If you need to split a high-volume of wood then you need to invest in the best Commercial Log Splitter within your budget. Commercial-grade log splitters are engineered to last thanks to the high-quality component used.
Intro | Commercial Log Splitter
If we’re going to be discussing commercial log splitters, we’re obviously talking about large, powerful, heavy-duty machines with a power spec that can go well over 30-tons. An electric log splitter (or wood splitter, if you prefer) is great for the home user who doesn’t intend cutting a lot of firewood. Sure, these machines are quieter than gas log splitters and they’re easier to transport. Though if you’re looking at splitting large logs and are going to be using the machine a lot, an electric log splitter simply isn’t going to cut it. An electric log splitter will usually only provide around 5-tons of pressure and you have to work within close proximity to an electric outlet. For more serious wood splitting, a commercial log splitter is what you’re looking for. When considering a commercial log splitter, you have three options when it comes to how you power the machine.
- Gas-powered commercial log splitters are the most popular because they are self-propelled (using a gas engine to drive the hydraulic pump). These log splitters range in power from about 7-tons up to 37-tons. Because they use a gas engine, they can be used anywhere as long as you have enough gas for the job you’re undertaking.
- Three-Point or PTO commercial log splitters are popular with farmers who own a tractor. They work on the same basic principle as a gas commercial log splitter, but use the power of your tractor via a PTO shaft to run the machine. With a ram power ranging from 13 to 31 tons, they are capable of handling any heavy-duty log splitting tasks. Obviously, you’ll need a tractor to provide the necessary power and the larger you go, the more horsepower the tractor will need.
- Skid steer commercial log splitters are basically the same as a three-point commercial log splitter. The difference being that instead of deriving their power from a tractor’s PTO shaft, they’re designed to be coupled to a skid steer vehicle (like a Bobcat). They have a similar power range as the other commercial log splitters – about 20-30 tons.
In the end, gas-powered log splitters are the most versatile. You don’t a specialized vehicle to operate them. You simply tow it using a regular pickup or SUV to the place where you’ll be splitting the wood and start them up. If you’re looking for more power (over 30-tons), gas log splitters are going to be your best option.
VIDEO | Industrial Commercial Log Splitter | Wood-Mizer FS500
So for the purposes of this review of some of the best commercial log splitters, I’m going to stick to gas-powered machines. We’ve picked a great selection of high-quality commercial log splitters with power ranging from 25-tons up to one of the biggest with a 37-ton wood splitting capacity. After reviewing these commercial wood splitters, I’ll go into some of the ins and outs when choosing and using these machines.
Affordable Commercial log splitter
- 25 tons of splitting capacity with a large 224 cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine
- Converts from horizontal to vertical in seconds, allowing you to handle large, heavy logs with ease
- 12-second cycle time, expanded operator area and dependable auto-return valve capable of 300 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
- Champion Support includes 2-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Champion 100251.
I’ve reviewed a lot of different products from Champion Power Equipment and my general impression is that of high quality at an affordable price. Though, even in this review, you’ll find cheaper options. I still think that this commercial log splitter is very competitively priced considering what an excellent machine you’re getting. Having looked at numerous customer reviews, the decision seems unanimous – this is a fantastic commercial-grade log splitter.
With a rated 25-ton capacity, it’s on the lower end of the power scale when compared to the other commercial log splitters in this review. Though I am a little confused by its actual power capacity. Looking at the Champion website, this log splitter is rated for 25-tons. However, further down the page, they say “twenty-seven tons of splitting capacity”. Whether this is a typo or not, I can’t say. I’m going to assume that it’s rated for 25-tons – that’s what the spec sheet says. Be that as it may, we can call this commercial log splitter in the middle to lower end of the power capacity that one typically gets from a heavy-duty gas-powered machine.
