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The 5 Best Log Splitters (2023 Review)

A log splitter makes cutting firewood easy. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best log splitters on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home.

Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter and BILT HARD Electric Log Splitter isolated on an off white grid paper background Courtesy Amazon

A log splitter is a simple but powerful tool that helps homeowners split logs into usable pieces of firewood. From manual splitting wedges to electric-powered machines, this useful tool comes in a variety of designs. To help you prepare wood for your fireplace or fire pit, the This Old House Reviews Team looked into the best log splitters on Amazon. Here are our top picks.


Compare the Best Log Splitters

Product Type Material Weight Dimensions
Product Type Material Weight Dimensions
Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter Manual Cast iron 10 pounds 9 x 13 x 9 inches
Landworks Portable Log Splitter Gas-powered Stainless steel 146 pounds 35 x 22.6 x 16.8 inches
Estwing Sure Split Wedge Manual Alloy steel 1 pound 8.9 x 2.5 x 1.8 inches
Sun Joe LJ10M 10-Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter Manual hydraulic Steel 87 pounds 41.1 x 8.1 x 11.8 inches
BILT HARD Electric Log Splitter Electric Steel 98 pounds 36.4 x 10.4 x 18.3 inches

Top 5 Log Splitters


Best Manual Splitter: Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter

Black cast iron Kindling Cracker firewood splitter

Kindling Cracker Firewood Splitter

  • $115

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This log splitter offers a dependable method for chopping firewood with a sharp splitting head secured inside a cast iron frame. Though this manual model requires more effort than hydraulic or gas splitters, it needs less force than a typical axe.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Is practically-maintenance free compared to gas- and electric-powered models
✔ Built with bolt holes for mounting the splitter
✔ Created from high-quality cast iron

✘ Requires a lot of strength from the user
✘ Criticized for being unable to split harder woods, such as oak

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers were able to split wood easily with this manual tool. They also loved the clean, stable design. Unhappy reviewers criticized this manual wood splitter for not being strong enough to split tough wood, such as oak.


Best Gas Model: Landworks Portable Log Splitter

Landworks Portable Log Splitter with a log about to be split

Landworks Portable Log Splitter

  • $950

Prices taken at time of publishing.

With its 209cc gas-powered motor, this log splitter provides more stable and reliable cutting performance compared to electric-powered models. Additionally, it can be used anywhere that’s ventilated and has a long-lasting fuel capacity of 1.6 gallons.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Runs on standard unleaded fuel
✔ Provides seven horsepower to support the 20-ton-rated system
✔ Includes 10-inch sturdy transport wheels for portability

✘ Emits toxic fumes and should only be used outdoors
✘ Is the most expensive log splitter in this review

What Customers Are Saying

Positively, customers who reviewed this gas log splitter said that it was very powerful, consistently handled larger logs, and was easy to assemble. They also valued its 10-inch, all-terrain wheels for portability. Unfortunately, some reviewers said that the filter screen in the fluid reservoir came loose.


Best Splitting Wedge: Estwing Sure Split Wedge

Estwing Sure Split Wedge

Estwing Sure Split Wedge

  • $29

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Similar to the other manual splitter in this review, this splitting wedge simplifies the splitting process while providing the user with more control. The durable metal wedge is set directly into the log and stricken with a hammer for a sure split.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has fins to widen the split, ensuring the wedge continues through the wood line
✔ The honed cutting edge of the splitting wedge is hand-sharpened and ready for use
✔ Is made in the USA with high-quality steel

✘ Requires a considerable amount of time and manual effort to use correctly
✘ Will eventually crack due to the repeated force of hammer strikes

What Customers Are Saying

Although this simple log splitter took more effort for customers compared to using gas- or electric-powered splitters, they said that the steel was durable, sharp, and evenly split logs of wood. They also reported that the splitting wedge had little to no “bounce.” Alternatively, others reported significant bounce despite multiple techniques, and the wedge didn’t arrive pre-sharpened for one user.


Best Manual Hydraulic: Sun Joe LJ10M 10-Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter

Pros and Cons

✔ Has a durable steel construction
✔ Built with a return spring, which allows for quick resets
✔ Doesn’t require gas, oil, or cords

✘ The wheels are small, affecting mobility
✘ Criticized for being slow

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon customers noted that this log splitter was worth the money because of its power and ease of use. Unhappy reviewers said that the splitter couldn’t hold up to regular use, making it better for those who only need to split wood occasionally.


