Investing a few hundred pounds in a log splitter is not something to take lightly. Log splitters can save you a lot of backaches and can get you through your wood supply in a day without really feeling like you’re working.
But choose a bad log splitter and you’ll need an axe to pre-cut the logs, or you’ll throw your back, or the handle will break.
It’s essential to select the best log splitter according to your needs. Read the buying guide below and then take a look at some of the best products on the market. The FAQ section at the end helps you choose a good splitter than will fit your needs and preferences.
Here is all you need to know about how to buy a log splitter:
A log splitter with a big tonnage is better for denser, greener wood with a bigger diameter. If you need to cut through green hardwood logs with a diameter of over 40 or 50 cm, get a log splitter with at least 12 tonnes of power.
If you need to break wood for your oven, and you have 20-cm seasoned logs from softwood, you can get away with a 4-5-ton machine or even a manual splitter.
It’s essential that the log splitter is easy to use, especially for beginners. The buttons need to be easy to reach, and you shouldn’t have to make too many moves before the logs are split.
Therefore you’ll save time, and you can get your wood fire ready without getting frustrated or grabbing your axe.
The log splitter has to be effective for your purposes, so make sure you read the specs. For instance, are your logs longer than usual? Not all log splitters are equipped to cut logs of over 1 meter in length. In fact, most medium-sized log splitters can split logs that are about 30-40 cm long.
You can also look for log splitters with innovative characteristics, depending on your needs.
Some splitters have an adjustable table that accommodates logs of every size, which is good if you have mixed log sizes.
Other splitters have a bigger power because they can cut the log from both sides. This feature is great for knotty, hardwood logs where one blade can get blocked, while the other will continue to cut.
Dimensions and weight are important for portability reasons, but portability is not an essential factor for everyone.
For instance, your working space might be somewhere in your garden, very far from the main house, with no access to electricity. In this case, you need a gasoline-based log splitter that’s easy to move around, which means smaller, and more compact, possibly with wheels.
Other people want to help their friends and carry their wood splitters at different places, for example, when they attend barbecues at different locations.
If your log splitter is huge and over 100 kg, you can’t move it around very easily, but that might be ok for those who have wall sockets in a shed and don’t plan to store the splitter somewhere else because it’s in constant or semi-constant use.
Safety features are important to consider, especially for newbies, though everyone should choose tools with minimal risk of hazard or injury.
Some good safety features to consider are safeguards that don’t let the logs or debris get out of their cage during the cutting process, a good log securing mechanism, and an auto-stop button.
Comfort of Use
You want your splitter to be ergonomic and comfortable. Look for signs that the splitter is anatomically correct, such as working height that should accommodate your body size, and grip.
If you’re working on the splitter for just 20 minutes every week, these features might not be important. If you’re operating the splitter for hours during a longer period, comfort and ergonomics are essential features to consider.
Choose a log splitter that’s manufactured from sturdy materials and with good craftsmanship. Splitters that are manufactured from metal, like aluminium or steel, are better than plastic log splitters because they last longer, and they can cut through tougher wood.
On the other hand, plastic splitters are more affordable and are generally lighter. A plastic splitter is a good choice for those with a limited budget and looking to split small, brittle logs on an occasional basis.
Best Log Splitters on the UK market
Fiskars Splitting Axe XL X25 – best log splitting axe
Fiskars Splitting Axe is the best log splitting axe on the market currently because:
It cuts Logs with a diameter of 30+ cm
The Fiskars Splitting Axe is an XL axe, with a total length of 77cm. This length puts it in the category of splitting axes, which are good for cutting logs with a diameter of more than 30 cm.
You can use this axe to split logs for your campfire, fireplace, barbecue, or oven.
It’s easy to split logs with it
This splitting axe boasts a sharp blade, manufactured from hardened steel, and painted with a durable layer of coating. These characteristics turn the Fiskars splitting axe into a strong instrument.