The Champion 224cc, 4-stroke, OHV engine is great. It’s dependable and durable with a cast iron sleeve. You’ll have no trouble starting the engine with the recoil starter and it will run for quite a while on a tank of gas. The tank holds 0.9-gallons. Low oil shutoff protects the engine from running without enough oil and the engine is both EPA and CARB certified.
The engine drives a powerful 2-stage hydraulic pump delivering 3900 Psi at 11 gallons per minute from a 4-gallon hydraulic oil tank. An internal hydraulic filter is used to keep the oil uncontaminated. The pump adjusts the flow rate and pressure, depending on the load at the ram. So when there isn’t much resistance at the ram it will increase the flow and run at a lower pressure to maximize your productivity. It has a good cycle time for a full beam log splitter able to handle logs up to 24”.
A cycle time of 12-seconds and an automatic return valve means that you’ll be getting about 300 cycles per hour. Being able to split 300 logs that weigh up to 100 LBS a piece in an hour is quite impressive. Though it uses a single wedge, so it’s only going to split the log in half with each cycle. If you’re going to be splitting logs into quarters, you’ll really only be doing 150 logs per hour. Commercial log splitters with a 4-way wedge will quarter the logs in one cycle. The wedge is high-quality and is made of hardened steel.
The Champion 100251 can split logs either horizontally or vertically and it takes virtually no time to change between the two positions. The table is excellent for splitting lighter logs in the horizontal position with sloping heavy-duty sides to keep the logs from rolling off. For heavy logs, it’s always easier to use the vertical positions and it only takes three simple steps to accomplish this.
Naturally, this is a large, heavy piece of equipment – a full beam commercial log splitter is always going to be that way. It weighs 429.9 LBS and measures 89.3” in length; is 42.9” wide and 44.7” tall. Towing the Champion log splitter is as easy as any of the other commercial log splitters, using a 2” ball hitch and it runs on 16” pneumatic wheels. Towing speed is limited to 45 MPH, but this usually the case when towing a log splitter. The frame and components are tough and this machine can handle some rough treatment, though it doesn’t have fenders to protect the wheels.
It’s clear that the Champion 100251 is a reliable tough commercial log splitter and is capable of handling the needs of most professionals and farmers. You get a 2-year warranty and great technical support from Champion Power Equipment.
Well-engineered with high quality components. Commercial log splitter.
- Honda commercial GX270 series engine with cast iron cylinder sleeve, low oil shutdown and steel fuel tank
- American-made Concentric pump and Brand™ valve
- Heavy-duty steel-reinforced hose
- NorthStar hydraulic cylinder with premium Halite seals
- Auto throttle control to save fuel, reduce noise and prolong engine life
- Includes patented wedge system with log stripper to clear logs from retracting wedge
- Engine guard protects against falling logs and debris
- Heavy-duty log tables prevent logs from rolling off when split
- Adjustable jack with oversized wheels and 2in. coupler
If you want the most power from a commercial log splitter, 37-tons of hydraulic pressure is about as high as it goes. This is what you’ll get from the NorthStar 1131 and it’s built to handle the extra weight and tough conditions that a commercial log splitter of this caliber is expected to handle. For many, this can be considered the ultimate log splitter, with extra power and heavy-duty components that exceed that of most commercial log splitters.
Show me a Honda engine and you’re halfway there in convincing me that this is one of the best gas-powered machines. So the moment I saw the Honda Commercial GX270 engine, I immediately had high expectations from this log splitter. This 270cc engine is built to outlast just about any small gas engine. The GX range of engines from Honda have been used for a long time in high-quality machines and proven themselves time and again. This is one of the toughest engines ever made, with low oil shutoff for long-term protection.
It also has an automatic throttle to reduce the engine revs when full power isn’t required. This reduces your fuel consumption, lowers noise levels and means less wear on the engine. With a mighty 1.4-gallon gas tank, you’ll get a very long working time from this efficient engine. The engine is also protected by an engine guard, a heavy tubing extension that prevents falling logs and debris from harming the engine. Though it’s not just the engine that meets the highest quality standards, this carries through to every component of the machine.
