Anyone who heats their home with cordwood knows that splitting logs is hard work. An electric log splitter is a brilliant tool for minimizing labor when it comes to stockpiling firewood that’s both safe and easy to operate.
While most electric models may not offer quite as much splitting force as their gas-powered counterparts, they are more portable, simpler to run and maintain, and far less loud during operation. As long as you don’t require an industrial strength unit for splitting especially large diameter/length hardwood rounds, an electric splitter will provide you with more than enough power for processing standard cordwood.
Read on below for some additional info on how to select the right splitter for your needs, and trust us when we say your spine will thank you later!
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1. SuperHandy 6-Ton Portable Electric Log SplitterPros:
- Durable, waterproof 1.75 HP, 15A (1500W) electric motor
- 6-Ton rated system easily splits logs up to 20.5 inches long and up to 10 inches in diameter
- Impressively portable at just 100 pounds, and measuring 40.5 by 11.4 by 18.5 inches
- 15-second cycle time and auto-retract cylinder allow you to work rapidly
- 5-inch stainless steel wedge features a 45 degree angle for reliable splits
- Powder coated design will hold up well against the elements
- 7-inch transport wheels traverse variable terrain nicely
- Component that pushes the log is built nice and wide to avoid slipping
- Fairly expensive - yet still an excellent price point considering the quality here in our opinion
- Requires two handed operation for added safety which some folks might find frustrating
- No hydraulic fluid included
The SuperHandy 6-Ton Portable Electric Log Splitter is an exceptionally portable and easy to use machine offering a fast cycle time between logs and impressive splitting power for its size.
Powered by a durable, waterproof 1.75 HP, 15A (1500W) electric motor, and designed with a stainless steel wedge and powder-coated steel frame, SuperHandy has built this unit to perform for many years of service. While it may be a bit on the expensive side as far as electric splitters go, we find the expected lifespan and inherent performance to be well worth the price point.
The 6-ton rated system easily splits logs up to 20.5 inches long and up to 10 inches in diameter, so despite this machine’s adorable size and user-friendly design, it’s most definitely a workhorse!
Featuring a 15-second cycle time and auto-retract cylinder, the brand has furthermore engineered this splitter to work as rapidly as you want, so you won’t find yourself impatiently waiting to load your next round. Able to process 240 logs an hour, this is a great option for reducing your working time if you truly have a lot of firewood to get through.
Not to be overlooked, the 7-inch diameter transport wheels traverse variable terrain quite nicely compared to most of the competition, so moving this splitter around your property is a breeze. Weighing in at just 100 pounds, and measuring 40.5 by 11.4 by 18.5 inches, this unit will easily fit into truck beds and even hatchbacks for hassle-free transport.
If you choose to spring for this option, be sure to purchase some AW22 hydraulic fluid along with it – the brand does not include any with this purchase.
2. Boss Industrial 5-Ton Electric Log SplitterPros:
- Durable 12A, 1.8 HP electric motor
- 5 tons of splitting force can separate logs up to 20.5 inches long (diameter varies depending on wood type)
- Lightweight and portable design (about 100 pounds)
- One handed operation, automatic ram return, and rapid cylce time make for a very user friendly operation
- 5-inch steel heavy duty wedge
- Separate oil tube allows inlet filter
- 2 year residential, 180 day commercial warranty
- Fairly expensive option
- 6-inch diameter solid rubber wheels are mounted fairly close together, so rolling this unit over gnarly terrain may prove challenging
- Complaints about the ram being a bit small - this can however be easily modified to your liking
The Boss Industrial 5-Ton Electric Log Splitter is a lightweight and portable option that enables one-handed operation and features an automatic ram return making for a very user-friendly operation.
The durable 12A, 1.8 HP electric motor offers 5 tons of splitting force that can effectively separate logs up to 20.5 inches long. The brand states that the machine’s wood round diameter threshold varies depending on wood type/dryness, but we estimate it to be around 8 to 10 inches based on the listed splitting force. Some customer reviews claim this machine can effectively split rounds upwards of 16-inches in diameter, while others claim they struggled to split 10-inch wide logs – so as with any splitter, the max round size really depends on the species, dryness, and knottiness of what you’re separating.