Besides, the head and the handle are well-balanced thanks to an ingenious design. This means you can achieve good swing power for those logs.
The handle is durable because it’s manufactured from plastic reinforced with fibreglass. This handle resists to all types of weather and impacts without shattering.
This axe is manufactured in Finland by a trustworthy company with a long tradition since the 17th century, and that ensures the Fiskars Splitting Axe’s long life.
The handle is not separately attached to the head, which is a safer design. You can rest assured the head won’t fall while the axe is over your head.
Your hands won’t be sore
The grip is very comfortable because the handle is coated with a textured material that doesn’t slip from your hands. There’s also a flared guard over the tip of the handle to protect your fingers.
The Fiskars Splitting Axe weighs a little over 2.5 kg, so it’s easy to handle. The blade can be sharpened with no problems with a common blade sharpener, or you can buy one together with this axe.
The package includes a storage case for extra portability and safe-keeping.
- Easy to handle
- Comfortable grip
- Not that good for splitting dry logs
- Some users prefer hickory handles
AGMA Swedish Log Splitter – best manual log splitter
If you’re looking for a manual log splitter, this model by AGMA is worth considering because:
It’s easy to use
Of course, you need a base log for the job first. You get clear instructions on how to mount this log splitter on the base, both in the package and on the official website or Amazon.
All you have to do is tighten a few bolts and make sure the log splitter stays in the right position.
After that, you will use both your hands to lift the striking weight, then drop it onto the log until you split it completely.
It’s also easy to make kindling. Put your piece of wood under the edge and release the weight until the wood breaks.
All reviewers appreciate the lack of effort involved in this process because all you have to do is allow gravity to do the job for you.
This log splitter is safe to use, although you have to lift the weight above your head and release it to split the wood. But because the weight and the rod are connected, you don’t have to worry about the weight falling in the wrong place, aka on your feet instead of the logs.
Some log splitters use petrol or electricity to work. Although automatic log splitters are more convenient because they require less effort from your part, manual log splitters are safer because they pose no fire hazards.
The AGMA Swedish log splitter is high enough to accommodate people of most height ranges. Using a regular axe for long periods can cause back, shoulder, or neck pain.
But this log splitter keeps you in a comfortable position at all times, with virtually no risk for throwing your back.
It’s a value for money product
Considering its price, its long life, and its qualities, the AGMA log splitter is the best value product in its category.
It’s effective for the job
This log splitter can help you split lots of wood for a grill or the oven. Although it takes longer than an axe and it can’t perform well with knotty or tough wood, the AGMA Swedish log splitter is effective for the right type of logs.
Although it weighs 9 kg, this weight has its purpose of making sure you break logs as easy as possible.
The instructions in the package are straightforward but remember you need a splitting block of generous dimensions, which you can acquire from a log supplier.
Everything else apart from this block is included in the pack, meaning you can use the AGMA splitter straight out of the box.
Make sure you get some year defenders, though, because the AGMA splitter is one of the noisiest products on the market.
- Easy to use
- Gets the job done
- Ready to use straight out of the box
- Not for tough wood
- Not for knotty logs
Forest Master 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter – best 5 ton log splitter
If you want a heavy-duty log splitter, the Forest Master is the best in the 5-ton category because:
It’s as powerful as five tons of force
The 2200 watt motor is almost 50% more powerful than the motor featured by other electric log splitters, which are only around 1500 watt.
And 2200 watts translate into five tons of power, whereas other electric log splitters achieve just four tons of power.
It splits big logs
Thanks to its sturdy construction, good design, and high-power engine, the Forest Master can split logs up to 370 mm in length. The maximum log diameter allowed is 250mm, meaning you can split pretty chunky pieces of wood.
It offers lifetime technical support
Forest Master is a reliable company, concerned about user experience. Even if you’re a pro and know all about log splitters and axes, you might still need some advice once in a while.
Forest Master’s unique selling proposition is a lifetime technical support for any difficulties using their log splitter. All customers who have had to deal with their customer service team leave good feedback about the assistance they received.