The central beam that forms the spine of the log splitter is a seriously heavy-duty I-beam with heavy plate steel reinforcement. As a full-beam log splitter that can handle logs up to 25” in length and 16” in diameter, this machine is built to handle the stresses of a hardworking environment. The alloy wedge is super tough and has a unique curved design that reduces the contact area, prolonging its life. Auto return saves time and it has a 14-second cycle. For a 5” X 24” cylinder with longer than average log capacity, this is a great cycle time. It comes with a regular single wedge, but a 4-way wedge is available as an optional extra.
Hydraulics are a very important factor to consider when looking at a commercial log splitter. Hydraulic components can be temperamental and high maintenance. This is yet another area where the NorthStar 1131 displays its superiority. The cast iron concentric 2-stage hydraulic pump is exceptional in both its performance and durability (max pressure is 3500 Psi). It will adjust the flow and pressure, providing maximum efficiency and the steel reinforced hydraulic hoses are as tough as it gets. As are the premium Halite seals. Contaminated hydraulic oil is the biggest cause of damage to these systems and the guys at NorthStar have gone the extra mile in ensuring the best oil quality by using a four-stage filtration system.
NorthStar 1131 | Powerful Commercial Log Splitter
A 100 mesh suction strainer pre-filter takes care of most particles that circulate with the oil. It also has a 40-micron breather and 10-micron return line filter. For extra protection, a magnetic drain plug and tank baffling attract metal filings and prevent them from causing any damage. Then there’s the huge 9.0-gallon hydraulic oil reservoir. With a maximum flow rate of 16 GPM, the larger than usual oil reservoir gives the oil plenty of time to cool down, further improving the lifespan of the hydraulic components.
All these heavy-duty components add up to make this a particularly heavy machine – 625 LBS (Shipping weight). This is not a bad thing in my eyes, it means plenty of heavy duty metal and a very stable base from which to work. Despite this hefty weight, it’s really quick and easy to convert from horizontal to vertical operation. This is thanks to an excellent center of gravity and a single pin release and locking mechanism. You are towing quite a heavy machine though, it’s made easier by the use of an adjustable jack and oversized wheel. The pneumatic tires are 8-inches with sturdy fenders. They call these high-speed tires, but the recommended towing speed is 45 MPH – like most other commercial log splitters.
I never use the term “over-engineered”. In my opinion there can be no such thing. If a machine is designed to be tougher than most others, I’d call it properly engineered. By this definition, the NorthStar 1131 is most certainly properly engineered. They haven’t tried to find ways to make it cheaper or lighter. In fact, the engineers at NorthStar have done quite the opposite. This an exceptionally high-quality commercial log splitter, it’s a heavy-weight and by no means cheap.
Quality like this is obviously going cost more. A 4-year consumer warranty is more than most other manufacturers offer, though the commercial warranty is limited to 1-year which is very much the norm. The Honda engine comes with a separate 3-year warranty and as far as I know, there’s no distinction between consumer and commercial use when it comes to Honda’s warranty on their engines. These engines are designed and built to work hard.
28-Ton commercial Log Splitter
- 8.75 Gross Torque Briggs & Stratton Engine
- 28 Ton Horizontal & Vertical Splitting Positions provides ample splitting force for all wood species
- 25″ Opening
- 2 Stage Pump maximizes cycle time
- Direct drive reduces the number of moving parts
- 2.5 Gallon Poly Hydraulic Tank is rust resistant and protected from potential damage
- 1″ Machined Steel Compound Wedge provides tough and efficient log splitting
- Road Towable so you can take it anywhere
- Removable Log Cradles helps prevent operator from reaching to ground level for split logs
- Vertical Beam Lock adds security while splitting in the vertical position
- Made in the USA
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Swisher LSRB87528.
