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Updated August 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best electric log splitters

There's no question that doing chores like chopping wood can help keep you strong and healthy. On the downside, strenuous, repetitive activity can take a toll on the body. If you have a fireplace and need to split several cords of wood each year, swinging an axe may eventually end up causing more harm than good. The solution is to purchase an electric log splitter.

These environmentally friendly machines can take the burden out of doing chores so you can save your body for more enjoyable activities. The best model is powerful enough to handle your toughest splitting needs and has a decent cycle time, which can increase your efficiency.

If you'd like to learn more about the different features available on electric log splitters and how those features can benefit you, keep reading. However, if you're ready to purchase an electric log splitter and would just like some highly rated suggestions, consider the models we've spotlighted on this page.

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Purchasing an electric log splitter is an ozone-friendly choice, and your neighbors will appreciate the quieter-running machine as well.

Key consideration

The quickest way to narrow your selection is to focus on power. The more power you have, the larger the pieces of wood you can split. In log splitters, that power is expressed in tons.

Electric log splitters range from 5- to 10-ton models. Although there are other factors that contribute to a machine's splitting power, it’s fair to assume that when using a machine at the lower end of the spectrum, you may only be able to split logs up to about 6 or 8 inches in diameter. A 10-ton model, on the other hand, may work on seasoned wood as large as 12 inches in diameter. As far as length goes, most electric log splitters are able to handle logs up to approximately 20.5 inches long.

Just remember, these are only general guidelines and you should always check the specs on the model you’re considering to confirm that it will be suitable for your needs.

expert tip
Properly grounded electrical outlets are a must for these units. Most run at 15 amps, so some users might experience tripped circuits if there are other powerful appliances drawing electricity off the same circuit.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Features

The following are a few essential features to consider before choosing the best electric log splitter for your needs.

Speed

After you place a log on the ram of the electric log splitter, the ram pushes the log into a wedge. After the wedge splits the log, the ram cycles back into its starting position so you can load a new piece of wood. The speed at which you can split logs is determined by how long it takes the machine to cycle back to that starting position. The more wood you have to split, the more the cycle time will impact your efficiency.

Some electric log splitters feature a stroke limiter, which limits the distance that the ram can travel. While this doesn't speed up the machine, it does allow you to work faster. One innovative solution to diminishing cycle time is to include two wedges, one at each end of the machine. This provides two-way log splitting action and no downtime because the ram always finishes in a starting position.

Configuration

Height: Most electric log splitters are extremely heavy and sit fairly low to the ground, which can put a great deal of strain on the operator's back. Some models sit a little higher off the ground, while others feature a stand (usually detachable). Working at waist level can drastically reduce the strain on the operator's back.

Operating position: All electric log splitters function horizontally. A few rare, high-end models may also tilt up to operate vertically. You can quickly recognize these models because the wedge is part of the ram. The advantage of using an electric log splitter in a vertical position is that it allows you to split logs that would otherwise be too large or heavy to pick up and place on a horizontal machine.

Log cradle/tray

Some electric log splitters incorporate a log cradle/tray that is designed to catch the two pieces of split wood, so you don't have to bend so far to pick them up off the ground. It may sound like a minor feature, but many users like it because it can reduce wear and tear on the back.

Expert tip
Be sure to use heavy-duty extension cords that are rated for 15 amps and have grounded three-plug outlets.
BestReviews Home Improvement  and DIY Expert

Portability

Electric log splitters are heavy. Moving them around can be extremely difficult. In order to help with portability, most models feature large, high-density rubber wheels at one end and handles at the other so the unit can be tilted up and moved about much like a wheelbarrow. A few of the largest models may feature a built-in trailer hitch so you can transport them with the help of a vehicle.

Storage

It can be awkward to store a long horizontal machine in a small shed or garage. Because of this, many models are designed to be stored in an upright position, so they take up less floor space.

Accessories

Work glovesA good pair of work gloves prevent injury and allow you to tackle the really tough jobs with confidence.

Eye protection: When working with a log splitter, you want to protect your eyes.

Firewood rackAfter splitting all those logs, you're going to need a place to store them until they dry out for use in the winter. You'll also want a smaller rack to stack wood inside.

Firewood log carrier: A firewood carrier allows you to more easily transport split logs from your wood pile to your fireplace or fire pit.

Extension Cord: Unless you're working right next to an outlet, you'll need a high-quality extension cord to run your electric log splitter.

Electric log splitter prices

The price of an electric log splitter ranges from about $250 to around $1,000. It’s important to know what’s available in each price bracket to be certain you get the model that’s best suited for your needs.

