It’s fine if you have an axe to chop wood as long as the splitting tasks are very little. But what if the volume of work is too much?
It is time to considering the best log splitter for the money. For those woodworkers who fall to this case, look no further, our experts will give you the most informative advice. Start with this reviewing list:
Here are the best log splitters for the money you can buy in 2020:
- Best Overall: WEN 56207
- Best For Heavy-Duty Use: Boss Industrial ES7T20
- Best For Smaller Logs: Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SELS60
- Most Durable: PowerSmart PS90
- Best Overall: Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825
- Best For Smaller Logs: Champion 7-Ton Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter
- Best For Heavy-Duty Use: YARDMAX YU2866
- Most Powerful: NorthStar GX270
|Top 8 Best Log Splitters For The Money|
Best For Heavy-Duty Use
|Boss Industrial ES7T20|
Best For Smaller Logs
|Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SELS60|
|Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825|
Best For Smaller Logs
|Champion 7-Ton Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter|
Best For Heavy-Duty Use
Electric Log Splitter
Best Overall: WEN 56207
- The cheapest in price and lightest in weight out of the 4 options in our list
- High power engine
- Easy to transport
- Unclear manuals
- The ram is slightly short
When choosing an electric log splitter, users should carefully consider its all features. The good news is, this Editor’s Choice winner strikes all the right balance of weight, power motor, and log capacity.
While offering the lowest price tag out of the four picks, we’re pleasantly surprised by its performance.
The tool gives us a powerful 2HP motor for over 13,000 pounds of log cracking forced to go through a 20.5”x10” logs, which is not hard to guess.
The best thing is with the 16-square-inch push plate, 14.75-inch cylinder stroke, and 20-second cycle time, it can handle even the hardest of woods – something that rarely happens in an electric log splitter.
|WEN 56207 Specifications|
15-amp 2HP motor
20-second cycle time
20.5-by-10-inch Log Capacity
Powerful 15A motor provides over 13,000 pounds of log cracking pressure
Split logs up to 10 inches in diameter and 20.5 inches in length
If transporting and pricing are two of the biggest concerns of yours, this log splitter is a great option.
Best For Heavy-Duty Use: Boss Industrial ES7T20
- Can go through any 20”+ logs
- Work faster
- Reliable and safe for single-handed usage
- Very low to the ground -> not good for woodworkers with knee issues
- Wish the splitting edge was a bit higher
Although electric splitters can’t be as powerful as the gas, this model by Boss Industrial still allows you to work in heavy-duty tasks, all thanks to its seven tons of splitting capacity.
The 2HP motor easily goes through wood logs bigger than 20 inches in diameter.
Its 12-second cycle time and automatic ram return cut off work time significantly, while the 3500-psi hydraulic pressure makes the tool stand out from the rest of the pack.
While featuring a front handle for easier maneuvering, its built-in side rails keep logs stable when splitting. According to that, it’s reliable and safe enough to be used as a single-handled splitter.
|Boss Industrial ES7T20 Specifications|
Powerful 2 HP electric motor
7 tons of splitting force
12-second cycle time
Looking for a robust yet safe single-handed wood splitter for your woodworking projects, the Boss Industrial ES7T20 will never let you down.
Best For Smaller Logs: Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SELS60
- Help you finish a huge pile of work faster
- Highly maneuverable and easy to store
- Limited on dealing with the length of wood
- Have to hold both the power button and the hydraulic lever at the same time for advancement
Featuring just 6-ton splitting capacity and a 1.75HP motor, however, this Southland model exceeded our all expectations.
Not only able to do big splitting jobs effortlessly with an 18-second cycle time but it is also adjustable to a shorter stroke for smaller logs. Impressively, this model can make a high pile of work that would have been days off chopping and splitting with an axe into several hours of work, especially when you get in a rhythm.
We also find it to be highly maneuverable and easy to store based on the configuration to a vertical position and 7” wheels.
|Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SELS60 Specifications|
15 amp 1.75HP
15 amp induction motor
An 18-second cycle time
7" wheels and configuration to a vertical position
Overall, Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SELS60 is a great splitter for small logs at a fantastic price.
Most Durable: PowerSmart PS90
- Can be used in different situations
- Reliable and quality
- Long cycle time
Although there’s nothing really outstanding about the splitting performance of this PowerSmart, it is a durable model made for abuse, no matter inside, outside, on the bench or on the ground.