If you read the write-up about the Swisher LSRB87528, they make a big deal about the fact that it’s a direct drive log splitter. This kind of advertising irks me a bit. Guys, it’s a great commercial log splitter, why try crank up it’s worth by pointing out the obvious. I may be wrong, but I think all gas-powered 2-stage hydraulic pumps used in modern commercial log splitters are direct drive. Either way, none of the machines in this review use a V-belt. Direct drive is pretty much the standard these days. Okay, now that I got that off my chest, let’s take a look at what this log splitter has to offer.
I really like the Briggs & Stratton Professional engine. These engines were redesigned a few years back and have they done away with many of the issues that have plagued small gas engines in the past. For one thing, these engines are made super easy to start in any weather. The SmartStart system means that there’s no choke lever (it’s automatic) and there’s no fuel priming either. The 850 engine used in this log splitter is a 190cc, OHV variant and produces 8.5 Ft-LBS of gross torque. It’s also remarkably quiet and very fuel efficient so the rather small 0.3-gallon gas tank shouldn’t be a problem.
As for its working capabilities, the 28-ton Swisher is a quality product. It is a full-beam log splitter and can accommodate logs up to 25” long – both vertically and horizontally. Like all the best commercial log splitters, changing from vertical to horizontal working positions is quick and easy. Unfortunately, there isn’t too much information available when it comes to tech specs like GPM, hydraulic pressure and the like. It has a smaller than average 2.5-gallon poly tank for the hydraulic fluid. The fact that it’s made from a high-grade polymer means that it will never rust.
The log table and removable log cradles are crafted from thick durable metal with a tough coating. The 1” machined steel compound wedge also looks tough and up to some hard work. I’d really like to give you more details about this commercial log splitter, but the information simply isn’t available.
Going by my impression, it’s a sturdy and well-made machine. The weight of 404 lbs. indicates that there’s enough heavy metal used in this log splitter, so it should hold up to some pretty rough work. As with any commercial log splitter, it has a tow hitch and good wheels.
Even though information on the specs for this machine are limited, it’s clear that this is a quality item and built tough. For residential use, the hydraulic system has a 1-year warranty and the other components (except the engine) and workmanship carry a 3-year warranty. The commercial warranty is 1-year and the engine carries the standard Briggs & Stratton warranty.
- 208cc, 8.5 ft-lbs, OHV engine
- 25 ton splitting capacity to split large hardwood logs
- 26″ log length capacity with a 17 second log split cycle time
- 16″ pneumatic, D.O.T. approved wheels for maximum portability and a max towing speed of 45 MPH
- Versatility to be in a vertical or horizontal splitting position
- Tall 8″ heat treated splitting wedge provides maximum performance and longer life
- 3-2-1 Year Limited Warranty (steel frame: 3 years, engine: 2 years, hydraulics: 1 year)
If you’re looking for the best budget commercial log splitter, the Southland SLS20825 comes up tops in this category. It’s the cheapest commercial log splitter out of the models we’re reviewing here and is of a very high quality standard.
This is a 25-ton full beam log splitter with a really long log capacity of 26”. To power the 11 GPM 2-stage hydraulic pump, they’ve used a Southland 208cc, OHV engine delivering 8.5 Ft-LBS of torque. The engine starts and runs well, though I’m not sure of the origins of this engine. As a new machine, the engine works as well as the best of them. I can’t say how it’s going to perform over time, simply because I don’t know enough about the engine. All indications are that this is a decent air-cooled engine and I see no reason why it shouldn’t hold up well under normal use.
VIDEO | Southland SLS20825 : Industrial Wood Splitter
All the components seem to be as tough and durable as one would expect from a high-grade commercial log splitter. It has a similar weight to other 25-28 ton machines that we’ve looked at – 474 LBS. So we can assume that the quality and grade of the metals used are of a similar standard. The 8” hardened steel single wedge certainly seems as good as any of the others. A 17-second cycle time is nothing to brag about, but is still very reasonable. The log table has good side support and, in all respects, it seems as easy and safe to use as any of the more expensive commercial log splitters.
