Choosing the best gas log splitter can be a difficult decision to make but not for the reasons you might think. In fact, I think what makes the choice difficult is deciding on whether to buy a gas model or an electric. Nowadays you can buy an electric log splitter with up to 22-Tons of splitting force, like the Swisher LS22E. To be honest, I’m not here to convince you to buy an electric, I’m simply here to show you what your options are so you can make the right choice for your needs.
Personally, the thing I love about electric wood splitters is you can use them safely indoors, which makes them so much more convenient. Let’s get real, nobody wants to be splitting firewood when it’s 30 below zero. That’s not my idea of fun. The advantage of gas models is the power you get. Nothing competes with the splitting force you get with the higher end wood splitters.
Best Value Gas Log Splitter: 20-Ton / SuperHandy
Power of Gas
A gas log splitter is engineered for heavy-duty wood splitting, but when deciding which model to buy there are some considerations you have to keep in mind. There are advantages and disadvantages when comparing a gas log splitter to an electric log splitter. This article will provide you with the facts so you end up with a wood splitter that you are genuinely happy with — and capable of splitting the type of wood (and size) you intend to use it for.
We have quite a few articles on gas log splitters on this site. If you don’t find what you need here, consider browsing our other buying guides focused on a range of topics, such as: 25-Ton gas-powered splitters or the full range of gas wood splitters, up to 37-tons. If you plan on splitting large hardwood logs you’re going to need more splitting force than you probably think. For the hardest wood, you’ll likely need at least 30-tons, depending on the largest log you want to split.
Gas Log Splitter vs Electric Log Splitter
If you cut or split your own firewood then you know how much of a hassle the work can be. Owning a log splitter will make your job much easier and more efficient. There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned axe. It can be a humbling life lesson even, but if you are so over with the back-breaking chore of chopping wood by hand then a log splitter might be in your sights.
If you’ve ever looked into purchasing one of these machines, there are some careful considerations to keep in mind. There are several variations of log splitters, but the two main types to consider are gas and electric.
We cover this model in detail later in the article.
Gas Log Splitters
Gas log splitters are perfect for tough jobs that demand it. If you frequently burn firewood and often have large, thick cuts of firewood to chop through, a gas log splitter will be well worth the investment.
There are several different options to choose from when it comes to gas log splitter models. These are:
- Traditional hydraulic models
- Models with two-way splitting ram
- Horizontal-vertical models
- Kinetic models
There are many advantages that a gas log splitter can provide for your log-splitting needs. The primary advantage of a gas log splitter is that they are very powerful. They range in power from around 8 tons up to 34 tons or even greater in commercial units. Another benefit is their high capacity for logs. This enables the machine to handle some of the toughest types of logs, including very knotty pieces, with optimal efficiency. Most gas log splitters have tires that make them easy to move around with ease and may also come with a trailer hitch.
Of course, the added power and splitting capacity these units have to offer comes at a price. Gas log splitters are typically the most expensive models. They also need regular maintenance to keep them fine-tuned for long lasting use, such as air filter changes and fuel additives when storing it for a period of time.
Electric Log Splitters
An electric log splitter consists of a motor that runs on electricity from a standard household outlet. These models have some advantages over gas as well as downfalls. If one of your primary concerns is budget when it comes to purchasing a log splitter, you may want to go with electric. They are typically a fraction of the cost compared to gas and the fact that they don’t require fuel to run, oil, or additional components for upkeep makes them the more cost-effective choice.
➤ Powerful Electric Log Splitter: Swisher LS22E / 22-Ton
Notable Features / Electric Swisher
A Few Words: SL22E and Electric Power Equipment
The Swisher SL22E electric log splitter can split wood as good as a gas log splitter. It looks identical to a gas model but it’s actually better because you can use it inside without having to worry about anything. There are no emissions, no fumes, no maintenance, etc. Basically, you don’t have to deal with any of the drawbacks of using a gasoline engine and you get a powerful machine.
This plugs into any standard wall outlet so you don’t need any specialized power source. You can also plug it into a generator if you wanted to use it away from an area with electrical outlets. You can take this into the forest with a small generator and use it all day long. People who think gas is superior hasn’t owned any type of powerful electrical equipment. The world is changing and you can expect that most things will be battery powered except industrial-grade machinery.