It saves you money
The Forest Master works with 240 Volts, which is not a lot compared to similar log splitters. In fact, this voltage helps you save up to half the electricity you would save when you compare the 5-ton Forest Master with other electric log splitters that use two levers.
The Forest Master is safe because it comes with a safety guard and workbench. You also need to operate it with both hands, which adds more stability and balance to the mix.
Back to the safety guard, this piece of equipment contains the logs you split as well as the debris in a cage, which minimizes the risk of getting injured.
Other electric log splitters feature safeguards too, but the Forest Master’s boasts a unique design with no holes on its sides. That design feature reduces the risk of a log bumping into and damaging the cage.
- Easy to use
- Easy to transport
- Good for beginners
- Value for money
- Lifetime support
- Better for smaller fires
- The plastic oil filler handle can break if you’re not careful
Forest Master 7 Ton Heavy Duty Electric Log Splitter – best 7 ton electric log splitter
Forest Master does not disappoint its customers. Their 5-ton log splitter is good for medium pieces of wood, but their 7-ton model is a piece of heavy-duty machinery meant for bigger logs. This product is the best in its category because:
It cuts fast
The Forest Master 7 Ton Log splitter has a unique design, with a Duocut blade that works on your log from both sides. Conventional splitters only split the wood from one end, which takes longer, especially if they have to deal with a knot.
In the case of the Forest Master 7 Ton, if one blade gets blocked by a knot, the other one can do its job, and the log eventually gets cut without you intervening.
Besides, the two blades put pressure on the log from two separate sides, which means the log breaks faster.
It splits bigger logs quickly
The cutting from two ends design ensures you can deal with bigger logs effortlessly, but there are other characteristics that allow this Forest Master Log Splitter to cut through bigger logs.
For instance, this machinery is sturdy and durable because it’s made of metal. You can’t expect a flimsy product to take care of huge logs.
It is also in the heavy-duty category, with a 7-ton splitting power that allows it to take care of logs with a maximum length of 430 mm and a maximum diameter of 400 mm.
Another characteristic that allows it to cut through bigger logs easily is its fully adjustable cycle. The Forest Master 7 Ton Log Splitter has a unique cycle with a ram stop that matches the length of your logs, which saves time.
The cycle time is just 15 seconds, but thanks to the ram stop, you don’t have to go through the full cycle for shorter logs.
It features a powerful motor with energy-saving
This Forest Master log splitter has a 2200 watt motor too, which is more powerful than the industry standard. That way, you’re sure this log splitter will help you split even tough or knotty wood easily.
The motor works with a 220-240 voltage, which is less than other log splitters. Besides, this machine doesn’t use any electricity outside of its working cycles, meaning it saves more energy for your bill.
Just like the Forest Master 5-ton, this product features a unique safety guard with no side holes to make sure the logs and debris are trapped inside, and to minimize the possibility of a stray log damaging it.
The two-blade design is another safety-friendly feature because the log won’t fall off the splitter, meaning your risk of injury is reduced.
The two-hand operation and workbench are other reliable safety characteristics because they ensure proper posture and good balance.
Besides, this product comes with CE approval because it’s weather-resistant to IP54. This rating means your log splitter resists dust ingress and splashing water from any sides so that you can operate it even during light rain.
It’s comfortable to use
Unlike some other electric log splitters, this model accommodates a normal working height. That means you don’t have to keep bending over and over each time you change the log.
The two wheels on the back add to its portability. Although this is a heavy machinery of almost 50kg, you can still move it around your garden easily.
- Easy to use
- Easy to assemble
- Sturdy; made from solid metal
- Good for bigger logs
- Good for tough or knotty wood
- The instructions could be better
- The buttons are not conveniently placed for easy reach
Mitox LS700BS 7t Petrol Vertical Log Splitter – best vertical log splitter
The Mitox LS700BS is a powerful log splitter and one of the best log splitters for home use in the category of vertical splitters because:
The Mitox LS700BS features Quicksplit technology, which helps you cut your logs faster. This function lets you adjust the start position of the push block, depending on the size of the logs you’re cutting.