It converts to a vertical log splitter as easily as any of the others, using a spring-loaded release pin and you can flip it into the upright position with only one hand. The 16” pneumatic wheels and 2” tow hitch make it just easy to transport and, like all the others, your towing speed is limited to 45 MPH.
You really should dispel any of your apprehension about buying this commercial log splitter. I’m often a little nervous about buying cheap. Though this commercial log splitter is cheaper than the others in this review, it’s not the cheapest that you’ll find. It’s certainly not in the cheap junk category and their 3-2-1 warranty definitely inspires confidence in the product. It has a 3-year warranty on the steel frame, 2-years for the engine, and 1-year for the hydraulics.
28 Ton, Horizontal/Vertical commercial-grade gas log splitter, 277cc Kohler CH395 Engine
**Note : May be unavailable.
- Professional grade log splitter
- 28 tons maximum splitting force
- 9.5 HP 277cc Kohler CH395 engine
- 10.5 second cycle time
- 4.5 inch diameter x 24 inch stroke cylinder
- Two stage 17.5 gallons/minute pump
- 8 gallons max. system
- 6.5 gallons operational hydraulic capacity
- 8 inch high heat treated steel wedge
- Beam has 8 inch foot plate & removable stripper plates
- Auto return valve with adjustable detent
- Built-in log cradle
- Log catcher included
- DOT approved 16 inch outside diameter high speed road tires
- 2 inch ball with safety chains
Documents for the Dirty Hand Tools 100342:
My first impression of the Dirty Hand Tools 28-ton commercial log splitter is that it’s a real bargain. Depending on where you buy it, this log splitter is probably going to cost less than the Champion that we reviewed higher up the page. This log splitter is not only cheaper but has 3-tons more splitting capacity (the Champion has a 25-ton hydraulic pressure spec). Does this mean it’s a lower quality machine? I can’t say for sure, but it seems to be every bit as tough and reliable as any of other commercial log splitters in this review. A weight tag of 617 LBS (almost the same as the mighty NorthStar 57-ton log splitter) seems to indicate that there’s plenty of heavy metal used in the construction of this heavy-duty log splitter.
VIDEO | Dirty Hand Tools 100342
It uses the Kohler CH385 277cc engine which delivers 9.5HP. Kohler engines are usually a little cheaper than most other high-quality gas engines and this could account, in part, for the lower price of this log splitter. In my experience, Kohler engines are great machines and you shouldn’t be deterred by the lower price. The Kohler engine has a huge 1.95-gallon gas tank and is both EPA and CARB certified. This engine propels a 2-stage hydraulic pump providing an oil flow of 17.5 GPM, this figure is higher than most but they don’t provide a pressure spec for comparison. Either way, this commercial log splitter shows some impressive performance figures.
This is a 28-ton full beam log splitter, accommodating logs up to 25” in length and has a 10.5-second cycle time. That’s better than most and it has an auto return valve with an adjustable detent. This is basically a spring-loaded release that kicks your control lever into neutral when the ram is fully retracted after completing a cycle. The adjustable detent means that you can set the pressure to allow the lever to release easier or require more pressure.
The built-in log cradle is perfectly shaped to hold any size log firmly in position when the table is in the horizontal position. It has an additional log cradle on the side which is very handy for placing logs into position before you split them or if you’re quartering logs, you can rest the one half-split log on this section while splitting the other half. Though it looks like it could bend quite easily if you put too much weight on it, so be aware of this when using the log splitter. It converts very easily into a vertical log splitter – a similar clip and release system as most of the others.
The 8” heat treated steel wedge looks like a robust item that should remain sharp for quite a while. This is a single wedge, like the others, but you can get an optional 4-way wedge for the faster splitting of quarter logs. The Dirty Hand Tool log splitter has a standard 2” tow hitch and good road tires for transporting the machine. Fenders are also available as an optional extra, as well as a cover and stroke reducer which will allow for a shorter cycle time when set for shorter logs.
