Which Log Splitter Is Right for You?

cutting lumber with yardmax log splitter

Splitting logs is serious business. That’s why it’s important to understand the basics about log splitters in order to accomplish your demands and start splitting wood like a pro.

The three basic things that you need to assess about the logs you will be splitting are:

  • What type of wood will you be splitting? What type of tree did it come from? Since all wood consists of varying levels of hardness, determining how hard or soft the wood is will determine the force (tonnage) you need to split it. For example, a typical Oak tree log is rated as requiring approximately 1350 lbs. of force to split it, based solely on its level of hardness.
  • How big are the logs you will be splitting? Measured in diameter, the bigger the log is across, the more powerful the splitter will need to be to split it – obviously. Splitting that same Oak tree log, with a diameter of 24 to 36 inches, will require a 35-ton log splitter to ensure you get the job done right.
  • How green or seasoned are the logs? Ultimately, this will go a long way in determining the amount of force that will be required to split them. Freshly fallen logs are likely to be greener, or wetter, and require a higher tonnage than some that have dried out over time. In some cases, really green wood may even necessitate an additional 10 tons of force to split.

log splitter force

What else matters in a log splitter?

Once you’ve determined exactly what type of wood you’re working with, and the tonnage required to split it, then it’s time to consider the other variables that go into making a log splitter a good fit for you:

  • Motor power and quality – Does the motor have enough horse power to handle the job? What’s its hydraulic capacity?
  • Replacement part availability – Should you need them in a pinch, can you count on the manufacturer to provide you with replacement parts quickly? You don’t want your project delayed for weeks while you’re waiting for new parts.
  • Design enhancements as standard or upgrades – Do added features like log trays, dual-loading capability, 1-person assembly, metal fenders, etc. cost extra, or are they included as standard?
  • Warranty – How willing is the manufacturer to stand behind its product? A two-year residential warranty is pretty standard, and it says that the brand believes in the quality of its equipment.
  • Cycle time – This is what measures the amount of time it takes to split logs. If it’s too long, then you’ll be standing around waiting; and if it’s too fast, you’ll be exhausting yourself trying to keep up. A good balance is usually in the 15 – 16 second range.
  • Engineering and construction – The level of engineering, quality of materials and design strength will go a long way in determining how durable the splitter will be. Will it hold up job after job?
  • Overall log length – It might be easier to split longer logs vertically, so many larger gas splitter options will provide the ability to split in both a horizontal and vertical position.
  • Portability – Does the splitter have wheels or a ball hitch for easy transporting? If you’re going to want to use your new splitter at your vacation home, this will be something to look for.
  • Remoteness of application – What’s your access to electrical power when using your splitter? Are you able to plug in somewhere to use a clean, non-fuel burning electric splitter? Or, will you need to go with the cordless functionality of a gas-powered one?

Take your time to understand all the factors associated with choosing the right splitter for the right application, and enjoy the convenience and ease that splitting wood should be! For more information, please visit www.yardmax.com.