unit.
Best Electric Log Splitter 2016 – Top 5 Reviews
Best Electric Log Splitter Buyer’s Guide
The best log splitter is the one that has all the features you will need to meet your splitting needs. Thus, it goes without saying that when shopping for an electric wood splitter, be sure to check out its features and decide if they are in line with your requirements. Nonetheless, there are basic specifications that every splitter should have. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or want to change the model you’re using currently, here are the features an ideal log splitter should possess.
A Powerful Motor
The motor’s power is what separates one splitter from the other. In a nutshell, the motor’s power dictates how efficient a wood splitter is. The best wood splitter needs to have enough power to cut through hard and wet wood effortlessly. Besides, a powerful motor guarantees reliability and speed. If you’re an average homeowner who doesn’t do a lot of wood splitting, a machine with a 2 HP motor should serve you well. However, if you have a bigger demand for wood, a machine with a 3.5 Horsepower motor could be the best option.
Check out the total RAM splitting force, the amps as well as the total horsepower and buy the unit that will adequately fulfill your requirements.
The Diameter Splitting Range and the Log Length
In keeping with performance, the length and diameter that a log splitter can handle also determine how many logs you can split with a specified amount of time. Choose a machine that can split logs with a diameter of at least 10 inches. As for the length, go for a splitter that can handle logs that are at least 20 inches long. Some models can split logs that are as long as 25 inches.
A wood splitter is relatively heavy and moving it from one point to the other can be back breaking. Thus, portability is of utmost importance when selecting a splitter. You should be in a position to move the machine up and about without any difficulties. An ideal unit should have large wheels for easy movement.
In additions, the splitter should have a ball hitch so that you can tow it easily. While wheel and ball hitches increase the maneuverability of a log splitter, you should be careful when moving the machine on steep surfaces to avoid losing control. Note that some units weigh as much as 200 pounds.
The faster the log splitter is, the more work it will get accomplished in a short period. Therefore, the best log splitter should have fast cycle times for increased efficiency. Buy a splitter with a cycle time of at least 15 seconds for better productivity. The best way to determine the duration of the cycle time is to check out how long it takes for the ram to return to its original position after splitting.
All steel construction is a must for a wood splitter. A machine’s construction dictates among other things the durability and reliability. You don’t want a splitter that will keep breaking down due to poor construction. A sturdy construction by extension means that the unit can handle elaborate splitting jobs for years to come.
Do not buy a log splitter that has a warranty of less than one year. A long warranty, in essence, tells you that the machine you’re about to buy is of high quality and that the manufacturers are ready to stand by the performance of their product.
While you’re at it, do a background of the manufacturer as well. You’re better off with a company that has already established itself as a top-notch, reliable manufacturer. Some of the best companies include Pow ‘R’ Craft, Powerhouse and WEN.
Also, be sure to read electric log splitter reviews from online stores such as Amazon or the manufacturer’s official website. It is important that you know what other users have to save about the wood splitter you’re about to buy and how they have rated it. A highly rated machine with lots of positive customer reviews is of a high quality and will likely make the best purchase.
Types of Log Splitters
Just like anything else, you will get the most out of your log splitter if you’re using the right type. Whether you’re talking about an electric or gas wood splitter, each kind is designed to work differently. While some splitters will handle logs with a large diameter, others will work well with smaller logs. Some splitters will cut through hundred of logs per session while others have enough power to split only a handful of woods.
Many factors go into deciding which type of log splitter is best suited for your needs. For instance, if you have a large pile of wood, you will want a machine that will cut through the logs faster and the same time has a design that will allow you to split lots of wood without tiring. If you’re cutting freshly-fallen wood, you want a unit that is powerful enough to cut through the logs quickly.
Different types of log splitters run on different sources of energy. It, therefore, means that your source of power will also have a role to play in determining the type of unit you end up buying. In short, the best log splitter should offer convenience, power and ease of use depending on the kind and magnitude of your wood splitting task.
Now, that being said, here are the five most popular types of log splitters.
Electric Log Splitters
As the name suggests, these run on electricity. A quick look at electric log splitter reviews across online stores and various manufacturers’ website gives an indication these are the most popular type of wood splitters perhaps due to the low electricity costs.
Why would you want to purchase an electric log splitter over other types of splitters? Well, we’ve just mentioned that they are cost efficient but more than that, they are easy to use and weigh relatively less compared to other types of splitters. Besides, because of its compact size, you can use an electric wood splitter pretty much anywhere from the basement to the garage.
In comparison to other types of log splitters, an electric wood splitter is moderately priced and therefore affordable. It is worth noting that while electric log splitters are convenient and easy to use, they are not the most powerful. Thus, they are best suited for an average homeowner who is looking for a machine to split wood occasionally for the fireplace.
Gas Log Splitters
If you have a large pile of wood to split, an electric log splitter may not be up to the task especially if the logs are freshly fallen. In such a situation, investing in a gas splitter would be your best option. These are powerful and are designed to handle large splitting jobs. They are more powerful and faster.