If you have some larger-diameter segments and rounds in your woodpile-to-be-processed, then maybe consider an option with just a bit more splitting force to ensure you have enough power (especially if you’ve never owned a splitter before and don’t have a solid grasp of how different woods behave). If the wood you plan to process is thoroughly cured, and mostly consists of softer, less dense tree species, then this machine will likely handle even bigger rounds just fine.
The lightweight and portable design weighs in at about 100 pounds, so moving this machine around is not much of a burden. The 6-inch diameter solid rubber wheels are however mounted fairly close together, so traversing uneven terrain might prove to be a bit challenging.
What’s most desirable about this machine to a lot of folks is the one-handed operation. This splitter does not require you to hold down a lever or button with your other hand while operating, so it leaves one hand free. Two-handed splitters are typically designed as such with safety in mind – so of course, be super mindful of where your other hand is placed while operating this machine.
Boss Industrial even offers a 2-year residential and 180-day commercial warranty on this product, so you can buy in confidence you’re scoring a quality-made tool.
3. Ironton Horizontal 5-Ton Electric Log SplitterPros:
- Smooth and powerful 15A, 120V, 1.75 HP electric motor
- 5-ton maximum splitting force powers through logs up to 20.5 inches and 10 inches in diameter
- Short 14-second cylinder cycle time enables you to work rapidly
- Horizontally oriented splitter is both easy and intuitive to use
- Built-in log cradle catches each piece as it is split, eliminating bending to gather split wood
- Great price point
- Fairly heavy at over 120 pounds
- Small diameter plastic wheels (under 6 inches) are not very capable of traversing uneven, variable terrain
- 5-tons of splitting force will struggle to split larger and denser rounds over 10 inches in diameter
The Ironton Horizontal 5-Ton Electric Log Splitter is an excellent price point option for those shopping on a budget that still offers totally suitable power for standard firewood applications.
The smooth and powerful 15A, 120V, 1.75 HP electric motor provides 5-tons of maximum splitting force, able to power through logs up to 20.5 inches and 10 inches in diameter. Featuring a short 14-second cylinder cycle time, this machine furthermore enables you to work rapidly and get through your woodpile faster.
This is a horizontally-oriented splitter that’s both easy and intuitive to use, so if you’re purchasing your first ever mechanized log splitter, this is a great option to learn with. Perhaps best of all, a built-in log cradle catches each piece as it is separated, eliminating the need to bend and gather split logs.
Keep in mind that this model is fairly heavy compared to some of the competition at about 120 pounds. The wheels are also narrow in diameter, so moving this machine around on your own may prove difficult depending on your strength.
Easy to operate, affordable, and able to keep up with any working pace, Ironton has come up with a stellar budget option with this bad boy!
4. WEN 6.5-Ton Electric Log SplitterPros:
- Reliable 15A, 2.5 HP motor
- 6.5 tons of force can split logs up to 20.5 inches long and 10 inches in diameter
- Adjustable 34-inch stand mount allows you to work higher up to save your back, or lower to the ground if working with heavy rounds
- Very portable splitter weighing in around 100 pounds
- 5-inch steel log wedge is nicely oriented for ideal splits
- 4-inch push plate safely and securely accommodates larger rounds, while side-mounted support wings offer further support
- Awesome value package deals offered including extension cords, firewood racks, and more!
- Affordable price point
- 5.5-inch Never-Flat wheels are not ideal for traversing uneven, variable terrain
- Requires two-handed operation which may be frustrating for some folks
- 20-second cycle time and auto return cylinder means you can't work quite as fast as some other models
The WEN 6.5-Ton Electric Log Splitter is an excellent value, reliable machine that’s designed with easy portability and user-friendly operation in mind.