Another time-saving advantage is the Multisplit wedge that requires just one stroke to split your logs into four pieces, regardless of their size.
The splitting table features three adjustment positions depending on the size of the wood you’re cutting. Apart from saving time, this feature also saves you petrol.
It can break different sizes of logs
The biggest log size you can break with this log splitter is 104 cm in length and 32 cm in diameter, which is great if you need firewood for the winter. Thanks to the Quicksplit technology and the adjustable table, you can split even smaller pieces of wood for a grill or wood oven.
You operate this machine with two hands, which adds to stability and balance.
The handguards keep your hands from entering the splitting area, even accidentally, because they feature toothed grippers that secure the logs. The splitter only gets to a starting position only when the handles are released.
However, you have to set up the Mitox LS700BS correctly to make sure it’s safe. Its height has to accommodate your body size, or otherwise, you’re prone to back or shoulder aches from bending over the machine.
The motor works on petrol, which is very convenient for remote places in your garden where you don’t have access to electricity.
Although the Mitox LS700BS weighs about 135 kg, you can transport it easily thanks to the two back wheels. It’s easier to transport it on flat ground, but the wheels help you on uneven or inclined terrain too.
The Mitox LS700BS boasts a powerful motor, which is described as a personal power plant in the official specifications. This Briggs & Straton engine is indeed powerful because it gets up to 208 ccs, and it can break any logs in four pieces from just one stroke.
This vertical log splitter boasts a maximum force of 7 tonnes, which is more than enough for dealing with tough or knotty wood.
- 4-way split
- 104 cm max splitting length
- 7-ton force
- 208 cc Briggs & Straton motor
- Not great for wide logs as the max breaking diameter is just 32 cm
Forest Master 5 Ton Fast Electric Hydraulic FM5 Log Splitter – best fast hydraulic log splitter
The previous three products were all hydraulic log splitter, but this model by Forest Master is the top fastest one in its category. Here’s why:
It has a 9-second cycle
Nine seconds is very little, meaning you can get through your woodpile in minutes. You will have plenty of wood ready for an oven or a grill without any hassle.
The motor is 2200 watts, just like the two other Forest Master models above. And just like we explained above, 2200 watts is almost 50% more power than the industry standard.
It’s light and compact
This Forest Master log splitter weighs just 32 kg and has compact dimensions so you can move it around easily. You don’t need a lot of room in your garage either for storing it, and you can stash it in your trunk to lend it to a friend without any issues.
It’s optimal for newbies
Because it’s so fast, powerful, and light, the Forest Master FM5 Hydraulic Log splitter is great for beginners.
This machine allows you to operate the button and the lever at the same time, with both your hands, which is another convenient, safe, and beginner-friendly feature.
It’s effective on medium-type logs
The 2200 watt motor produces the equivalent of 5 tons of force, which works well on medium-length logs. The logs you can split with it have to be soft or green wood, with a maximum length of 30 cm and a maximum diameter of 25 cm.
- 9-second cycle
- Good for beginners
- Not noisy
- Can be used for making pellets
- Can be used out of the box because it has the right level of oil
- Not for hard or seasoned wood according to the official description, though some users claim they’ve used it for these types of wood too, including knotty logs
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve seen our top contenders. Now let’s see if you still have unanswered questions on how to choose the best log splitter for your needs.
Log Splitter Vs. Axe
An axe is what a typical horror movie murderer will use, while a log splitter is what his grandma would have.
And grandma would win.
Log splitters have some advantages over axes because you just insert the piece of wood in the slot and let gravity or hydraulics do the work for you. Log splitters can deal with longer lengths, too, and you can go through a pile per day without feeling like you’re working.
