how to choose a good log splitter

As with many other products, the wood splitter market is now flooded with hundreds of models. Being exposed to lots of options, customers don’t know how to choose a log splitter that best fits their needs. I know how difficult it feels, so I wrote this article to make things a bit easier for you!

When choosing the best log splitter for your needs, consider how much tonnage you need. Most homeowners only require a 10-ton rating. Softwoods like spruce, pine and cottonwood require the least pressure. Whereas hardwoods like ash, elm and maple require a lot more pressure.

Though, even if you are splitting hardwoods for home use, it’s likely you won’t need to split any hardwood more than 12 inches in diameter; therefore, you may need a higher rated log splitter than the basic 10-ton rated, but you still won’t need an industrial strength one, which could actually do more harm than good for residential applications.

Another important thing to consider when buying a log splitter is your preferred power source. Maybe your circumstances are such where a certain kind is your only option. (For instance, you will be using your log splitter in a place where there is no access to electricity, which takes that option out of the running.)

Gas and electric are pretty much the most common power sources for log splitters, and most people have access to those things, so it often comes down to preference and what’s most economical for you.

Speaking of economics, while it may be tempting to go with a cheap log splitter that seems to meet your minimal specifications, it’s more important to look for a quality log splitter. The best log splitters are both safe and powerful.

Finally, it’s important to read log splitter reviews. Knowing other people’s experiences will help you make an informed decision.

Log splitter reviews

Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter

Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter


Perfect for home use

The LJ10M Logger Joe has the ability to split logs up to 18in x 8in in size. It’s rated for 10 tons of driving pressure, meaning it can handle just about any wood you might be using to make firewood for your fireplace. It can even handle hardwoods; since many homeowners like oak, this is definitely a point in the Logger Joe’s favor.


The Logger Joe is made out of steel for ultimate durability. This is important, because log splitting is a strenuous task on the equipment. Remember, this equipment is taking all the pressure that would be on you if you were doing the log splitting manually and putting on itself instead. A machine that can take that has to be tough, and the Logger Joe is just that—tough.

Log cradle

Some log splitters don’t have a mechanism for keeping the wood properly in place, but that’s not the case with the LJ10M. This model features a log cradle so that your split wood doesn’t fall, causing unnecessary hassle.


The LJ10M is a hydraulic log splitter that doesn’t require electricity. While it may technically be a manual splitter, the hydraulic power does the log splitting work backed by 10 tons of force. This is a great option for those who don’t have access to electricity but don’t want to spend extra money on gasoline.


The Logger Joe is lightweight compared to many of its competitors and comes with wheels attached for easier maneuvering. This is great for those who wish to take it camping or to their lake cabin while still being able to get it back home easily when vacation is over.


What to like about the Sun Joe LJ10M Logger Joe 10 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter:

  • Comes with a full 2-year warranty
  • 10-ton rated
  • Hydraulic, requires no electricity or gas
  • Durable steel construction
  • Lightweight and relatively compact, makes for easy traveling
  • Aesthetically attractive for those who like a nice appearance in their machinery


What to consider:

The LJ10M is a manual-hydraulic log splitter. However, because of the 10-tons of pressure powered by the hydraulic system, it’s still very easy to use without the hassle of plugging it in or filling it with gas.

Champion Power Equipment 90720 7 Ton Compact Portable Log Splitter

Champion Power Equipment 90720 7 Ton Compact Portable Log Splitter


Optimal efficiency

The 90720 features a 20-second cycle time and an auto-return control valve, which makes your log splitting more expeditious, thanks to its capability of reaching 180 cycles per hour. This is great for those who like their time to be as efficient as possible.

Smart design

A skewed wedge improves the quality of log splitting while the low-profile design, handle and never-flat tires are great for portability. The 90720 also features integrated log cradles, which further cuts down on time and adds convenience.

Highly capable

While a 7-ton rating may not seem like much, the Champion 90720 is able to split logs up to 19.3 inches long and 50 pounds in weight. This kind of power is amazing for such a convenient, portable piece of equipment.