You can move it to any different work area, even the most rugged conditions, all thanks to the durable wear-resistant steel construction. Furthermore, there is a 2-year warranty provided with the manufacturer’s commitment and dedication to quality.
With a 1.75HP motor for 6-ton splitting capacity, this is an ideal choice for light-duty tasks or home use.
|PowerSmart PS90 Specifications|
15 amp 1.75 HP
10” in diameter; 21" In length
15 Amp induction motor delivers 6-Ton maximum performance
A 20-second cycle time
Split logs up to 21" In length;
If your woodworking projects need operating in various conditions, the PowerSmart PS90 is compact and durable enough to be a shining candidate.
Gas Log Splitter
Best Overall: Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825
- Convenient and versatile
- Assembly is a bit time-taking
Out of the 4 options of gas log splitters, this Southland is a perfect in-between model, in terms of both the price and performance.
The 208cc OHV engine helps it run durably in most rugged conditions and powerfully in most woodworking tasks by providing a 25-ton splitting capacity with a 17-second cycle time. The added automatic returns even make it more efficient and effortless.
Designed with longevity in mind, it features an internal oil delivery system to provide internal engine bearings with extra lubrication, therefore, extending the engine’s life hugely.
The best thing is you can roll bigger logs under its wedge with no need to lift them due to its versatile splitting positions – vertical and horizontal.
|Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 Specifications|
208cc Southland OHV gas engine
25-ton splitting capacity
26-inch log length capacity
208cc Southland OHV gas engine
A 17-second cycle time and automatic returns
The Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 gives you a perfect in-between performance at a good price point, which helps it win our Editor’s Choice award for the best overall gas log splitters.
Best For Smaller Logs: Champion 7-Ton Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter
- The lightest and cheapest (in price) out of the four options
- High efficiency
- So low to the ground
- The hydraulic tank is smaller than other counterparts
You might be wondering, why to choose this when its splitting capacity is just the same as the Boss Industrial electric model above, not to say that its cycle time is longer and the weight is heavier.
Well, we picked it for many good reasons.
First off, as this is a gas-powered splitter, it doesn’t require power cord length or an outlet to run, meaning for more versatile purposes of use.
Secondly, the skewed wedge of this model is significantly improved for higher efficiency, clearly proofed through the weight capacity of wood logs it can handle – 50 pounds.
There is also a 2-year limited warranty provided with FREE lifetime technical support and it’s made by a world’s leading brand of home tools, what else to ask?
|Champion 7-Ton Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter Specifications|
20-second cycle time
19 inches in length and 50 lb. in weight
Features an integrated log cradle and low profile for easy loading
For people who are seeking a reliable, versatile, and efficient gas-powered log splitter for small woodworking tasks, this is our top pick.
Best For Heavy-Duty Use: YARDMAX YU2866
- Extremely heavy-duty and fast
- Superior durability, performance, and ease to use
- Really heavy
After giving these several tests, we can confidently assure you that no log on Earth is a match for this tool. It easily converts to an ordinary wedge for the monsters and with a 4-way splitting wedge, going through a 16” log isn’t a thing.
The power is fantastic, easy to start, and not very loud. Its cycle time is also impressive with just 13.2 seconds and the log spinner footplate makes log rotating can’t be easier.
The biggest selling point is its u-beam structural design. Compared to standard i-beam models, it is hugely stronger with less stress on the beam to hence provide more efficient performance.
|YARDMAX YU2866 Specifications|
No matter what the heavy-duty woodworking task is, we confidently recommend this gem.
Most Powerful: NorthStar GX270
- Perfect for any heavy-duty tasks and any wood
- Quicker to make getting to/from the woodpile
Making this NorthStar splitter outperform other gas-powered counterparts is its 270cc Honda GX270 engine which delivers up to 37-ton capacity and can cut through a 30” log within 14 seconds.
For sure, this machine significantly improves a person’s ability of wood splitting, no matter which types of wood they work with, however, it comes with a hefty price tag.
It might be a worthwhile investment for professional woodworkers or people who have to deal with a huge pile of woods every day, but overkill for once- or twice-a-year hobbyists.
|NorthStar GX270 Specifications|
270cc Honda GX270 Engine
The NorthStar GX270 is a true heavy-duty log splitter that can work excellently in any big woodworking projects, no matter the quantity. A well-worth investment for pros!