Even 2-stage snow blowers are being powered by batteries so you can be sure that other heavy-duty equipment will be engineered to run off of battery. Personally, I think it’s great. As long as the electric version is as effective as the gasoline version then I’m happy. This is the biggest challenge facing battery power but battery systems are improving rapidly. Either way, excuse my short rant. My point is don’t be afraid of electric power equipment, that’s all.
More advantages of Electric Wood Splitters
Electric models are popular with homeowners. They’re lightweight in comparison to gas-engine models and are easy to transport around. You do have to plug it into an electricity source so you will need to keep this in mind in terms of mobility. One of the biggest advantages that electric powered motors provide over fuel-powered is zero emissions. They are safer to use in enclosed areas such as a barn or workshop. They also don’t produce the noise output as gas models.
When it comes to performance and power, it would be in your best interest to just invest in a gas-powered model and I’ll explain why. Electric models won’t produce the power that a gas-run model will. If you have really dense hardwood logs to split then good luck finding an electric log splitter that is greater than 10 tons. These models are ideal for smaller logs that are up to 12” in diameter and softwoods such as: Aspen, Basswood, Buckeye, Cottonwood, Spruce, and Poplar.
Having said all of that, there is an exception that you should be aware of — the Swisher LS22E Timber Brute Eco Split is an 22-Ton electric log splitter! Yes, you read that correctly. How they achieve 22-tons of splitting force via a 120V electrical outlet is very impressive.
When you have your sights set on buying the best log splitter for your needs, ask yourself the following questions.
How often will it be used?
Gas powered log splitters fall into different classes depending on the work they are intended to do. Factor in the frequency you plan on using your log splitter and the amount of force needed to get the job done when choosing the right type for the job.
- Consumer-grade: this is a gas powered log splitter that is ideal for splitting logs that are required for personal and recreational use. These range in force from 8-16 tons and are stronger than most electric log splitters. These are capable of splitting logs up to 20 inches long. The only drawback is that they cannot be pivoted vertically and you have to physically lift the log onto the splitter for it to be split.
- Prosumer-grade: this is a gas log splitter that can be considered if you are splitting logs multiple times in a year. They are faster and more durable than traditional consumer-grade models. These are capable of splitting wider, longer, and harder logs with a ton force ranging from 20-29. It can also be vertically positioned to avoid the strain of lifting logs physically.
Consumer Grade: Landworks 20-Ton (7hp) — Gas Log Splitter
- Professional-grade: this is a log splitter that can be considered by those who split logs for a living. They are more powerful and the engine is designed to boost the force beyond 30 tons. These are capable of splitting logs up to 26” long.
Where will you be using your log splitter?
Gas powered log splitters are heavy-duty and can handle the tougher logs you will likely find when gathering firewood from the woods. Gas log splitters have the advantage of portability over electric in that they do not need to be connected to an outlet source, but they are heavy. Most models are equipped with wheels that are capable of withstanding rugged terrain. Some also have the option of a trailer with a ball coupler that can be attached to the back of your truck or a UTV, but this is also meant for short distances and not at speeds above 45 MPH.
Another factor in location of using a gas log splitter is noise restrictions. Gas-powered machines produce a lot of noise. This means that you may not be able to use them in close proximity to your neighbors, wild animals, or areas where there are noise restrictions in place. Gas log splitters also produce fumes that can be harmful without the right ventilation. It is important to use them in an open location that is a safe distance from entrances to your garage or home.
What is the average log size you’ll be splitting?
The log length and diameter that a gas log splitter can handle will determine the amount of work you can expect from it. Take into consideration the size and diameter of the logs you will be splitting so you can choose the one that’s the right fit. When you are chopping up logs to be split into firewood, cut them no longer than 25 inches. Also know what types of logs you are splitting. Hardwoods such as Maple, Oak, Hickory, Dogwood, and Elm will require higher tonnage force from a powered log splitter to chop through.
What Features to Look For?
A gas log splitter with valuable features can speed up your splitting time, provide convenience, and help cut down your overall costs. Here are some features to consider when you’re shopping around.
Fast Cycle Times
A gas log splitter that has a fast cycle time means that you will get more work done in less time. This plays a great role in efficiency and productivity. A cycle time of 15 seconds is a reasonable option so you can get back to life’s other demands.