Equipped with a reliable 15A, 2.5 HP motor offering 6.5 tons of splitting force, this machine can separate logs up to 20.5 inches long and 10 inches in diameter, so it’s more than suitable for standard firewood processing.
Including an adjustable 34-inch stand mount, the brand has designed this option to allow you to work while standing rather than having to consistently crouch in order to save your back. You can also operate this splitter lower to the ground when working with heavy rounds.
This is a very manageable splitter to move around your property or transport weighing in around 100 pounds, so if you’re seeking a splitter that can be utilized in a few different places, this is a great go-to. The integrated wheels are not ideal for rolling over uneven terrain, but the machine is at least not too heavy.
The one downfall of this option is its slower cycle time of 20 seconds. The slower return to the ready position might be frustrating for some users who prefer to work especially quickly, but if you don’t mind taking your time this is a non-issue.
5. BILT HARD 6.5 Ton Electric Log SplitterPros:
- 15A, 1.75 HP motor
- 6.5-Tons of power can split logs up to 20.5 inches long and 9.8 inches in diameter
- Can be operated both horizontally and vertically to accommodate user preference
- 18-second cycle time enables you to work rapidly
- Compact size and low weight (98 pounds) makes this an impressively portable option
- Flexible lock design enables the log splitter workbench to be adjusted specifically to log length
- Includes a 90-day warranty
- 5.7-inch transport wheels are not ideal for traversing uneven, variable terrain
- Requires two hands to operate which may be frustrating to some users
- Maximum log diameter of 9.8 inches may be too small depending on the logs you need to split
The BILT HARD 6.5 Ton Electric Log Splitter is a reliable option featuring reliable performance that can conveniently be operated both horizontally and vertically depending on your preference, or the given job site.
A 15A, 1.75 HP motor provides 6.5-tons of power and can split logs up to 20.5 inches long and 9.8 inches in diameter – but chances are this unit can handle wider diameter rounds if they’re nicely dried and mostly knot-free. A flexible lock design furthermore enables the log splitter workbench to be adjusted specifically to the log length, so you can precisely set this machine up for ideal positioning.
An 18-second cycle time enables you to work rapidly, but this machine does require two hands for operation, so you won’t be able to pick up your next log while actively splitting another.
Not to be overlooked, the compact size and low weight (98 pounds) of this splitter make it an impressively portable option, so this one should be on your radar if you’re seeking a machine that can easily be transported from the garage to the hunting cabin or campground.
With a 90-day warranty included, you can furthermore rest assured that the brand has put their confidence into this quality-built product.
6. PowerSmart 6-Ton Electric Hydraulic Log SplitterPros:
- 15A, 1.75 HP induction motor
- 6-tons of force splits logs up to 22 inches long and 10 inches in diameter
- At 100 pounds and measuring just 41 by 19 by 12 inches, this is an exceptionally portable option
- 8-inch diameter, wide set wheels allow for easier hauling over uneven, variable terrain
- Customer reviews claim this splitter can handle much larger diameter rounds than the brand states - it all depends on the wood you're splitting
- Fairly expensive option
- 22-second cycle time means you can't work quite as rapidly as with some of the competition
- Requires two-handed operation which some users may find frustrating
The PowerSmart 6-Ton Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter is a reasonably priced, very highly reviewed option that features adequate splitting force for processing standard firewood and an exceptionally portable design.
At 100 pounds and measuring just 41 by 19 by 12 inches, this machine offers impressive power for its size that can split logs up to 22 inches long and 10 inches in diameter. There are furthermore plenty of customer reviews claiming this splitter is capable of splitting rounds well over 12-inches in diameter, so as with all other models, it really depends on the dryness, tree species, and knottiness of the logs you’re processing.
The wheels are mindfully designed featuring an 8-inch diameter and wide-set axles allowing for easier hauling over uneven terrain, so they complement the low weight and compact frame nicely for maximum portability.