How To Choose The Best Log Splitters For The Money?
Types & Power Input
- The first part of this puzzle is choosing the right type and power input of log splitter.
- There are basically three types of log splitters:
- Manual log splitters – require no fuels, which means its construction is much simpler and the price is cheapest out of a bunch. However, it won’t be as fast and powerful as the two others so we highly recommend this type for people who occasionally do splitting every day.
- For people who desire power, pick either of these two power input options:
Electricity log splitters
Gas log splitters
Easier to store and maintain
Eco-friendlier & emit less noise
More powerful than the electricity to work on heavy-duty tasks like a breeze
Run at lower pressures and slower speeds
Hard to handle heavy-duty tasks
Consume electricity, require a high current socket to power it -> limited
Prone to leak -> you have to be more careful when storing them
Release smoke when running -> not eco-friendly
Noisier than the electricity
Small to medium-sized wood logs
People who desire power and economy
Medium to big sized wood logs
People who want both power and mobility
Figure Out The Right Amount Of Power Your Splitter Should Have
- The measuring unit of a splitter’s power is tons.
- The higher the power of a splitter, the faster it’ll manage to get through logs, which results in the increased ability to split thicker logs
- There are many factors influencing the power of a splitter, such as grain structure, dryness, shape, length, diameter, and type of wood. Our experience is:
- Grain structure: Logs with knots along the grain or closely spaced grains are difficult to split than those with loosely spaced grains.
- Dryness: Drier wood logs are easier to split than the wet ones
- Shape: It’s easier to split log-shaped wood rather than the prism-shaped
- Length: The shorter the wood, the easier
- Diameter: The smaller the diameter of wood, the easier
- Type: Softwood is easier to split than the hardwood.
- To give a simpler idea of how much power to choose for your log splitters, take a peek at this table:
Power of a log splitter required
Type of wood – Diameter
Greenwood – under 6”
Seasoned wood – under 12”
Greenwood – 6” to 12”
Seasoned wood – 24”
Greenwood – upper 12”
- Two-handed operation: Although this is a controversial feature, we prefer the two-handed operation. Why? Because it’s safer than the one-handed, especially for beginners
- Auto-return: We consider this is a time-saving feature because it will automatically bring the piston to the beginning position without your involvement after splitting a log. Meanwhile, you can prep the next piece of wood for splitting.
- Cycle time: It represents the time taken to finish one operation. For a sustainable rhythm, 10 to 15 seconds are ideal.
Which Brands Make The Best Log Splitters For The Money?
- Champion already holds a great reputation in the power generation equipment industry, and further, the log splitter range has helped it to carve a recognition in the world’s woodworker customers. Their products are praised not just for variety of lines but also for the perfect combination of good prices and quality.
- Boss Industrial is by far one of the most famous power tool brands. This Australia-based company is well-loved for its top-notch extensive product ranges with excellent caring services and fast delivery times.
- WEN has always remained to be a reliable and affordable brand where you can find only high-quality power tools at a really budget-friendly price point. Although it has a successful chainsaw line, its log splitter is not less than perfect.
How many tons do I need for a log splitter?
6-30+ tons, depending on the wood type, shape, diameter, and so on. You can read our buying guide above to learn more about this thing.
Are manual log splitters any good?
They are only good for occasional splitting tasks per day.
What is a good cycle time for a log splitter?
It depends on the type of your log splitter’s motor/engine. In general, it should be 10 – 13 seconds of cycle time while for the hydraulic models, it should be 12-20 seconds.
How do I split a large log with a log splitter?
This video will give you a complete guide on splitting large logs with a log splitter:
How much does it cost to hire a log splitter?
It varies between different places you choose to hire in as well as the chosen period.
For example, in COMPLETE RENT-ALLS ORILLIA, prices start off at $45/4 hours of use to $90/entire weekend. Or, in RENTAL VILLAGE, it has an additional pack of $1080/full month’s rental.
For dealing with newly cut logs, log splitters are no doubt a useful tool that should be added to anyone’s arsenal.
This article predominantly serves as a complete guide for you to get an idea about how to choose the best log splitter for the money. We’re sure that you will find the right one in no time at all.
Thanks for reading!