When selecting a practical gas log splitter look for one that can hold a reasonable amount of fuel for you to carry out your day’s duties with ease. A continuous supply of fuel will keep the gas log splitter running and avoid interruption from having to refuel. Also, look for a gas log splitter that is constructed with detachable parts for easier cleaning and maintenance.
Quality log splitters are designed to perform for many years. The best way to ensure long lasting durability is to opt for a log splitter that is designed with an all steel construction.
Log splitters can work in either horizontal or vertical positions. With horizontally oriented splitters you will have to physically lift the log onto it to split the wood. Vertically-oriented splitters, on the other hand, do the work for you by minimizing heavy lifting. You can roll the larger log pieces underneath the wedge to be split without the need to lift it onto the splitter. This makes work easier and safer for the user.
Log Splitter Buying Tips
Look for a gas log splitter that you can re-sharpen the cast iron splitting wedges periodically. This will give you an efficient and accurate splitting performance for greater longevity and help save you money.
Also check the hydraulic reservoir to get an idea of how much it can support in addition to fuel capacity. If you have multiple cords of logs to be split you might want to be sure you have a high capacity fuel tank and hydraulic oil reservoir to maximize efficiency.
If you’re deciding on horizontally or vertically-oriented log splitters, factor in where you will be storing it. Vertical models take up less space when storing and will be easier to move around when it’s time to haul it out.
Best Gas Log Splitters / Reviews & Opinions
Electric models are a good choice if you don’t like getting your hands dirty and you prefer splitting firewood in remote locations. If power and efficiency is what you’re looking for, however, these are among the best gas log splitter models today.
Review: Champion 90720 / Best Compact Gas Wood Splitter
7-Ton Gas Log Splitter
This 7-Ton Champion log splitter is proof that not all gas powered log splitters are built for power. Consider this a light-duty gas model. The cycle time is quite slow at 20 seconds, now compare that to the Landworks or SuperHandy models with cycle times of 7.5 seconds. I have to be honest, if you specifically want a compact gas wood splitter this is a good option BUT there are far better electric models available with way more power and for not much more money.
Champion is a good brand but you need to ask yourself what’s the problem you’re trying to solve. If you want to get the best model for your money then you should consider one of the other options. Gas log splitters are the better option above 20-tons. Under 20-tons I recommend that you buy an electric. It just makes sense.
- Horizontal log splitting only.
- Can split logs up to 19 inches long, weighing up to 50 pounds.
- Slow for Gas: 20 second no load cycle time / 180 cycles per hour
- 10″ Never flat tires. Easy to move around.
- operates at 3 gpm
- Automatic Cylinder Return.
- Will fit in the bed of most trucks.
- 50 state compliant (EPA+CARB certified).
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Champion Power Equipment 90720.
This is a very popular brand name among powered machines for homeowners and professionals alike. This portable log splitter consists of a Champion 80cc engine. Why does this matter? When you’re looking at gas-powered tools, it’s more than just about the horsepower. Reputable brand names such as Champion are your better bet if you want to ensure you’re getting the efficiency you expect from a powered log splitter. The 7-ton splitter is plenty enough force to chop through soft and hardwoods like Ash, Birch and Cedar wood. It can chop through logs up to 19 inches long and 50 pounds at a cycle speed of 20 seconds.
VIDEO / Champion 90720 up close
The compact 7-ton log splitter is the ideal size to fit in the bed of most pickup trucks and has a foldaway handle equipped for easier mobility. The horizontal position splitter has a low profile design to make it easier lifting heavy logs onto it so there’s less strain on your body. This log splitter is relatively low in price for a gas-powered model and provides ample power and speed for the average homeowner.