Even though this is a relatively cheap commercial log splitter it’s up to the challenge of meeting the needs of the hardworking professional. It has the power to chew through large hardwood logs and has one of the best cycle times making for quick work of heavy situations.
Vertical vs Horizontal Log Splitters
Horizontal log splitters are the best for lighter logs. If you’re able to lift the log onto the table, it’s going to take less time and effort to remove the split logs and toss them into a pickup, trailer or cart once you’re done.
However, large commercial log splitters have the power to split logs exceeding 100 LBS. Lifting this type of weight onto a table might be impossible for some and never easy – no matter how strong you are. If you’re going to splitting a lot of heavy logs, it’s preferable to use a vertical log splitter. You can roll the log into position and then flip it upright for splitting. The only hassle comes in when you have to load the split logs. Unlike a horizontal log splitter where you can simply reach over to the table and toss the logs off, a vertical log splitter will leave the split logs scattered on the ground. This means bending down and picking up the split logs to load them.
Horizontal vs Vertical Log Splitters
You’ll most likely be splitting both small and large logs and it would, therefore, be most convenient to have a combination log splitter that allows for both horizontal and vertical splitting. Any decent commercial log splitter should be able to operate both vertically and horizontally – giving you the best of both.
These log splitters are designed to make it as quick and easy as possible to change from a horizontal splitting position to a vertical one. You usually have to pull a release pin to lift the splitter into the upright, vertical position and do the same to lower it back into the horizontal position. The log table will pivot at a point that maximizes the center of gravity, making it really easy to lift even the heaviest of splitting tables with one hand.
Because dual action horizontal and vertical log splitters are so easy to use and offer the most versatility, it makes sense to go for this option. Smaller log splitter with a hydraulic capacity of 5-tons or less won’t often have this dual operation feature. These smaller machines don’t really have the capacity to split large logs, so you won’t need to use them in a vertical position. When it comes to commercial log splitters that can split really big logs, I consider the ability to use the machine in both the vertical and horizontal position as being an essential feature.
WEN 56230 Lumberjack | For Logs 14″ (dia.) x 25″ (L)
Full Beam vs Half Beam | Log Splitters
The debate about which is better, a full beam or half beam log splitters seems to have no clear answer. I suppose it comes down, mostly to personal preference.
A full beam log splitter is a traditional design, going back to original log splitters that have been around since your granddad’s time. They have a longer and wider base but this doesn’t mean that they accommodate larger logs. This is because, on a full beam log splitter, the ram extends further out the back of the machine. This means more steel, more weight and it needs a wider base to support the extra weight. Of course, the fact that these machines contain more steel, means they’re going to be more expensive.
VIDEO | 1/2 vs FULL BEAM Log Splitters (Learn about YardMax Splitters)
A half beam log splitter can have the same performance as a full beam machine but is smaller and lighter. It’s a more modern design and many prefer the improved ergonomics, the narrower base does make it easier to reach the controls.
If you go to discussion forums on log splitters and ask which is better, a full beam or half beam log splitter? The common answer will be that a half beam log splitter is the best. This is mostly because they’re cheaper and many prefer the narrower base. Though I don’t think it’s as simple as all that. For smaller log splitters, used at home, this could be the case.
Though commercial log splitters still mostly prefer the traditional full beam design. So why is this? Extra weight means greater stability. Okay, a large log splitter is already a heavy machine – regardless of the design preference. However, when you’re splitting large logs in a vertical position, you want as much stability as possible. This is even more important if you’re working on softer ground or working on a slight slope. It’s not recommended to use a log splitter on soft or sloping ground, but you won’t always find conditions that 100% ideal for operating a log splitter. A heavy log splitter with a wider base is never going to tip over unless you really push things too far. Not that a half beam log splitter is going tip too easily. It’s just that it’s virtually impossible to tip a full beam log splitter over and this can be a benefit in certain situations.