Even though gas log splitters are big in size, they are road towable which means that you can take your unit anywhere. Nonetheless, you need to carry and an extra gallon of fuel particularly if you intend to split lots of wood. At its optimum performance, the best gas log splitter should cut through 20 inches wide logs without a problem. It is important to mention that gas splitters are quite pricey compared to electric log splitters.
Because these run on a gas-powered engine, regular maintenance is essential to ensure that they are in top working condition. As a matter of fact, ensure that you check the hydraulic oil and the fuel level each time you take your machine to the field for some wood splitting.
Manual Log Splitters
Manual log splitters are designed to cut firewood and for other light home projects. They are not as powerful as electric or gas splitters. Nonetheless, they are easier to use and fast than a conventional axe. They are the cheapest of all types of log splitters.
If you don’t have a lot of wood to split, or are on a tight budget and want a tool that’s more convenient than an axe, a manual log splitter can be an incredible option. Just like the name suggests, the splitter requires the use of manpower to function. As a matter of fact, most manual splitters are either hand or foot-operated. If you’re going to buy this type of wood splitter, you might as well consider your physical ability to operate it.
Vertical Log Splitter
Lifting wood onto your machine is cumbersome especially if you have a large woodpile or if the logs are big. A vertical wood splitter is designed to cut through logs while still on the ground. It is the best splitter to use for larger logs that are impossible to lift off the ground or where lifting the logs onto the machine would result in serious injury.
Vertical log splitters have enough power to cut through most types of wood from hardwood to freshly fallen wood. Most models come with the option that allows you to switch between vertical and horizontal splitting.
Tip – To use a vertical wood splitter for long, be sure to sit on a chair or stool so that you don’t have to bend constantly or hurt your back.
Horizontal Log Splitters
Horizontal log splitters are best suited for homeowners who want to split small logs that are light and easy to place on the machine. They are low to the ground, for increased usability. Some models come with an integrated stand while others have a separate stand.
Note that using a stand raises the machine from the ground which means that you have to lift the logs. Nonetheless, you can adjust the stand’s height as per your convenience.
Because a horizontal wood splitter is not as powerful as a gas log splitter, it is ideal for cutting wood meant for fireplaces, stoves, and burners. It handles low volumes of firewood and will work well with small logs with a diameter of 14 inches and a length of 21 inches.
If you’re splitting hundreds of logs each year, a horizontal splitter could as well be your best option. It is worth noting that this type is compact in size which means that you can use it indoors and outdoors. Most horizontal log splitters run on electricity.
Popular Log Splitter Brands
Brand loyalty exists across the board, irrespective of which product you’re talking about. Nonetheless, some brands are more trusted and popular than others. The same goes for log splitters. Just go through wood splitter reviews across various manufacturer websites and you will get the feel than some log splitter brands are more sought after than others.
The question then becomes; does it matter the log splitter brand that you choose? Well, to some extent it does. Some brands are associated with innovativeness and high-quality machines. For instance, you’re better off with a brand that has been existence for long and one that has carved a name for itself in the industry than with a brand that is just starting out.
Well-established brands have passed the test of time and more likely to give you value for your money. That said, here is a breakdown of the most popular log splitter brands in a bid to help you make an informed decision when buying your unit.
Based in Naperville, Illinois Boss Industrial has established itself as a leader in designing, dependability, and product satisfaction as far as the making of wood splitters is concerned. Their flagship unit, the Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter is hailed as one the best log splitter 2016 due to its functionality and well-thought-features.
A visit to the manufacturer’s official website tells you that Boss Industrial takes the designing of their products seriously. The company promises that their log splitters boast superior hydraulics which in turn translates to less downtime and greater productivity.
To ensure that you get the best possible quality, Boss Industrial has partnered with third-party testing organizations to guarantee overall safety. The company’s products are on the CSA list, one of the most trusted and prestigious testing agencies in the world. Boss Industrial also maintains CE compliance for its European clientele.
Pow ‘R’ Kraft
Pow ‘R’ Kraft plies its trade in Creswell, Oregon. The company is known for producing heavy duty and powerful log splitters. The 65575 7-Ton 15 amp 2-Speed Electric Log Splitter has proved to be a hot favorite among customers and remains the brand’s best-selling model to date.
The durability of Pow ‘R’ Kraft log splitters has also endeared it to customers. As a matter of fact, the makers of this brand promise that your machine will work for a lifetime as long as you maintain it properly. According to Magneto Power – the makers and owners of the Pow ‘R’ Kraft brand – it is the company’s aim to provide quality products at the best value to the industry. The innovativeness that goes into making their log splitters further demonstrates this motto.
On their official website, Magneto Power says that value to them means integrity and an excellent customer service desk. If Pow ‘R’ Kraft sticks by these stands, there’s no doubt it will remain a brand to reckon.
Champion Power Equipment
Champion Power Equipment has been around for some time, and it’s not surprising that its log splitters are one of the most sought after. Champion Power Equipment is synonymous with reliability and durable log splitters designed and engineered in the United States for the North America and world markets. Their hydraulic logs splitter is not only one of the most powerful but also the fastest.