Inexpensive

At the entry-level price point, around $250 to $400, you can find light-duty electric log splitters that may have a stand that makes loading the logs easier on your back. These units are 5- or 6-ton models with wheels and handles that facilitate transport.

Expert tip
Check the diameter maximum limits on any unit before buying and compare that to the wood you need to cut. If you undersize your purchase, you may find yourself disappointed.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Mid-range

For around $400 to $700, you can get a 7- or 8-ton, horizontal electric log splitter. It will be tougher to find models with stands in this price range, but the cycle times may be quicker, allowing you to work more efficiently. These models also feature wheels and handles for transport, though they are heavier than the lower-priced models.

Expensive

Paying between $800 and $1,000 (and up) gets you in the 10-ton and over range, which should be sufficient for most homeowners’ needs. At the highest end of this price bracket, you may even find a model or two that functions vertically as well as horizontally. Some electric log splitters at the upper end of this price range also feature a built-in trailer hitch to allow for road towing.

Tips

To some, the thought of using an electric log splitter sounds extremely dangerous. However, when compared to the forceful swing of an axe, which can sometimes miss its target or be deflected in unexpected ways, the slow-moving mechanism of an electric log splitter can be a safer option for many people. Still, some serious accidents can happen when using this machine, so follow a few basic tips to help ensure safe operation.

  • Clear the area. The work area needs to be clear of everything. This includes not only objects that you can trip over but other people as well. An electric log splitter is designed to be used by just one person. Keep children and pets away. It only takes a fraction of a second for a small hand or a curious nose to wind up in a place it shouldn't be. Also, children and pets can distract you from your task.
  • Understand and respect the machine. Before using an electric log splitter, you need to understand the power it has and the permanent damage it can do to the human body. If you are afraid, you should not be operating the machine.
  • Inspect the machine. Prior to each use, inspect your electric log splitter to make sure that all the parts are in proper working order and the unit is clean.
  • Use the log splitter in a dry, well-lit workspace. An electric log splitter might not function as expected if the logs (or the machine) are wet or damp. Additionally, good lighting is essential.
  • Wear protective gear. If the manufacturer recommends wearing gloves, goggles, closed-toe shoes, or even work boots while operating the machine, it generally means someone has sustained an injury that may have been prevented by wearing these items. This tip also includes paying attention to items you shouldn't wear, such as jewelry or loose fitting clothes.
  • Work when you feel 100%. Drugs, alcohol, previous injury, sickness, or even working without corrected vision are all reasons not to operate machinery.
  • Use two hands. Electric log splitters require two-handed operation for safety reasons. Do not try and jury-rig a workaround that allows you to operate this machine with one hand.
  • Don’t clear jams with your bare hands. A partially split log can be like a spring that is ready to snap back (even after the machine has been unplugged). It’s possibly the most dangerous situation you can face when using an electric log splitter. Be sure to read the manual so you understand thoroughly how to safely resolve this type of situation.
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Never try to force a log splitter to split a troublesome log. If it doesn't easily split, your machine may overheat and be permanently damaged in just a few seconds.

FAQ

Q. Who would benefit most from purchasing an electric log splitter?

A. An electric log splitter can be a costly investment, so you don't want to be purchasing one if you only plan to use it once or twice. A homeowner with a fireplace or fire pit is the ideal candidate for an electric log splitter. Alternatively, an individual who has a wooded property may find that this tool comes in handy as well.

Expert tip
Be mindful that some of these units can project logs up to 10 ft. Have a large work area to protect people, pets, and property.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Q. What type of maintenance does an electric log splitter require?

A. As always, the best place to look for recommended maintenance is the owner's manual. In general, an electric log splitter doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance. Before each use, you need to inspect the machine for loose parts and proper functionality, the blade for sharpness, and the power cord for visible signs of damage. If required, add lubrication to the necessary parts. Other than that, the main maintenance concern with an electric log splitter is to be certain that you routinely replace the hydraulic fluid as stated in the owner's manual.

Q. Is it safe to operate an electric log splitter indoors?

A. One of the many benefits of using an electric log splitter is that it does not produce carbon monoxide while operating. This means it can be used indoors. However, care must still be taken that you choose an indoor location that offers ample operating space and lighting. The electric log splitter should be placed in a location that can be secured so children can’t wander in. Additionally, splitting logs can create a bit of a mess, so you want to use it in a room that won’t be damaged by wood chips and sawdust and is easy to clean.

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