Ideal for homeowners

While the 7-ton rating may not be enough for industrial needs, it’s more than enough to split any softwood and most hardwoods, providing they meet the length and weight specifications. Because of that, this model will be able to handle the needs of most homeowners, making it a great choice for those who will be using it exclusively for home or otherwise non-industrial usage.


What to like about the Champion Power Equipment 90720 7 Ton Compact Portable Log Splitter:

  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support
  • Rated 7 tons, so it’s capable of cutting softwoods and most hardwoods
  • Ideal for homeowners
  • Portable and compact for easy travel, making it great for camping and vacations
  • Low-profile design; this makes it more stable when packed with a lot of split wood
  • Integrated log cradles provide convenience and stability


What to consider:

  • It’s only rated for 7 tons. However, when you factor in its portability, this isn’t that big of an issue. Unless you’re splitting extremely hard woods, this still makes for a fine splitter.
  • You’ll need to make sure you have motor oil and hydraulic oil available to use and maintain this log splitter. This isn’t a big deal, because most splitters of this type require that sort of thing, but it’s worth mentioning.

Granberg Chainsaw Mill, Model # G777

Granberg WoodSplitter, Model # G777



This type of log splitter is actually an attachment that you put on a chainsaw. It’s compatible with chainsaws that have 20 inch bars or less. Because of its design, it’s lighter than many other log splitting options, however you should consider the weight of the chainsaw you’re using when tallying up total weight.

Great capacity

Though it’s small in size, the Granberg Chain Saw Mill can cut lumber and beams that are 0.5 inches thick to 13 inches thick, and are no more than 17 inches wide.

Easy to install on your chainsaw

You don’t need a drilling bar to attach this mill to your chainsaw. It’s always nice to not need extra tools when you really just need to get to work without all the fuss.

Easily convert timber to lumber

Converting timber to lumber may seem daunting to homeowners who are even used to making their own firewood. However, with the Granberg Mill, you needn’t be intimidated. Creating lumber is a breeze.


What to like about the Granberg Chain Saw Mill # G777:

  • Far lighter in weight due to its very different design from some of its other log splitting competitors
  • Easy to install on your already existing chainsaw
  • High capacity for a very small splitter
  • Great for making lumber
  • Just because its design is different from some of its competitors, this isn’t a cheap log splitter—it has a lot of good points about it


What to consider:

  • You have to own a 20-inch bar or less chain saw or be prepared to buy one to use the Granberg Chain Saw Mill. However, many people already own this type of chainsaw, so this isn’t really that big of a deal.
  • While it’s definitely lighter weight than almost every other type of log splitter, you have to add the weight of the chainsaw to get the total weight you will be carrying during usage. This isn’t a problem for most, but it’s something to consider if you have a back issue and find chainsaws heavy.

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton

Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter, 7-Ton


Electric log splitter

Electric log splitters are one of the most common types it’s no wonder why. For starters, electricity is abundant, as long as you have electricity on the property where you’ll be doing log splitting. It’s more environmentally friendly than fossil fuel options. And, last but certainly not least, you don’t have to worry about lugging a gas can around or driving to the gas station at a moment’s notice. Electric splitters are definitely the right choice for many consumers who are looking for a more convenient log splitting solution.

Powerful motor

The Boss Industrial Electric Log Splitter comes with a powerful 2-horsepower motor that greatly speeds up your log splitting needs while reducing the strain on you, the operator. There are other hydraulic log splitters out there that don’t actually have motors, so you could absolutely call the Boss’s motor one of its key features and one of the key points to consider when making your decision—especially if timesaving is important to you.

Easy to operate

All you have to do is push a button to start up the ES7T20. It’s really that simple. Operation is one-handed and it features an automatic ram return. Sometimes beginners can be intimidated when it comes to power tools, and the log splitter is one of the toughest power tools commonly used in a residential setting. This ease of use and small learning curb is great for those who have never used a log splitter before, yet it’s so powerful that you’ll still be happy with it once you become more confident in your log splitter capabilities.


Professional-grade hydraulics backed by 7 tons of pressure make this a compact but powerful piece of log splitting machinery. This is perfect for the homeowner that wants a powerful yet easy-to-use tool. Remember, there are a lot of cheap log splitters out there that are capable of 7 tons of pressure, but without great hydraulics, they’re just going to be duds.