However, axes are faster. Although some fancy log splitters have a short cycle of just 10-15 seconds and promise to break a log in multiple parts in one go, a strong, young person handling an axe is probably faster.
Keep in mind that some log splitters can’t deal with tough or knotty wood well, in which case you still need an axe to help you. You can split large round logs with an axe first so that the splitter can work faster on them.
The biggest advantage of log splitters is the decreased risk of injury and accidents, plus no backaches or shoulder pain.
How Do Log Splitters Work?
There are two types of log splitters: manual and hydraulic.
Manual log splitters are activated by gravity. You set them up on a round base log, lift a heavyweight with both your hands and drop it on the log or pellet that needs breaking.
Using a manual log, splitter takes longer than using an axe or a hydraulic splitter, but they are a good choice for the money.
Hydraulic log splitters feature an engine that is connected to a hydraulic oil pump that activates a valve, which actuates a hydraulic cylinder that splits a log. Hydraulic log splitters can be either electric or petrol-based, depending on the source of energy needed to run.
Hydraulic log splitters are good for bigger, wider logs and have powerful, sharp blades. Some models even feature two blades that cut the logs from both sides.
What Size Log Splitter Do I Need
Which log splitter is best? How big should it be? How many tonnes of force should it have?
That depends on your purposes.
How large are the logs?
Log splitters apply pressure on the grain, while axes cut the grain short. A thick wood needs more force to break it.
- 4-ton splitter: 15 cm in diameter
- 5-ton splitter: 20 cm in diameter
- 6-ton splitter: 25 cm in diameter
- 7-ton splitter: 30 cm in diameter
How green are your logs?
Greenwood is freshly cut, meaning it has more water. Seasoned wood has less water, so it’s more brittle and easier to crack. You can recognize green wood by its green, light brown hue, while seasoned wood is a darker shade of brown.
Because seasoned wood is more brittle, it needs less tonnage.
A log with a diameter of 30 cm can be dealt with a 7-ton splitter provided it’s seasoned wood. If your 30-cm in diameter log is green wood, you’ll need a 12-ton splitter.
Is your log hardwood or softwood?
Hardwood trees are denser than softwood trees because they have less space between their grains. Pines and hickory trees are hardwood, while cone-bearing trees like and pines are softwoods.
Because hardwood logs are denser, you need a bigger tonnage splitter for the job.
We’ve dealt with your splitter’s power, but how big should your splitter be?
- Long, green logs, with a big diameter, require a bigger and, therefore, more stable, sturdy, and powerful log splitter.
- Short, seasoned logs, with a smaller diameter, require a smaller and, therefore, more compact log splitter.
How Much Hydraulic Oil (Fluid) In Log Splitter?
That depends on how big your log splitter is, but it shouldn’t be more than 200-300 millilitres.
The reservoir should be filled before use and changes after 100 hours of use, along with the filter. Otherwise, the cylinder and the hoses will draw in the fluid, which will damage your splitter and turn your warranty void.
This article takes you through a series of best log splitters for different tasks, and you should choose according to your needs.
You can use the Fiskars Splitting Axe to cut light logs. In terms of comfort – well, let’s just say it’s quite silent to use.
If you don’t want an axe, the AGMA Swedish Log Splitter is the best cheap splitter option because it’s easy to use, and it’s effective for smaller, brittle logs with no knots.
In the big boys (5 ton) category, we have two contenders: Forest Master 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter, which is the best choice because it’s the most effective, and the Forest Master Ton Fast Electric Hydraulic FM5 Log Splitter, which is the fastest choice thanks to its 9-second cycle.
In the 7 ton category, our top choices are Forest Master 7 Ton Heavy Duty Electric Log Splitter with its Duocut blade and fully adjustable cycle, that can cut 40-cm diameter logs, and the Mitox LS700BS 7t Petrol Vertical Log Splitter, with its Quicksplit technology, Multisplit wedge and adjustable splitting table for longer logs up to 104 cm in length.