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2022-04-26 08:04:30 By : Ms. Sophia Ji

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by: BestReviews Staff, BestReviews Staff

by: BestReviews Staff, BestReviews Staff

Using tools to break down wood for heat and cooking is one of civilization’s oldest tasks, and there are a variety of tools available to make it easier. Depending on how much wood you have, how thick and dense it is and how much work you’re willing to do, either a manual or electric log splitter might be best for you.

Electric log splitters are perfect for landowners or landscapers who regularly deal with large amounts of timber and don’t want to engage in backbreaking labor. They use an electric motor that plugs into a standard 110-volt outlet and drives a powerful hydraulic pump. You simply place the log in the splitter, turn it on and let the machine do the work.

Ryobi RYAC490 5-Ton 15-Amp Log Splitter 

It delivers 5 tons of force and is big enough for logs up to 10 inches wide and 20 inches long. It’s an especially good choice because it comes from a popular and reliable manufacturer.

Sold by Home Depot

Southland SELS60 6-Ton 15-Amp Log Splitter

This one’s about as affordable as they get, but it still doesn’t make any sacrifices in terms of power. It’s equipped with rugged wheels and a textured handle so it’s easy to move around your property.

Sold by Home Depot

Powerhouse XM-380 7-Ton Log Splitter 

There aren’t many as powerful as this one, which boasts 7 tons of force and can accommodate logs up to 12 inches wide. At about $500 and over 100 pounds, though, it’s both large and expensive.

Unlike electric log splitters, manual log splitters come in a few different types. The most traditional manual log splitter is the combination of a maul or sledgehammer and a wedge. There are also hydraulic splitters that work similarly to electric models but use long handles and your own elbow grease for power. Finally, there’s also a large number of fixed vertical wedges to choose from. These are mostly used for turning previously split logs into tinder and kindling using a small mallet or mini sledgehammer.

Central Machinery Hydraulic Log Splitter

It uses the same principle as an electric log splitter, but it’s powered by the user.

This thoughtfully designed maul weighs 8 pounds and sports a textured grip as well as a durable 34-inch fiberglass handle.

Sold by Home Depot

The superplastic face and advanced blade geometry make this one of the finest mauls available. However, it’s not cheap.

Sold by Home Depot

This design has long been considered one of the most efficient at splitting logs. Plus, it doesn’t cost much.

An impressive amount of engineering went into designing this wedge, which may be the most effective one on the market.

Simply place an already split log on top of this fixed wedge, strike it with a mallet and gather the kindling that results. There’s also an extra-large version.

It’s simple, it’s effective and if you plan on using a wedge, you’ll probably need a good sledgehammer.

If you’ll be splitting a lot of wood, you’ll probably need a maul or sledgehammer and wedge no matter what. Even with electric log splitters, you’ll need to do some manual work at times.

As far as mechanical log splitters go, an electric log splitter is highly effective once the logs are prepped and ready for splitting. If you’re considering a mechanical log splitter, an electric one is probably your best bet. There are few manual hydraulic log splitters and the ones that do exist don’t work very quickly. The best situation for a manual hydraulic log splitter is if you’ll only use it occasionally and aren’t willing or able to swing an ax.

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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Always wear eye protection, hard-toed shoes, gloves and snug-fitting clothing when splitting wood.