What to like about the Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter:

  • Due to its use of electricity, you don’t have to worry about keeping gasoline around to power your log splitter—many people will find this highly convenient.
  • Push button activated for ease of use
  • One-handed operation makes for a simpler work experience
  • Pro-grade hydraulics add more torque and strength to the log splitter
  • Automatic ram return speeds up your work exponentially
  • 7-ton rated means you will be able to cut any softwood and almost every hardwood, making it perfect for homeowners who need versatility in their log splitting machinery
  • 2-horsepower motor is strong enough to tackle just about any residential log splitting task, including hardwoods like oak and elm.


What to consider:

  • It’s electrical powered. While that will be music to most people’s ears, there are those who don’t have access to electricity where they will be doing their log splitting, so that’s something to consider for those users.
  • You can’t use it vertically. However, most models of a fashion similar to this one can’t be used vertically either, and indeed it might be dangerous to do so. It’s always best to use a machine the way it was engineered to be used, so this isn’t a problem—just a point to note.

Powerhouse Log Splitters XM-580 9 Ton Electric Hydraulic Horizontal Log Splitter, Red/Black/Silver

Powerhouse Log Splitters XM-580


Powerful motor

Thanks to its 3.5 horsepower motor that runs at 2,200 watts, the Powerhouse XM-580 Log Splitter is super powerful and makes quick work of your log splitting tasks. Most homeowners who use firewood are busy people who just want to get the job done and the powerhouse enables you to do just that.

New hydraulic system

Powerhouse’s patented hydraulic system touts a 45% increase in torque. Torque is a simple term (also known as moment of force) which describes a force’s ability to cause an object to rotate around a pivot. What that means in layman’s terms is simply this: more power.

Easy and versatile usage

There is very little learning curb on the Powerhouse XM-580 Log Splitter, making it great for beginners, including homeowners who have a fireplace for the first time and want to start making their own firewood. Also, because it’s electric, there are no weird fumes so you can use it inside or outside, on a floor or on a bench—it’s really up to you!

Great for hardwoods

Some of the log splitting options for homeowners are still perfectly adequate for hardwood, but thanks to the higher tonnage on this model, it will be easier to cut hardwoods. So, if you will mostly be cutting hardwood instead of softwood, this is a point to consider.


What to like about the Powerhouse XM-580 9 Ton Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter:

  • New patented hydraulics provide greater torque
  • Easy to use
  • Designed for horizontal usage
  • Electric-hydraulic, so no need to worry about gasoline or the fumes it brings
  • Safe for indoor or outdoor use
  • Can be used on the ground or on a bench
  • Has a power 3.5 horsepower motor


What to consider:

  • It’s heavier than some of the other options out there, but it’s still portable thanks to its back wheels, so you don’t have to worry about being unable to transport it.
  • It’s a horizontal model. Some people are very adamant about getting a model that accommodates vertical log splitting; however, most log splitters for home use are horizontal nowadays, generally for safety reasons. Remember, it’s always best to use a log splitter as it’s intended.

Final Recommendation

how to choose a good log splitter 2

Out of the many log splitters we tried out, and out of all the log splitter reviews we’ve done, there can be only one winner and that winner is the Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter. With its powerful motor and 7-ton rating, this beast can stand up to practically any log splitting job a homeowner can put it through.

Meanwhile, it’s one-handed operation and push-button start mechanism makes it easy to use for homeowners who are beginners at log splitting. The hydraulic system is professional grade, complimenting the 2-horsepower electric motor perfectly and the automatic ram return speeds up your log splitting work tremendously.

Overall, the Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter is an ideal, must-have machine for any homeowner who has a fireplace or an electric stove. It truly is a high-quality timesaver and hands down the best long splitter of its kind on the market today.

I hope that after reading my article, you now have more knowledge about how to choose a log splitter that best fits your needs. Enjoy!

More on this topic:

Gas Fireplace Logs — A Good Replacement Of Traditional Wood Fireplace

Benefits of Using a Log Splitter

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