Best Electric Hydraulic: BILT HARD Electric Log Splitter

Blue BILT HARD electric-hydraulic log splitter

BILT HARD Electric Log Splitter

  • $330

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Providing up to 6.5 tons of log cracking pressure and an 18-second cycle time between splits, this electric-powered log splitter is an easier way to split logs. The splitter operates horizontally but folds in a vertical position to save space in your garage or shed.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Achieves speeds up to 3,400 RPM with its electric motor
✔ The two-hand controls ensure operator safety
✔ Its 5.7-inch sturdy transport wheels allow users to effortlessly roll the unit

✘ Requires access to a power outlet
✘ The defect warranty only lasts 30 days

What Customers Are Saying

Overall, customers valued the heavy-duty splitting performance of this electric log splitter, including that the machine was simple to maintain and operated as advertised. However, there were some complaints about the unit being too low to the ground and, therefore, uncomfortable to operate.


Buyer’s Guide

Understanding how a log splitter works will help you decide which model is best for your needs. This buying guide explains a few of the defining features of a splitter.

Power Source

The most common types of log splitters are manual-, hydraulic-, electric-, and gas-powered models. Manual log splitters are compact cylinders that are typically built with cast iron and equipped with a splitting wedge. These splitters are the most affordable option, but they are labor-intensive and can’t cut larger pieces of wood.

Hydraulic log splitters use a handle or lever to trigger a hydraulic pump that forces wood through a sharpened wedge. Hydraulic splitters are less labor-intensive than manual models, but they still require some effort on the user’s part.

Electric-powered log splitters are corded models that can be used anywhere there’s an electrical outlet. They’re selected by homeowners because of their low-maintenance design and powerful performance. While electric-powered log splitters can cycle through a high number of logs every hour, they aren’t as powerful as their gas counterparts.

Gas-powered splitters contain engines that produce a powerful force capable of splitting a log in seconds. Because of their power and efficiency, gas models are typically the most expensive and heaviest log splitters on the market.

Capacity

The capacity of a log splitter refers to the largest log it can chop. Manual log splitters usually have the lowest capacity, chopping wood that’s only about a foot tall. Gas-powered log splitters usually have the largest wood capacity, cutting 100-pound logs that are over 22 inches long.

Mobility

Most electric- and gas-powered log splitters come with wheeled stands that allow for easy transportation. In general, electric log splitters will have a detachable, wheeled stand that gives users the option to place the frame on the ground or at waist level. Gas log splitters are usually constructed with permanent wheels, and some models even offer a ball hitch for vehicle towing.

Cycle Time

Cycle time refers to how long it takes a log splitter to chop a single log. Cycle time is reserved for electric- or gas-powered models that don’t require manual effort. While electric-powered splitters have a cycle time of around 20 seconds, gas-powered models can split logs in under 15 seconds.

Maintenance

Even the most basic of log splitters need to be sharpened to cleanly and evenly split pieces of wood. Gas and electric models, however, require additional maintenance, such as lubricating components, adding more fuel, cleaning the filter, and carefully storing the machine in a dry, covered area.


Frequently Asked Questions About Log Splitters

Are log splitters worth the money?

A log splitter can be worth the money if you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace that you use on a daily basis since it can save you time by simplifying the process of chopping firewood. While log splitters can be an investment, there are affordable manual and hydraulic models available for cutting small pieces of wood. If you need to split bundles of large logs on a regular basis, the cost of an electric- or gas-powered log splitter may be worth it.

Are log splitters dangerous?

Log splitters pose a safety risk if they’re not used properly. Read the included instructions before turning yours on, and be mindful of sharp edges even with a manual splitter. Also wear work gloves, safety glasses, long pants, and close-toed shoes.

Is it easier to split wet or dry firewood?

While you can split both wet and dry firewood, it’s easier to split dry wood because its low moisture content decreases resistance.

What is the best log splitter for a person with arthritis?

The best log splitter for a person with arthritis is one that requires minimal manual effort. For this reason, we recommend a gas or electric-assist log splitter rather than a splitting wedge.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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