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It’s true that you stand to burn as much as 440 calories while cutting, splitting and stacking firewood. However, it also uses a lot of your time and strength, and can even take its toll n your back. Investing in good log splitter designs may be a wise idea if you need wood to keep your stove or fireplace burning.
The only problem lies in deciding which log splitter design is the best as these machines come in various types. They are available as manual, gas, electric and hydraulic log splitters, each with their pros and cons.
- Manual Log Splitter Designs
Manual log splitters are lightweight, easy to store and come as foot or hand-powered models where some may also depend on hydraulics to operate. Though these tools do need some effort to use, it’s much less than swinging axes.
These splitters are best for splitting small amounts of wood. Though they come in horizontal and vertical varieties, both need manual force to pump the hydraulic handle. The only difference lies in how the log is pushed into the machine.
Best manual log splitter
- Kindling Cracker Firewood Kindling Splitter
The Kindling Cracker Firewood Kindling Splitter is a uniquely designed manual log splitter. An Australian school student conceived this patented design as a science fair project. She wanted to create a tool which could be safely split firewood into kindling without risk of injuries.
The Kindling Cracker is a single top-grade iron splitting head cast in a 12”height cast iron frame having a6.5” diameter. It effectively splits firewood with less force than an ax without the use of any moving blade or sharp objects. And it’s portable to carry around and use wherever required.
Making kindling is easy- just place the log inside the iron safety ring and then hit it with a blunt tool like a mallet or hammer. Once driven into the splitting wedge, the wood is split without using any sharp blades.
There’s no worry about its maintenance as the Cracker Splitter just needs an occasional brushing and at the most, a fresh coat of paint to last for generations.
- Electric log splitters
Electric log splitters are somewhat popular as they are lighter and more compact and portable than gas splitters. They can split wood while placed on the ground, bench or a stand- both indoors or outdoors as long as there’s a standard electrical outlet around.
An electric motor powers its hydraulics, so there’s no worry of any fumes like in gas splitters. These splitters are safe to use anywhere and require less maintenance than gas splitters as there is no need of changing any fluids.
The main drawback of most of these splitters is that they don’t easily split logs measuring more than a foot in diameter. They also cut only seasoned wood well, and as they need a power source, they can’t be used in places where there’s no power.
Best electric splitter
- Boss industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-ton
The Boss Industrial ES7T20 7-Ton Electric Log Splitter is a different electric splitter. While it’s convenient and portable like most electric log splitter designs, it has a powerful 2HP motor that produces 7 ton of splitting power to handle larger wood splitting projects. And as they don’t emit any harmful emissions like gas powered units, they are safe for indoor use.
Logs remain stable while splitting, thanks to its built-in side rails. The splitter is easily maneuvered using its front handle while its automatic ram return feature quickens the wood splitting process.
The splitter’s patented hydraulic system, and it’s one hand operation sets it apart from others. However it’s not meant for vertical use, and while it splits straight grain wood well, it tends to avoid knots.
- Gas powered log splitters
These are the largest and most potent splitters best for splitting robust and more massive diameter logs. As they don’t require a power point, they can be used anywhere, but not indoors as they burn fuel and exhaust fumes.
They are also the most expensive splitters but can handle both green and seasoned wood. However, they are somewhat noisy and need regular maintenance like regular oil and air filter changes, spark plug replacements and fuel refilling.
Best gas log splitter
iii. YARDMAX YS2565 25 Ton Half Beam Gas Log Splitter, 4-way wedge, Briggs & Stratton, CR950, 6.5HP, 208cc
The Yardmax 25 Ton Half Beam Gas Log Splitter may be powerful enough to tackle heavy-duty tasks but is compact, rugged and can be easily assembled by one person. It is structured to split wood either horizontally or vertically where its beam handles easily transition from vertical to horizontal position and vice versa.
It splits wood in a rather short cycle time of 9.7seconds, thanks to its oversized hydraulic components. It comes with dual, large log cradles and a patent-pending log spinner foot plate that rotates the wood which in turn reduces beam stress. Its 4-way wedge, which is also awaiting its patent, splits smaller diameter logs into four pieces.
The Yardmaxx can comfortably accommodate more massive logs up to 26 inches long, thanks to its longer table length. Its hydraulic oil filter is prevented from possible damage from falling woods as it is safely located inside the reservoir. The log stripper at the end of the hydraulic cylinder helps remove jammed logs while its patent-pending U-Beam design is stronger than the original I-Beam design.
- Large hydraulic splitters
Large hydraulic splitters are also called 3 point log splitters, usually used by professionals as they require a tractor to work. They are towed behind the tractor, and then connected to it for power.
This is the perfect log splitter designs if you have lots of firewood to split as they are really powerful, boasting of the market’s highest tonnage ratings. Though they quickly cut both green and seasoned wood, they are slightly expensive. While they are a good buy for commercial and large-scale tasks, they are not meant for an average small family.
Best hydraulic log splitter
- Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter
If you are looking for a log splitter to split logs measuring up to 18” long and 18” wide, then the Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter is meant for you. Its powerful hydraulic ram produces a maximum of 10 tons of splitting power that helps you quickly tackle piles of large logs.
Made of steel, this is a durable splitter meant to serve you for years to come. It’s 10 tons of driving force is powered by a manually operated 2-speed pump while its log cradle helps contain the split wood.
While its compact size provides for convenient storage, its rear wheels provide for easy maneuverability. It’s easy to use with long handles providing maximum leverage while turning a knob resets the ram return spring.
So there are various log splitter designs and types to choose from. It’s left to you to select the best based on different points like how much wood and the size of the logs you need to split, your budget and where you will be splitting wood. Who knows, you may, in fact, need more than one splitter like a gas one for bulk tasks, and an electric or manual one for indoor and occasional use!