Best Gas Log Splitter 2019: Buying Guide and Top 5
Anyone who’s ever attempted to split logs using an axe and a chopping block knows how backbreaking and how time-consuming it is. To reduce physical labor and working time, we can rely on good ol’ log splitters to do the heavy work. Unlike that rusty axe you have hanging in your shed, a log splitter uses force rather than speed to split logs.
What to Look for in a Log Splitter
Like with almost every tool, a log splitter can be split up into three categories: manual, electric, and gas.
Manual Log Splitters
This type of log splitter is the most affordable option, but its log-splitting capacity is somewhat limited, capping out at only around 14 tons. The average cycle can take up to 3 minutes, so if you’re looking to chop piles of wood in as little time as possible, this type of log splitter isn’t the best option.
Electric Log Splitters
This type of machine is considerably more expensive than a manual one, but it can get work done a lot quicker. The force exerted to split logs is usually maxed at 20 tons. Because they rely on electricity, the area in which you split logs is limited to either near an electrical outlet or completely dependent on a portable generator.
Gas Log Splitters
This type of log splitter is the Rolls Royce of the log-splitting world. They come with the beefiest motors that can deliver upwards of 40 tons. However, with great power comes a ridiculous price tag, but you get what you pay for in terms of speed and performance. Because this log splitter runs off of gasoline, it can release dangerous fumes if used indoors. It’s recommended that this log splitter is run outside and away from children and pets. For the rest of this article, we’re going to focus on gas-powered log splitters.
The size of the rail indicates how large a log the device can split. You’ll want to take a look at the trees or logs in your area to determine how big a device you actually need. Gas log splitters come in sizes and have different log-splitting capacities, so be sure to pick the right model that’s comfortable to use and delivers enough force for the size and type of wood you’re splitting.
Type of Wood
Depending on the make and model of a gas log splitter, there will be certain types of wood that a machine won’t be able to split. The type of woods can be categorized as either seasoned (dry-aged for over a year) or green or virgin wood (fresh from the forest with high moisture content). Generally, green wood requires greater force to split evenly – at least 16 tons of force.
Hydraulic or Kinetic Log Splitter
Within the gas-powered log splitter category, there are two options to choose from – a hydraulic log splitter or a kinetic one. Hydraulic models can exert twice or even three times as much force as a kinetic one, though they come with a higher price tag and require hydraulic fluid to function. As for kinetic models, their main focus is speed, requiring less than 4 or 5 seconds per cycle. However, their motors are limited in terms of delivery, so splitting 30-inch logs or knotted wood is out of the question.
Which Gas Log Splitter to Get
By now, you should understand the basics of what you need your log splitter to do and what to expect from it. To help in your quest for finding the perfect gas-powered log splitter, we’re going to give you our pick of the top 5 gas log splitters currently on the market.
5 Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25 Ton Gas Powered Log Splitter
The SLS20825 from Southland is a heavy-duty log splitter. It comes with a 208 cc engine and hydraulic press that delivers up to 8.5 foot-pounds of torque and 25 tons of force that can split seasoned logs of up to 26 feet in length.
For a hydraulic log splitter, it’s also rather efficient, splitting logs at only a 17-second cycle so you can get more work done in a short amount of time. Its 16-inch pneumatic wheels let you drag or two the unit behind your truck at speeds of up to 45 mph. One thing that adds tremendous value to the SLS20825 is that it can split logs both vertically and horizontally.
4 YARDMAX YS2565 25 Ton Half Beam Gas Log Splitter
The 208 cc 6.5-HP engine on the YS2565 from YARDMAX exerts up to 25 tons of force using its hydraulic press design that splits seasoned logs of up to 26 inches long. Its handy dual log-catchers placed conveniently on either side of the plate.
Unlike many other models on the market, the YS2565’s wedge moves towards the plate instead of the other way around, and it even includes a 4-way splitting wedge for maximum efficiency. Its U-Beam design makes flipping the unit up and down for vertical or horizontal log-splitting much stronger and easier to do without any assistance compared to the traditional I-Bream setup.
3 Champion 37-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Gas Log Splitter
The gas-powered hydraulic log splitter is a beast. This Champion Power Equipment-made behemoth exerts up to 37 tons to split 24-inch long logs of up to 100 pounds in weight. Efficiency is a priority with this unit as it only takes users roughly 16 seconds to split a single log from start to finish.
Its massive 16-inch makes this log splitter towable at up to 45 mph, but it’s also designed to fit comfortably on the beds of most pickup trucks. The included log catchers and strippers keep your lumber from tumbling off the rail when in both horizontal and vertical orientations.
2 Champion Power Equipment No.92221 Gas Powered Log Splitter
Champion’s 92221 is also a noteworthy gas-powered log splitter. It’s the little brother version of the previous model. The 23-inch hydraulic cylinder exerts up to 22 tons of brute force for slicing up to 100-pound logs 24 inches long. For a 22-ton model, its 2-stage hydraulic pump holds a tremendous amount of fluid (11 GPM) for increased efficiency and performance.
Like the Champion model discussed earlier, the 92221 can also be loaded onto the trunks of many pickup trucks or towed by trucks or even ATVs. The only drawback is that it takes a considerable amount of time to assemble, but you can get to cracking cords and cords of logs in no time.
1 Champion 7-Ton Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter
Finally, our number one pick goes to another one of Champion’s units. This unit is different from the others in that the hydraulic system exerts only 7 tons of force. Because the unit is considerably smaller than the others on our list, the rail on this machine can only support logs that are 19 inches long and 50 pounds heavy.
This, however, means that if you plan on splitting larger logs, then you’ll need to put in some elbow grease to cut large logs down to size before placing them on this machine’s rail. Don’t let the small size and limited power fool you – the wedge can cut through logs without trouble at all.
This article should give you a basic idea on what a gas-powered log splitter has to offer. If you’re tired of lugging large, backbreaking logs to the chopping block and risk bashing your shins when wielding a heavy axe, then you’ll appreciate the beauty and ease of using a log splitter.
Of all the different types of log splitters, gas-powered ones are, hands down, the best option you can go with. This type of machine is designed to split multiple cords of logs in less than a day. The price tag of many of these models can be jaw-dropping, but considering how easy it is to operate on of these bad boys, and how much time you’ll save by doing so, it’s really a no-brainer.
There are several points that need to be considered before purchasing a log splitter. First of all, how large or small are the logs in your area? You’ll need a larger device with a beefier motor if you plan on splitting logs more than 24 inches long and wide. The condition of the wood you plan on splitting – seasoned or green – should also be taken into consideration since green wood requires greater force to split evenly.
To assist you on your quest of finding the right gas-powered log splitter for your home or business, we’ve compiled a list of our pick of the top 5 models. Southland and YARDMAX models are great choices, but we give our highest of recommendations for Champion’s units. The top 3 of our list are all Champion-made and have different amounts of force to cater to a wider market.
If you need to cut green wood or just deal with thick logs on a regular basis, then we suggest getting either their 37-ton model or their 24-ton one. If you need one just to prepare to kindle for your own fireplace, and if your area of the forest is littered with thin, seasoned logs, then their 7-ton model might be the perfect option.