When it comes to making short work of firewood, there aren’t many things in the world better than a gas powered log splitter. While it’s not ideal if you’re just trying to keep your fireplace lit for a night they’re absolutely awesome for making cords and cords of firewood.
If you’re looking into purchasing one of these powerful, and expensive, devices then you’ll be glad to know we’ve done the research for you and can present you with the best around.
Best Overall !
For someone who needs to split firewood a couple of times a year, this is probably the best splitter on the market. The comparatively low cost and impressive power can make cutting firewood a thing of the past.
Top 5 Gas Powered Log Splitters
|Champion Power Equipment 90720|
|Dirty Hand Tools 100171||Professional||22 ton|
|Southland Outdoor Power Equipment||Intermediate||25 ton|
|Dirty Hand Tools 100408||Professional||27 ton|
|Dirty Hand Tools 100450||Intermediate||15-25 ton|
When Should You Use a Gas Log Splitter
For most people who have relatively small firewood needs, it might be better to handle things with an axe and a chopping block. If you live in a cold climate, are working with large logs, or even want to sell off some of the excess lumber on your property however they’re pretty much indispensable.
Smaller splitters can be good for those who simply don’t want to bother with an axe. They’re relatively cheap and can save you a lot of labor.
For the really big stuff, however, there’s simply no substitute for a large log splitter. They’ll save you both time and backbreaking labor when it comes down to it and allow you to make fairly short work of some pretty impressive logs.
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If you’re taking care of green wood any bigger than 6” in diameter, you really should look into investing in one of these. While seasoned wood can generally be split with the right hand tools and some patience, green wood causes some serious problems for even the experienced woodcutter and a log splitter can save you a lot of time and effort.
How to Size Your Gas Log Splitter
There are a ton of different size options available on the market, but the size is the most important thing for most people to take into account. When you’re looking at purchasing one this is the primary deciding factor for most people.
Consumer grade splitters are great for getting your firewood done or the year in a couple of sessions. They’ll range from 7-30 tons of power and can usually handle logs up to 21”. For the most part, however, you’ll still have to lift the log on top.
Make sure to look for a trailer attachment as well if you gather your wood from somewhere else. While some consumer models will have it, it’s definitely not guaranteed.
Intermediate, or “prosumer grades” are good for those who rely on splitting a lot of wood or want to split slightly bigger logs. They come with between 20 and 37 tons of power or so and can handle much bigger logs than the smaller consumer grade machines.
They can usually be oriented to allow you to roll logs under them as well, saving you some effort. Most of these will have a towing attachment, but not all, so keep that in mind if you don’t have the wood pile close to your home.
Professional grade splitters are the beefiest of the lot, made for those who split wood as part of their day job. These machines also range as high as 37 tons or more but they have a crucial difference from prosumer grade splitters: they have a much faster cycle time.
Simply put, these machines are the most powerful and the quickest working… as well as the most expensive. They’re generally overkill for those who are only looking to split wood for themselves, but they can be a big money maker if you’re so inclined.
What Else to Look for in a Gas Log Splitter
Once you know which size of machine is best suited for what you’re going to be doing, you’ll want to look into the rest of the machine to make sure that you’re getting what you need. The following qualities are the most important in making your decision.
We don’t normally rely on brands when we’re recommending tools, but in this instance you want a trusted and common brand.
Gas log splitters will break at some point. Those who’ve been making these tools for a long time offer you two advantages: they last longer and the parts are more readily available. It’s impossible to make an indestructible machine that produces this much force, so it’s best to be able to quickly repair it when the inevitable occurs.
The cycle time is simply how long the splitter will take per log. This isn’t a big concern for most consumers, but if you’re impatient or trying to make money selling cords of wood then you definitely want to make sure that you’ve got a quicker machine.
It really doesn’t make sense for most people to break the bank when it comes to buying a splitter and go with a pro model. Instead, calculate what you need.
There are a couple of hidden costs to getting one of these machines, however, and you need to make sure that you factor them in.
The first hidden cost is gasoline consumption. Simply put: it takes gasoline to power these machines and you might want to research the fuel consumption when you make your purchase.
The second hidden cost is replacement parts. If you do your research you should be able to figure out what the most common breaking point is on the machine you’re looking at. While most gas log splitters will easily last for years before breaking with light use, you’ll still want to know the cost of replacement parts in the future.