In fact, it is correct to argue that the Powerhouse XM-380 7-Ton Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter sets the standard of performance for excellence among other wood splitters in its class. The machine is designed to be in line with the company’s motto which is “making power equipment that makes your life easier.”
Customer service plays a significant role in creating brand loyalty. According to most customers, Champion Power Equipment has a legendary customer service staffed in the United States and Canada to ensure speedy resolving of customer complaints. In other words, Champion Power Equipment knows how to keep satisfied customers coming back for more.
Even though WoodEze has not been around for long, it has managed to attract a sizeable number of customers and is well on its way to becoming one of the leading log splitter brands. Judging by the number of features and the amount of work that has gone into designing the WoodEze 7-Ton – 2 Speed – Electric Log Splitter – LS75-O, the unit could as well be in the contention for the best electric log splitter.
According to WoodEze, the LS75-O is way heavier built and more powerful in comparison to other electric firewood splitters in the same category.
Woodeze operates from Roscommon, Ireland. While the LS75-O is their first electric log splitter ever to launch on the market, the company has been in existence for more than three decades, manufacturing and distributing high-quality firewood racks in the United States and Canada.
If you’ve bought power tools before, the chances are that you must have come across the brand name WEN. Yes, this is the same company that has been designing and distributing affordable power tools for decades. Established in 1951, WEN initially made a mark in the industry by helping put power to power tools.
Back in the day, WEN’s research and development team played a critical role in helping develop an assortment of common everyday tools such as the chain saw, electric jigsaw, wet wheel sharpeners and the electric engraver. The company even pioneered the random orbital technology used in most polishers and waxers.
Since then, WEN’s expertise has expanded, and they are now the makers of one of the most popular electric wood splitters, the WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter.
WEN has its headquarters in Elgin, Illinois, and its motto is to “help woodworkers across the world execute their wildest imaginations.”
An electric log splitter is an indispensable machine that every homeowner should have. Apart from saving you time, you are always assured to get firewood within minutes to keep your house warm. The beauty of it is that high-end splitters can handle complex splitting jobs, thus, they can be used commercially. Therefore, the choice of one wood splitter over the other should be based on the kind of work you want to be done.
More Information and Tips & Tricks
Here are some of my Tips & Tricks for you. I hope you like it:
- Why You Need an Electric Log Splitter ?
- How To Safely Use A Log Splitter
- The Features Of An Electric Log Splitter
- Picking A Great Log Splitter Wedge
- Things You Should Remember About A Log Splitter Pump
- Wallenstein log splitter – A guide for buyers
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When looking to buy a log splitter, there are a couple of issues to be answered. Below is a checklist of the commonly asked questions.
What are the most important specifications to keep in mind when buying a log splitter?
Consider the engine size, the cylinder size, and the cycle time because these are the good indicators of a splitter’s performance. Another equally important consideration other than the price is the splitting force. The power is measured in tons and will to some extent determine what size log the machine can split safely.
I have never bought a log splitter before, how do I tell which is the best machine?
Apart from the above considerations, if you have no clue whatsoever about the kind of log splitter to go for, the best way to narrow down your options is to read the log splitter reviews, either on the manufacturer’s official website.
How easy or difficult will it be moving my machine?
Most log splitters in the market come with features that ease the movement from one point to the other. Smaller models are light, and you can move such by carrying them around. Larger units one the hand come with large wheels and a handle so that you can pull them around. You can even connect some models to a trailer hitch.
Where can I buy my log splitter?
A simple Google search for the term log splitter for sale will enumerate thousands of websites where you can purchase your machine. However, you need to be careful with the site you choose. Ensure that it’s a reputable site and that you will get your log splitter delivered on time after buying. Be sure to read the comments section to see how the website has been interacting with previous buyers and visitors.
What size can I split my logs?
The size differs depending on the model and type of log splitter you’re using. When cutting the logs, keep in mind the size of your wood stove or fireplace and how you will stack the wood. Ensure that you cut the wood into consistent pieces preferably 18 inches in length. That way, you’re guaranteed that the wood will fit into most fireboxes and that you can stack it easily in most racks. The diameter and the length of logs that your log splitter can handle are dependent on the machine force rating.
How often do I service my log splitter?
That depends on how often you’re using the wood splitter and the type of your machine. Electric log splitters can go for long without being serviced. Gas splitters require servicing after every 3 to 5 uses. For hydraulic log splitters, be sure to check the hydraulic fluid level after every use. The best place to service your machine is at an authorized dealer or your brand’s service center.
Which is the most powerful log splitter?
As stated, a log splitter’s power is measured in tons and therefore it goes without saying that the more the tons, the powerful the machine. Ideally, gas and hydraulic log splitters are more powerful and electric and manual log splitters.
Which is the better option; a vertical or horizontal splitter?
While both use the same mechanism to cut through wood, vertical log splitters are easier to use because you don’t have to lift the log. Horizontal splitters are designed for smaller logs even though you have to lift the wood on the resting beam. As to which is the better option, it all depends on the size of the logs you’re splitting and whether you’re comfortable lifting the logs onto the machine.