The one downfall of this option is that the cycle time is fairly slow at 22 seconds. This means you may have to wait a few moments before being able to load your next log depending on your working speed.
7. Swisher Timber Brute Eco Split 22-Ton Electric Log SplitterPros:
- 120V, 2HP electric motor
- An impressive 22-tons of splitting force can process logs up to 25-inches long, and well over 20-inches in diameter
- 25-foot cord included
- 13-second cycle time allows you to work rapidly
- Can function in both horizontal and vertical splitting positions
- Log cradles reduce the chance of the log rolling off the beam
- 2.5 gallon poly hydraulic tank is rust resistant and protected from potential damage
- Equipped with a dual voltage motor capable of being changed from 110V single phase to 220V single phase
- Towable splitter including a 2-inch ball coupler
- Expensive option
- Can only be towed up to 45mph
- Assembly required
The Swisher Timber Brute Eco Split 22-Ton Electric Log Splitter is an absolute powerhouse of a machine that performs much more like a gas-powered splitter than an electric one. If you need a unit that can easily separate BIG rounds, this could be a stellar choice for you that still offers most of the advantages of electric-powered models.
Equipped with a 120V, 2HP electric motor, this beast can process logs up to 25-inches long, and well over 20-inches in diameter. It can furthermore function in both horizontal and vertical splitting positions which very well may come in handy depending on the job at hand. This machine won’t hesitate to split monstrous rounds without the carbon monoxide output, loud noise, and hassle of engine maintenance that comes along with gas-powered splitters.
A 13-second cycle time allows you to work very rapidly, so this is truly a machine built to keep up with commercial rather than household demands.
The brand has also included log cradles to reduce the chance of the round or log rolling off the beam and has even equipped the Timber Brute with a 25-foot cord in order to nicely extend its reach from suitable outlets.
Due to this machine’s large and in charge size, you’ll have to tow it in order to move or transport it. There is however a 2-inch ball coupler included, so it comes ready to go!
Keep in mind there is some assembly required with this option, so folks who aren’t super savvy when it comes to machines and moving parts should consider this detail. That being said, once this bad boy is up and running, there is far less maintenance required when compared to gas units utilizing internal combustion engines.
A serious log splitter for serious wood piles, the Swisher Timber Brute is an impressive feat of engineering, to say the least!
Electric Vs. Gas Powered Splitters
If you want to leave the manual labor behind but can't decide which style wood splitter to purchase, there are a few things to consider:
First and foremost, gas powered splitters are far more powerful than electric splitters. Featuring upwards of 30 tons of splitting force depending on the model, gas splitters are built for heavy-duty jobs. If you need to process truly BIG rounds with wide diameters, then you'll likely want to lean towards a gas-powered unit. If you're splitting especially hard wood species, then the extra strength of a gas-powered unit is doubly important. That being said, electric splitters typically offer more than enough strength for standard firewood processing (just make sure your wood is properly cured!), so chances are your needs will be met by most of the models we listed here. There are even some electric models like the Swisher 22-Ton Timber Brute listed above that feature gas-like power, but they are quite expensive.
Electric splitters are MUCH quieter than gas-powered alternatives. This may or may not be important to you, but hours and hours of running a loud machine can become wearing on your ears and mental state - not to mention if you're working with a partner it gets tiring yelling over the engine all day in order to converse. If you live within close proximity to your neighbors and plan on splitting a lot of wood throughout the year, then consider this detail as a courtesy as well.
Gas splitters are not safe for use within closed spaces due to their exhaust/carbon monoxide output. If you want to run your log splitter within a garage or workshop in order to stay out of the elements or solely for convenience, then you'll be wise to purchase an electric option.
Electric-powered splitters are easier to operate and maintain compared to gas options. As with any gas engine, you'll need to complete regular oil changes and maintenance in order to keep a gas-powered splitter happily running. Electric models simply need to be plugged in and properly filled with hydraulic fluid. If you have minimal mechanical experience and are seeking a straightforward option, you'll likely want to lean towards a more user-friendly electric option.
