Splitting wood is deeply satisfying work. And while it can be rewarding to split a pile of firewood by hand, we love the convenience of a wood splitter – and our backs love getting a break, too. So here’s our guide to finding the best wood splitter available.
There are quite a few log splitters available, and the variety of technical specifications and requirements can be somewhat dizzying. That’s why we put our top 5 wood splitters to the test.
Because they’re far more expensive and therefore harder to compare to other splitters, we haven’t reviewed any gas-powered splitters in this list.
Our 5 Favorite Wood Splitters
Though not an electric splitter, we heard that the
At 3 horsepower, the
Reviews of the Best Wood Splitter
#1 Pow’ R’ Kraft 65556
This is our favorite splitter, and it also happens to be the cheapest electric splitter on our list. The price, combined with its ability to chew through most types of wood, makes it the best electric wood splitter value we’ve seen.
It’s constructed entirely from steel and offers a splitting force of 4 tons at 1.75 horsepower. Though this may not seem like a lot of force, it was able to split everything we put in front of it.
Weighing in at 95 pounds, this is the lightest electric splitter we reviewed. This made it very easy to move around and set up.
Although the manufacturer states that it can split logs up to 12 inches in diameter, we found that we could easily split much larger logs by working around the edges. We successfully split a 22-inch cherry log with this machine!
The two-handed operation seemed a bit awkward at first, but it’s a useful safety feature that keeps the user behind the wedge and out of harm’s way. And once we got used to it, we found that we preferred it to the single-handed alternative.
- Very affordable
- Can split some woods above 20”
- Durable, all-steel construction
- Great color
- Relatively lightweight
- Two-handed system is awkward at first
- Wood with twisty grain may need to run through twice
- Machine stops anvil 6” from the wedge
#2 Boss Industrial ES7T20 Electric Log Splitter
Coming in at second place, this little beast bumps the power output up to 2 HP and offers 7 tons of splitting force. It also features an automatic ram return.
So why didn’t this splitter make it to first place?
The price is the primary limiting factor. At around twice the price of the Pow’ R’ Kraft, we felt that the increase in power is not worth the increase in price.
That being said, this is a fantastic electric splitter. Though we had a harder time getting knottier logs to make it through, we split most of our pile without any issues.
Like the Pow’ R’ Kraft, we were able to split some truly gigantic logs easily. The design of this splitter facilitates working around the edges of larger logs until they’re small enough to send through normally.
- Powerful motor
- Automatic ram return
- Handles green wood well
- Package weighs almost 130 pounds
- Price is a little high for what you get
- Poorly packaged
- One handed operation
#3 Woodeze 5MH-SPLITTER Super Firewood Splitter
Okay, we know what you’re thinking: This is not an electric splitter. But we enjoyed using the Woodeze so much that we had to include it in this list.
The main drawback of an electric log splitter is that it requires a reliable 15-amp power supply. But what if that’s not available where you split your firewood?
Enter the Woodeze Super Firewood Splitter.
Using a weight-driven splitting wedge, this little splitter mounts atop a hardwood stump.
Operating the splitter is very simple: Lift the striking weight and drop it onto the log. While larger rounds took a few attempts, we were able to split a few 16-inch logs with this thing.
However, we weren’t able to split anything in the 20-inch range. For that reason, we wouldn’t consider this the #1 log splitter available.
- Very cheap, small and lightweight
- Safe for teenagers and adults alike
- Requires no electric supply
- Lots of fun to use
- Can’t split wood larger than 16”
- Does require some exertion to operate
- Power of the split depends on the height of the user
#4 Powerhouse XM-380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter
This 3HP, 7 ton electric splitter performed very well when splitting especially long rounds. Although it chewed through most hardwood logs with ease, we did notice some problems with its power draw.
If you’re interested in this log splitter, you should know that it has a relatively high power requirement. The 19.5-amp engine means that at 25-amp or higher circuit will be necessary to follow most electric safety guidelines.
But if you do have the power to run it, it’s a decent splitter. It struggled with very knotty wood but handled everything else with ease.
- Can split longer logs
- Super quiet
- Two handed operation
- Splits very quickly
- Instruction manual is hard to read
- Wheels are too close together
- Very heavy
- High power requirements
#5 WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter
Although it’s in last on our list, this electric splitter packs a considerable amount of power into a small package. With a 2 HP motor and 6 tons of splitting force, the WEN is worth a look.
The first thing we noticed is that it’s very easy to push around. The wheels are spaced well and it features designated rubber handles, a feature that’s missing from the other products we tried.
However, it is limited in the log size it can handle.
We split a few 18-inch rounds without much difficulty, but anything larger needed to be carved up manually first. This seems like a waste of this splitter’s generous horsepower.
- Easy to move over rough terrain
- Two handed operation
- Quick and easy operation
- Rubber-gripped handles
- Decent horsepower and splitting force
- Design does not accommodate larger logs
- Bad instruction manual
- Poor packaging could result in damage during delivery
- Hydraulic system is prone to leaks
How to Choose the Right Wood Splitter
Although wood splitters are offered in a huge variety of styles and technical specifications, there are a few simple factors to consider when you’re looking for one.
Advantages of an Electric Splitter
If you only need to split wood a few times a year, you can probably get by just doing it by hand.
But what if you’re regularly confronted by giant piles of logs that need to be processed into firewood? What happens if you can’t physically split all that wood manually?
That’s where motorized splitters come in handy.
How Much do You Want to Pay
The cheapest electric log splitters are priced in the low $200 range, whereas the more expensive models can cost as much as $2,000. Note that more expensive splitters are not necessarily better, but rather suited to different needs than their cheaper counterparts.
The Type and Size of Wood to be Split
When it comes right down to it, the type of splitter you should buy depends on the type of wood you typically need to split. The best electric wood splitters perform well in the sweet spot, which is around 12 inches in diameter but can go up to 20 inches.
Furthermore, electric splitters are well-suited to most hardwoods. If you tend to split a lot of very dense wood, such as green hickory, you’ll probably want to invest in a splitter with a more powerful motor.
Unfortunately, if you often need to split wood that’s larger than 20 inches in diameter, an electric splitter just won’t cut it. You will either need to split the larger pieces by hand first or invest in an expensive gas-powered splitter.
What Power Supply is Available
Electric wood splitters are ideal for anyone with a reliable, residential-grade power supply. If this is not available to you and a gas-powered splitter is out of your price range, the third product on our list may be a good choice for you.
After spending a lot of time with each splitter – and making a lot of firewood – our pick for the best wood splitter is the
Pow’ R’ Kraft also demonstrated attention to their customers when they strengthened the 65556’s packaging in response to customer complaints.
In terms of horsepower and splitting force, we didn’t notice a significant increase in splitting ability across the spectrum of electric wood splitters. Quite the opposite: Anything that the more powerful electric log splitters could handle, the Pow’ R’ Kraft 65556 could split just as well.