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Guide to Log Splitters

Best Log Splitters:

Splitting logs is no easy chore and having the best equipment is probably your best bet at getting the job done quickly. Manually splitting logs is no fun since it's tiring work but in some cases you are only chopping a few logs so it's not too difficult. Firewood is what many of us burn in our fireplaces or wood burning stoves during the winter months when cold weather and snow are prevalent. Wood splitters are great for anyone wanting to split logs but you need to know which type and model will be the most effective for your needs. You need to consider things like vertical or horizontal operation, horsepower (tonage), cycle time, and hydraulic versus electric power sources. The hand pump hydraulic log splitters are the cheapest at around $200 and they can split up about 18 to 24 (8 inches in diameter) per hour. These hand pump splitters are easy to use, require no electricity or gas, split quietly, and are considered safe. The big drawback to a hand pump hydraulic log splitter is that they are slow compared to the electric and gas powered models. If you are burning less than a cord of wood a year, then consider the hand pump hydraulic style from Northern or Sears. Cycle time is the amount of time it takes a log splitter to split the wood and be ready to split another log. Experts say the average is about 12 seconds, but we would say it's more like 20 seconds. When it comes to vertical versus horizontal wood splitters, most would agree that vertical log splitters are easier to use since you don't have to lift the log up so far to get it into position to be split. Horizontal splitters are perfect for the largest of logs since they can usually generate the most tonage. Some log splitters can cut both vertically and horizontally making them the most versatile and expensive. Two stage pumps are mostly seen on the high end models and those with thicker ibeams are considered the sturdiest of all. Make sure the log splitter can accept the length of logs you will be working with. If you are considering an electric log splitter, we found some evidence online that the Ryobi 4 Ton Electric Log Splitter sold in Home Depots is well worth the money. It will take on 40 to 50 logs per hour that are up to 12 inches in diameter. Gas powered log splitters are perhaps the most powerful of all and many can be used horizontal or vertical. A gas engine log splitter can cost upwards of $1800 but you are looking at being able to split between 60 and 80 logs per hour. These monster splitters are a great investment if you are burning more than 2 cords of wood each year. Also, if you are in the firewood business, then owning a top notch machine that will take on logs up to 18 inches in diameter, then gas powered hydraulics is what you want. The top brands in wood splitters are Ryobi, Craftsman, Mantis, Timberwolf, Brave, Troy-Bilt, Swisher, White Outdoor, Fisch, Grizzly, McCulloch, and Surge Master. We found quite a few reviews for log splitters online, mostly in woodworking forums or forums dedicated to firewood like Hearth.com. Gardenweb.com has some great customer feedback in their forums and Popular Mechanics website listed quite a few models that they had tested and we were able to verify there results by comparing other models on the web. Lastly, we made a trip to our local Home Depot to see what they offer and also read reviews posted to HomeDepot.com for the "best log splitters".

Log Splitter Reviews:

The Surge Master Horizontal Verticle Wood Splitter ($1799) is one we found at Home Depot and this unit is powerful. It's versatile with the ability to split wood either vertical or horizontal making it the machine of choice for convenience and ease of use. The Surge Master features a Honda 5 HP engine, 20 tons of splitting force, auto return valve standard, 14 second cycle time, a two-stage pump, and it's highway towable with a 2" ball hitch. There is an optional 4 way splitting wedge available if you want. It will cut your firewood splitting duties into an easy chore and leave no log uncut. You can find it online but it's sold only in Home Depot stores. Another excellent option we found on Amazon.com is the Troy-Bilt 160cc Honda OHC/OHV Gas Powered Log Splitter ($1699) which delivers an impressive 27 tons of RAM pressure and has a 19 second cycle time which is slightly slower than the Surge Master above. The Troy-Bilt log splitter will take wood up to 25" long. You get power, performance, and precision splitting with teh Troy-Bilt. Owner comments include "great splitter for the price", "works great on firs, oak, pine, maple, cherry, and basswood". This 27-ton splitter will turn a mountain of logs into a beautiful wood pile for the winter.

RECOMMENDED - The Ardisam Earthquake 12-Ton Log Splitter ($799.99) sells on Northerntool.com and features a 2 position beam so you can split your logs at two different heights. The cycle time is estimated to be between 21 and 25 seconds and the gas powered splitter has a 7 inch splitting wedge that take care of large logs. Reviewers mention they are happy with the Ardisams performance and sturdiness. The Brave EZ Split Horizontal Log Splitter ($699.99) is only 8 tons in capacity, but owners say it functions like a 12 ton splitter. The engine is made by Briggs & Stratton and the 3/4" thick wedge will split up wood 18 inches long and 18 inches in diameter. It too is available at Northern Tool & Equipment website.

We found lots of reviews for the best electric log splitters and 3 models caught our eye as getting the most positive feedback in this calls. The first is the Fisch LS8000 II Electric Log Splitter which several sites say is no longer available, although we found it online at Thelakeshop.com for $520. It gives you 4 tons of force from a 20 amp motor. Owners say you get about 100 splits per hour which is pretty impressive. Will handle logs 2 feet long and up to 1 foot in diameter. If rumors are true and the Fisch electric log splitter is being discontinued, then go with the Ryobi 4 Ton Electric Log Splitter ($379) which we found on Homedepot.com with a 5 out of 5 stars from all the customer reviewers. It features a 1300 watt electric motor, 4 tons of RAM splitting force, and will split up to 20 inch long logs with diameters up to 12". Owners say the 2 handed operation make it safe to use and the steel construction make it sturdy as well. The two wheels on the unit make it easy to transport around your property as you split up firewood. Owners agree that the Ryobi electric splitter is a "great, affordable, home log splitter". Lastly, the Pow 'R' Kraft 4T Electric Log Splitter ($285) is what Logsplitter.com recommends instead of the Fisch product listed above. The Pow R Kraft is a 1.75 HP electric log splitter that will cut wood up to 20 inches long and 12 inches in diameter. The 4 tons of RAM should be enough splitting force to take on any log pile you have. There is even a video on the website you can watch to see the thing in action. Best electric log splitters online here.

Top Selling Log Splitters:



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