Electric log splitters are far more portable. Due to their lack of combustion engine and therefore lighter overall build, electric splitters are typically much more easily transported (and stored) than their gas-powered counterparts. If you want to utilize your machine in the backyard, at the RV park, AND at the hunting cabin, then an electric splitter that easily fits within your truck bed or hatchback probably makes the most sense. Keep in mind however that you'll require a generator or an extension cord to utilize electric splitters far away from outlets (a 12-gauge or thicker extension cord is highly recommended in order to deliver enough current to run at full power).
Gas splitters are much more expensive. If you're shopping on a budget and don't require a particularly high-powered machine, why spring for a higher priced gas unit?
The splitting force is by far the most important metric to consider when selecting any style of log splitter. This product spec describes the amount of power the machine can deliver, therefore determining the size and hardness of wood rounds that the machine can handle.
It's important to realize that the splitting force and therefore the maximum log size a splitter is capable of processing is not an exact science. The length and diameter of the wood rounds you can effectively split will dramatically vary depending on the type of wood, and how dry vs. green it is. If you're unsure if the machine you're considering has enough strength for your needs, be sure to read some customer testimonials - there are typically lots of reviews indicating a given splitter's actual tried and tested capabilities.
The maximum log length and diameters are listed for each machine we've selected above, but if you want to understand more about splitting force, check out some additional info over at The Wood Splitter Outlet - just remember the numbers listed there are a general guideline and are in reality dependent on what/when you're splitting.
The cycle time is the time that it takes for a splitter to reset back into the ready-position between logs. If you have a large quantity of wood to split, a machine that cycles even slightly faster will shave some significant time off of your workday. That being said, it's difficult to physically work much faster than a 15-second cycle time allows, so don't think too deep into this detail unless you're really racing the clock!
Green Wood vs. Seasoned Wood
Keep in mind that newly harvested wood is not ready to be split until it dries out enough to cooperate. According to the experts at BILT HARD, "Green logs are freshly cut logs. They still contain much of the moisture that they held while they were part of a living tree. Freshly fallen wood is very moist and difficult to cut, so it takes more tonnage to split through it effectively. Professionals recommend waiting until your wood is cured to split it."
How long should wood dry/cure before splitting?
Most firewood when properly stored/stacked takes about a season to dry - but this of course depends on the type of wood and environmental conditions. Typically, wood that's cut in the early spring will be nicely dried and ready to burn by the fall, but you'll have to wait and see how your woodpile develops over the months to determine an ideal personal timeline for splitting and burning.
Gas Powered Splitters
If you need to process some BIG, knotty rounds and you're starting to realize an electric model isn't powerful enough or exactly suited for your needs, a few of our top picks for gas-powered options include:
- SuperHandy 20-Ton Portable Log Splitter
- XtremepowerUS 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Hydraulic Log Splitter
- XtremepowerUS 37-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Gas Log Splitter
- NorthStar Deluxe 37-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter
If you are adamant about owning an electric-powered model but require some serious splitting force, then be sure to check out the Swisher 120V Timber Brute Eco Split Electric Log Splitter. It's a remarkable electric option offering a whopping 22-tons of splitting force!
Manual Log Splitters
Seeking a way to reduce your labor effort and increase efficiency while splitting and processing logs and firewood but not exactly in love with the idea of owning a mechanized tool? If this is the case, a manual device or kindling splitter might be more up your alley.
Our top list of the best manual log splitters has highlighted all the top choices.
These devices of course still require man-power to function, but they greatly simplify and streamline log splitting compared to chopping wood the old-fashioned way. If you have a decent pile of wood to process each season, but don't plan on splitting countless cords, then consider a manual device for some assistance getting the job done, and save on shelling out the big bucks for an electric or gas powered unit.
Some of these units even feature impressive splitting forces capable of processing BIG rounds, so don't rule them out for heavy-duty work. A few of our affordable and effective favorites include: