What makes a good log splitter? Well, there are a lot of factors to consider, including the power of the machine, performance, construction, brand, as well as budget. But what might appear to be the best log splitter for the money to one person may be a completely wrong fit for another.
The best log splitter for the money is the one that suits your needs best, has functionality that is the best fit for you and that is offered at a reasonable price. What may be a good choice for one person could be the totally wrong choice for another. Here we will look at the key features you need to look for in a log splitter and I review the top splitters based on size, power source, functionality and price so you can find the one that suits your individual needs and budget.
Table of Contents
- Best Heavy Duty Commercial Grade Log Splitter
- Best 37 Ton Log Splitter
- Best 34 Ton log Splitter for the Money
- Best Electric Log Splitter
- Best Tractor Mounted Log Splitter
- Best Manual Hydraulic Log Splitter
- Best Foot-Powered Log Splitter
- Comparison Charts – Best Log Splitter for the Money
Types of Log Splitters
In this post I will review the best log splitter for the money from a variety of different categories. But first, it is important to know that log splitters come in different types.
They include the following;
- Manual log splitters. They can be hydraulic, hand, or foot-powered. They depend on manpower to run.
- Electric log splitters. These are powered by a motor and they depend on electricity to run.
- Gas log splitters. These are larger than electric and manual splitters. They run on gasoline.
- Kinetic log splitters. These splitters are the fastest of all. They use a strong flywheel system that stores energy in the engine. They can split and release logs simultaneously.
Let’s look at the top 8 log splitters for money from the largest to the smallest.
Best Heavy Duty Commercial Grade Log Splitter
Wood-Mizer delivers a solid log splitter with their FS500 model.
This machine comes with a powerful engine that can deliver a massive amount of output.
It also offers bi-directional splitting and can produce a maximum of 3 firewood cords per hour.
You won’t need a firewood processor when you have this log splitter.
This machine runs on a powerful Honda 630 cc gas engine with an electric start.
It has a massive 42 ton splitting power.
This splitter can handle a log length of up to 24″ and a log diameter of up to 26″.
Typically, this is a machine for heavy-duty projects and commercial users.
The Wood-Mizer features a 2-stage hydraulic pump.
It comes with a hydraulic tank capacity of 25 gallons, which is large enough for any commercial project.
This beast offers bi-directional splitting. This means you can split the logs horizontally or vertically.
Ideally, the small-diameter logs are best split in a horizontal orientation, while large diameter logs are best split vertically. So, having the ability to tackle any log type without having reduce its size is a big time saver.
This machine is designed for heavy-duty usage so it has an incredibly quick cycle time.
It comes with a cycle time of around 4.5 seconds.
- 42 ton splitting power
- Can handle logs 24″ long and 26″ wide
- It offers bi-directional splitting
- The cycle time is super quick
- It features steel splitter plates that can dislodge a stuck log on the wedge
- It has a work table that lets you stage the delicate logs
- It runs on a strong engine that can handle both massive and minor logs
- Has wheels for tansportation
- Perfect for commercial & industrial users
- The engine is backed by a 5-year warranty
The Not So Good
- It is very pricey
- The wheels won’t maneuver easily on rough terrains
- The initial assembly might be challenging to a novice
- It needs proper attention/handling or you run the risk of it crashing and mangling the logs
Check The Wood-Mizer FS500 Log Splitter at Home Depot
Best 37 Ton Log Splitter
This smaller beast from RuggedMade is another amazing log splitter that can perfectly handle commercial grade jobs and heavy logs.
It comes with a push-through design, which is quite comfortable to use.
The blade of this splitter has been welded all the way to the end of the beam. The beam is comfortably placed to minimize the need for bending.
This splitter runs on a 420 cc Honda engine, which delivers 13.5 HP, and it has an electric start system.
The machine comes with a massive splitting force of 37 tons, and it can handle logs up to 30″ long and 24″ in diameter.
This log splitter has a 2-stage hydraulic pump.
The hydraulic tank capacity of this splitter is 12 gallons.
Unlike the Wood-Mizer this machine can only split logs in a horizontal orientation.
Luckily though, it has a 4-way blade that grants you a certain amount of flexibility with how you split your logs.
The splitter comes with a 3″ rod that helps to deliver a total of 15 seconds cycle time which is decent enough but may be too slow for some commercial users.
- 37 ton splitting power
- Can handle logs 30″ long and 24″ wide
- It features a hydraulic log lift to help you with very heavy logs
- It runs on a powerful Honda built engine
- The log catcher tray limits the need for bending to pick the split logs
- The machine is towable
- The fixed blade delivers an efficient splitting experience
- Great commercial & industrial machine
The Not So Good
- The assembly can seem somewhat complicated
- It only splits logs horizontally
- May be too slow for some heavy industrial users
Check The Rugged Made Log Splitter at Home Depot
Best 34 Ton log Splitter for the Money
The Ariens 917002 log splitter has been designed with a centrally based control system.
It also has an open operating zone that lets you work on the logs from either side of the splitter. This way, you won’t experience too much bending or walking.
This log splitter runs on a 211 cc Subaru OHC engine that delivers about 7 HP.
It comes with a recoil starting system.
The machine has a splitting power of 34 tons and can handle a maximum log length of 24″. It can also handle up to 25″ of log diameter.
The splitter has a 2-stage hydraulic pump.
It has a hydraulic tank capacity of about 4.5 gallons.
You can split logs on this machine in both orientations.
It supports both horizontal and vertical log splitting.
This way, you can work on both the small diameter and large diameter logs.
This machine seems lighter and less complex than the Wood-Mizer FS500 which are certainly positives, but on the negative side it has a longer cycle time.
It will cycle at a rate of about 18 seconds.
- 34 ton splitting power
- Can handle logs 24″ long and 25″ wide
- You can easily switch the orientation without the need for lifting the heavy logs onto the cradle
- It features a tow hitch, along with a jack stand for easy transportation/set up
- The delicate parts are located at the front, which limits the likelihood of damage
- Centrally-located controls for effortless operation
- It has an ergonomic height to give you an easy time when working with it
- The splitter comes with a powerful engine
- It features an idle control that conserves fuel
- Great for industrial and commercial users
- It is backed with a 3-year warranty
The Not So Good
- The cycle time could be quicker
- The assembly can be tedious
Check The Ariens 917002 Log Splitter at Home Depot
Best Electric Log Splitter
Electrically-powered garden and outdoor equipment is really gaining traction in the marketplace as people make a concerted effort to reduce their carbon footprint. So not surprisingly manufacturers have started designed and selling some great electrically-powered log splitters.
This WEN electric log splitter is one of the better electrically-powered machines. It comes with a 34″ stand that is removable.
You can use the splitter even in very cold temperatures and wet conditions.
Typically, you won’t have to worry about cold starts or clogged carburetors, thanks to the electric system.
It is a two-handed splitter that assures you of safety when operating it.
Furthermore, it comes with a fume-free design that eliminates the emission of carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.
The WEN 56207 splitter runs on a 15 Amp 2.5 HP motor that is not as powerful as its gas counterparts but does offer enough power to handle medium sized logs.
It is the smallest and lightest splitter on our list, weighing in at around 98 lbs.
Typically, the WEN 56207 splitter can deliver a splitting force of about 3.5 tons, which isn’t bad for an electrically-powered machine.
It can split logs of up to 20.5″ long and 10″ wide.
The Wen 56207 runs on an 15 Amp electric motor.
It doesn’t have hydraulic fluids or a pump.
Since this machine comes very small size and weight compared to other models, it means that it is only designed to handle small and medium sized logs. It is not suited for commercial use.
Typically, it can only split logs horizontally.
This one comes with a 20 second cycle time.
It has a cylinder stroke of 14.75 inches, along with a push plate of 16 square inches.
All these features mean that the splitter can still handle most hard woods.
- 3.5 ton splitting power
- Can handle logs 20.5″ long and 10″ wide
- It is lightweight and has handles for easy portability
- It runs on electricity; no carbon monoxide or toxic fumes
- The machine is very affordable
- You can hook it up on your tractor, riding mower or ATV
- It is two-handed for easy operation
- Good for industrial & residential use
- The machine is backed by a 2-year warranty
The Not So Good
- It might not handle all types of wood
- It supports only horizontal splitting
- The cycle time could be shorter
- Not for commercial use
Check the WEN Electric Log Splitter at Home Depot
Best Tractor Mounted Log Splitter
The Titan LSWX350 vertical log splitter is an easy and efficient way to split lumber into firewood with just a pull of a lever.
With a standard Cat 1, 3 point attachment system it is a breeze to transport and to install.
The splitter fully integrates with your tractor’s standard hydraulic system.
It produces a splitting force of 20 tons and can handle 24″ logs with no real width restriction.
The hydraulic system runs directly off your tractor.
This splitter only splits logs vertically.
- 20 ton splitting force
- Can handle 24″ logs
- Cheap log splitter
- Easy to transport and install
- Uses hydraulic system from your tractor
- Great for industrial use
The Not So Good
- Can’t be used independently as it has no power source
- Not for commercial use
Check The Titan Tractor Mounted Log Splitter at Home Depot
Best Manual Hydraulic Log Splitter
The Joe Sun Joe LJ10M is a 10 ton hydraulic log splitter that offers great value for money.
This is an excellent log splitter for home and cookout use.
The LJ10M Log Splitter is crafted of durable steel construction for reliable performance and durability.
The LJ10M features a log cradle to prevent split wood from falling.
The rear wheels and the splitter’s compact size means it’s easy to transport and store.
The LJ10M comes with a full two-year warranty.
The powerful hydraulic ram can build up to 10 tons of driving force to easily split even the toughest of wood.
It can split logs up to 18″ long and 8″ wide.
The pump is a manually operated 2-speed pump that can generate up to 10 tons of driving force to easily split logs for firewood.
- 10 ton splitting force
- Can handle logs 18″ and 8″ wide
- Log cradle prevents split wood from falling
- Durable steel construction
- Wheels for easy portability
- Full 2-year warranty
- No gas, oil or cords
- Great residential/camping/cookout log splitter
The Not So Good
- Labor intensive compared to powered models
- Not suitable for intensive usage
Check The Sun Joe Manual Hydraulic Log Splitter at Home Depot
Best Foot-Powered Log Splitter
For those of you who just need a good quality, but cheap, log splitter for splitting firewood this Quality Craft log splitter offers fantastic value for money.
The foot operated log splitter folds flat for easy transportation.
It is ideal for home use, for camping, cookouts and field work.
1.5 tons of pressure comes from simply stepping on the foot plate and using your body weight to depress the lever.
Ram force generates 1.5 tons of splitting force.
The continuous force is 1.5 tons.
- Offers 1.5 ton of splitting force
- Can handle logs 18″ ad 10″ wide
- Extremely lightweight
- Cheap residential log splitter
- Perfect for camping and cookouts
- Faster way to split your logs at low cost
The Not So Good
- It is what it is. There really are not drawbacks to this log splitter if you are looking for an entry-level splitter.
Check The Quality Craft Foot-Powered Log Splitter at Home Depot
Comparison Charts – Best Log Splitter for the Money
Commercial Log Splitter Comparison Chart
|Wood-Mizer FS500||RuggedMade||Ariens 917002|
|Engine||630 cc gas||420 cc||211 cc|
|Splitting Force||42 tons||37 tons||34 tons|
|Pump||2-stage hydraulic||2-stage hydraulic||2-stage hydraulic|
|Orientation||bi-directional splitting||horizontal||bi-directional splitting|
|Cycle Time||4.5 secs||15 secs||18 secs|
|Log size (length X width)||24" X 26"||30" X 24"||24" X 25"|
|Price||Check Home Depot||Check Home Depot||Check Home Depot|
Non-Commercial Log Splitter Comparison Chart
|WEN 56207||Titan LSWX350||Sun Joe LJ10M||Quality Craft|
|Power||15 Amp electric||must be attached to tractor||Manual dual-lever||Manual foot-powered|
|Splitting Force||3.5 tons||20 tons||10 tons||1.5 tons|
|Cycle Time||20 secs||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Log size (length X width)||20.5" X 10"||24" no width restriction||18" X 8"||18" X 10"|
|Application||residential/industrial||industrial||residential/camping/ cookouts||residential/camping/ cookouts|
|Price||Check Home Depot||Check Home Depot||Check Home Depot||Check Home Depot|