- Cycle Time : 20 sec. (max no load)
- Max Log Length : 19.3 in. (49 cm)
- Wheel Type : Semi-Pneumatic, Never flat
- Engine : 80cc Champion 4-Stroke OHV
- Cylinder Size (dia.) : 3 in. (7.5 cm)
- Max Pressure : 3000 psi
- Max Flow : 3 GPM
- Control Valve : Detent (auto-return)
- Hydraulic Oil Type : 10W AW32, ASLE H-150, ISO32 or universal hydraulic fluid or Automatic
- Fuel Capacity : 0.4 gal. (1.5 L)
- Start Type : Recoil
- Net Weight : 143.3 lbs (65 kg)
Champion 25-Ton / 100251
12 second cycle time
- 25 tons of splitting capacity with a large 224 cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine
- Log splitter converts from horizontal to vertical in seconds
- 12-second cycle time
- Towable up to 45 MPH and fits most ATV/UTV towing applications with an extended tongue
- 2-inch ball hitch coupler and 16-inch tires
- 2-year limited warranty with free lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
- EPA certified and CARB compliant
- 2-stage gear pump : Adjusts flow and pressure
- Hydraulic oil system of gas log splitter has a 5 gal. oil capacity and operates at 11 GPM
- Can handle Logs up to: 24 in length, weighing up to 100 pounds
- Low-oil shutoff for safety
Best Value Gas Log Splitter: CountyLine 25-Ton
Model: 126151799 / Exclusive to Tractor Supply
- 196 cc Kohler Engine / 25-ton splitting force
- 11.5 second cycle time
- 2 in. Ball Coupler Hitch Type
- Vertical and horizontal operation
- Auto-return valve
- Two-stage 14 gal. Per Minute pump
- DOT-approved 4.8 in. x 8 in. wheels
- Built-in log cradle holds logs up to 24-1/2 in. length
- 20 qt. hydraulic reservoir capacity
- Optional Log Catcher available for purchase separately
- 5-year warranty on workmanship, 2-year warranty on the engine, 3-year warranty on hydraulics
Overview / CountyLine
CountyLine is a brand exclusive to Tractor Supply and they’ve done an excellent job at creating powerful gas log splitters that are more affordable than other brands. In terms of value, CountyLine is an excellent option. We are an affiliate of Tractor Supply and we’re happy to recommend any product that we feel meet our criteria for quality. We’d never recommend any product that we wouldn’t purchase ourselves.
The photo you see above is for their 25-Ton model but they also make a more powerful 40-Ton gas log splitter (model: 126151999) which has enough splitting force for the hardest of woods. It can handle logs up to 26″ in length. It’s powered by a 429cc 14hp Kohler engine.
CountyLine is very good option and their quality will surprise you , with customer ratings above 4.5/5. This rating is based on thousands of reviews so you can be certain they reflect the true quality of the product. The 25-ton model is the most popular size for homeowners but it will struggle with hardwoods such as Hickory (1825 lbf).
Recommended Powerful Wood Splitter: Champion 37-Ton
Model: 100330 / 35-ton
- 37 tons / 338cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine
- Can handle logs up to 24 inches long, weighing up to 100 pounds.
- Horizontal or vertical: Switch in seconds
- 16-second cycle time / auto-return valve capable of over 200 cycles per hour
- Towable up to 45 mph and fits most ATV/UTV towing applications with an extended tongue
- 2-inch ball hitch coupler and 16-inch tires
- 2-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support
If you have a need to split the hardest woods then this is an excellent option. It has enough splitting force at 37-tons to handle tough woods according to the Janka Hardness Scale. If you’re looking for a model for hardwoods you’ll find more options in our guide on our recommendations for commercial wood splitters. It’s important to get a minimum of 34 tons in a log splitter for hardwood at the upper end of the hardness scale.
Do’s and Don’ts with Log Splitters
When properly maintained and cared for, gas log splitters can last you through many winters of firewood splitting. They are also a safer alternative to chopping your own wood than the traditional axe and maul. That being said, there are certain guidelines that should always be practiced with operating one.
DO read the instruction manual for accurate assembly. If you are unsure on how to assemble your log splitter, call the number provided for customer service or you may wish to bring it to a trained mechanic experienced in assembling log splitters.
Do NOT use your log splitter for any other purpose than what it was intended for. It’s called a LOG splitter, so don’t get any crazy ideas as it can also void the warranty that comes with it.
DO wear protective gear, including hearing protection as gas log splitters are very loud and can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Splitting wood will cause wood chips to fly so be sure to wear eye protection. Steel toe shoes and gloves are also recommended.
Do NOT stand too close to the splitter during operation due to the hazard of flying wood pieces. Be sure any people or pets keep a distance of at least 10 feet away from the machine while it is in use.
DO be sure to remove the spark plug wire before performing maintenance or repair to the splitter.
Always inspect the log splitter before using. Be sure the hydraulic oil and engine oil is sufficient for operation and check for any signs of leaks or damage.
Regular maintenance and service to your gas log splitter is important to keep it in great working condition and is not as tedious as it may first seem. You should always read the user manual for the model you purchase prior to using your log splitter.